Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Audit finds Office of Hawaiian Affairs spent millions inappropriately, Honolulu threatens to cancel $53.6M traffic management contract, Maui won't pay mayor's legal fees, plastic straws, tiny homes, police standards mulled in Legislature, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Bill To Regulate Police Officers Clears Another Hurdle. Hawaii is one of the few states without minimum standards for cops, but the Legislature is considering a measure to change that. Civil Beat.

The state agency responsible for improving the well-being of Native Hawaiians spent nearly double the amount on pet projects than on competitive grants, the state auditor said in a report released Tuesday. Associated Press.

Audit finds inappropriate spending of millions by OHA and trustees. During fiscal year 2015 and 2016, OHA spent nearly double as much on discretionary disbursements — $14 million — as it did on planned, budgeted and properly vetted and monitored grants — $7.7 million. Star-Advertiser.

After release of critical audit, OHA leaders admit: 'Change needs to happen'. Hawaii News Now.

State audit claims Office of Hawaiian Affairs misspent millions ‘with little restraint’. KHON2.


Some hotels ditch plastic straws. Now, lawmakers want to ban their use. Hawaii News Now.

Bills Seek Tiny Homes on Hawaiian Home Lands. Senate Bill 2424 and House Bill 2473 seek to establish a public private partnership to leverage $5 million in state funds to create a $20 million revolving loan fund for the development of affordable tiny homes on Hawaiian Home Lands. Maui Now.

Bill Would Spare Micronesians A Yearly Trip To The DMV. The Department of Transportation opposes the measure, saying it could render all Hawaii driver’s licenses useless for flying. Civil Beat.

A Kansas father and husband who is fighting efforts to deport him to Bangladesh was taken off a plane that was flying him back to his native country and is being held at a detention center in Hawaii, his attorneys said today. Associated Press.

Congressional Budget Deal Likely Means More Federal Money For Hawaii. President Trump proposed massive cutbacks, but the opposite is likely to happen after a bipartisan deal lifted spending caps. Civil Beat.

The number of outpatient flu visits in Hawaii continues to remain higher than the national base line. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii State Board on Geographic Names Mulls Changes. Iao Stream or Wailuku River? Mauna Kea or Maunakea? These are just a couple of the challenges before the Hawaii Board of Geographic Names. Hawaii Public Radio.


The city has issued a notice of default to the contractor of the $53.6 million state-city Joint Traffic Management Center, citing numerous deficiencies on the part of Watts Constructors LLC that could delay the project’s completion. Star-Advertiser.

City threatens to cancel contract for multi-million dollar traffic center if problems linger. Hawaii News Now.

Rail Promised Lots Of Jobs But There’s No Sure Count Of What It’s Delivering. HART doesn’t keep track of the totals, but its point-in-time counts suggest fewer people are employed than had been projected. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Rail Project Pursuing Public-Private Partnerships for City Center Segment. The Honolulu Rail Transit Project is hosting a 2-day forum to attract private development partners. Hawaii Public Radio.

By a 5-4 vote the Honolulu City Council decided to postpone for two weeks a vote on a bill that would temporarily stop the city Department of Planning and Permitting from issuing building permits for larger-­scale houses. Star-Advertiser.

Settlement reached in alleged 2012 police brutality, cover-up case. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu Daniel K. Inouye Airport will get a new $1.1 billion concourse to increase the number of gates, add passenger capacity and provide a new international arrivals area, Gov. David Ige announced today. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige, alongside the Hawaii Department of Transportation and members of the Airlines Committee of Hawaii, announced plans for a new $1.1 billion Diamond Head Concourse at the Honolulu international airport that will be built out over the next 10 years. Pacific Business News.

Leadership in the state House of Representatives tabled a bill Tuesday that would have protected roughly 200 residents of a long-standing homeless encampment near the Waianae Small Boat Harbor from being swept from the state-owned property. Star-Advertiser.

New renderings revealed Tuesday show the vision for the new Blaisdell Center in Honolulu. KITV.

A former employee of Waste Management Inc., operator of the city’s Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill admits to stealing more than $800,000. Star-Advertiser.

Waialua High School’s Glenn Lee, who kicked off Hawaii’s robotics movement, is the only American to reach the top 10 as a finalist out of 30,000 entries in the $1 million Global Teacher Prize competition. Star-Advertiser.

A Waialua teacher inches closer to a global teaching award, and its $1M prize. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

With a do-or-die hearing of a bill raising the general excise tax scheduled for next week, the administration and County Council are holding a bevy of last-minute community meetings to get feedback and explain their budget straits. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim and Finance Director Deanna Sako fielded questions and heard statements Tuesday night from West Hawaii residents sharing their voices on a proposal to raise the county’s general excise tax by one-half percent. West Hawaii Today.

A bill to fund two Big Island homeless villages died in the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Tuesday after clearing its first two committees. West Hawaii Today.


Mayor’s plea for legal fees in Taylor suit shot down by panel. A Maui County Council committee on Tuesday voted against having the county foot the bill for private attorneys to defend Mayor Alan Arakawa and Maui County in a lawsuit filed by water director David Taylor, who is seeking to get back to work and off paid leave. Maui News.

The state Supreme Court has dismissed a misdemeanor charge against a weekly tabloid publisher who was detained when he used his cellphone to videotape a police traffic enforcement operation six years ago. Maui News.

The Hawaii Supreme Court has dismissed a misdemeanor charge against a weekly tabloid publisher who was detained when he used his cellphone to videotape a police traffic enforcement operation six years ago. Associated Press.


The Federal Aviation Administration and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources have initiated an investigation into a report of a drone that struck a tour helicopter on Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

Realtor Neal Norman of Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers has listed a 16,000-square-foot home on 18.25 acres above Secret Beach on Kauai for $35 million. Pacific Business News.


The majority of the county offices in the Mitchell Pauole Center in Kaunakakai will be moving to room No. 300 in the Moore Center at 2 Kamoi St. later this week due to a leaky roof. Maui News.

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