Wednesday, April 11, 2018

How much do we make? New study compares Hawaii to the rest of the U.S., plus lots of action as Legislature enters final 14 days, ballot initiative taxing investment property for education advances in House, too many emergency drills, opiates down, pot use rises, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hotel workers rally in Waikiki. That sector makes more than the national average. ©2018 All Hawaii News
The state has sized up the local workforce in a new report that shows Hawaii workers earned less on average compared with workers nationwide, largely because the biggest employment sector here is part of the relatively low-paying tourism industry. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s average labor earnings and wages, in general, are lower than in the rest of the United States, according to a new study released by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism on Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

A study released Thursday by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism shows some jobs related to tourism pay better in Hawaii than on the mainland, but for almost everyone else, the price of paradise is a lower paycheck. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii workers make less than their mainland counterparts in just about every industry, and the average earnings for Hawaii men are nearly $13,000 higher than those for women, according to a new study that further underscores the disparity between what people earn in the islands and what it costs to live here. Hawaii News Now.

Read full Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism jobs report here.

Gender pay gap in Hawaii is $12,921. Tuesday, April 10 is Equal Pay Day, dedicated to raising awareness of the gender pay gap. KITV.

City, state lawmakers mark 'Equal Pay Day'. State lawmakers are also considering a bill that could be a step toward improving equity in the work place. The bill would prohibit the enforcement of wage secrecy, as well as retaliation or discrimination against those who inquire about their or their co-worker's wages. Hawaii News Now.

National study finds Hawaii residents lead longer, healthier lives. The study, done by the Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed death rates by state in 1990 and 2016, as well as the average number of years people live healthy lives. Hawaii News Now.


Legislature Heading to Last 14 Days of Session. Hundreds of bills at the State Legislature passed critical floor votes in the House and Senate today.  But the work is far from over as lawmakers head into the last 14 days of the 2018 session. Hawaii Public Radio.

House lawmakers unanimously approved a bill to ask voters whether the state should be empowered to impose a tax surcharge on investment properties to help fund public education, and also voted Tuesday to impose a new tax on e-­cigarettes. Star-Advertiser.

Tactics To Revive Mauna Kea Bill Leave Even Senators Confused. Recesses in a public floor session to talk privately about the legislative maneuvering slow down “second crossover” day at the Hawaii Capitol. Civil Beat.

The state Senate will vote on two controversial bills affecting Maunakea later this week after making floor amendments on Tuesday. The amendments change the effective date of House bills 1585 and 1985 to Dec. 31, 2033. That’s when the University of Hawaii’s lease for the Maunakea Science Reserve ends. Floor votes are scheduled in the Senate for Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

Minor amendments were inserted into two controversial bills related to Mauna Kea during a floor session of the Hawaii State Senate on Tuesday, setting them up for a final vote in the same chamber on Thursday. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii Lawmakers Say They Want Better Sexual Harassment Rules — Just Not Yet. Legislative leaders say they need to study the issue and consult experts before making any changes. Civil Beat.

A bill that would establish regulations on users of restricted pesticides is on the cusp of being passed into law after the state House unanimously voted to pass it last week. Tribune-Herald.

Bills on Sunscreen, Gun Control, Family Leave Head to Senate before Second Crossover Deadline. Key measures that passed by the House today include a proposed amendment to the State Constitution to fund public education, stricter gun control policies, the establishment of paid family leave, and a ban on sunscreens containing oxybenzone. Maui Now.

Edibles Could Be Coming Soon To Medical Marijuana Dispensaries. Key Hawaii legislators in both chambers also support workplace protections for employees who consume medical cannabis. Civil Beat.

A House Bill that would authorize the issuance of special purpose revenue bonds to assist SpinLaunch Inc., with “the financing of the planning, design, and construction of a satellite launch system”, to be located somewhere in Hawaii, passed the State Senate on Tuesday. Big Island Video News.


Botched Hawaii Missile Alert Prompts Advice On Drills. Avoid using the phrase, “This is not a drill,” the Federal Communications Commission says. Associated Press.

Botched missile alert inspires broad FCC recommendations. The Federal Communications Commission said future ballistic missile warning tests in Hawaii should not include words that hark back to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor — specifically, “This is not a drill.” Star-Advertiser.

The FCC this morning released its full report on the false missile alert in Hawaii, finding a “combination of human error and inadequate safeguards” and issuing a lengthy list of recommendations. Star-Advertiser.

The feds say Hawaii has made strides in strengthening its emergency alert system, but urges more training after the Jan. 13 incoming missile alert that sent Hawaii scurrying for cover. Garden Island.

The FCC has released its final report on January's false missile alert. Among its findings, some people did not get the alert because they were probably in areas known as coverage dead zones. KHON2.


The United States Senate unanimously passed a resolution today honoring the life of retired U.S. Sen. Daniel Kahikina Akaka, who died Friday at the age of 93. Star-Advertiser.

Opiate use among Hawaii workers dropped 50 percent during the first quarter of this year compared with the same time last year, according to workforce drug tests performed by the state’s largest laboratory. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii workforce drug testing results show opiate use down, marijuana use up. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii among the worst states for millennials, report says. WalletHub's "2018's Best & Worst States for Millennials" analysis has ranked Hawaii at No. 38, with a score of 44.61 out of a possible 100 points. Pacific Business News.

Three key military positions affecting the Pacific theater and involving top-ranking Hawaii-based commanders were announced by the Pentagon today. Star-Advertiser.

HECO grid study emphasizes real-time data for alternative energy integration. Pacific Business News.


Council Considers Big Cuts In Honolulu’s Climate Change Office. Voters created the office less than two years ago. Now Council Chair Ernie Martin wants to slice its budget in half. Civil Beat.

A contentious bill that would allow drivers to turn left during rush hour at two key Kapiolani Boulevard intersections on weekdays was vetoed Tuesday by Mayor Kirk Caldwell, an action that could lead to an interesting political showdown. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu is becoming a more bikeable city, but that comes at a price. The city confirms 184 on-street parking spaces have been removed to make way for bike lanes and the new bike share program, known as Biki. Hawaii News Now.

A state lawmaker fell victim to thieves while taking a family photo on a beach in Waikiki. Rep. Kaniela Ing (D, Kihei, Wailea, Makena) is now dealing with thousands of dollars worth of fraudulent debit card charges. KHON2.

High rise residents -- including House Speaker Scott Saiki -- stuck without elevators. KHON2.

The road at Kaena Point State Park has been closed for nearly eight weeks due to rainy weather and the muddy damage caused by off-road vehicles. Star-Advertiser.

A home on Oahu's North Shore is breaking sales records in the area after real estate agents closed a multi-million dollar deal Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

A North Kona park proposed several decades ago could be coming to fruition. Hawaii One1 Investors LLC will construct the first phase of the long-planned park on Laaloa Avenue off Alii Drive as part of its fair-share agreement in exchange for zoning and use permits from Hawaii County. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Community College is looking to redevelop its current Manono Street campus, foregoing costlier options to move to a larger site elsewhere in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

A critical audit of the county Human Resources Department has netted a national award for Legislative Auditor Bonnie Nims and her staff. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County police said police officer Christopher R. Kapua-­Allison’s serv­ice weapon, a 9-mm Glock, was found at the scene of the apparent murder-suicide at his Mountain View house on Sunday. Star-Advertiser.


Maui Ocean Users Sue Land Board Over 400 Foot Seawall. A lawsuit has been filed in Maui’s environmental court over a 400 foot seawall proposed for construction at Kahana Bay in West Maui. Maui Now.

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.

House passes Front Street Apartment bill. Measure puts burden on county to get funds back from developers. Maui News.

Chumbley offers to keep 8th House seat warm. Former state lawmaker says he won’t run in November, leaving spot open for candidates. Maui News.


Chamber supports nene delisting. The federal government might remove nene from the endangered species list and the Kauai Chamber of Commerce is reminding everyone to comment on the proposal before it’s too late. Garden Island.

Study shows Puaiohi’s importance to the Alakai Plateau. Small and aloof, the Puaiohi songbirds of Kauai might stand only a few inches high but they have a big impact on their home ecosystem on the island’s Alakai Plateau. Garden Island.

Kauai’s newest charter school has received 113 student applications for the 2018-2019 school year. Garden Island.


Four Seasons Resort Lanai has launched a daily private air charter service for hotel guests traveling from Honolulu, the resort announced Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

The ultraluxury resort on Lanai announced Tuesday that it has started its own charter flight service for guests traveling between Honolulu and the Four Seasons Resort Lanai. Star-Advertiser.

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