Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Honolulu City Council ousts chairman, OHA probed by FBI and state attorney general, reaction to Djou's departure from GOP, councilwoman cleared to sponsor vacation rental bill, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Legislators Again Consider Making More Police Disciplinary Records Public. For the fifth straight year, there’s a bill to end the exemption for officers to a public records law that applies to everyone else. Civil Beat.

The state Attorney General’s office and the FBI are conducting a wide-ranging investigation into allegations of “public corruption and misappropriation” of taxpayer and state funds at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Hawaii News Now.

Supporters rally for Kupuna Caregivers Program measure, which provides assistance to the family caregiver who also works outside the home full time. Star-Advertiser.

Supporters are trying to draw attention to the continued need for funding of the Kupuna Caregivers Program. KHON2.

Employers and employees will testify today regarding a controversial bill that would require employers in Hawaii to offer paid sick leave to employees. House Bill 1727 would require employers to provide a certain amount of paid sick leave to their employees each year unless they pay employees more than the minimum wage. Tribune-Herald.

State policy on virtual currency up for debate. A bill that proposes to modify state regulations for companies that broker transactions of highly volatile virtual currencies for Hawaii customers is scheduled to be heard today at the Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Legislators Consider Tougher Invasive Species Control Measures. Hawaii Public Radio.

The recent spate of drownings across the state has brought together key people from the state and the counties to try and to address what if anything we can do to keep our visitors and residents safe in the water. Hawaii Public Radio.

Protection for all sharks and rays within state waters has moved another step closer to reality. West Hawaii Today.

Commentary: What’s Next For Charles Djou — And The Hawaii GOP? After abandoning the Republican Party in dramatic fashion, the ex-congressman says he has no plans to run for anything. Civil Beat.

Former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou says he is leaving the Republican Party. Star-Advertiser.

Energy specialist tapped to join PUC. Gov. David Ige has nominated University of Hawaii energy specialist Jennifer “Jennie” Potter to the three-member Public Utilities Commission. Star-Advertiser.

Ige nominates UH energy specialist to Hawaii's Public Utilities Commission. Pacific Business News.

First Hawaiian CEO earns $5.8M to take over top spot in state. First Hawaiian Bank’s Bob Harrison has supplanted his chief rival and become the state’s highest-paid CEO of a publicly traded company. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Ernie Martin unseated Ron Menor as Honolulu City Council chairman today, grabbing back the gavel that Menor snatched from him 15 months ago. Martin has been among Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s toughest critics on the Council while the Menor leadership team was seen as more amenable to the administration. Star-Advertiser.

Ernie Martin Regains Council Chairmanship As Council Squabbles Over Rail. Outgoing chairman Ron Menor pleads for his colleagues to “rise above personal differences and political ambitions.” Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Council Reorganization: Rail Transit Funding. The Honolulu City Council voted in new leadership today. Hawaii Public Radio.

After close vote, City Council gets a new chair — and a new direction. Hawaii News Now.

Ousted as leader of the Honolulu City Council in January, Ernie Martin was reinstated as the Honolulu City Council chair Monday. KITV.

Leadership shakeup at Honolulu City Council restores Martin as chair. KHON2.

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Rail debate overshadows Martin’s return as Council chairman. Budget Director Nelson Koyanagi said there is a projected $214 million hole in the current city plan to pay for the $9 billion rail project.  Star-Advertiser.

Rail project’s safety program gets federal approval. The Federal Transit Administration said Monday that Hawaii has received approval of a key safety program for the rail project ahead of a federal deadline. Star-Advertiser.

The Federal Transit Administration certified the Honolulu rail project’s State Safety Oversight Program on Monday, a mandatory step in order for the project to receive new federal transit funds, the agency said. Pacific Business News.

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2019 mayors conference to be held in Waikiki. A June 1963 speech given in Waikiki by then- President John F. Kennedy may have helped persuade leaders of the United States Conference of Mayors to return here in June 2019 after a 50-plus-year absence. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu’s First Trailer Park Just The Latest In New Wave Of Public Housing. Since Gov. David Ige’s emergency proclamations loosened up regulations, some new-look subsidized housing is taking shape. Civil Beat.

Three formerly homeless families from the Waianae Coast received keys to new homes Monday as the city continues to work to reduce the nation’s largest per capita rate of homelessness. Star-Advertiser.

Three former homeless families move into their new homes on Farrington Highway. KITV.

Waipio park renovation project finished ahead of schedule. The $395,700 project to upgrade the courts began in November and was scheduled to finish this summer. Hawaii News Now.

The Navy has estimated that the least expensive method of double-walling its fuel tanks that in 2014 spilled 27,000 gallons of fuel could cost between $500 million and $2 billion. Associated Press.

‘Wonder Blunder’ promoter’s sentencing set for next week. A federal judge denied today a request from the key figure in the University of Hawaii Stevie Wonder concert fiasco to withdraw his guilty plea. Star-Advertiser.

Guilty plea in 'Wonder Blunder' concert scam stands. Associated Press.

Hawaii Island

The county Board of Ethics on Monday unanimously gave North Kona Councilwoman Karen Eoff the go-ahead to sponsor a bill regulating vacation rentals. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii County Board of Ethics determined that there is no prohibition on Kona councilwoman Karen Eoff to introduce, discuss or vote on a bill regulating short-term rentals, even though she herself owns a vacation rental condo in Kailua-Kona. Big Island Video News.

DOBOR to release draft rules for manta ray viewing sites in West Hawaii. Following years of discussion and deliberation, the Department of Land and Natural Resources has formulated a list of draft rules regarding proposed regulations and changes to manta ray viewing sites. West Hawaii Today.

Mangled manta could show need for regulation in popular tourist activity. West Hawaii Today.

A three-month park improvement project at Kua Bay is underway. Big Island Video News.

Maui

State water panel to take up West Maui stream flow standards. Maui News.

The University of Hawaii Maui College campus will soon be among the first in the nation to generate 100% of its energy from on-site solar photovoltaic systems coupled with battery storage, university officials announced today. Maui Now.

Drones are now helping to locate and monitor humpback whales entangled with fishing gear and ocean debris, according to an announcement from Oceans Unmanned Inc., a nonprofit organization that facilitates the use of unmanned technologies to protect the ocean and coastal marine environment. Maui News.

Kauai

There aren’t any lingering public health dangers on Kauai due to Terminix’s reported misuse of restricted-use fumigant pesticides, but the company has been fined. Garden Island.

EPA slaps Terminix with big fines for pesticide violations on Kauai. Hawaii News Now.

EPA fines Terminix more than $168K for misuse of pesticide products on Kauai. Pacific Business News.

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‘Second city’ coming? The public is invited to a presentation by A&B Properties to hear about A&B’s development plans for the area between Eleele to past Numila. Garden Island.

A Kauai organization is asking for public support to help save endangered native bird species on the island. Hawaii Public Radio.

A group of people clearing state land at a bellstone site in Wailua are wondering where the bellstone is. Garden Island.

Kauai geologist, researcher and sedimentology specialist Chuck Blay will be presenting “Understanding our Living Beaches,” a free talk on Kauai’s beaches at the Kapaa Library at 2 p.m. Saturday. Garden Island.