Monday, March 5, 2018

Legislature advances foam food container ban, minimum wage hikes unlikely, records request deadline killed, property taxes for Honolulu rail, vacation homes proliferating, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Polystyrene foam food containers ©2018 All Hawaii News
Senate committee advances a bill to impose a statewide ban on polystyrene foam containers. Star-Advertiser.

Don’t Count On A Minimum Wage Hike This Session. The Senate wants an analysis. The House wants to give employers the option of increasing pay or offering paid sick leave. Civil Beat.

Senator shelves bill for timely action on state records requests. A bill seeking to speed up the resolution of disputes over which government records should be open to the public appears to be dead for the session. Star-Advertiser.

State bills aim to make homes for disabled user-friendly. State researchers addressing issues faced by people with disabilities want every new home in Hawaii built with six basic features they say will benefit a disadvantaged group that includes an approaching “silver tsunami” of seniors. Star-Advertiser.

A bill before lawmakers would provide free tuition in exchange for a commitment to remaining a state government employee. Star-Advertiser.

Legislators Want Abandoned Cars Removed Quicker. Counties object to measures that would give them 10 days to move the vehicles off of roadways. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii House of Representatives passed 131 bills on third reading on Friday, March 2, moving them to the Senate for their consideration. Big Island Now.

The Hawaii State Ethics Commission fined four Hawaii Tourism Authority employees for unethical travel practices but chose not to penalize two other HTA employees, including a state senator’s wife. Star-Advertiser.

Child welfare agency shows no improvement in latest federal review. In the 14 categories that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services analyzed in 2017, the state agency showed no improvement from 2009. Star-Advertiser.

Hee: Allow schools to decide on arming security officers. A former state senator who is hoping to be Hawaii's next governor is offering his plan to prevent gun violence at schools. Hawaii News Now.

Surveillance is accepted practice in workers’ comp cases. It can lead to a cutoff of benefits, but things are not always as they appear. Civil Beat.

Community solar is poised to launch in Hawaii as early as this year, and putting the pieces together to make it happen is turning out to be quite a puzzle. Hawaii Public Radio.

Report: Navy admiral likely to head U.S. Pacific Command has little experience in Asia. U.S. military forces stationed in Hawaii will soon report to a new commander after President Donald Trump said last month that he intends to name current U.S. Pacific Command Commander Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. ambassador to Australia. Pacific Business News.

Despite talk of the Navy’s surface fleet losing its war-­fighting edge, the head of U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor said a two-year training success that’s only being revealed now challenged the status quo, injecting greater uncertainty — and a higher degree of risk of failure — into sea-based exercises. Star-Advertiser

Animal advocacy groups called it cruel and misleading. Local food producers called it humane and important for Hawaii’s food supply. Recently, however, the practice of shipping live pigs to Hawaii for slaughter ended. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu’s Share Of The Bill For Rail Just Got $54 Million Bigger. At a budget preview Friday, Mayor Kirk Caldwell acknowledged the city will have to cover more of the project’s cost. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Councilman Trevor Ozawa is again demanding the city step up its bulky-item pickup service in East Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor proposes fees for bulky item, residential trash pick-up. Hawaii News Now.

Feds: UH Manoa Violated Rules In Handling Sexual Harassment Cases. Complaints were mishandled and federal grievance procedures weren’t followed, investigators found. Civil Beat.

Sales of condominiums on Oahu rose 5 percent in February, as prices rose by the same percentage point, while single-family home sales recorded a slight decline in sales and a slight increase in prices, according to a report from Hawaii real estate firm Locations. Pacific Business News.

After giving shade for 5 decades, iconic monkeypod in Manoa to be cut down. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s new bike-share program is getting popular, and expanding. To drum up more interest, Bikeshare Hawaii has been offering free 30-minute rides to new users today. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Vacation rentals: Changing the face of neighborhoods. West Hawaii Today.

Neighbors of a large vacation rental under construction in the oceanfront community of Leleiwi are appealing county Planning Department approval of a special management area permit. West Hawaii Today.

A Hawaii County Council member wants to rein in rooster farms. Puna Councilwoman Eileen O’Hara is introducing a bill that would require anyone owning more than four roosters to keep them at least 75 feet from property lines. Tribune-Herald.

A Hilo developer is hoping to build a new housing project for a vastly underserved demographic: low-income seniors. Tribune-Herald.

The month of March kicks off the budget season in Hawaii County, and the preliminary numbers are presenting a bleak picture for Big Island government finances. Big Island Video News.

Needed Water Reuse Could Affect Planned Kona Park. Big Island Video News.

A historic Naalehu landmark remains in a sad state of neglect after years of failure by the property’s owners to maintain it. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii County Water Board is proposing an increase to its power cost charge and will hold a public hearing on the matter later this month. West Hawaii Today.


The county Planning Department has begun charging fees for repeated reviews of building permit applications, with the first re-review costing $250. Maui News.

Longtime Hawaiian falsetto singer Richard Hoopii died early Saturday morning at home in his beloved Kahakuloa. He was 76. Maui News.

Beloved Maui musician, Uncle Richard Hoopii passed away early this morning at his home in Kahakuloa, family members have confirmed. Maui Now.

Maui’s state Highways Division is looking to add at least 10 workers to help clear out thick cane grass along the road and glycine — an increasingly pervasive vine that blankets guardrails, road shoulders and road signs, state Department of Transportation officials said. Maui News.

Pacific Whale Foundation’s Ocean Explorer, on the ultimate Ultimate Whalewatch with the Experts, recovered a placenta in Maui’s waters today. Maui Now.


Six qualified candidates are vying for three positions on the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative board. The nonprofit co-op, Hawaii’s only member-owned electric utility, is making progress towards its goal of using renewable resources to generate 70 percent of Kauai’s power by 2030. Garden Island.

The first new shopping center on the North Shore in 30 years is about to open in Kilauea, but two things will be missing when it does: the anchor supermarket operated by Foodland and a long-awaited new access road to Kilauea Town. Garden Island.


The restoration of Kahoolawe is a marathon, not a sprint. And we're on mile 1. Hawaii News Now.