Friday, October 19, 2018

Supreme Court grills advocates on education tax amendment, Hirono approval drops, Honolulu building permits lag, regents approve new Mauna Kea rules, $40k fine for killing nene, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii Supreme Court hears arguments on proposed constitutional amendment. The Hawaii Supreme Court is expected to rule quickly after hearing oral arguments Thursday on whether a question on general election ballots asking voters if they want to give the state the power to tax investment property to support public education should be invalidated. Star-Advertiser.

Supreme Court Hears Challenge To ConAm Ballot Measure But Defers Ruling. Hawaii’s county governments hope the court will act quickly to invalidate the measure that would allow the state to tax property for education. Civil Beat.

Supreme Court hears oral arguments on controversial constitutional amendment question. State Attorney General Russell Suzuki conceded Thursday that a controversial constitutional amendment to raise investment property taxes for education could lead to higher taxes for residential homeowners in the future. Hawaii News Now.

A controversial ballot question rests in the hands of the Hawaii Supreme Court justices. They heard arguments Thursday on whether the state should be allowed to collect property taxes for education. KHON2.

Counties, state argue before Hawaii Supreme Court on constitutional amendment to tax property for schools. Pacific Business News.

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What does a blank vote mean? The yes votes have to be 50 percent or more of all ballots cast. KHON2.

The ConCon’s Real Price Tag? That’s Still A Mystery. An opposition ad puts the cost at $55 million. But that assumes unprecedented full public funding of campaigns for hundreds of delegate candidates. Civil Beat.

Civil Beat Poll: Hirono Approval Rating Still High Despite Kavanaugh Backlash. Moderates and conservatives have a dimmer view of the Hawaii senator after her pointed criticisms of the Supreme Court justice during his confirmation. Civil Beat.

Hawaii High Court Weighs Whether To Release Secret Investigation Of State Auditor. Justices appeared concerned about the state’s argument that attorney-client privilege protects the Legislature from releasing the report. Civil Beat.

Commentary: The Senate Confirms Judges, So Why Is The House Butting In? Were House leaders looking to mess with the governor when they interviewed Keith Hiraoka, his choice for the state Intermediate Court of Appeals? Civil Beat.

Five OHA seats up for grabs this election. Five open seats amid public scrutiny of how OHA trustees spend their allowances and the embarrassing leak of a scathing audit. KITV.

Hawaii’s unemployment rate ticked up in September to a one-year high of 2.2 percent amid further evidence that the state’s economic growth is slowing. Star-Advertiser.

Unite Here Local 5, the union representing 2,700 striking hotel workers on Oahu and Maui, accused Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts on Thursday of more unfair labor practices at its Marriott-managed hotels. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Council bill would address lengthy building permit times. A bill requiring the city to process less complicated building permits within 60 days won preliminary approval from a City Council committee Thursday after a parade of builders, contractors, engineers and architects aired complaints about how the delays are hurting their businesses. Star-Advertiser.

Workers, homeowners frustrated by building permit backlog push for change. KHON2.

City Pushes for Monster Home Crackdown While Streamlining Building Permits. Hawaii Public Radio.

New law cracks down on contractors violating stop-work orders. The law comes after complaints that contractors are doing work on homes without a permit and when ordered to stop, they just keep on working despite getting fined. KHON2.

Surprise Eviction Notices Have This Old Plantation Community Up In Arms. State Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz and a state agency are aggressively moving ahead with development plans for Central Oahu’s Whitmore Village. Civil Beat.

Honolulu ranks high on yet another list — this time for the worst roads. Drivers spend an average of roughly $850 a year in repairs, a new report says. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii at Manoa to raise parking rates starting next year. The Board of Regents on Thursday approved new rates that will be phased in over six years starting next fall.  Star-Advertiser.

UH Students And Staff Will Pay For $35 Million In Parking Garage Repairs. Parking rate increases will be phased in over the next six years in a plan approved by the Board of Regents. Civil Beat.

Hawaii State Public Library hasn't had any major upgrades in 26 years. KHON2.

Grand jury indicts janitor accused of molesting teen student in Kaneohe. Records indicate the alleged assault happened after a ‘fun fair’ at the campus. Hawaii News Now.

Utah developer buys site for third hotel in Kapolei. Utah-based Garn Development Co. LLC has closed on the purchase of a 2.64-acre lot within the 40-acre Leihano development where it plans to build the city of Kapolei’s third limited-service hotel. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents unanimously agreed Thursday to allow the university to revise its proposed rules for Mauna Kea. Hawaii News Now.

UH taking another step toward better managing Mauna Kea. UH Board of Regents approved a request to revise to UH's proposed administrative rules. KITV.

Draft EA for proposed Honomu ag project done. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has completed a draft environmental assessment for its proposed Honomu agricultural homestead community and will host a meeting next week about the project. Tribune-Herald.

Kona Village Resort eyes 2021 reopening. The Kona Village Resort could potentially reopen in 2021, a decade after sustaining heavy damage from the 2011 tsunami. West Hawaii Today.

The County of Hawaii is in the process of revamping its website. The county seeks the public’s feedback on the site to make it useful, user-friendly and exciting. Big Island Now.

Maui

Councilors loath to swap site in Wailuku for bus hub. Some members of a Maui County Council committee expressed reluctance to part with the old Wailuku Post Office site as part of a proposed lease exchange for a new Maui Bus hub on state land in Kahului. Maui News.

Proposed changes to special management area permits and the shoreline area designation that account for rising sea levels will be presented to a County Council committee and the Maui Planning Commission. Maui News.

Maui Gas Prices Up Again. In Kahului, the average price was $4.15, which is three cents higher than last Thursday, eight cents higher than on this date last month and 63 cents higher than on this date a year ago. Maui Now.

Maui Chamber to Hold Emergency Preparedness Classes. Maui Now.

Kauai

A part-time Kauai resident must pay more than $40,000 in fines for fatally shooting four nene geese with a pellet gun near his home in Koloa last year. Star-Advertiser.

A part-time Koloa resident was ordered Tuesday to pay more than $40,000 in fines for shooting endangered nene. Garden Island.

Judge orders Kauai man to pay upwards of $40K for shooting at nene birds. The 72-year-old used a pellet gun to kill four nene birds. Hawaii News Now.

Man to pay more than $40,000 in fines for shooting at nene. KHON2.

Part-time Kauai resident fined over $40K for fatally shooting nene geese. Steven Cookson was convicted of five misdemeanor state charges. KITV.

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Kauai Bus users will see schedule changes to improve services starting Monday. Garden Island.

Appellate court nominee has Kauai ties. Garden Island.