Friday, March 16, 2018

Hawaii Supreme Court mulls Thirty Meter Telescope, cops dip into cocaine stash, neighbor islands could get more transient accommodations tax, bogus rail numbers, Hawaiian heiress abuse investigation, Carvalho's final state of the county, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Telescopes atop Mauna Kea ©2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
The state Supreme Court on Thursday heard oral arguments in a case that has the potential to play a huge role on whether the Thirty Meter Telescope is built in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

The state Supreme Court heard oral arguments in one of two cases affecting the Thirty Meter Telescope on Thursday in Honolulu. Tribune-Herald.

Back In Court As TMT's April Deadline Looms. Hawaii Public Radio.

Latest potential road-block for TMT construction on Mauna Kea is one native Hawaiian practitioner. KITV.

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House Committee Boosts Neighbor Island Share Of Hotel Tax. Hawaii, Maui and Kauai counties would get bigger pieces of the revenue pie, but not Honolulu. Associated Press.

Three counties will get a big increase in their share of revenue from the Transient Accommodations Tax, or TAT, under a bill that was advanced by the State House Finance Committee on Thursday. Big Island Video News.

The House Finance Committee passed a bill Thursday that would increase the Transient Accommodations Tax revenues for neighboring islands. Garden Island.

The House Finance Committee today passed Senate Bill 648 SD1 HD1, which increases the amount of the Transient Accommodations Tax or “TAT” revenues for the neighbor islands. Maui Now.

Neighbor Island counties would get more transient accommodations tax revenue under a bill advanced Thursday by the state House Finance Committee. Maui News.

Hawaii Island Mayor Harry Kim was taken aback after he received a call Tuesday night from House Speaker Scott Saiki asking him to testify on a measure to increase Hawaii County’s share of the Transient Accommodations Tax by more than $12 million annually for at least the next dozen years. West Hawaii Today.

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Anti-gay bias allegations roil Hawaii U.S. House race. A well-known Democratic candidate for Congress who gained notoriety opposing President Donald Trump’s travel ban targeting mostly Muslim countries is being forced to explain a decades-old rant perceived as intolerant of gay people. Associated Press.

Hanabusa corrects Secretary of the Interior's Japanese at hearing. President Trump has proposed to cut the grant program that most recently has helped pay for work the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii is doing to create a database of the Japanese detained in Hawaii during World War II. KHON2.

Bill Would Set 6-Year Term For Office Of Information Practices Chief. The measure would increase the job security of the director charged with ensuring adherence to Hawaii’s open government laws. Civil Beat.

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Judge: Hawaiian Heiress Abuse Investigation Must Continue. Abigail Kawananakoa’s former lawyer claims she was abused by her wife. It’s all part of a battle over control of her $215 million trust. Associated Press.

The legal battle over Hawaiian royalty descendant Abigail Kawananakoa's fortune is heating up as a state judge ruled that allegations of physical abuse must be investigated. Hawaii News Now.

Judge tells combatants over heiress’s trust to cool it. The state probate judge tasked with deciding who will manage the $200 million trust of Campbell Estate heiress Abigail Kawananakoa told the parties fighting for control that all of the allegations they have so far made against each other in court filings are not helpful. Star-Advertiser.

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The Department of Health says tobacco prevention programs have saved the state about $1 billion over the past 20 years. KITV.

State officials estimate Hawaii has saved more than $1 billion in total heath care costs due to the reduction in smoking since 2000. Star-Advertiser.

Department of Health: Tobacco Use Reduction Saves $1B in Health Care Costs. Hawaii Public Radio.

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Maui Rep. Yamashita Introduces Resolutions on Cesspool Problem. Maui Now.

After hearing criticism from the Native Hawaiian community, a mainland liquor company has changed its branding. The alcoholic drink was called King Kameha and featured with an image that looks like the King Kamehameha statue. KHON2.

Oahu

Original Rail Budget Included Bogus Numbers For Station Designs. HART officials say their predecessors made “placeholder” estimates without studying their legitimacy. Civil Beat.

More bike lanes proposed for Ward and Pensacola. Approximately 40 on-street parking stalls on Ward Avenue and 30 on Pensacola Street — both metered and nonmetered — would be removed for the bike lane projects. Star-Advertiser.

Community input wanted on bike lanes. KHON2.

Mayor signs into law incentives for property owners who install fire sprinklers. One bill, Bill 101 CD1, provides tax relief while Bill 102 CD1, FD1, reduces permitting fees. Hawaii News Now.

HPD helped cover up officer's abuse, suit filed by ex-wife say. A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent is accusing her ex-husband, a Honolulu police officer, of years of abuse. Hawaii News Now.

Community Vents Frustration Over State’s Mixed Signals On Waianae Camp. At a special neighborhood board meeting Thursday, supporters of a homeless encampment asked for a long-term plan. Civil Beat.

Governor's Chief of Staff apologized to the residents of Puuhonua O Waianae. It was a packed neighborhood board meeting in Waianae Thursday night, as community members demanded answers about what could happen to the Puuhonua O Waianae homeless camp in Pokai Bay. KITV.

Hawaiian Group Clashes with State Over Waimanalo Land. A group of Native Hawaiians claiming to be descendants of King Kamehameha I is headed for a clash with the state -- the second time in two years. Hawaii Public Radio.

Radio conglomerate iHeartMedia – owner of 8 Honolulu stations including KSSK – files for bankruptcy. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii Department of Health certified Aeos Labs, Inc. to begin testing medical cannabis flowers from the state’s licensed dispensaries, patients and caregivers, making it the third lab in the state to gain the certification. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii County Police are investigating how a “small quantity” of cocaine evidence, now used for training purposes, went missing from the department sometime after October 2017. Big Island Video News.

Cocaine missing from Hawaii island police evidence room. A criminal and administrative investigation was done in October and the department has identified a sworn employee as a person of interest. KHON2.

The Hawaii Police Department said it has placed an employee on administrative leave without pay after discovering that cocaine recovered as evidence was lighter than reported during its initial recovery. Star-Advertiser.

Officer suspected of stealing drug evidence. Hawaii County police released information about an investigation into missing drug evidence and identified a former police officer as a person of interest, but have no further comment.  West Hawaii Today.

In October 2017, both criminal and administrative investigations were initiated after it was discovered that cocaine recovered as evidence in 2014 was found to be lighter in weight than reported during its initial recovery. Big Island Now.

Maui

Severe housing problems and a high rate of alcohol-impaired driving deaths are some of the areas that Maui County’s community should explore to improve residents’ health, according to a national report released Wednesday. Maui News.

Hunt for green transport targets electric cars, bikes. The Police Department wants to improve its response time while cutting down on the emissions produced by the department’s 320 vehicles. Maui News.

The Plantation Course at Kapalua on Maui will get a multimillion-dollar renovation next year after the PGA’s Sentry Tournament of Champions kicks off the 2019 season, according to Arizona-based Troon, which manages Kapalua Golf & Tennis. Pacific Business News.

Kauai

Carvalho proposes $214 million operating budget. The mayor, who has served since 2008, proposed an operating budget of $214.8 million and a capital improvement projects budget of $40.7 million. Garden Island.

Mayor touts 10 years of accomplishments. In his State of the County Address Thursday, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. highlighted several accomplishment during his administration. Garden Island.

Kauai mayor Bernard Carvalho delivered his 10th and final State of the County address. KITV.

Improvements to roads, parks among priorities in Kauai mayor's State of the County address. KHON2.

Education, $$ needed for cesspools. While the House of Representatives is debating the creation of regional task forces to help counties replace cesspools, Kauai residents in the issue say it’s cash, and an education campaign, that’s going to do the trick. Garden Island.