Thursday, February 1, 2018

Souki accused of sexual harassment; Ige edges Hanabusa in campaign contributions, Chin trailing Kim, Tokuda pulls ahead; audit blasts OHA for misspent millions, recreational fishing license, plastic straw ban posed in Legislature, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii House majority
Former Speaker Joe Souki, courtesy photo
Former state Department of Human Services Director Rachael Wong has filed a sexual harassment complaint against former House Speaker Joe Souki — a political icon from Maui who for decades has been one of the most powerful lawmakers in the state. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige raked in more than $800,000 in campaign donations for his re-election bid in the last half of 2017 — short of the $1 million he set out to raise in that time frame, but slightly more than his Democratic opponent U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. Star-Advertiser.

Ige Leads Hanabusa In Campaign Fundraising For Governor’s Race. State Sen. Jill Tokuda tops lieutenant governor candidates, bringing in more donations than her four rivals. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige raised close to $811,000 in the second half of 2017 for his re-election campaign, while U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who will challenge Ige in the Democratic primary, reported donations of almost $732,000. Pacific Business News.

Gov. David Ige raised $810,000 for his re-election campaign during the six months through December, while his primary election opponent U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa raised $731,000. Associated Press.

Ige, Hanabusa neck and neck when it comes to campaign fundraising. Hawaii News Now.

Kim Leads Pack In Congressional Campaign Cash. Attorney General Doug Chin raised less than a fifth as much as Sen. Donna Kim in the race to replace Colleen Hanabusa. Civil Beat.

AG Chin to Announce Decision on LG Vacancy by Weeks’ End. Maui Now.

The first Hawaii lieutenant governor from Maui, Shan Tsutsui, left the office Wednesday while his replacement remains up in the air. Maui News.


Searing Audit Says OHA Misspent Millions Of Dollars. A harshly critical draft audit found the Office of Hawaiian Affairs spent millions of dollars loosely and without proper oversight. Civil Beat.

State to conduct first siren test since false missile alert. Hawaii News Now.

State to conduct monthly warning siren test; internal drill on hold indefinitely. KHON2.

A Hawaii emergency management official who said last week that his retirement had nothing to do with a mistaken missile alert that stirred panic statewide now says it was because of the fallout from the warning. Associated Press.

Worries mount over HI-EMA leadership after resignations announced. Hawaii News Now.


How many more tourists can the state’s environment and infrastructure support? That’s the question being asked by some residents and lawmakers after a report Wednesday said Hawaii’s visitor industry set five records in 2017, the sixth record-setting year in a row. Star-Advertiser.

New bill aims to allocate some HTA funding to conserve natural resources. Pacific Business News.

A proposal making its way through the state Legislature would require a yearly permit for recreational fishing. KHON2.

Senate bill to ban plastic straws in Hawaii passes committee. KITV.

Hawaii Bail Study Finds Justice Is What You Can Afford. Statewide, almost half of the detainees in our jails are accused but not convicted, many because they cannot afford bail. Hawaii Public Radio.

A former Idaho airport director recently accepted a leadership position with the Hawaii Department of Transportation Airports Division, according to the Idaho Falls ABC affiliate. Pacific Business News.

Large Marine Debris Field or Net Mass Between Molokai and Oahu. Maui Now.

The Coast Guard is advising all mariners to exercise caution after a large marine debris field was last observed in the Ka Iwi Channel between Molokai and Oahu. Star-Advertiser.


Bill to limit ‘monster’ houses advances. Honolulu City Council members say they will take another look at what types of houses would be rejected under a bill imposing a moratorium on large-scale houses after being warned about unintended consequences. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council Advances "Monster Homes" Bill: Special Meeting Monday. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu’s Ala Wai is ranked as one of the most polluted waterways in the country. The State of Hawaii has a plan to clean it up that just received a green light. Hawaii Public Radio.

How A Big Mainland Developer Learned To Thrive In Hawaii. Howard Hughes Corp. seems to stay on course as it navigates burial grounds and being in the path of rail. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's 'last princess' fights for control of her fortune. Multimillionaire heiress Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawananakoa, considered by many to be Hawaii's last princess, is no longer in a position to fund her pet charities, including Iolani Palace and various Native Hawaiian causes. Associated Press.

A new security fence at the Hawaii State Hospital could cost taxpayers millions. Hawaii News Now.

Kamehameha Schools is making another run at redeveloping 6.5 acres in Moiliili near the University of Hawaii, six years after an unsuccessful effort to create a largely retail and residential “town center” on the site. Star-Advertiser.

Ala Moana Center is valued at $5.74 billion, making it the most valuable real estate investment trust-owned mall in the United States, according to a new study by boutique research firm Boenning & Scattergood. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Long-awaited shooting ranges for the Big Island could take some incremental steps forward, the county Game Management Advisory Commission learned Monday evening. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo Medical Center undergoing $28 million in renovations. Tribune-Herald.

2017 was a strong year for tourism on the Big Island. According to data from the Hawaii Tourism Authority, arrivals to the Big Island increased by 13.7 percent from 2016, from 1.5 million to 1.7 million. These arrivals spent more than $2 billion on the island last year, about 14 percent more than in 2016. Tribune-Herald.

Another eight classrooms are coming to Waikoloa Elementary and Middle School with the release of more than $12.4 million in funding for a new classroom building at the campus. West Hawaii Today.


Maui County Director of Water Supply David Taylor, who has been on administrative leave for three months, has filed a lawsuit against Mayor Alan Arakawa and the county over Arakawa’s attempts to remove him from his position. Maui News.

The Hawaii National Guard’s 93rd Civil Support Team along with the United States Coast Guard, paramedics, airport security, Maui police, and firefighters will participate in a large-scale emergency operations exercise beginning Monday, Feb. 5. Maui Now.


A $30 million missile touted as a possible second layer of defense for Hawaii from North Korean threats reportedly failed in its first-ever flight from Kauai’s Aegis Ashore facility today when it did not intercept a target representing an intermediate-range ballistic missile. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Missile Defense Test Failed To Intercept Target. The interceptor was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. Associated Press.

Department of Public Safety: Sheriffs will now get involved in Coco Palms occupation. Hawaii News Now.

A Kauai hui involved in a lawsuit against the Hawaii Department of Natural Resources and the agroscience company Syngenta is continuing efforts to require the seed company to conduct an environmental review of their ongoing operations on the island’s Westside.  Garden Island.

Kauai-based KonaRed is partnering with beverage incubator L.A. Libations, an innovation partner of The Coca-Cola Company. Pacific Business News.

Total visitor numbers via air travel for Kauai saw a 7.5 percent increase to 1.3 million in 2017 from 1.2 million in 2016, according to HTA ,and that’s not the only growth the island saw. Garden Island.

Artists spent three days creating a 40-foot-long mural depicting the island’s character on a wall fronting the oceanfront bike path in Kapaa Town — only to paint over it a week later. Garden Island.

The Kauai Lifeguard Association board members recently handed over the keys for a 2018 4 x 4 fully-outfitted Kuhio Auto Ford truck to the County of Kauai’s Ocean Safety Bureau. Garden Island.

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