Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Vacation rental cap looms, climate change bills die, Kouchi recovering from surgery, Ige to decide midwife license bill, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii vacation rental
Honolulu Council considers caps on vacation rentals, fines of up to $50,000 for rule breakers. Proposals before the City Council this week are aimed at drastically reducing the number of vacation rentals on Oahu -- and put in place big fines for lawbreakers. Hawaii News Now.

The Council will decide on measures to rein in short-term lodging. The latest version of Honolulu City Council Bill 89 (2018) — which is up for a final vote Wednesday — would allow homeowners who live in part of the home they're renting and have homeowners exemption to apply for one of an estimated 1,715 new vacation rental permits. Star-Advertiser.

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Dozens Of Climate Change Bills Went Down The Political Drain This Session. There was a lot of talk about the need to address sea level rise and other problems but virtually no action in the Hawaii Legislature. Civil Beat.

Sharks removed from marine protection bill. Hawaii’s shark population will be left to fend for itself, at least for another year, after legislation meant to protect the fish was altered at the 11th hour. West Hawaii Today.

New Act Establishes Licensure Of Midwives. Regulation of midwifery was repealed in 1998 when nurse-midwives were put under the purview of nursing board. Civil Beat.

Kouchi recovering after surgery. Senate President Ron Kouchi is recovering after successful rotator cuff surgery on Oahu Monday. Garden Island.

A new magistrate judge will start Wednesday at the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. Wes Reber Porter replaces Magistrate Judge Richard Puglisi, who retired at the end of March, the district court said in a news release Monday. Civil Beat.

Queen’s chooses longtime health care executive to replace Art Ushijima as CEO.  Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Federal prosecutors detail case against Kealohas.  former deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha and her retired Honolulu police chief husband, Louis Kealoha and three former members of the Honolulu Police Department’s Criminal Intelligence Unit are scheduled to stand trial this month on charges that they staged the theft of the Kealohas’ mailbox, framed Katherine Kealoha’s uncle for it and lied about it to investigators. Jury selection starts Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Halawa Correctional Facility employee found dead in bathroom. An employee found dead today in a Halawa prison bathroom was the cook supervisor at the staff dining hall at the Halawa Medium Security Facility, the Department of Public Safety said. Star-Advertiser.

Employee Death at Halawa Correctional Facility. An employee at the Halawa Correctional Facility was found unresponsive in a staff bathroom at approximately 3:10 p.m. on Monday, May 6, 2019, state officials confirmed. Maui Now.

To shore up finances, Wahiawa General will stop doing surgeries.  A Central Oahu medical facility that has been struggling financially for years is now cutting back on services. Hawaii News Now.

Kamehameha Schools confirms case of mumps at Kapalama campus. Kamehameha Schools administrators sent home a letter to families Monday informing them of a case of mumps at the Kapalama campus. Hawaii News Now.

Kamehameha sends letter to parents after mumps case. The Kamehameha Schools sent letters to parents alerting them of a mumps case at the Kapalama campus. KHON2.

Utility work to close Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail May 9th through May 24th. Hawaiian Electric crews will close the Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail above Wai'alae Iki while they install steel poles to support high-voltage lines feeding Windward and East Oahu. KITV.

Oahu home sales snap negative streak. Oahu home prices didn’t budge much in April, but the same wasn’t true for sale volume, which surged for single-family homes and plummeted for condominiums. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii Volcanoes Park Seeing Visitors Return But Popularity Poses Issues. With the eruption now over, visitors have been returning in droves again. Officials see this as an opportunity to plan for better management of the park for the future.  Hawaii Public Radio.

State Legislature provides funds for improvements, new academic program, other needs at UH-Hilo. Among funding appropriated for the University of Hawaii at Hilo, the Legislature provided funds for a new academic program set to launch in the fall, athletics, custodial and maintenance positions, and other campus improvements. Tribune-Herald.

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands officials were put on the spot last week during a senate committee hearing concerning a contract to remove cattle from Humuula lands. Senator Kai Kahele told Hawaiian Home Lands administrators that "we're gonna have major problems" if the Humuula cattle removal contract goes to an off-island vendor. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii's Big Island sees home sales rise in April. There were 209 single-family homes sold last month, a 5.03 percent increase from 199 sold in April 2018. The median price of those homes was $355,000, a decrease of 8.69 percent from $388,800. Pacific Business News.

Maui

Complaint says stream water being wasted. Groups allege firms failing to maintain their infrastructure at Honokohau Stream. During a time when water rights issues are boiling over throughout the state, two groups representing West Maui taro farmers, environmentalists and families filed a complaint last week reporting that three companies are wasting water from Honokohau Stream. Maui News.

Hana Pasture Gets Grant for Conservation Protection. A coastal pasture in Hana, Maui is among a list of locations set to benefit from grant funding from the State Legacy Land Conservation Program.  The area includes 27 acres from Mokae to Makaalae in East Maui. Maui Now.

Lanai’s only small boat harbor could be privatized, worrying fishermen and boaters. Many fishermen and boaters on Lanai are angry after learning lawmakers recently passed a bill that calls for the privatization of the island’s only small boat harbor. House Bill 1032 is now awaiting Governor David Ige’s signature. Hawaii News Now.

TSA X-ray unit at airport repaired. A security checkpoint with a broken X-ray unit that slowed travelers Friday at Kahului Airport was repaired by midday Saturday, the Transportation Security Administration said. Maui News.

Kauai

Kekaha fish kill. State officials are saying an algae bloom killed hundreds of fish in a drainage canal between Waimea and Kekaha during the first week of May. Garden Island.

Tracking The Feral Cats That Kill Kauai’s Endangered Seabirds. Researchers are using satellite collars and other new tools to improve efforts to identify, isolate and dispose of the cats that pose the biggest risk. Civil Beat.

Kauai single-family home sales rise in April as condo sales stay flat. There were 57 single-family homes sold in April, a 42.5 percent increase from the 40 homes sold during the same month in 2018. The median price of those homes was $630,000, which was 0.79 percent less than the median price a year ago, which was $635,000. Pacific Business News.

Lanai

Lanai’s only small boat harbor could be privatized, worrying fishermen and boaters. Many fishermen and boaters on Lanai are angry after learning lawmakers recently passed a bill that calls for the privatization of the island’s only small boat harbor. House Bill 1032 is now awaiting Governor David Ige’s signature. Hawaii News Now.

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