Thursday, March 17, 2016

Native Hawaiian group bows out of ratification vote, House passes $30.7B budget, Honolulu pays $4.7M to settle police cases, $200M for Maui jail, hearing officer to be picked for Thirty Meter Telescope, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Former Rep. Faye Hanohano at 2014 Hawaiian recognition hearing © 2016 All Hawaii News
The Na‘i Aupuni board announced Wednesday that it will forgo bankrolling the ratification vote for the newly adopted Native Hawaiian constitution and instead let the convention participants take on that responsibility. Star-Advertiser.

Nai Aupuni said Wednesday it will not be conducting a ratification vote on the proposed Native Hawaiian constitution produced by a convention process, or aha, last month. Instead, Nai Aupuni — a private nonprofit organization supported through funds from the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs — said it believes that it is the aha participants that can “best advance the ratification vote and conduct the important process of educating our communities about the constitution.” Civil Beat.

The group that organized a gathering of Native Hawaiians to draft a constitution for self-governance said Wednesday it won't hold a vote to ratify the document, in an apparent move to avoid further legal rulings against its efforts. Associated Press.

The organization that convened a gathering of Native Hawaiians last month to draft a constitution document announced Wednesday that the delegates themselves will be responsible for finding a way to arrange a ratification vote. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii House of Representatives passed the state’s $30.7 billion two-year spending plan, after a heated debate about which schools should get construction funding and how much money should go to Hawaiian Home Lands. Associated Press.

The Hawaii House of Representatives passed a $13.5 billion budget bill  Wednesday for the operating expenses of the executive branch for the supplemental fiscal year that begins July 1. Civil Beat.

The state House Transportation Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill that would prohibit smoking in a motor vehicle when a minor is present. Star-Advertiser.


The Honolulu City Council has approved a subsidy for recycling firms that’s estimated to cost taxpayers $600,000, overriding a veto by Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Civil Beat.

More than 300 uniformed Hawaiian Airlines pilots, carrying signs that read “Fully Qualified, Partially Paid!” and “Mr. Dunkerley, What does Ohana mean to you?” picketed at Honolulu Airport’s interisland terminal Wednesday to bring public awareness to the slow pace of labor negotiations with the company. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine dropped off U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 list of the top medical schools in the nation after moving up last year, while the William S. Richardson School of Law dropped 10 places from last year’s list. Pacific Business News.

Lloyd Pendleton, known for his no-nonsense efficiency in addressing homelessness in Utah, is in talks with Mayor Kirk Caldwell about a move to Oahu to help reduce the highest per capita homeless rate in the country. Star-Advertiser.

A dispute over the overcrowded Campbell High School flared up again during debate on the floor of the state House of Representatives on Wednesday, with Rep. Bob McDermott saying House Democrats were guilty of a “grotesque misfire” for funding a new high school on Maui instead of a new Kapolei high school. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council has approved spending $4.7 million to settle two lawsuits brought by three city police officers who alleged they were victims of racial and sexual discrimination, retaliation and a subsequent cover-up by top police brass. Civil Beat.

Former Honolulu police officer Roddy Tsunezumi testified in U.S. District Court on Wednesday that he and officer Landon K. Rudolfo negotiated the sale of a stolen SUV while they were on the job at the Honolulu Police Department’s main headquarters. Star-Advertiser.

A female graduate student was in serious condition tonight after a blast in a basement laboratory at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Star-Advertiser.

With several high-rise condominiums on the way, Kaka‘ako is a place in transition. As many as 30,000 new residents are expected to move in to the developing area over the next 15 years, with Honolulu’s rail project running right through the neighborhood. But there’s a problem with one basic piece of infrastructure: its roads. Hawaii Public Radio.

Saks Fifth Avenue is planning to open a second department store in Hawaii in a building originally built for Nordstrom at Ala Moana Center in Honolulu. Pacific Business News.

Selection of a hearings officer to oversee the next contested case for the Thirty Meter Telescope’s land use permit will not be brought before the state’s Land Board. Instead, Suzanne Case, who leads the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, will make the decision based on the recommendations of a screening committee, according to Dan Dennison, DLNR spokesman. Tribune-Herald.

Crops and livestock are so plentiful on the Big Island, one councilor thinks it should have its own Department of Agriculture. West Hawaii Today.

A proposal to create a department of agriculture under the County of Hawaii was postponed after getting a lukewarm reception from the Hawaii County Council. Big Island Video News.

The Panaewa play court is not even 4 years old, but it’s already having its floor replaced after some users complained of cuts and scrapes from a surface described as a “cheese grater.” Tribune-Herald.


The state House of Representatives has inserted $200 million in capital improvement funds into the 2017 fiscal year budget for a new Maui jail — a project that dates back to 2004. Star-Advertiser.

The state house today approved more than $200 million in funds for renovations at the Maui Community Correctional Center in Wailuku, according to an announcement from the Hawaiʻi House of Representatives. Maui Now.

Officials with the company that conducted the audit on the county's Solid Waste Division said Tuesday that they would be "hard pressed" to find the $1 million a year in cost savings the county says exists in a proposed waste-to-energy project. Maui News.

Maui farmers are ramping up opposition to a bill in the state Legislature that they maintain would allow Alexander & Baldwin to continue accessing millions of gallons of stream water from East Maui watersheds, despite its recently invalidated permits. Maui News.

Vision met reality on the first day of the Maui Energy Conference, which featured a series of panel discussions on how Hawaii can — or can’t — reach its goal of getting 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2045. Civil Beat


University of Hawaii officials are considering a tuition hike of up to 2 percent that would affect Kauai Community College. Garden Island.

Anybody who has attended Kauai County municipal meetings or watched them on television recently is most likely familiar with Matt Bernabe. Garden Island.

The Kauai Humane Society is now offering feral cat surgeries six days a week, and the extra day is appreciated by the trap, neuter, release operations on the island. Garden Island.

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