Friday, July 25, 2014

Honolulu council defers homeless bills, Abercrombie fighting to remain governor, GMO to stay on Maui ballot, Native Hawaiian governance delayed, tax office computer malfunction sends erroneous notices, Schatz spends six times Hanabusa, quarter of the population on Medicaid, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Waikiki homeless sleep on sidewalk ©2014 All Hawaii News
The Honolulu City Council Zoning and Planning Committee voted Thursday to defer indefinitely three bills banning sitting and lying on sidewalks and two bills banning urination and defecation in Waikiki and elsewhere on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Two measures proposed by Mayor Kirk Caldwell that would ban public urination and defecation in Waikiki, as well as sitting and lying on sidewalks in the tourist district, were deferred indefinitely by the Honolulu City Council’s Zoning and Planning Committee on Thursday. Civil Beat.

The city's Zoning and Planning committee has voted to indefinitely defer two bills that would have made it illegal for people to sit or lie on public sidewalks. The council committee made their decision after grilling officials with the Mayor's office during a meeting Thursday at Honolulu Hale. Hawaii News Now.

Five bills that would have made it a petty misdemeanor to lie or sit on city sidewalks or go to the bathroom in public were unexpectedly shelved by the City Council's Committee on Zoning and Planning. KITV4.

Why is Neil Abercrombie in danger of becoming the first governor since 1962 to lose re-election? Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: Abercrombie’s Official Schedule Smacks of Electioneering. Abercrombie is taking advantage of taxpayer dollars to glad-hand voters throughout the state. Civil Beat.

With just over two weeks to go until the Aug. 9 primary, gubernatorial candidate David Ige has finally released his first TV spot. Civil Beat.

The Lieutenant Governor’s race has been low key.  The candidates have not participated in any joint appearance or forum and it appears unlikely they will meet prior to the August 9 Primary Election. Hawaii Public Radio.

As primary nears, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz spends more than six times as much as challenger Colleen Hanabusa for ads running July 21 to 27 in Senate race. Civil Beat.

The League of Women Voters has criticized a Kim campaign tactic urging her supporters to take a picture of their ballot and post to social media. Hawaii Independent.

The League of Women Voters of Hawaii is upset that an email sent from Donna Mercado Kim’s campaign headquarters “urged voters to take a photograph of their ballot to show they voted for her and share it on social media.” Civil Beat.

The state recently sent erroneous balance-due notices to taxpayers who had paid their taxes on time, highlighting ongoing problems with the Tax Department's faulty $87.5 million computer system. Star-Advertiser.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has extended its timeline for establishing a Native Hawaiian governing entity by six months after many residents criticized the process as too rushed. Civil Beat.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees announced Thursday a six-month extension to its nation-building effort, a move that will delay the election of delegates until January, the convention until April and the formal referendum until July 2015. Star-Advertiser.

New statistics released by the state Department of Human Services show about a quarter of Hawaii’s population relies on Medicaid. Hawaii Reporter.

Disclosures: Googling Hawaii’s Former Board Members. Online databases contain much of the information that former members of the Board of Regents and Land Use Commission may have wanted kept confidential. Civil Beat.

Capitol Hill Feasted on Hirono’s Hawaiian Hospitality. The senator's Hawaii on the Hill event gets rave review from Roll Call. Civil Beat.

More than three years after an earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan, a sign is returning home to a small fishing village after drifting thousands of miles across the Pacific to Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.


A new Honolulu City Council bill would ban people under 21 years old from purchasing tobacco and electronic smoking products on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

One of the state's largest unions is funding an ugly battle over a city council seat. Aikea, which was founded by the hotel workers union, has sent thousands of attack mailers targeting Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga. Hawaii News Now.

A nonprofit developer trying to build rental loft housing on state land in Kakaako for low-income artists has overcome a big financing hurdle to put the roughly $37 million project in good position to break ground next year. Star-Advertiser.

An initial phase of rental housing for low-income seniors in Mililani Mauka is poised to break ground soon after a state agency provided key tax credit financing Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

The Japanese developer of a $31 million redevelopment project at the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor in Waikiki is looking to start construction on the long-planned venture in late September, the project developer’s attorney told Pacific Business News on Thursday.

The first women on Virginia-class attack submarines in the Pacific will serve on the USS Texas and USS Mississippi at Pearl Harbor starting in fiscal 2016, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said Thursday. Star-Advertiser.


Construction of the Pahoa District Park will begin in less than two weeks, Hawaii County announced Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

A fish farming technology company plans to begin construction of a huge, untethered and highly automated spherical pen for farming yellowfin and bigeye tuna off the Kohala coast. West Hawaii Today.

The Food Basket will make local produce available to all residents through its new community supported agriculture program, beginning next month. West Hawaii Today.


GMO initiative will appear on Nov. 4 ballot; council defers. Maui County Council members declined to take action Thursday on a voter-initiated bill to impose a moratorium on genetically engineered crops until they can be proven safe. Maui News.

A bill seeking a ban on the use and sale of polystyrene disposable food service containers in Maui County comes up for review before a council committee on Monday. Maui Now.

A popular Hawaii train tourist attraction on Maui is set to close after 45 years in business. Associated Press.

End of the line for ‘important part of the history of Maui’. Lahaina Kaanapali & Pacific Railroad has taken some 15 million passengers through West Maui on its iconic "Sugar Cane Train" ride since 1969. Its last riders will be going aboard Aug. 1. Maui News.

An affordable rental multi-family apartment project is proposed for construction on eight acres of land in the South Maui community of KÄ«hei. Maui Now.


The Kauai County Council voted down two charter amendment proposals that would have let voters determine whether public access and open space projects should receive more taxpayer money and if the council vacancy process should change. Garden Island.

Though Kauai County tax officials acknowledged that they do not know how many island residents saw increases on their tax bills, some county officials say another look at recent reforms to county tax laws must be taken to find equitable solutions. Garden Island.

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