Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Legislature kills homeless bill of rights; Ching confirmation, House budget votes today; school lunch increase coming; Supreme Court rules travel sites must pay state taxes; UH athletics director short-listed; Ige visits Big Island; more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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The House Committee on Human Services deferred a bill on Tuesday that would create a “Houseless Bill of Rights,” designed to ensure homeless would be protected from discrimination and afforded certain rights, such as access to restrooms, public spaces, the ability to vote and to sleep in a legally parked car. Civil Beat.

After nearly two months of intense scrutiny and vocal opposition to his nomination, Carleton Ching — and the general public — will learn Wednesday whether he's to lead the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii state Senate has scheduled a vote on Gov. David Ige's nominee to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources. The Senate will take up the nomination of Carleton Ching on Wednesday. Associated Press.

House to vote on state budget Wednesday. House version of governor’s budget gives UH control of own spending. KITV4.

Student lunch prices are expected to go up by 25 cents in the fall to $2.75 for high-schoolers and to $2.50 for elementary and intermediate students. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii educators are embracing with varying degrees of enthusiasm the new standardized tests that debuted in schools this month. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers raised concerns Tuesday about a new $2 million State Capitol fire alarm system that has suffered false alarms since it went into service in January, replacing an old system that was plagued with false alarms. Hawaii News Now.

The Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday passed a bill that would eliminate any requirement for an individual making a domestic violence claim against a police officer to do so through a sworn, written complaint. Civil Beat.

Editorial: Police Reform: High Hopes Dim as Session Unfolds. A month ago, prospects for making key changes in policing seemed bright. Only two significant bills are still breathing, and even their fates are far from certain. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that nine online travel companies, including Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline and Travelocity, must pay the state tens of millions of dollars in back taxes for selling Hawaii hotel rooms over the Internet. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled today that nine online travel companies, including Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline and Travelocity, owe up to tens of millions of dollars in back taxes to the state for selling Hawaii hotel rooms over the Internet, the state Department of the Attorney General announced. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Supreme Court decided Tuesday that nine popular online travel companies will pay the state a portion of $247 million in general excise taxes assessed since 2000. Star-Advertiser.

Expedia Inc., Orbitz LLC and several other online travel companies owe the state of Hawaii up to tens of millions of dollars in back taxes as a result of a state Supreme Court ruling, Hawaii's attorney general said Tuesday. Associated Press.


The FBI says the Honolulu police officers under investigation for an alleged assault at an illegal gambling house lied in their reports about the incident, according to federal court records. Star-Advertiser.

Police officers could end up donning body cameras under a proposal in Hawaii state Legislature that would enable the Honolulu Police Department to begin a pilot program. Associated Press.

University of Hawaii at Manoa Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman plans to select the campus' new athletics director by the end of the month. The university said Tuesday a search committee has officially submitted its recommendations for the new athletics director to Bley-Vroman. Associated Press.

Two local candidates with experience working with the finances of sports, David Matlin and Keith Ame­miya, have emerged as the favorites to become the next University of Hawaii athletic director. Star-Advertiser.

Sources: Committee submits one name for UH athletics director, chancellor considers another. KHON2.

More than half of the state’s residents live in Honolulu, O’ahu’s urban core.  State lawmakers are attempting to address the needs of a growing population living in condominiums. Hawaii Public Radio.

According to a report by the Honolulu Liquor Commission, more than $1 billion of booze was sold on Oahu in fiscal year 2014. KITV4.

Sale of ‘Magnum P.I.’ home may be tied to President Obama. KHON2.

Hawaii families with low incomes recently began to benefit from the legacy of Hansen's disease patients and their friends who boldly but unsuccessfully tried to save their sanctuary in Pearl City more than 30 years ago. The newest affordable apartment building on the site of Hale Mohalu was dedicated in a ceremony Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, formerly state Civil Defense, is asking for the public to keep an eye out for vandals at outdoor siren warning system sites.  A siren sounded at Kahe Point early Wednesday morning was due to vandalism. Star-Advertiser.

North Shore heiau center of desecration allegation. Hawaii News Now.


A plan to expand county enterprise zones into conservation areas worries County Council members, who on Tuesday postponed a vote on continuing the zones, even though several have already expired.West Hawaii Today.

Gov. David Ige says he is excited about what the future has in store for the Big Island. On Tuesday, his third visit to Hawaii Island in 2015, Ige toured the Pacific Biodiesel facility in Keaau and attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Facility at Hilo International Airport. Tribune-Herald.

A relocated harbor office and new paved areas at Kawaihae Harbor are making for safer and smoother movements of cargo at Pier 2. But what to do about a small boat harbor exposed to winter storm damage remains unclear. Gov. David Ige, District 4 state Sen. Lorraine Inouye and Hawaii Department of Transportation officials were among the dignitaries on hand Tuesday to dedicate the $7 million Pier 2 project. West Hawaii Today.

The state Department of Transportation broke ground Tuesday on a new, $18.8 million Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Facility, or ARFF, at Hilo International Airport. Tribune-Herald.

As the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy prepares to begin construction of its new permanent building on the University of Hawaii at Hilo campus, one Big Island legislator is asking whether the school should be here at all. Tribune-Herald.


The Maui County Land Use Committee will review the proposed Downtown Kīhei Project on Wednesday, March 18, at 1:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber. Maui Now.


The State Department of Agriculture released a report finding pesticide levels near Waimea Canyon Middle School to be safe, but pesticide-regulatory advocates aren't buying it.  Hawaii Independent.

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