Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Senate panel approves $28.4M for Hawaiian Home Lands, committee announced to select medical marijuana dispensary vendors, cigarette tax hikes mulled, Thirty Meter Telescope builders check out Canary Islands, Maui water rights at issue, zika in Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaiian Home Lands homestead © 2016 All Hawaii News
Heeding the complaints of homesteaders and a Hawaii judge, a state Senate committee on Monday agreed to fund the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands in the amount of $28.4 million for the current fiscal year. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Health on Monday released the names of a five-member panel that will help review and select those vying for the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary licenses. The committee is made up of University of Hawaii professor H. David Bess, retired Hawaii Supreme Court Justice James E. Duffy Jr., state Department of Agriculture Deputy Director Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, state Office of Health Care Assurance chief Keith R. Ridley and John Fisher III, a pharmacologist and toxicologist from Alabama. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Health has announced the five members of a committee that will review applications to grow and sell medical marijuana in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

The number of registered medical marijuana applicants has surged more than 14 percent since the Department of Health first began administrating the program in Jan. 2015. The DOH said the number could more then double after improvements made to the process last month. Pacific Business News.

A bill is circulating in state legislature that could drastically cut funding to Hawaii's 14 community health centers. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii officials are hoping a bill in the state Legislature that would raise the excise tax on cigarettes and little cigars will help the UH Cancer Center stay afloat despite recurring budget deficits. Star-Advertiser.

State officials contend that drastic changes must be made if the University of Hawaii Cancer Center is to survive, though they have yet to gain consensus on a single plan to lift the organization out of its financial hole. Star-Advertiser.

SB-2561 would create a new task force headed up by the Lieutenant Governor.  The goal:  facilitate the construction of 22,500 affordable rental units over the next 10 years. Hawaii News Now.


Waianae residents are hoping the Honolulu Police Department’s newest substation will discourage crime and bring a larger police presence to the Leeward Coast. Star-Advertiser.

The City Council has adopted a resolution that urges the administration to extend the hours lifeguards are on duty. Star-Advertiser.

The rapid development of residential high-rises in Kaka’ako has resulted in legislative solutions to long-standing issues like regulating private roads in the neighborhood. Hawaii Public Radio.

It’s been a year and a half since Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell unveiled a proposal to require every large new residential development on Oahu to include low- or moderately-priced units. Civil Beat.

Construction is slated to begin next month on the Keauhou Lane midrise apartment rental housing project in Kakaako reserved for residents with moderate incomes. Star-Advertiser.

Kamehameha Schools’ $90 million Keauhou Lane mixed-use project is scheduled to break ground next month in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako, the developer said Monday.Pacific Business News.

The Honolulu fire station in Makiki is off limits indefinitely because of what may have been lurking underneath the floor. Officials say they’re testing the building for asbestos. KHON2.


The Thirty Meter Telescope’s leaders don’t appear to be wasting much time finding an alternative site for the next-generation observatory, if a recent post on social media is any indication. On Monday, photos showing TMT’s board members and project leader visiting observatories on the Canary Islands were posted on the telescope’s Facebook page, helping stir speculation about where they might look to if they give up on building on Mauna Kea. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County mayor is proving a popular job description, with a baker’s dozen would-be candidates pulling nomination papers for the office more than two months before the filing deadline. West Hawaii Today.


Opponents turned out in force Monday to testify against a bill that would allow Alexander & Baldwin to temporarily hold on to the rights to millions of gallons of water it diverts each day from East Maui streams. Star-Advertiser.

In a move toward using less paper, the Maui County Council will be streaming video and legislative files of Maui County Council meetings conducted in the Council Chamber. Maui Now.

Maui County Council members have authorized the acquisition of the Waiakoa Gym, better known as Kula Gym, for $1.2 million from the Maui Federal Credit Union. Maui News.


A Kauai resident who recently returned from Latin America has been infected with the Zika virus. Garden Island.

Zika Case Reported On Kauai May Still Be Infectious. Big Island Video News.

As transportation frustrations across Kauai continue to rise regarding traffic congestion and deteriorating road conditions, a growing number of state and local officials are addressing the local concerns. Garden Island.

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