Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Cocaine missing from evidence prompts indictment of two veteran police officers, 4 others; rural broadband coming to Hawaii; Honolulu council overrides property tax veto; bird poop threatens rail workers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii police on parade ©2019 All Hawaii News
Two retired police officers charged with drugs, conspiracy offenses. Two separate indictments were filed Monday against two retired police officers, each with more than 20 years of service. West Hawaii Today.

A grand jury has indicted two retired Hawaii Police Department officers in a case involving stolen drug evidence, according to court records. Associated Press.

Two retired Big Island police officers indicted for gambling, drug-related crimes. KITV.

Two retired police officers have been indicted. KHON2.


FCC grants Hawaii counties $18.1M to expand rural broadband services. The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday authorized more than $18.1 million in funding to expand broadband services to over 3,900 unserved rural homes and businesses in Hawaii’s four counties over the next decade. Star-Advertiser.

High speed internet coming to rural Hawaii. The Federal Communications Commission wants to expand services to areas like Hawaiian Acres on the Big Island, Hana, Maui, Hanapepe, Kauai, and Kahuku on Oahu. KITV.

The Navy has awarded the University of Hawaii a contract worth up to $77 million over five years for its defense-related Applied Research Laboratory. The Hawaii lab’s focus includes ocean environmental effects of natural and man-made underwater noise sources on littoral, or nearshore, anti-submarine warfare, as well as marine life. Star-Advertiser.

UH Wants To Cut Tuition For Some Grad Students — Especially Out-Of-Staters. Proposed new tuition rates being considered by the Board of Regents seek to reverse declines in graduate student enrollment. Civil Beat.

Bank of Hawaii is finally exiting American Samoa — 6-1/2 years after putting its plans on hold following a plea by the U.S. territory’s governor. Star-Advertiser.


City Council overrides mayor’s veto of a bill that will lower property taxes. Hawaii News Now.

How Honolulu Property Tax Decisions Could Affect Owners. The Honolulu City Council on Tuesday overrode Mayor Kirk Caldwell's veto of a bill that increases the standard home exemption on property taxes while advancing his proposal to hike the tax rate on hotels and resorts. Hawaii Public Radio.

Council committee again tosses out trash pickup fee. The Honolulu City Council Budget Committee on Tuesday again rejected Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s plan for a trash pickup fee, but approved proposals to raise rates in the hotel-resort and nonowner occupant property tax categories. Star-Advertiser.

City Council Overrides Caldwell Veto On Tax Break. The Honolulu mayor prefers a bill providing targeted property tax exemptions. Civil Beat.


HART Poised To Approve $1.4 Million To Combat Bird Droppings. Rail officials say so many pigeons and other birds are nesting inside the transit line’s cavernous concrete guideway that it’s become a health hazard to workers. Civil Beat.

Turf war brewing in Waikiki as beachboys spar over contract obligations. A year after it awarded lucrative Waikiki beachboy concessions to Dive Oahu, the city said its revenues have nearly doubled. Hawaii News Now.


With jury selection for Kealoha trial underway, attorneys now look to get an advantage. KHON2.

Hawaii News Now: Kealohas Are Retaliating Against Our Reporter. Lynn Kawano of Hawaii News Now says in court records that the Kealohas are trying to stop her from covering the trial because of her investigative reports. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Stories of misdeeds and corruption have helped shape Hawaii’s history, going back to a royal opium scandal that contributed to efforts to overthrow the monarchy. Civil Beat.

Commentary: How I Became A Witness In The Kealoha Corruption Trial. Civil Beat.


First-time homeowners handed the keys to new affordable housing towers in Kakaako. A two-bedroom affordable unit in Ke Kilohana measures about 750 square feet and prices start at around $473,000. Hawaii News Now.

Howard Hughes opens Ke Kilohana workforce tower: Slideshow. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii Electric Light Co.’s agreement with Puna Geothermal Venture to rebuild power transmission lines and related infrastructure will require state Public Utilities Commission approval and a public hearing. Hawaii Electric Light Co.’s agreement with Puna Geothermal Venture to rebuild power transmission lines and related infrastructure will require state Public Utilities Commission approval and a public hearing. Tribune-Herald.

The controversial geothermal power plant in Pohoiki must hold a public hearing and win the approval of the state Public Utilities Commission before it can rebuild transmission lines that were wiped out by last year’s Kilauea eruption. Star-Advertiser.

Puna Geothermal, HELCO Agreement Pushes Rebuild Forward. Big Island Video News.

Polystyrene ban coming. The convergence of two unrelated events has food vendors crying foul and may lead to changes in the county’s polystyrene ban. West Hawaii Today.

County steps up action against Hilo encampment’s landowner. The owners of a downtown Hilo property on which a homeless commune has been established owe the county nearly $6,000 in fines. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Residents Push Back On Loosening Liquor Laws. Allowing restaurants to sell take-out booze is the latest in a series of controversial proposals. “We don’t want Maui to turn into Las Vegas,” says one critic. Civil Beat.

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino toured the old University of Hawaii Maui College dormitory site on Tuesday afternoon with Lt. Gov. Josh Green and Maui County Council Member Tasha Kama, chairwoman of the council’s Affordable Housing Committee. Maui Now.


Waiting is the hardest part. According to the Hawaii Department of Transportation, the Lihue-bound lane of Kuhio Highway will remain closed for the duration of the slope stabilization, which is expected to take between four to five months to complete. Garden Island.

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