Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Hawaii toxic emissions drop, bill hamstrings AG's investigations of nonprofits, Honolulu seeks manager for Haiku Stairs, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Chinatown merchants blame fears over coronavirus for drastic decline in business. Businesses in Honolulu’s Chinatown are reporting a drastic drop in sales ― as Chinatowns across the U.S. have turned into virtual ghost towns because of irrational fears of infection. Hawaii News Now.

35 in Hawaii under ‘self-quarantine’ for coronavirus, 1 under mandatory quarantine. The number of individuals in Hawaii under quarantine for the coronavirus jumped overnight to 36 — 35 under ‘self-quarantine’ and a man who is being isolated on the base at Pearl Harbor. Star-Advertiser.

EPA: Hawaii Toxic Releases Dropped In 2018. Hawaii said “aloha” to a significant amount of chemicals related to the petroleum sector. Civil Beat.

Is An $868,000 Home Affordable? Hawaii Senators Say No. Advocates voiced forceful opposition to a so-called affordable housing bill they say is far from affordable. Civil Beat.

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Lawmakers Limit Scope Of Bill Banning AG’s Probe Of Hawaiian Nonprofit. Amendments would prohibit the attorney general from investigating KAHEA and other nonprofits if the investigation would create a conflict of interest. Civil Beat.

Bill Will Prohibit Investigation Of Non Profits Linked To Civil Disobedience. The Hawaiʻi State Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs advanced Senate Bill 42 SD 1 on Tuesday after hearing from both sides of the issue. Big Island Video News.

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Senate’s New Sexual Harassment Policy Hailed As ‘Good Step’. The updated guide will apply to third parties who work with Hawaii lawmakers, not just senators and staff. Civil Beat.

Bill: No Relieving Oneself Publicly In Business Districts. Urinating or defecating near Hawaii hotels and banks or in parking lots and plazas would be subject to a penalty. Civil Beat.

Remote Legislative Access Bill Heads to Senate Floor. A top priority since he resumed office this term, Big Island Rep. David Tarnas has introduced a bill to provide remote access for members of the public who wish to testify and otherwise participate in the state legislative process. Big Island Now.

Bill to permit edible cannabis products advances. A key Senate committee gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a bill authorizing the sale of edible medical cannabis products in Hawaii, although it likely would be many months before those products are legally available here even if the bill passes. Star-Advertiser.

Proposal would allow lower fines for traffic citations if driver can’t pay. According to a proposal, some drivers may not be able to afford to pay the citation. KHON2.

Gabbard Staying In The Race Despite Finishing Far Behind In New Hampshire. The Hawaii congresswoman invested a lot of resources in New Hampshire with hopes of outperforming the polls and keeping her struggling campaign afloat. Civil Beat.

Ship Operator Fined $1.75M For Unlawful Bilge Dumping. Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (Singapore) PTE LTD. (Bernard), a vessel operating company, pleaded guilty today in federal court to one count of maintaining false and incomplete records relating to the discharge of bilge waste from the tank vessel “Topaz Express,” a felony of the Act to Prevent Pollution from ships. Maui News.

A Texas-based contractor was slapped with a hefty fine after violating labor standards. The U.S. Department of Labor says Steve Hoegger and Associates violated the Fair Labor Standards act when it did not properly identify workers as independent contractors during renovation work at the Marriott Koolina Hotel, and the Marriott Maui Ocean Club Hotel. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu
NOAA To Homeport New Oceanographic Ship In Honolulu. Its mission will include general research and exploration of marine life, and climate and ocean ecosystem studies. Civil Beat.

Caldwell: 'No Explanation' For Rail Delays On Dillingham Boulevard. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is growing increasingly impatient with delays in the city's rail project, citing holdups in awarding the final phase of the system's construction contract and work along Dillingham Boulevard. Hawaii Public Radio.

New Storm Water Utility may hike taxes or fees on Oahu. Hold onto your wallets. A whole new water utility is in the works, and it could cost Oahu residents, businesses and even the state and federal government dearly. KHON2.

Investors sue developer of 2 planned Honolulu condo towers. The developer of two planned condominium towers near a Walmart store in the Ala Moana area is facing multiple lawsuits from investors who allege their money has been misused. Star-Advertiser.

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Dillingham Airfield a hot topic at North Shore town hall meeting. More than 300 people jammed into Waialua Elementary School’s cafeteria and flowed out its doors Tuesday evening at a town hall meeting to air a lot of complaints about the state’s decision to terminate its lease at Dillingham Airfield. Star-Advertiser.

The future of Dillingham Airfield remains up in the air. Oahu’s North Shore community wants a compromise over the Mokuleia airfield. Hawaii News Now.

North Shore residents, representatives express displeasure with DOT Dillingham decision. It was a packed house tonight in Waialua as many vented their anger and frustration about the future of Dillingham Airfield. KHON2.

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Nonprofit group says it is ready to manage Haiku Stairs. The president of Friends of Ha‘iku Stairs said the nonprofit intends to put in a response to the city’s request for proposals for a group to repair, operate and manage the controversial hiking area. Star-Advertiser.

City Taking Step Toward Managing, Charging Fees To Use Haiku Stairs. City and County of Honolulu officials are seeking information from organizations that may be interested in managing and operating a fee-based concession to use Haiku Stairs. Hawaii Public Radio.

City looks for organization that could restore, operate Haiku Stairs. The city is looking for an organization that would provide managed, fee-based access to Haiku Stairs. Hawaii News Now.

City considering managed access to Haiku Stairs. The City and County of Honolulu is considering managed access to the Haiku Stairs a.k.a “Stairway to Heaven”. KHON2.

City seeks help in management of 'Stairway to Heaven'. The City today expressed interest in finding someone to help run the Ha'iku Stairs for a fixed period of time. KITV4.

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HPU says restaurants interested in Hooters, Gordon Biersch spaces. Hawaii Pacific University said Tuesday it has already received interest in two large anchor spaces at Aloha Tower Marketplace following the recent closures of Hooters and Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Open prosecutor’s office draws candidate interest. Candidates are coming forward to fill the upcoming void in the Office of the County Prosecutor that will be left as Prosecutor Mitch Roth is running for mayor. West Hawaii Today.

HMC seeks expansion of cancer-treatment facility. Hilo Medical Center is hoping to expand its Hawaii Pacific Oncology Center and construct a rural and telehealth center in an effort to offer more care closer to home. Tribune-Herald.

12-bed inpatient facility being considered for old Kona courthouse. Health officials are considering a 12-bed inpatient facility at the old Kona courthouse in an effort to help address mental health and substance abuse issues in the community. West Hawaii Today.

Final EA posted for Hilo quarry project. The state Department of Health’s Office of Environmental Quality Control has found no significant environmental impacts will arise from the development of a proposed rock quarry near the Hilo landfill. Tribune-Herald.

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Outrigger to acquire Keauhou resort. Sheraton Kona Resort &Spa at Keauhou Bay will be rebranded as an Outrigger Resort later this spring. West Hawaii Today.

Outrigger Hospitality Group’s continues growth. Outrigger Hospitality Group plans to buy the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay on the Big Island as part of an ambitious growth plan that could nearly double the company in five years. Star-Advertiser.

Outrigger to Acquire the Sheraton. On Tuesday, Outrigger Hospitality Group announced it has signed a purchase sale agreement to acquire ownership of the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay. Big Island Now.

Outrigger announces plan to acquire, modernize Hawaii Island resort. Outrigger Hospitality Group plans to acquire the 509-room Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay on Hawaii Island, the company announced Tuesday. Outrigger has signed a purchase and sale agreement, and the transaction is expected to close in mid-April. Pacific Business News.

Maui

Repeat contenders eyeing runs for County Council seats. Candidates pull nomination papers for council, state Legislature posts. Maui News.

Groups file lawsuit to challenge power of county agency. Two community groups have filed a lawsuit challenging the powers of a county agency that oversees the zoning and development rules of Wailuku town. Maui News.


Kauai

Public hearing on sunshine markets. The Office of Economic Development is announcing that a public hearing is set for Feb. 24 on proposed amendments to the Sunshine Market rules for the County of Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Sewer system inspection work starts Feb. 18. Department of Public Works Wastewater Management Division’s contractor will be performing closed-circuit television (CCTV) inspections on the Lihu‘e sewer collection system from Feb. 18 through the third week of March, weather permitting. Garden Island.

Molokai

Molokai closer to having no new short-term rentals. Molokai is one step closer to having no short-term rentals on the island with the Maui County Council passing on first reading a bill to establish a zero permit cap. Maui News.

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