Monday, March 12, 2018

'Secret' Hawaii hiking spots on social media raise risky behavior, Legislature seeks tax hikes, Honolulu council shuffle, state Department of Education supports student walkouts, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Manoa's bamboo trail ©2018 All Hawaii News
Social media spur rise in risky scenic hiking. Within the past decade, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of the state trails, as well as people going to places that are obviously dangerous, among both visitors and locals alike. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers seek tax increases despite booming collections. These are the best of times when it comes to state tax collections, but Hawaii lawmakers are nonetheless considering an array of tax increases to help cope with long-term spending obligations such as pensions and health care for public employees. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers Ignore Tourism Industry, Pass New Taxes Targeting Visitors. Tourism officials aren’t happy with measures that could raise millions from taxes on timeshares and higher resort fees. Civil Beat.

The State Senate has drafted, discussed, and voted on several bills that leaders say are projected to generate approximately $72 million in revenues based on the Department of Taxation estimates. Maui Now.

Law enforcement experts recommend a statewide gun amnesty buyback program that they think would help decrease gun violence in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

The state House Judiciary committee has approved legislation that would expand animal-cruelty laws to better protect dogs chained up outdoors. Star-Advertiser.

‘Death with dignity’ advocate, outliving his cancer prognosis, reflects on issue. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Education says it will support students who plan to participate in the school walkouts planned nationwide to protest gun violence. Hawaii News Now.

Who’s Building Affordable Housing in Hawaii. Many high-profile developers include affordable housing as required by law, but some developers specialize in that type of housing. Hawaii Public Radio.

The National Disaster Preparedness Training Center is inviting the public to participate in a survey about residents' experiences and behaviors during January's false missile scare. Hawaii News Now.

The number of people looking for jobs in Hawaii is the lowest since 1991. The state maintained its record low unemployment rate at 2.1 percent in January, the same as the revised seasonally adjusted rates for December, November and October, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Palace Intrigue: Ernie Martin Tries To Return As City Council Chairman. Even as he runs for Congress, the North Shore council member may regain the chairmanship this month. Civil Beat.

Council members move to reinstate Martin as chair. KHON2.

City budget adds more lifeguards at Hanauma. Expect a bigger lifeguard presence at the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve under a proposal that’s part of Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s $2.16 billion operating budget for the coming fiscal year. Star-Advertiser.

Starting March 12, the City and County of Honolulu will begin replacing tens of thousands of light bulbs in street lamps across the island to put in more energy-efficient LED lights. KHON2.

The nonprofit health center running the Waianae Coast’s only emergency room is doubling the number of rooms available to treat urgent cases and expanding its reach in Leeward Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Waianae Health Center Completes $49 Million Improvement Project. KITV.

Architect Designs Low-Cost Housing, Often For Free. Russell Wozniak has become a leader of Oahu’s efforts to develop innovative solutions to the low-income housing shortage. Civil Beat.

Caldwell seeks kupuna input on surf contest reform. In mid-February, when the World Surf League canceled its 2019 Pipe Masters contest after the City & County of Honolulu rejected its bid to switch dates from December to January with its Pipe Pro meet, Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced he would found an advisory committee to revise the city’s surf meet permitting rules. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Co. is adjusting its base rate to reflect savings from the new federal tax bill, resulting in a lower monthly electrical bill for Oahu customers. Star-Advertiser.

Peter Moon, an ukulele virtuoso, businessman and composer who contributed to a revival of Hawaiian music in the 1970s, died Feb. 17. He was 73. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Maunakea committee shrouded in anonymity. Mayor Harry Kim says his Maunakea committee, tasked with proposing a new management model for the mountain, met for the first time Friday. Tribune-Herald.

The pace of public projects has slowed as the county nears its prudent borrowing limits and seeks other revenue sources to build needed roads, wastewater systems, workforce housing and fire stations. West Hawaii Today.

Crowing Roosters Are Driving Some People Crazy On The Big Island. A Hawaii County Council member is proposing to restrict where the birds, many used for illegal cockfighting, can roost. Civil Beat.

A Hawaii County panel on Friday denied an appeal of a subdivision approval in the Puukapu Homesteads area of Waimea. Big Island Video News.

A small Waimea subdivision is causing big problems for a neighbor, who says work on the property is making her land flood. West Hawaii Today.

State social workers in Hilo oversee so many cases of abused and neglected children spread over a huge swath of Hawaii island that the situation has become a crisis, with workers unable to devote adequate time to cases even as the numbers continue to grow, according to social workers, foster parents, service providers and others familiar with the child welfare system there. Star-Advertiser.

Maui

County Council passes short-term rental legislation on first reading. Measure would require a property owner to wait five years for a permit. Maui News.

Community gets a glimpse of long-delayed Kihei high school. New Kihei High School concepts revealed: Parents plead for school to welcome all grades at once at scheduled 2021 opening. Maui News.

Girls basketball coach suspended pending investigation. Upcountry club team reorganizing, changing its name. Maui News.

Bowling alley rumors false for Maui Marketplace. Lease negotiations ongoing for old Lowe’s, Sports Authority spaces. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauai police have seen an increase in the use of black tar heroin over the last two years. Associated Press.

Waimea Library manager helps award top national children’s book. Garden Island.

Bum Run raises awareness, money in fight against cancer. Garden Island.