Thursday, April 26, 2018

Bump stock ban, other bills, pass state Legislature, Honolulu bill lets high-rises opt out of sprinkler law, new life for county GET surcharge, Kauai council passes $5M for flood recovery, more on Trump v. Hawaii Supreme Court hearing, news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Charles Freedman
Hawaii Capitol PC: Charles Freedman
With the Hawaii State Legislature set to adjourn in a week, lawmakers gave final approval Wednesday to several significant bills, including a measure that would make it illegal to sell or own “bump stock” devices, like the ones used last year by a gunman to spray gunfire into a Las Vegas crowd. Star-Advertiser.

Bump Stock Ban Passes Hawaii Legislature In Wake Of Las Vegas Massacre. The state is poised to prohibit the manufacture, sale and ownership of devices used to increase firearms’ rate of fire. Civil Beat.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday in Hawaii’s challenge to President Trump’s latest travel ban. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lt. Gov. Doug Chin said the discussion and questions by U.S. Supreme Court justices during oral arguments Wednesday have not dampened his optimism that the country’s highest court will strike down President Donald Trump’s latest travel ban. Star-Advertiser.

FULL AUDIO: U.S. Supreme Court Hears Trump v. Hawaii. Big Island Video News.

The federal government is trying to foreclose on the assets of Sandwich Isles Communications Inc. to recover $128 million in principal and interest the company owes on delinquent U.S. Department of Agriculture loans, according to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice. Star-Advertiser.

Less than a week after fielding questions about his academic record, state Rep. Kaniela Ing is facing a new controversy over a failure to report thousands of dollars in campaign contributions. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority, the state agency responsible for Hawaii’s tourism marketing, just announced another high-ranking personnel departure. Leslie Dance, HTA’s vice president of marketing and product development, has resigned from her position effective May 15. Star-Advertiser.

Leslie Dance is stepping down as vice president of marketing at the Hawaii Tourism Authority next month, the tourism agency announced Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

Central Pacific Financial Corp., the parent company of Honolulu-based Central Pacific Bank, reported net income of $14.3 million, or 48 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2018, an increase of 9.1 percent compared to last year’s first quarter earnings. Pacific Business News.

Southwest reveals plans to serve 4 Hawaii airports amid slow ticket sales. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

A bill passed by the Honolulu City Council requires about 150 older high-rise condominiums to be retrofitted with automated sprinkler systems — except it really doesn’t. Star-Advertiser.

A bill outlawing drifting and drift racing on city roads was approved unanimously by the Honolulu City Council Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The city is taking steps to make sure roads like Tantalus Drive will be safe from drivers who drift or drift race. KHON2.

A motorcyclist will get $3M after a settlement with the city over a 2014 collision with a Honolulu Police Officer. Hawaii News Now.

The City and County of Honolulu has received $300,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to transform contaminated properties in need of environmental cleanup along the rail transit corridor. Pacific Business News.

Big changes may be ahead for the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility as legislators make last-minute adjustments to Governor David Ige's bill. Hawaii News Now.

After less than four months of selling condominiums in the seventh tower permitted for Ward Village, the developer of the community in Kakaako is seeking a permit for an eighth tower. Star-Advertiser.

A proposal to build a wind farm in the hills above Makakilo is running into opposition from area residents. Hawaii News Now.

U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson denied a request by U.S. State Department special agent Christopher Deedy to block the state from prosecuting him for manslaughter pending a decision on whether his constitutional rights would be violated, but the judge said Wednesday that he expects to rule well before trial in October. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu food pantry buys warehouse with $3.5M city grant. Pacific Business News.

The Howard Hughes Corp. has sold, or contracted to sell, more than 1,500 homes at its Ward Village master development in Hawaii since 2014, representing more than $2 billion in revenue for the Dallas-based developer. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

A House-Senate conference committee breathed new life Wednesday into Mayor Harry Kim’s request for a general excise tax surcharge by extending the deadline for the County Council to approve the measure. West Hawaii Today.

House and Senate negotiators Wednesday agreed to a bill that would authorize the hiring of four extra social workers to help address a crisis in the child-welfare system on the east side of Hawaii island. Star-Advertiser.

A state House-Senate conference committee on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill that will establish a five-year pilot program to fund four more full-time Child Welfare Services case workers in East Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

An adjustment to the state budget that would fund a new medium security unit at Hawaii Community Correctional Center was sent to Gov. David Ige for final approval Wednesday. Tribune-Herald.

Financial relief: County finds money to continue Banyan Beach lua. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The project with the heftiest price tag — the $81.2 million Wailuku civic complex — made the cut in Budget and Finance Chairman Riki Hokama’s proposed budget, though other projects like the Maui Lani roundabout got the ax. Maui News.

Medeiros: Funding cut puts paratransit rides in jeopardy. Hundreds of disabled people rely on curb-to-curb rides for doctor visits, physical therapy, shopping. Maui News.

The state House passed a $14.4 billion state budget Wednesday that includes $40 million for construction of the Kaanapali leg of the Lahaina bypass, $49 million for construction of the Paia bypass and $40 million for building the new Kihei high school. Maui News.

A recent report by the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice states that vacation rental units put pressure on Hawaii’s already-stressed housing market by reducing homes for Hawaii residents and driving up rents. Maui Now.

Maui Land & Pineapple Co. lost $1 million in the first three months of this year with no asset sales that the company has been relying on for profits in recent years. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai

The Kauai County Council approved a $5 million emergency ordinance Wednesday to help pay for recovery from flooding that devastated much of the North Shore. Garden Island.

Nearly two weeks after historic flooding caused major damage on Kauai, council members were briefed by county employees on preliminary damage assessments. Preliminary numbers show 66 homes with major damage. KHON2.

Torrential rainfall in north Kauai that ravaged homes and businesses about a week and a half ago may have set a national record, according to the National Weather Service. Star-Advertiser.

The National Weather Service says Waipa, just outside Hanalei on Kauai, recorded 49.69 inches of rain over a 24-hour period from April 14th to 15th. KITV.

Floods Have Left Behind ‘A Different World’ On Kauai’s North Shore. The storm’s toll in Hanalei and more remote areas includes destroyed homes, lost jobs and vanished tourist dollars. Civil Beat.

Hanalei taro farmers urge public to 'stay away' as farms recover from floods. Hawaii News Now.

Effects of flood on coral unclear; fears rise that damage could be extensive. Garden Island.