Thursday, April 12, 2018

Agribusiness Development Corp. resists audit, cracking down on unlicensed elder care homes, former AG Bennett welcomed by U.S. Senate, Thirty Meter Telescope future up in the air, Kauai to sue Big Pharm over opioid abuse, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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State Agribusiness Agency Says It’s Too Busy To Be Audited. Lawmakers may expand the power of the Agribusiness Development Corp. even as its officials try to stave off a review of its operations. Civil Beat.

Bill Would Allow Crackdown On Unlicensed Care Homes. The unauthorized facilities proliferated while the Health Department failed to establish rules on which ones need licenses. Civil Beat.

The House Health and Human Services Committee is trying to pass a bill to put illegal care homes out of business. Civil Beat.

New bill looks to close complicated loophole for kupuna care facilities. Hawaii News Now.

The 6th Kupuna Power Day will be held at the State Capitol Thursday. This year's event is dedicated to the late Sen. Daniel Akaka who was a champion for kupuna care across Hawaii. KHON2.


A controversial bill that has the astronomy community on edge might have violated the state Senate’s own rules since it was crafted without time for a public hearing. But that might have little consequence since legislators say the chamber can bend or ignore them essentially at will. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii lawmakers discuss sexual harassment complaint reforms. Women lawmakers at the Hawaii state Capitol want the House and Senate to update rules on handling sexual harassment complaints — a push that comes amid high-profile misconduct allegations nationwide and after a former Hawaii House speaker resigned after acknowledging inappropriate behavior toward women. Associated Press.

Trump’s Federal Judge Nominee For Hawaii Gets Warm Reception In DC. Mark Bennett, the former state AG under Hawaii’s last Republican governor, received bipartisan accolades during his Senate confirmation hearing. Civil Beat.

Sen. Schatz Introduces Court of Appeals Nominee Mark Bennett. Big Island Now.

Hawaii Senators participated in the questioning of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Washington on Tuesday. Big Island Video News.

While a few governors have said they oppose President Donald Trump’s plan to send up to 4,000 National Guard troops to the border with Mexico, Hawaii Gov. David Ige’s office said he’s taking a wait-and-see approach and that no such request has come in. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Department of Health officials confirmed Wednesday there were two additional rat lungworm disease cases in the state. The cases involve an adult Maui resident and an adolescent visiting Hawaii island from New York. Star-Advertiser.

Rat Lungworm Confirmed in Maui and Mainland Resident. Maui Now.

Luxury homes on Hawaii’s Kona Coast sold faster and for a higher average price than on other islands last year, while Oahu has seen a reduction in prices and an increase in the number of days those high-end homes are on the market, according to a market index report by Concierge Auctions. Pacific Business News.


Council Leaders, Mayor Caldwell Will Talk With Feds In DC About Rail Funding. Honolulu Council Chair Ernie Martin and Budget Chair Trevor Ozawa, who proposed big cuts in the city budget to raise rail funds, will travel with the mayor to the Capitol. Civil Beat.

Oahu farmland purchased by state in 2013 site of massive dump site. Hawaii News Now.

Officials from the city, state, Kamehameha Schools and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration unveiled a dramatic, 10-foot high banner at the steps of Honolulu Hale Wednesday to hammer home the threat that tsunamis can wreak across the islands at any moment. Star-Advertiser.

Some riders of TheBus will begin today to help the city determine if switching to electric buses makes sense. Star-Advertiser.

A demonstration at Iolani Palace Wednesday showcased electric buses that could be considered when the state looks to implement passenger shuttles between the terminal and rental car facility at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport later this year. KHON2.

3-foot tall concrete wall that snakes along Kalakaua Avenue fronting the old Waikiki 3 theater will be knocked down Thursday morning. Police and businesses say the wall has been a magnet for criminal behavior. Hawaii News Now.

The federal government’s dispute with the city for its handling of abandoned vehicles is officially over. A U.S. District judge dismissed the federal government’s lawsuit against the city Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Lawsuit dismissed after changes made for vehicles of active-duty service members. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Bolstered by a state recalculation that shows a half-cent general excise tax surcharge would give the county twice what was originally thought, Mayor Harry Kim has resumed lobbying the County Council to pass it. West Hawaii Today.

TMT decision faces delay. The TMT International Observatory board, which for months has been saying it would decide by April whether to build the Thirty Meter Telescope in Hawaii, is meeting at its Pasadena headquarters this week. Newspapers in Spain and the Canary Islands — home to TMT’s backup site — last month reported that members of the TMT governing board assured local officials that the decision about where to build the $1.4 billion observatory would be delayed until November. Star-Advertiser.

Employees at Royal Kona Resort aren’t on strike — yet. A few dozen staff members clad in red and waving picket signs rallied on Kahakai Road fronting the hotel Wednesday afternoon. West Hawaii Today.


Large mound of nets that washed up on Maui's Black Sand Beach to be removed. Hawaii News Now.

The state plans to close Waianapanapa State Park in Hana, Maui, on Thursday morning to remove a large pile of cargo nets that washed ashore about two weeks ago during a recent northeast swell, according to the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Star-Advertiser.

East Maui residents at odds over new Paia bypass proposal. Many prefer the use of old cane roads owned by A&B instead of the DOT’s proposed route. Maui News.

A measure vastly different from the one initially introduced that puts the onus on Maui County to recoup government funds expended on the Front Street Apartments affordable housing project passed the state House on Tuesday. Maui News.

Maui High’s day care, teen parents programs in limbo. Nonprofit offers a $20,000 grant, but portable buildings top $100,000. Maui News.


The County of Kauai is planning to sue the manufacturers, marketers and distributors of opioids. Reminiscent of lawsuits against big tobacco companies, Kauai County will be the first county in Hawaii to pursue this type of litigation.  Garden Island.

Kauai County is the first in the state to take legal action against the makers, marketers and distributors of opioid pain medications. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai County's "opioid litigation" aims to sue prescription drug companies. KITV.

The Kauai Rural Health Association is bringing the conference “Opioid Crisis: What You Should Know” to Kauai Community College on Thursday, May 17. Garden Island.

KCC Medical Assistant Program gains national approval. Garden Island.


Oral Arguments Set on 1993 Water Use Permit for Molokai Ranch Subsidiary. Maui Now.

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