Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Hawaii House updates sexual harassment policy, expired tax credit costs millions, audit says DLNR mismanaged land fund, security cameras for Waikiki, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy Hawaii House majority
Press conference on House sexual  harassment policy PC:House Majority
Hawaii’s House of Representatives has revamped its sexual harassment policy following pressure brought on by the #MeToo movement and resignation of former Rep. Joe Souki last year amid complaints by several women that he had made unwanted advances toward them, including sexual comments, touching and kissing. Star-Advertiser.

Why Critics Say New House Sexual Harassment Policy Doesn’t Go Far Enough. They say the policy is a  “good first step” that meets many national best practices, but it lacks an appeals process and requires secrecy even after cases are resolved. Civil Beat.

State House Unveils Workplace Harassment Policy. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii House of Representatives updates workplace harassment policy. KHON2.

House lawmakers proposing changes to harassment policy. State House lawmakers are vying to significantly revamp harassment policies at the Capitol. KITV.

House harassment policy can be found here.

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This Long-Expired High-Tech Tax Credit Is Still Costing Hawaii Millions. The state awarded $289.1 million in tax credits in 2016, including $16.3 million for a program that no longer exists. Civil Beat.

A multimillion-dollar state fund to acquire private land for conservation purposes has been poorly managed by the Department of Land and Natural Resources, hampering its effectiveness, accountability and transparency, according to a state audit. Star-Advertiser.

The state Board of Education last month voted behind closed doors to extend Superintendent Christina Kishimoto’s contract by one year, but a question has arisen about whether the action was proper. Star-Advertiser.

The State Department of Agriculture briefed members of the Senate today on some of its budget priorities. Hawaii Public Radio.

Filmmaker Settles Lawsuit After Hawaii Grants Him Tax Credits. Tim Chey had charged the state film office discriminated against him because it didn’t like his Christian-themed historical drama. Civil Beat.

By Land And Sea, The Shutdown Takes Its Toll On Hawaii. A recent study finds the latest federal budget impasse is hitting the islands especially hard. Civil Beat.

With the partial government shutdown now in its third week, federal employees in Hawaii are feeling the impacts. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Fifty new security cameras will be installed in Waikiki, to the delight of the Waikiki Neighborhood Board. KHON2.

A vintage military fighter jet that was ditched at sea off Kewalo Basin on Dec. 12 with the pilot ejecting seconds before has been located in pieces in about 300 feet of water, the Coast Guard said. Star-Advertiser.

Pearl Harbor Tour company owner says, "we're struggling" as government shutdown continues. KHON2.

After 94 years of educating Hawaii’s youth, Saint Francis School will close its middle and high schools at the end of the academic year in May, its board announced Monday, citing loss of financial assistance. Star-Advertiser.

Saint Francis to lay off dozens of teachers, do away with upper grades. Hawaii News Now.

St. Francis School closing grades 7 through 12. The 87th, and final graduation ceremony will be held on May 25th. KITV.

Home sales on Oahu dropped by 28 percent last month, compared to December 2017, even as the median price of single-family homes rose 5 percent to $788,000. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Big Island prosecutors dealt with what they consider an alarming number of domestic strangulation cases last year — more than 50. Tribune-Herald.

Community volunteers maintain, monitor deserted national park. It was 18 days ago a partial government shutdown took effect, closing and de-staffing places like Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park in South Kona and leaving them unguarded from public whim. West Hawaii Today.

As the partial government shutdown enters its third week – reportedly with no end in sight – the signs of a federal funding lapse are becoming apparent at Puuhonua o Honaunau. Big Island Video News.

The Department of Public Safety reports that the old Hilo County Jail (built in the 1890s) is set for demolition soon. Big Island Now.

Home sales slowed on Big Island last year, but Kilauea fails to stop prices from rising. Home sales on Hawaii’s Big Island declined by 7 percent in 2018, compared to the year before, but the eruption of Kilauea volcano failed to stop prices, buoyed by double-digit gains in December, from rising. Pacific Business News.

Maui

Some 1.2 acres of land in Kapalua, Maui will be preserved as open space along the Kapalua Coastal Trail due to a donation from the Sue D. Cooley Trust, the Hawaiian Island Land Trust announced today. Star-Advertiser.

Hemp growers see hope on horizon after change in federal law. Cannabis growers looking for the next big thing after CBD craze. Maui News.

Kauai

As Hawaii looks at ways to become more self-sufficient in food production, people on Kauai are planting seeds that will feed the community decades down the road. Garden Island.

The National Tropical Botanical Garden and Kauai Community College present their first collaborative event of 2019 in the ongoing Earth Matters public lecture series at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday with a panel discussion, “Building Resilience in the Face of Climate Change.” Garden Island.