Monday, April 30, 2018

Legislature bans gay conversion therapy, conference committees advance sunscreen and pesticide bans, new money for homeless housing, pot sales to tourists, Land Board rejects Shangri La plan, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hilo gay pride parade ©2018 All Hawaii News
Hawaii becomes 12th state to ban gay conversion therapy for minors. Hawaii News Now.

From homelessness to agricultural issues, conference committees on Friday worked to reach final deals on bills before they advance in the legislature. Hawaii News Now.

Lawmakers Want To Spend $30M On Legal Homeless Encampments. Three “ohana zones” would be built on Oahu, and one each on Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers Offer Hawaii Developers Big Tax Break To Build Apartments. But critics question a proposal that would subsidize rents as high as $3,000 for a one-bedroom unit. Civil Beat.

Out-of-state marijuana patients visiting Hawaii soon may be allowed to buy their medicinal pot at local dispensaries, a potential boon to the fledgling cannabis industry. Star-Advertiser.

Sunscreen ban one step closer to becoming law. KHON2.

Bills regulating pesticide use and protecting Hawaii’s coral reefs advanced in conference committee ahead of Friday’s final decking deadline. Maui Now.

Pesticide Compromise Reached As Conference Committee Time Expires. Measures on medical marijuana and all-mail voting are moving forward before the session wraps up next week. Civil Beat.

Hawaii is one step closer to buffering the use of several pesticides around schools, while outright banning the use of another throughout the state. West Hawaii Today.

Lawmakers have tentatively agreed to amend state law to position Hawaii to quickly begin collecting excise taxes from online sales if the U.S. Supreme Court authorizes the states to do so. Star-Advertiser.

State lawmakers agreed last week to trim the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s funding but lessened the impact by agreeing to forgive its debt on the Hawaii Convention Center. Star-Advertiser.

A renewed call from a national hotel group asks state and local government leaders to start taxing Airbnb and other short-term rental sites with the same oversight and transparency as hotels. KITV.

Domestic violence victims decry legislative inaction. Star-Advertiser.

2018 Legislative Wrap Up. Hawaii Public Radio.

The state Campaign Spending Commission is taking a close look at state lawmaker and Congressional Candidate Kaniela Ing's campaigns for his state House seat. Hawaii News Now.

UH campuses take the lead with solar power. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Agriculture announced earlier this month that it is accepting applications for state licenses to grow hemp. Star-Advertiser.


Ballard Promises Aggressive Recruitment To Fix Cop Shortage. Honolulu’s police chief offers blunt assessments of homelessness and the scandal that tarnished her predecessor. Civil Beat.

City officials plan to send Honolulu police into state-owned Kakaako Waterfront Park and adjacent parks starting at 11 p.m. Monday to sweep an estimated 80 — mostly chronically — homeless people. Star-Advertiser.

State rejects plan to remove breakwaters near Doris Duke's Shangri La. KHON2.

The state Health Department said the Weinberg Foundation must conduct lead abatement at the former site of the Swat Gun Club in Waikiki. Star-Advertiser.

Olomana Golf Links reopened Friday, two weeks after shutting down operations at the 18-hole Windward Oahu golf course, and has paid more than $100,000 in back rent to the state of Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

After two decades in service, the Hawaiian Airlines Drive-Thru Check-In will say goodbye to its final guests. The full-service check-in opened in the summer of 1998 on the ground level of the inter-island terminal. KHON2.

Hawaii-based Wi-Fi service provider Sun Global Broadband signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Japanese Wi-Fi service provider NTT Broadband Platform for services in Waikiki on Thursday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Big Island Mayor Harry Kim recuperating at home. Star-Advertiser.

A bill that would create a sprawling redevelopment district for Hilo under a 10-year pilot program is headed for a vote in the state House and Senate. Tribune-Herald.

A Hawaii State House and Senate conference committee approved a bill on Thursday that would give Hilo a needed economic boost, according to the senator who introduced it. Big Island Video News.

Lawmakers Wednesday signed off on $69 million to construct a permanent federal inspection station at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole. West Hawaii Today.

The future of the Na Hoa Holomoku of Hawaii Yacht Club might be scuttled after the county Department of Parks and Recreation ordered the club to move its boats off of Hilo Bayfront shores. Tribune-Herald.

The Days Are Numbered For These Lava Flow Vendors. Hawaii County looks to clear out roadside businesses and relocate the parking lot for its lava flow viewing area. Nearby residents are unhappy. Civil Beat.

Police have charged a 32-year-old South Hilo patrol officer with misdemeanor assault for an incident that occurred on duty. Tribune-Herald.

A Hawaii Police Department officer has been charged with assaulting a boy who ran away from the Salvation Army Interim Home in Hilo. Star-Advertiser.

Kamehameha Schools completed construction Tuesday on a produce processing facility in East Hawaii for farmers to prepare crops for sale. Tribune-Herald.


State bill mulls condemnation of land under Front Street Apartments. Compromise measure also sets aside $30 million for affordable housing in Lahaina. Maui News.

A Maui County Council committee rejected a draft settlement agreement earlier this month that was aimed at resolving a lawsuit over Mayor Alan Arakawa’s termination of Department of Water Supply Director David Taylor. Maui News.

Japanese training ship to anchor at Kahului Harbor. Visit of tall ship to celebrate the 150th anniversary of first Japanese immigrants in Hawaii. Maui News.


Disaster worsens rental housing, labor pool woes; can General Plan help? Garden Island.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. and county officials continued his tour on Saturday visiting residents in Koloa and Hanalei affected by the recent flood. KITV.


Kahoolawe Bill Passes: Reestablishes Cultural Resources Coordinator. Maui Now.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Hot, hot, hot! Hawaii tourism breaking records, lawmakers fail to reach Airbnb tax deal, state could be the last one to set police standards, Big Island mayor hospitalized, Honolulu homeless sweeps fail, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kilauea lava hits ocean PC: NPS J Wei
The more than 2 million visitors that visited the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in 2017 spent $166 million in communities near the park, according to a new National Park Service report. Pacific Business News.

More than 2 million visitors entered Hawaii Volcanoes National Park last year and collectively spent nearly $170 million in communities around Hawaii Island. Tribune-Herald.

Get ready for 10 million tourists. The state’s rampaging visitor industry could top that benchmark this year. Star-Advertiser.

Visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent a total of $4.8 billion in the first quarter, an increase of 10.1 percent compared to the first quarter of 2017, according to preliminary statistics released Thursday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Garden Island.

Lawmakers appear to have failed for a third straight year to resolve the conundrum over how best to tap into millions of dollars in uncollected state taxes from short-term vacation rentals without encouraging or endorsing illegal operators. Star-Advertiser.

What bills passed as the legislative session is near the end. KITV.

Hawaii May Soon Join The Other 49 States In Setting Police Standards. A conference committee of legislators agrees to a bill that establishes a standards board instead of just studying the idea. Civil Beat.

Passage of Restrictive Pesticide Use Reporting Bill Delayed. The state legislature has only one day left to settle House and Senate differences on all money-related bills for final passage next week. Hawaii Public Radio.

A measure that would require the counties to remove abandoned vehicles from public roadways in ten business days is going to a vote before the full house and senate. Hawaii News Now.

Two former Hawaii prison inmates are urging lawmakers to audit the state prison system and to focus the inquiry on the use of long-term lockdowns and chemical irritants such as pepper spray on Hawaii inmates housed in a privately run prison on the mainland. Star-Advertiser.

House Halts Bill To Water Down Financial Disclosures Of Key State Leaders. Supporters wanted volunteers on state boards to be more comfortable; critics wanted to preserve transparency. Civil Beat.

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students are far more likely to be suspended and expelled in Hawaii than students of other ethnicities, causing them to miss more school days overall, according to newly released federal data. Civil Beat.

Hawaii State Hospital escapee Randall Saito deemed fit to stand trial. Associated Press.

The lawyer for Randall Saito says if the state wants to find out how the acquitted killer escaped from the Hawaii State Hospital, state lawyers should offer Saito a deal. Star-Advertiser.

Southwest Airlines plans to start service to Hawaii from one mainland city, then ramp up “very, very quickly” based on having the lowest fares to the islands. Star-Advertiser.

Southwest Airlines is coming to Hawaii, but there are still a few layovers before the airline officially touches down. West Hawaii Today.


State conducts homeless sweep in Diamond Head. State enforcement officers cleared the slopes of Diamond Head Thursday, which have become a hideaway for the island's homeless. KHON2.

Crews cleared 26 homeless camps along Diamond Head Road early Thursday morning. KITV.

Homeless return to Kakaako park, dodging enforcement through a jurisdiction loophole. Hawaii News Now.

A controversial plan to partially destroy a popular man-made swimming cove at Black Point near Diamond Head has won the support of a state coastal lands office. Star-Advertiser.

Community clean up planned for a mass of nets at a Diamond Head beach. Hawaii News Now.

Cleanup efforts underway at Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor. DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation says the debris comes from upstream in the Ala Wai Canal. KITV.

Will The Kealoha Case Be One Big Show Or Separate Trials? A judge will soon decide whether to grant defendants’ wishes to split up the case or fulfill prosecutors’ desire to keep it intact. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige has directed the state Department of Agriculture to assist farmers whose operations were heavily damaged by the severe flooding on Kauai and Oahu earlier this month. Pacific Business News.

Honolulu medical examiner forced to store human remains off site. Hawaii News Now.

As drivers endure weekend freeway closures, DOT adjusts work schedule (again). Hawaii News Now.

A transformer fire at the University of Hawaii at Manoa that sent thick, black smoke into the air over Honolulu last week has been ruled accidental, according to the Honolulu Fire Department. Hawaii News Now.

Sinkhole forces closure of block of Ward Avenue. Star-Advertiser.

Veteran newsman Ron Mizutani is leaving television station KHON to become president and CEO of the Hawaii Food Bank. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and its parent company, Oahu Publications Inc., are attracting international media industry interest and accolades after the newspaper’s successful launch of its Digital Billboard Network. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Well-wishers flooded Mayor Harry Kim’s office Thursday with phone calls, emails and get-well cards and were turned away from his Honolulu hospital room after the mayor, who previously suffered three heart attacks, checked himself in for evaluation after experiencing chest pains. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim is in stable condition at The Queens Medical Center in Honolulu, officials say, after being medevaced early Thursday as a precaution due to chest pains. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County mayor Harry Kim is in stable condition at the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu after experiencing chest pains Thursday morning. KHON2.

Overflows largest since Kilauea summit eruption began. Tribune-Herald.

Kalapana residents to county: Don’t move lava viewing area parking. Tribune-Herald.

County officials met with a crowd of Kalapana area residents and entrepreneurs in Pahoa Wednesday night concerning a July 1 prohibition on commercial activity within any County right-of-way at the lava viewing area. Big Island Video News.

Committee Passes Hilo Economic Revitalization Bill. Big Island Now.

The college enrollment rate among East Hawaii high school students increased last year, albeit still shy of the statewide average. Tribune-Herald.

Students witness high court in action. West Hawaii Today.


Maui visitor spending increased +12.7% to $1.46 billion in the first quarter of 2018, according to new information compiled by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Maui Now.

Economics professor Carl Bonham asked, rhetorically, Thursday whether Maui has reached its capacity to accommodate growing numbers of tourists. Maui News.

Southwest Airlines’ chairman announced Thursday that the airline intends to service four Hawaii airports, including Kahului Airport, with Maui officials saying they have been in discussions with the airline about the “pockets” of open slots at the crowded terminal. Maui News.

The Hawaii Senate on Wednesday confirmed the appointment of Kirstin Hamman to the District Court of the Second Circuit on Maui. Maui Now.


Concerned citizens gathered Thursday to better understand the present flow of Kauai’s inland waters. Garden Island.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation is on track to open an emergency access route to Wainiha and Haena on Saturday. Garden Island.

The only highway into and out of the flood-devastated communities of Wainiha and Haena isn't expected to partially reopen for residents for at least two more weeks, but emergency vehicle access to those areas may happen sooner than expected. Hawaii News Now.

Federal funds still in question after Kauai disaster. KHON2.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Bump stock ban, other bills, pass state Legislature, Honolulu bill lets high-rises opt out of sprinkler law, new life for county GET surcharge, Kauai council passes $5M for flood recovery, more on Trump v. Hawaii Supreme Court hearing, news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Charles Freedman
Hawaii Capitol PC: Charles Freedman
With the Hawaii State Legislature set to adjourn in a week, lawmakers gave final approval Wednesday to several significant bills, including a measure that would make it illegal to sell or own “bump stock” devices, like the ones used last year by a gunman to spray gunfire into a Las Vegas crowd. Star-Advertiser.

Bump Stock Ban Passes Hawaii Legislature In Wake Of Las Vegas Massacre. The state is poised to prohibit the manufacture, sale and ownership of devices used to increase firearms’ rate of fire. Civil Beat.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday in Hawaii’s challenge to President Trump’s latest travel ban. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lt. Gov. Doug Chin said the discussion and questions by U.S. Supreme Court justices during oral arguments Wednesday have not dampened his optimism that the country’s highest court will strike down President Donald Trump’s latest travel ban. Star-Advertiser.

FULL AUDIO: U.S. Supreme Court Hears Trump v. Hawaii. Big Island Video News.

The federal government is trying to foreclose on the assets of Sandwich Isles Communications Inc. to recover $128 million in principal and interest the company owes on delinquent U.S. Department of Agriculture loans, according to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice. Star-Advertiser.

Less than a week after fielding questions about his academic record, state Rep. Kaniela Ing is facing a new controversy over a failure to report thousands of dollars in campaign contributions. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority, the state agency responsible for Hawaii’s tourism marketing, just announced another high-ranking personnel departure. Leslie Dance, HTA’s vice president of marketing and product development, has resigned from her position effective May 15. Star-Advertiser.

Leslie Dance is stepping down as vice president of marketing at the Hawaii Tourism Authority next month, the tourism agency announced Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

Central Pacific Financial Corp., the parent company of Honolulu-based Central Pacific Bank, reported net income of $14.3 million, or 48 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2018, an increase of 9.1 percent compared to last year’s first quarter earnings. Pacific Business News.

Southwest reveals plans to serve 4 Hawaii airports amid slow ticket sales. Hawaii News Now.


A bill passed by the Honolulu City Council requires about 150 older high-rise condominiums to be retrofitted with automated sprinkler systems — except it really doesn’t. Star-Advertiser.

A bill outlawing drifting and drift racing on city roads was approved unanimously by the Honolulu City Council Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The city is taking steps to make sure roads like Tantalus Drive will be safe from drivers who drift or drift race. KHON2.

A motorcyclist will get $3M after a settlement with the city over a 2014 collision with a Honolulu Police Officer. Hawaii News Now.

The City and County of Honolulu has received $300,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to transform contaminated properties in need of environmental cleanup along the rail transit corridor. Pacific Business News.

Big changes may be ahead for the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility as legislators make last-minute adjustments to Governor David Ige's bill. Hawaii News Now.

After less than four months of selling condominiums in the seventh tower permitted for Ward Village, the developer of the community in Kakaako is seeking a permit for an eighth tower. Star-Advertiser.

A proposal to build a wind farm in the hills above Makakilo is running into opposition from area residents. Hawaii News Now.

U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson denied a request by U.S. State Department special agent Christopher Deedy to block the state from prosecuting him for manslaughter pending a decision on whether his constitutional rights would be violated, but the judge said Wednesday that he expects to rule well before trial in October. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu food pantry buys warehouse with $3.5M city grant. Pacific Business News.

The Howard Hughes Corp. has sold, or contracted to sell, more than 1,500 homes at its Ward Village master development in Hawaii since 2014, representing more than $2 billion in revenue for the Dallas-based developer. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

A House-Senate conference committee breathed new life Wednesday into Mayor Harry Kim’s request for a general excise tax surcharge by extending the deadline for the County Council to approve the measure. West Hawaii Today.

House and Senate negotiators Wednesday agreed to a bill that would authorize the hiring of four extra social workers to help address a crisis in the child-welfare system on the east side of Hawaii island. Star-Advertiser.

A state House-Senate conference committee on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill that will establish a five-year pilot program to fund four more full-time Child Welfare Services case workers in East Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

An adjustment to the state budget that would fund a new medium security unit at Hawaii Community Correctional Center was sent to Gov. David Ige for final approval Wednesday. Tribune-Herald.

Financial relief: County finds money to continue Banyan Beach lua. West Hawaii Today.


The project with the heftiest price tag — the $81.2 million Wailuku civic complex — made the cut in Budget and Finance Chairman Riki Hokama’s proposed budget, though other projects like the Maui Lani roundabout got the ax. Maui News.

Medeiros: Funding cut puts paratransit rides in jeopardy. Hundreds of disabled people rely on curb-to-curb rides for doctor visits, physical therapy, shopping. Maui News.

The state House passed a $14.4 billion state budget Wednesday that includes $40 million for construction of the Kaanapali leg of the Lahaina bypass, $49 million for construction of the Paia bypass and $40 million for building the new Kihei high school. Maui News.

A recent report by the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice states that vacation rental units put pressure on Hawaii’s already-stressed housing market by reducing homes for Hawaii residents and driving up rents. Maui Now.

Maui Land & Pineapple Co. lost $1 million in the first three months of this year with no asset sales that the company has been relying on for profits in recent years. Star-Advertiser.


The Kauai County Council approved a $5 million emergency ordinance Wednesday to help pay for recovery from flooding that devastated much of the North Shore. Garden Island.

Nearly two weeks after historic flooding caused major damage on Kauai, council members were briefed by county employees on preliminary damage assessments. Preliminary numbers show 66 homes with major damage. KHON2.

Torrential rainfall in north Kauai that ravaged homes and businesses about a week and a half ago may have set a national record, according to the National Weather Service. Star-Advertiser.

The National Weather Service says Waipa, just outside Hanalei on Kauai, recorded 49.69 inches of rain over a 24-hour period from April 14th to 15th. KITV.

Floods Have Left Behind ‘A Different World’ On Kauai’s North Shore. The storm’s toll in Hanalei and more remote areas includes destroyed homes, lost jobs and vanished tourist dollars. Civil Beat.

Hanalei taro farmers urge public to 'stay away' as farms recover from floods. Hawaii News Now.

Effects of flood on coral unclear; fears rise that damage could be extensive. Garden Island.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Lawmakers peg $570M for affordable housing, Trump likely to win Hawaii travel ban lawsuit at U.S. Supreme Court, vacation rentals big Big Island issue, Ige signs electricity ratepayer protection bill, all-mail voting may come to Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Public Housing Authority
Mayor Wright housing, Hawaii Public Housing Authority
State lawmakers Tuesday tentatively agreed on a bill to deposit $200 million into the state Rental Housing Revolving Fund — the biggest single cash contribution ever for the fund — and to dramatically expand an excise tax exemption for construction of affordable rental housing to help cope with the severe housing shortage. Star-Advertiser.

House and Senate conferees on Tuesday passed a funding package that would provide some $570 million for the construction of more than 25,000 affordable housing units in Hawaii over the next 12 years. Pacific Business News.

President Donald Trump appears likely to win his Trump. v. Hawaii travel ban case at the Supreme Court. Associated Press.

Electricity Ratepayer Protection Act Signed Into Law. Hawaii Public Radio.

In an effort to recognize the significance and precariousness of the state’s most abundant native tree, Gov. David Ige has proclaimed today Ohia Lehua Day in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Ad Watch: David Ige Reminds Voters Of His Roots. Hawaii’s governor emphasizes education and working families in his first re-election television commercial. Civil Beat.

On average, visitors paid almost $293 to stay in a Hawaii hotel during the first quarter, the highest rate in the nation, according to the Hawaii Hotel Performance Report released Tuesday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii hotels experienced a strong first quarter with statewide revenue per available room increasing 8.9 percent to $243 when compared to the same period last year. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian Airlines generated more revenue and carried more passengers during any first quarter ever for the company despite increased competition and delivery delays on the carrier’s new aircraft. Star-Advertiser.

Despite having a record quarter for revenue and passengers flown, Hawaii’s largest carrier experienced a 15 percent drop in net income during the first three months of the year. Pacific Business News.


The Honolulu City Council will debate Wednesday whether or not to authorize the settlement in an alleged police violence case. Hawaii News Now.

The state is taking steps to reclaim control of the land it owns under the Olomana golf course in Waimanalo and recover unpaid rent from a company that closed the course two weeks ago. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu city councilman proposes ban on ride share company surge pricing. KHON2.

Residents of Oahu’s Leeward Coast residents are increasingly concerned about their lack of options should a natural disaster close the Farrington Highway — their only way in or out. Civil Beat.

Oahu attorney faces 17 charges of tax evasion. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

No matter where they stand on the issue, one thing was clear Tuesday. People care very deeply about vacation rentals. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii County Council Committee on Planning took up Bill 108 on Tuesday, a measure that attempts to get a handle on the short term vacation rentals doing business on the Big Island. Big Island Video News.

The contractor for a medical marijuana growing site under construction has filed a civil suit against the developer and operator of the facility project, claiming nonpayment for construction on the Pepeekeo site. Tribune-Herald.

A ‘Descendants’-Style Land Feud Breaks Out On The Big Island. A trust established by a former Dole president and Bishop Estate trustee has spawned a legal fight over a historic, 4,000-acre ranch. Civil Beat.

Fireworks have lit up the sky for years to celebrate Kealakehe High School’s graduating seniors, but changes made more than a year ago to the county’s fire code are putting an end to the festive tradition. West Hawaii Today.

Facility would grow algae from papaya for feed, fuel. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County Police Chief Weighs In on Drug Issues. Hawaii Public Radio.

The University of Hawaii at Hilo’s search for a permanent chancellor has been pushed back. Tribune-Herald.


Lahainaluna High School is getting over $425,000 for air conditioning in eight classrooms, restrooms, a conference room, a faculty center, and an electrical room. KITV.

The Maui Police Department is facing another lawsuit. This time filed by a 21-year-veteran of the force diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Hawaii News Now.

Members of the Maui Police Department and the employees of the Maui County Federal Credit Union Lahaina Branch will be participating in a one-day Coordinated Agency Emergency Preparedness Exercise. Maui Now.

Queen Kaahumanu Center’s security personnel have increased rotations and checks of a second-floor restroom where a 35-year-old Makawao man was killed in a machete attack in March after a confrontation on the Maui Bus on a trip to the mall. Maui News.

Fears over the opening of the latest Lahaina bypass section causing heavy traffic congestion on Keawe Street were realized Monday with many cars unable to enter or exit Lahaina Gateway Center, store managers said. Maui News.

A coalition made up of Maui residents, farmers, and their supporters presented a petition at Alexander & Baldwin's annual shareholders meeting in Iwilei on Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

A group of Maui residents is asking Alexander and Baldwin to make 15% of its lands in Central Maui available for local food production, housing, and conservation. KITV.

Darren Strand, president of Haliimaile Pineapple Co., will be moving to Alexander & Baldwin and becoming the new general manager for diversified agriculture on Maui, A&B announced Tuesday. Maui News.

Alexander & Baldwin has named Darren Strand, former president of Haliimaile Pineapple Co., as president of the Hawaii-based real estate investment trust’s diversified agriculture operations on its former sugar cane fields on Maui. Pacific Business News.


State May Experiment With All-Mail Voting On Kauai. The Garden Island has had difficulty in the past recruiting volunteer poll workers. Civil Beat.

Kauai Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. signed a supplementary emergency proclamation Tuesday that allows the county to continue responding in the aftermath of the torrential rainfall and flooding that occurred a week and a half ago. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. signed a supplementary emergency proclamation on Tuesday evening to continue emergency operations on Kauai. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii state lawmakers will have their final vote on a proposed emergency funding bill Wednesday. It calls for $100 million in emergency aid to help Kauai recover and rebuild after historic flooding and landslides. KHON2.

Despite the odor of cow manure and the brown water advisory currently cast over Kauai, surfers were taking on the waves in Hanalei Bay on Monday. Garden Island.

A footwear store will be donating more than 250 rubber boots to help with flood-recovery efforts. Garden Island.

Check Out These Before-And-After Photos Of The Kauai Flood. Take a look at the first Google satellite imagery capturing the extent of the flooding, road damage and altered beachscapes. Civil Beat.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Voters to decide on investment/rental property tax for education, $93k considered low-income for Honolulu family of four, Kauai seeks tourists after flood, pesticide-free school zones bill failing, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Kauai rental investment property ©2018 All Hawaii News
Hawaii voters will decide in November whether they want to tax investment property to help pay for public education after a proposed constitutional amendment sailed through the Senate in a 23-1 vote Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Voters Will Decide Whether To Hike Property Taxes To Fund Schools. Even if the proposed constitutional amendment passes in November, it won’t automatically guarantee new money for schools. Civil Beat.

Should the state help pay for public schools through property taxes? That's a question voters will be able to answer in November's General Election. KITV.

Voters to decide tax surcharge on investment property to help fund public education. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii state Senate on Monday gave final passage to a bill that seeks to amend the state constitution by allowing the Legislature to tax investment properties and earmark the revenue for public schools, after bypassing a conference committee to discuss amendments made by the House. Pacific Business News.

Voters this year will have the opportunity to decide if Hawaii should establish a surcharge on investment property to help fund public education. Associated Press.


The Kupuna Caregivers program, which the Hawaii Legislature approved in 2017, will see a doubling of its resources if the state budget bill passes in its current form. Pacific Business News.

A bill to create restricted pesticide-free buffer zones around Hawaii schools is currently stalled at the legislature. Hawaii Public Radio.

This New Military Spending Site Is Floundering. The state launched a website to track defense dollars with the help of a federal grant. But now there’s no one keeping the site updated. Civil Beat.

Air carriers servicing Hawaii have been largely unaffected by the Federal Aviations Administration’s recent call for emergency inspections after a fatal engine explosion on a Southwest Airlines flight last week. Pacific Business News.


$93K Is Now Considered Low-Income For Honolulu Family Of 4. Oahu’s median income jumped nearly 11 percent in a year, according to new federal housing guidelines. Civil Beat.

Oahu residents are likely to see their rent go up. KHON2.

Feds: Honolulu Needs $250 Million More To Complete Rail. Local officials believe their $8.16 billion cost estimate remains sound, despite the shortfall identified in an unreleased draft report. Civil Beat.

Two measures aimed at relaxing building and zoning requirements for Oahu landowners and developers who build smaller, walk-up apartment buildings are up for a final vote of the Honolulu City Council on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

City councilman Ikaika Anderson introduced Bill 33 Thursday,  which would require certain buildings without permits to be demolished at the owner's expense. KITV.

City enforcement of zoning and building laws has been a chronic problem. After one local contractor, Brilliant Construction, continued building after receiving an order to stop. City Councilmember Ikaika Anderson is trying to get tough on violators. Hawaii Public Radio.

Local police getting more federal support to handle repeat offenders. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu's police chief says staffing shortages means property crimes will have to wait while her department investigates more serious crimes. Hawaii News Now.

A portion of the sidewalks along Kalakaua Avenue will soon get an overhaul as the city and its private industry partners begin their first major Waikiki sidewalk project since the city readied the tourism district to host the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation gathering. Star-Advertiser.

Sidewalk improvements will be performed along Kalakaua Avenue for 275 calendar days as part of a construction project in Waikiki. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu’s Morgue Is So Run Down Even The Autopsy Room Leaks. The conditions raise concerns about employee health and the quality of lab results, including whether evidence is being contaminated. Civil Beat.

Your water rates could be going up, and this week you'll get your first of many chances to weigh in. KHON2.

Hawaii Gas's first renewable natural gas project remains on track for completion later this year after holding a blessing ceremony at the Honouliuli Wastewater Treatment Plant last week. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Lava from Kilauea’s summit lava lake spilled out of its Overlook crater onto the floor of Halemaumau Crater on Monday, resulting in the largest overflow since the summit vent opened up 10 years ago. Star-Advertiser.

Lava lake spills onto Halemaumau Crater floor. Tribune-Herald.

Kilauea Lava Lake Overflow Captured In Various Views. Big Island Video News.


Astronomers using the Gemini Observatory on Maunakea have confirmed what has been speculated for years: Uranus stinks. Tribune-Herald.

For yet another year, the state legislature has killed a bill to fund lifeguards at Kua Bay, but there is another possible avenue. Big Island Video News.

Big Island receives little fire ant funding as Legislature mulls Hawaii Invasive Species Authority. West Hawaii Today.

864 pounds of debris removed from South Kona shoreline. West Hawaii Today.

Three bills affecting use and management of Maunakea appear headed for the dust bin after the state House of Representatives refused to assign members to a conference committee. Tribune-Herald.


County Council budget chairman Riki Hokama released his proposed county budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 on Monday, taking a knife to Mayor Alan Arakawa’s proposal to the tune of $33 million. Maui News.

The newly opened section of the Lahaina bypass created an early morning traffic jam, doubled the work commutes for many residents and even confused some navigational apps on its first day open to the public Monday. Maui News.

The opening of a new traffic solution for West Maui ended up creating a nightmare for many drivers on Monday. Hawaii News Now.

A coalition on Maui has launched a “15% for the Future” campaign, which is petitioning Alexander & Baldwin to donate or allow the sale of former sugar cane lands in Central Maui to support affordable housing and agriculture. Maui Now.

The House and Senate money committees finalized negotiations on the state budget on Friday, April 20, which included funding that will benefit Central Maui. Maui Now.

King Kekaulike, Maui High among state’s most improved schools. Maui News.


The Hawaii Tourism Authority wants visitors to know that Kauai is still open for business, and welcomes travelers to the Garden Isle, except for the northernmost communities from Wainiha to Haena, which are temporarily closed to vehicles while repairs continue on Kuhio Highway. Star-Advertiser.

HTA: Kauai open for business. All of Kauai is open, with the exception being the northernmost communities from Wainiha to Haena. And it’s still a beautiful island. Garden Island.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is trying to combat dips in Kauai tourism by sending a message to visitors and stakeholders that the island is “open and welcoming travelers,” with the exception of the northernmost communities from Wainiha to Haena. Pacific Business News.


More than a week after floodwaters ravaged homes, businesses, hillsides and roads, there is still no idea of the cost of the damage — or even a guess of how many structures were destroyed or left uninhabitable. Star-Advertiser.

Backpacks lined the edges of classrooms at Hanalei School once again on Monday as the Department of Education welcomed kids back to class after record-breaking rains caused flooding throughout Hanalei. Garden Island.

Self-Reliance Runs Deep on Kauai’s North Shore. Hawaii Public Radio.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Ige and Hanabusa spar over side dealings, Luke apologizes for attack on Ige, Tupola seeks restraining order against GOP colleague, former Inouye aide's political clout, $14B budget agreement reached, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

David Ige, Colleen Hanabusa
Ige, Hanabusa spar over alleged conflicts as primary race heats up. Gov. David Ige is ratcheting up his election-year criticism of U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa by reviving the issue of her two-year push for a huge state tax credit for development of an aquarium at Ko Olina, alleging the deal demonstrates that she makes decisions “on behalf of self-interest and special interests.” Star-Advertiser.

House finance leader apologizes for attack on Ige. House Finance Chairwoman Sylvia Luke apologized on the House floor Friday for comments she made in a Honolulu Star-Advertiser story April 15 in which she described Gov. David Ige as “almost like this desperate caged animal.” Star-Advertiser.

For Hawaii Politicians, It Pays To Have Jennifer Sabas On Your Side. Support from the former top aide to the late Sen. Daniel Inouye has been a boon to two prominent candidates in their bids for higher office. Civil Beat.

Tupola seeks restraining order against activist. Republican candidate for governor state Rep. Andria Tupola has filed for a temporary restraining order against the leader of a Republican splinter group, alleging she has been harassed and cyberbullied. Star-Advertiser.

House, Senate Agree To $14 Billion State Budget Bill. A joint conference committee passed the overall budget bill ahead of schedule to fast-track funding for areas hit by flooding. Civil Beat.

House and Senate conferees on Friday approved a final version of the state budget bill, which includes operating and capital improvement monies to run the state government. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Businesses Are Making Billions Off The Military. Hawaii is second only to Virginia in the amount of money that flows into the state through Defense Department spending. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Attorney General Russell Suzuki on Thursday said the state received more than $84.7 million as part of its arbitration settlement with the tobacco industry. Pacific Business News.

Report says Hawaii can reach renewable energy goal faster, and cheaper. A report released by the Honolulu-based Elemental Excelerator on Friday said Hawaii can achieve 84 percent of its clean energy goal by 2030, more than double the state’s target for that year, and that it would be cheaper than not doing anything. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian Electric reduces annual oil usage by more than 2M barrels over seven years. Hawaiian Electric Cos. on Thursday released its 11th annual Sustainability Report for 2017-2018 describing the utility's efforts to address climate change and contribute to community sustainability. Pacific Business News.

Honolulu-based ocean cargo transportation firm Matson Inc. said in an annual report that its charitable giving rose 28 percent to $3.7 million last year from $2.9 million the year before. Star-Advertiser.


Lack of officers is hurting operation of HPD, chief says. Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard last week gave the City Council a rough but far-ranging outline of her priorities for the department, including plans to increase HPD’s ranks significantly and create a larger yet friendlier presence in the community. Star-Advertiser.

Public comment on the Honolulu Police Department is being sought Tuesday as part of an on-site reaccreditation assessment being conducted by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. Star-Advertiser.

The city is opening two disaster recovery centers on Oahu to help flood victims get help. Hawaii News Now.

East Oahu residents still picking up the pieces after damaging floods. Hawaii News Now.

Public beach access at Kahala Resort debated. Kahala Hotel &Resort, which holds a state-issued revocable permit to use its public beachfront for private purposes, promised area residents and beachgoers last year it would widen and improve an existing path to delineate public and private spaces. Star-Advertiser.

Tenant ‘farmer’ ran junkyard, says property owner stuck with fines nearing $1 million. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Elementary and Middle School Administrators Association announced on Sunday that Linell Dilwith of Stevenson Middle School is the 2018 Hawaii National Distinguished Principal. Hawaii News Now.

From 'trash' tree to treasure. Albizia: arguably Hawaii’s most maligned invasive plant species, a real threat to life, property and Hawaii’s native forests. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Council committee to hear vacation rental bill. West Hawaii Today.

Airbnb hits record Merrie Monarch high. West Hawaii Today.

Software problems hold up building permits. Hawaii County has not been accepting new building permit applications since Monday due to a software snafu. Tribune-Herald.

Thirteen families living on Mauna Ziona Church property in North Kona are likely to be evicted in the coming weeks, more than two years after the property was purchased at county tax auction by the Free Church of Tonga-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

State House blocks bills against Thirty Meter Telescope. A bill that would impose a construction freeze atop Mauna Kea and potentially thwart development of the Thirty Meter Telescope appears to have been dealt a fatal blow. Star-Advertiser.

The long-delayed opening of new ball fields in Hilo is being set back indefinitely after an engineering report identified drainage problems. Tribune-Herald.

Aviation noise to persist over Puna. Puna residents hoping for regulation of helicopter tours headed to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park will have to settle for resolutions instead. Tribune-Herald.

The state Legislature announced Friday that a $300,000 allocation will be made in the state budget to fund rat lungworm disease research at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

A faulty decision by a state commission over Hawaii land use looks like it will cost the state as little as $1 instead of a previously agreed-to $1 million. Star-Advertiser.

Attorneys for South Kohala developer Bridge Aina Lea LLC are seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars for their work after recently prevailing over the state in a federal takings claim case. West Hawaii Today.


Council seeks ‘pause’ on bridge project. Approved resolution can only urge delay of process, still putting federal funding at risk. Maui News.

Maui County Council Budget and Finance Committee Chairman Riki Hokama said Friday that he would not include a tiered scheme for property taxes in his proposed version of the budget because the county’s real property tax system is not yet equipped to handle it. Maui News.

Maui benefits from completion of House-Senate budget dealings. Maui News.

The newly completed Honoapiilani Highway realignment Phase IB-2 opens to traffic today, Monday, April 23, 2018 following a blessing held last week. Maui Now.

Maui’s Business Challenges. Maui business leaders say they face the same conditions as Oahu— only more so. Hawaii Public Radio.


Kauai County announced Sunday that it is working with the Department of Education to open satellite classrooms for students cut off from the rest of the island by landslides on the island’s north shore following the devastating storm earlier this month. Star-Advertiser.

Haena, Wainiha promised school, gas, trash service. Hundreds of people attended a community meeting at Opakapaka Bar and Grill Sunday to hear from county and state officials about resources available for Wainiha and Haena residents cut off after last weekend’s onslaught of torrential rains and flooding. Garden Island.

Hanalei Elementary to reopen as flood-damaged Kauai dries out. Hawaii News Now.

Damage from recent flooding and landslides has made some tourists wary about vacationing on the Garden Isle. Garden Island.

Kauai to set up makeshift classroom, fuel rations in recovery efforts. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai mayor provides answers for transportation, sanitation challenges. KHON2.

Over 400 people attend community meeting in Wainiha. Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., and county and state officials held a community meeting at the Hanalei Colony Resort for the isolated Wainiha and Haena residents. KITV.

Several hundred people of all ages gathered at the site of the Kealia Farms farmers market Sunday to caravan up to help the farmers and tenants of the Kealia Valley dig out following last weekend’s record-breaking rains. Garden Island.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was on Kauai from Thursday through Saturday to assist with recovery efforts after a record-setting storm wiped out many homes and local businesses, left communities isolated due to landslides, and required hundreds to be evacuated. KITV.

Lawmakers Question Whether State Should Buy Kauai Farmland. A bill would provide $6 million to the Hawaii Agribusiness Development Corp. to acquire the land, part of which is already leased to a seed company. Civil Beat.

Sixty people attend meeting to discuss Lawai Kai Beach access. Garden Island.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Honolulu rail funding disagreement, vendors to be ousted from lava viewing area, congressional candidate exaggerates education, Maui ex-policeman pleads guilty to theft, jobless rate remains low, Carvalho surveys Kauai's damaged North Shore, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation
Rail through Waipahu PC: HART
Auditor disagrees with HART on rail reimbursements. As work gets underway on a far-reaching audit of the multibillion-dollar rail project, state Auditor Les Kondo warned officials that his office has already identified potential red flags. Star-Advertiser.

How Will Honolulu Pay To Run Rail Once It’s Built? The City Still Doesn’t Know. Many other rail transit systems rely on special sales taxes to pay what passenger fares don’t cover. Civil Beat.

Congressional candidate didn't finish master's degree his LinkedIn page said he had. For years, congressional candidate Kaniela Ing's LinkedIn page said he received a master's degree in public administration from the University of Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Isle jobless rate steady at 2.1% for sixth month. Hawaii’s unemployment rate, the lowest in the nation, held firm in March at 2.1 percent for the sixth month in a row as employers added 200 jobs. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers could ban sunscreens with toxic chemicals that are damaging reefs. KHON2.

Scientists Warn Plastic Could Soon Out-Weigh Fish in the Ocean. Maui Now.

Businesses are tightening policies on emotional support dogs. KHON2.

Hawaiian Electric Cos. on Thursday released its 11th annual Sustainability Report for 2017-2018 describing the utility's efforts to address climate change and contribute to community sustainability. Pacific Business News.


The Honolulu City Council is attempting to close loopholes in some of the city’s ordinances. And, they’re targeting sidewalk vendors and golfers. Hawaii Public Radio.

E-bus struggles to make the grade. The city is restating its characterization of how an electric bus on loan performed in February tests around Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Tension High Over Airport Rideshare Pilot Program. Long simmering tensions between the local taxi companies and transportation network companies, Uber and Lyft, erupted again. Hawaii Public Radio.

Erosion taking toll at Haleiwa Beach Park. Severe erosion is forcing the closure of makai entrances to the bathrooms and removal of outdoor showers at Haleiwa Beach Park, safety precautions announced Thursday by city park officials. Star-Advertiser.

Gaping sinkhole growing with each wave makes for dangerous situation in Haleiwa. Hawaii News Now.

Nanakuli Village Center: Big Plans But Few Results So Far. After more than a decade of planning, construction could begin this month on a commercial center — or it might not. Civil Beat.

State seeks to cancel lease with Olomana Golf Club. Fears of vandalism and homeless squatters are among the new concerns for former staff at a Kailua golf course. KITV.

Elite Pacific Properties has acquired a vacation rental management company that manages 29 Ocean Villas at Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu's North Shore. Pacific Business News.

Power restored to entire UH-Manoa campus after large transformer fire. Hawaii News Now.

Transformer fire at UH Manoa causes widespread power outage. Honolulu Fire Department personnel battled a large fire at the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s lower campus this evening. Star-Advertiser.

A Florida man was sentenced today to two months in jail and four months home confinement for his role in scamming the University of Hawaii out of $200,000 for Stevie Wonder concert that never happened. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Vendors face relocation: County responding to safety concerns near lava viewing area in Kalapana. Hawaii County is clamping down on vendors near its designated lava viewing area at the end of Highway 130 in Kalapana. Tribune-Herald.

County Explains Kalapana Vendor Crack-Down. Civil Defense administrator Talmadge Magno told the council Thursday that the county will "strictly enforce" the law beginning July 1st. Big Island Video News.

The Kohala Swimming Pool and a room in the North Kohala Senior Center are closed following a set of recent mishaps. Big Island Video News.

A second lieutenant will soon join the ranks of the Kona unit of the Department of Public Safety’s Sheriff Division, pending the governor’s approval of the state’s budget. West Hawaii Today.

Logistics of cesspool conversion bring financial burden. Last year, legislators passed a law requiring Hawaii homeowners do away with the state’s estimated 88,000 cesspools by 2050. West Hawaii Today.

Peter Kema Sr. must serve a minimum of 18 years in prison for the killing of his son, Peter Kema Jr., aka “Peter Boy,” the Hawaii Paroling Authority announced today. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Department of Health recently identified several cases of ciguatera fish poisoning from ingestion of the giant trevally (ulua) recreationally caught off the northwest coast of Hawaii Island. Big Island Now.


Former Maui Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Theft, Witness Tampering. Former Maui police officer Anthony Maldonado, of Kahului, pleaded guilty today in federal court to one count of Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law and one count of Conspiracy to Commit Witness Tampering. Maui Now.

Former Maui police officer pleads guilty to traffic-stop theft. He also is charged with bribery, faces up to 21 years in prison, $350,000 in fines. Maui News.

Maui vegetable farmers fighting Mother Nature. Recent heavy rains, flooding ruin crops, breed pests. Maui News.


Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. completed a site visit Thursday to communities in Lumahai, Wainiha and Haena. Garden Island.

Lifeline To Kauai’s North Shore Must Be Rebuilt Now, Relocated Later. Officials don’t know when the Kuhio Highway, smothered by mud and debris, will be completely reopened. Meanwhile, the state will speed up a $33 million plan to rebuild a series of old bridges. Civil Beat.

More and more respond to need for help on North Shore. Garden Island.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources conducted a helicopter survey of its lands, and found most of the vast acreage of lands it manages to have relatively less damage than originally thought due to last weekend’s historical flooding. Star-Advertiser.

In flood-devastated Hanalei, a beloved cemetery is covered under a mountain of mud. Hawaii News Now.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are donating $1 million to assist flood-relief efforts on Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

Ocean Safety personnel on Kauai have closed Keoneloa Bay to swimming after a 29-year-old male visitor was apparently bitten by a shark while body boarding at around 8 a.m. on Thursday, April 19, 2018. Maui Now.