Thursday, April 5, 2018

Hirono says cancer battle won't keep her from Senate duties, state ballot order set, Souki apologizes for sexual harassment, gut-and-replace proliferates in Legislature, thieving employees sink Molokai credit union, Maui police chief gets high marks, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo by Nanea Kalani
Hirono announces re-election bid, courtesy photo
U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono says her ongoing cancer treatment has not affected her Congressional duties, and that she’s running for re-election to continue fighting for Hawaii’s families and kupuna. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: Hirono Fired Up To Take On Cancer And Trump In Campaign. As her re-election bid begins, the Hawaii senator says immunotherapy will not prevent her “from doing my job” and speaking out against the president. Civil Beat.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono officially launched her re-election campaign on Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) made it official on Wednesday morning, with her husband and supporters at her side, she filed the paperwork for re-election. KITV.

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Luck puts Constitution Party at top of Hawaii's primary election ballot. On Wednesday, the state Elections Office held a random drawing (think plucking names from a lauhala basket) to decide the order of political preferences on the ballot. Hawaii News Now.

Former House Speaker Joe Souki has paid a fine and submitted a letter apologizing for his behavior after several women including former state Director of Human Services Rachael Wong accused him of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct. Star-Advertiser.

Full text of Souki's short apology letter to the speaker can be found here.

What’s Up With All The Gut-And-Replace Trickery At The Legislature This Year? More and more dramatic last-minute changes in bills are being made with a minimum of public notice this legislative session. Civil Beat.

The governor is set to sign a bill legalizing medical aid in dying. Not everyone is happy about it. Over 18,000 people signed a petition to try to deter him from signing the bill, which he said he would do Thursday. KHON2.

A group of church and community leaders hand delivered a petition opposing physician-assisted suicide to Governor David Ige on Wednesday. More than 18,000 people across Hawaii signed the petition. KITV.

Ige bypasses lawmakers to pay for HI-EMA plans. More than a month after Gov. David Ige announced he would ask lawmakers for millions of dollars to upgrade the state’s emergency preparedness systems in the wake of the statewide false missile alert, the administration has decided it does not need that extra money after all. Star-Advertiser.

New chorus of voices questions plan to block sale of some sunscreens. A bill that would ban the sale — but not the use — of sunscreen with chemicals believed to kill coral reefs is advancing at the state Legislature. Hawaii News Now.

Feral Cat-Friendly Measure Dies In The Senate. The Humane Society supported the bill to maintain cat colonies, but opponents pointed to the damage they do to other species. Civil Beat.

Bill Calls For Hawaii To Protect Students Who Allege Harassment. The measure would establish a state corollary to the federal Title IX law prohibiting gender discrimination. Civil Beat.

Ige appoints three members to Hawaii State Board of Education. Pacific Business News.

Solar permits up on Big Isle, down in Maui County. The number of solar permits issued in Hawaii and Maui counties moved in opposite directions during the first quarter. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Critics warn plan to turn over Kakaako parks to city opens door to commercialization. A state plan to transfer Kakaako’s parks to the city ran into resistance at a Hawaii Community Development Authority board meeting Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Neighbors concerned by development carving into Waialae Iki hillside. At the base of Waialae Iki in East Honolulu, a hillside has been undergoing a dramatic re-contouring with excavators cutting deep benches and leaving scarred rock faces visible from Kalanianaole Highway. Star-Advertiser.

Caldwell Calls for Legalization and Regulation of Transient Accommodations. Hawaii Public Radio.

Mixed reactions Wednesday after Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell proposed a plan that could turn virtually any home on Oahu into a bed and breakfast. KITV.

Owner of alleged 'monster house' in Manoa fires back at neighbors. Tensions have been escalating over the home built in 1919 for the founder of Straub Clinic since Grant Shen purchased it in 2016. Neighbors say he has illegally converted the single-family residence into an apartment building with as many as 15 to 20 people living there. Hawaii News Now.

A Kailua home is turning a lot of heads lately. A shipping container has been installed above it. KHON2.

Workers at the Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach Hotel cast their votes Tuesday to make the property the first Hawaii hotel to join the Unite Here Local 5 union through a National Labor Relations Board election in two decades. Star-Advertiser.

HTA balks at UFC’s $6M price for isle title card. The Ultimate Fighting Championship made the Hawaii Tourism Authority an offer it could refuse, leading to the collapse of talks that had been aimed at bringing a UFC card starring Max Holloway to Aloha Stadium this summer. Star-Advertiser.

Tourism officials in Hawaii say that the UFC demanded a $6 million sponsorship fee in order to host a pay-per-view fight card at Aloha Stadium this summer – an amount even higher than what the agency once paid the NFL in order to host the Pro Bowl. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu tops the nation for solar capacity per capita. The new report released by Environment America found Honolulu also ranks third in the nation for total solar installed in a city. KITV.

No other city in the United States has more installed solar photovoltaic capacity per capita than Honolulu, according to a new report from Environment America. Pacific Business News.

Oahu condo prices jump 10% in March to new record. The median price of a condominium on Oahu rose 10 percent in March, compared to last year, to reach a record $440,000, while the median price of a single-family home nudged up by 1 percent. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Lance Niimi, executive assistant to Mayor Harry Kim and Hawaii County’s homeless coordinator, has resigned his post. West Hawaii Today.

Homeless housing fast tracked. Roy Takemoto, executive assistant to Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim, was in Honolulu Wednesday meeting with Ford Fuchigami, Ige’s administrative director, and others to discuss an emergency proclamation Kim requested from the governor in March. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County’s beleaguered bus system is getting a little boost from the federal government, thanks to a $576,000 grant announced Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

Kohala Hospital will receive much-needed renovations following the release of capital improvement project funds that were recently released by Gov. David Ige, an April 4, 2018, press release announced. Big Island Now.

Hilo mural with armed hula dancer painted over amid complaints. Hawaii News Now.

Dispute leaves DirecTV customers without hula coverage. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui police chief receives high marks in annual evaluation. KHON2.

Kaiser expands footprint on Maui. Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has acquired 6.2 acres under its Wailuku Medical Office for $22 million. Star-Advertiser.

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii paid $22 million to buy the 6.2 acres of land beneath its Wailuku Medical Office on Maui from Alexander & Baldwin. Pacific Business News.

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has purchased 6.2 acres of land under its Wailuku Medical Office on Maui. Maui Now.

Two “Meet and Greet” events will be held to discuss the Waiehu Clubhouse Master Plan & Feasibility Study. Maui Now.

It’s the end of the road for Maui Downhill. Pioneer of mountain downhill bike tours calls it quits. Maui News.


Kauai

The state’s spotlight has swung toward Hanalei because of recent landslides, but locals say it’s the streets, not the slopes, with the major problem. Garden Island.

The question of what makes a community was the center of a heated discussion about the West Kauai Community Plan during the County Council’s Planning Committee meeting Wednesday. Garden Island.

Dogs have joined the fight against invasive rats on Lehua Island. The Department of Land and Natural resources started a project in 2017 to get rid of the rats by dropping rat poison in phases. KHON2.

Monitoring teams are observing more albatross on Lehua Island than they have in a long time, according to a Wednesday press release from the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Garden Island.

Molokai

Workers’ thefts sank Molokai credit union. The government says over at least nine years, two employees stole more than $1 million from the credit union, leading to First Hawaiian Homes Credit Union’s insolvency, closing and liquidation. Star-Advertiser.