Thursday, March 30, 2017

Hawaii Senate panel advances budget, judge continues blocking Trump travel ban, shave ice as state snack, tour companies could get monopoly over Maunawili Falls hike, airport investigates dog shooting, Sunshine Law complaint over Maui liquor rules, protest over Pohakuloa Training Area bombing, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo
Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday, courtesy Hawaii Senate majority
 Senate Committee Unveils A Streamlined State Budget. The general fund spending plan approved by the Ways and Means Committee is $114 million lower than what the governor proposed. Civil Beat.

Senate Committee Adds $628M to State Biennium Budget. Hawaii Public Radio.

A federal judge in Hawaii decided Wednesday to extend his order blocking President Donald Trump’s travel ban, preventing the government from suspending new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries and halting the U.S. refugee program. Associated Press.

A federal judge in Hawaii decided Wednesday to extend his order blocking President Donald Trump’s travel ban. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson issued the longer-lasting hold on the ban just hours after hearing arguments. Associated Press.

The Hawaii judge who blocked President Donald Trump’s revised executive order on immigration two weeks ago extended his nationwide stay Wednesday, brushing aside the administration’s argument that the scope of his ruling was too broad. Civil Beat.

A resolution that at least one state legislator says is tantamount to rendering Hawaii a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants was adopted by the Hawaii House of Representatives Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

President Donald Trump’s executive order pumping up coal production and undermining climate change regulations is being roundly criticized in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Women in Hawaii may soon be able to obtain birth control pills and other forms of hormonal contraceptives directly from a pharmacist, cutting out the need to make a doctor’s appointment to obtain a prescription and increasing access to birth control for women with limited access to health care providers. Star-Advertiser.

It’s a favorite among locals and tourists, now some state lawmakers want to designate shave ice as the official snack of Hawaii. KHON2.

While the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands moves forward with housing plans, the relatively new Homestead Housing Authority says it can help, too. Civil Beat.

Fueled by an 11.5 percent increase in total daily spending, total visitor spending in Hawaii rose 8 percent in February, despite a modest gain of 2 percent in total arrivals, according to preliminary statistics released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

Visitors to Hawaii in February rose nearly 2 percent to 700,426 and spending increased nearly 8 percent to $1.3 billion, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii visitor spending outpaces inflation. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority says average daily spending by visitors jumped 11.5 percent last month compared to the year before. Associated Press.

Despite years of talks between the two ridesharing companies and the Hawaii State Department of Transportation, Uber and Lyft are still not allowed to do business at any of Hawaii’s airports. Pacific Business News.

For the past three years, Hawaii residents have paid a small surcharge on their electric bill for clean energy funding. Now lawmakers want to make modifications because they feel the GEMS program has lost its luster. KITV.

Scientists Race To Help Hawaii Corals Survive. Some corals are starting to rebound on their own and scientists have plans to help other species survive global warming. Civil Beat.

Protest against Native Hawaiian items up for auction in Paris. KITV.


Legislators in the state Senate are proposing that the state build a new prison and a new jail at Halawa to ease overcrowding in the correctional system, earmarking $66 million in the Senate draft of the state budget to jump-start that plan. Star-Advertiser.

Reservations to hike? Proposal limits Maunawili Falls trail access. Hawaii News Now.

It’s getting harder for Hawaii employers to find good help. With the state’s jobless rate now tied for the second lowest in the nation at 2.8 percent, about 150 employers set up booths Wednesday at the Neal Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall hoping to find a few good men and women. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation says it is launching an investigation after a security guard at Honolulu International Airport shot a passenger’s dog during an incident at the airport’s interisland terminal on Tuesday evening. Pacific Business News.

The shooting of a family dog by a Securitas private security officer at Honolulu International Airport is another black eye for the private security company paid $35 million a year by the state, a state lawmaker said. Hawaii News Now.

Leisha Ramos was looking forward to her return to her home island of Oahu after living on the Big Island, when a series of events led to a security guard fatally shooting her dog Kai’ele at Honolulu International Airport Tuesday night. Star-Advertiser.

Marriott has opened its newest Hawaii property under its Autograph Collection Hotel brand, the Laylow Hotel, after completing a $60 million renovation. Pacific Business News.

The shuttered 30-room Waikiki Prince budget hotel near the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa is reopening in July, its owner confirmed to Pacific Business News.


The developer of the Thirty Meter Telescope signed a 75-year agreement with officials in the Canary Islands Wednesday giving the international consortium the right to construct and operate the giant telescope on the island of La Palma if Mauna Kea doesn’t work out. Star-Advertiser.

Their oli were loud, but the teeth-rattling boom of sporadic mortar rounds was louder, as more than 50 protesters employed Native Hawaiian chants to express their opposition to the latest series of training exercises at the U.S. Army garrison. West Hawaii Today.

A group of Native Hawaiians, environmentalists and peace activists gathered at the gate of Pohakuloa Training Area along Saddle Road on Wednesday. Big Island Video News.

Ookala residents concerned about pollution from the large dairy farm mauka of the village have gotten the attention of the state Department of Agriculture. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo physician fights to prove he is a primary care provider. Tribune-Herald.

The Kona Community Aquatic Center is a victim of its own success. West Hawaii Today.


A Sunshine Law complaint has been filed against the Maui County Liquor Control Commission for allegedly providing insufficient notice to the public about recent rule changes that include eliminating dry hours for liquor sales at retail stores countywide. Maui News.

The Maui County Council may choose not to fund 12 percent pay raises for Mayor Alan Arakawa, his department heads and deputies. Maui News.

Council panel mulls sale of Maui Lani lots. Bulk sale of 51 lots won in legal settlement could boost affordable housing fund. Maui News.

The 2nd Annual Maui County Carnival that was scheduled for April 6-9, 2017, has been cancelled. Representatives from E.K. Fernandez Shows say that the shipping rates for neighbor island fairs and carnivals have risen over 40% in the past three years, making it almost impossible to ship the equipment necessary to produce these events. Maui Now.


With a royal land patent in his hand, Noa Mau-Espirito said he walked into the Coco Palms last spring to make claim of the property. Almost a year later, Mau-Espirito, who says he is a descendant of King Kaumualii, and a group of about 25 of his formerly homeless family members, continue to live on 17 acres of land in Wailua on Coco Palms property. Garden Island.

A study released Tuesday by the Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute has named Kauai County as the healthiest in state. Hawaii News Now.

Do you know what moku and ahupua‘a you live in? You will soon find out, as ahupua’a signs are now being installed along Kaua‘i’s roadways. Garden Island.

Visitors to Kauai are spending more money. Lots more. Garden Island.

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