Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Rail work approaches Ala Moana, Katherine Kealoha resigns as deputy prosecutor, ethics complaint filed against Caldwell, Japan Airlines' Kona stop successful, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Aerial view of construction near the North Nimitz Highway to H1 Interstate merge, April 2018. PC: Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit
Rail construction begins between Middle Street and Ala Moana Center. Rail disruptions will be moving deeper into the city as crews start a four-year, $400-million project to relocate utility lines in the city center section. Hawaii News Now.

Middle Street-to-Ala Moana phase of rail project moving ahead. The roughly 100 people attending tonight’s Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation meeting heard the message loud and clear from rail officials and their contractors: “We’re coming.” Star-Advertiser.

Teachers’ proposal would require hefty hike in property taxes. The union representing Hawaii’s public school teachers is arguing that a state tax on second homes valued at more than $1 million could bring in $200 million to $400 million in new revenue for public schools that could be used to raise teacher salaries, enhance classrooms, support special education and maybe even fund public preschools. Star-Advertiser.

Innovative New Program Plugs Some Holes In Mental Health Care System. A new network of providers and social workers is teaming up to get mental health patients the treatment they need. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness conducted its quarterly meeting today and provided updated plans. Hawaii Public Radio.

The state is warning consumers of a social media scheme in which the scammers are posing as Stephen Levins, executive director of the Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection. Star-Advertiser.


Katherine Kealoha Resigns From Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office. She and her husband, former Police Chief Louis Kealoha, face their first trial on bank fraud charges in November. Civil Beat.

Katherine Kealoha resigns as deputy prosecutor. She and her husband, former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha, are fighting federal charges in what could become one of the biggest public corruption trials in state history. Star-Advertiser.

Ex-police chief's deputy prosecutor wife resigns as corruption trial nears. Hawaii News Now.

Katherine Kealoha resigned as deputy prosecutor with the City and County of Honolulu Monday. KHON2.

Katherine Kealoha resigns as Honolulu Deputy Prosecutor. KITV.


Resident files complaint against mayor over education tax lobbying. A Makakilo resident filed a complaint with the city Ethics Commission alleging that Mayor Kirk Caldwell overstepped his authority by asking chairmen of the city’s 33 neighborhood boards to put discussion on a controversial constitutional amendment on their agendas, offering his opposition on the issue and then suggesting that they invite a political action committee to speak on it. Star-Advertiser.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii said a recent federal court decision could spell trouble for two bills before the Honolulu City Council that make it illegal to obstruct or “lodge” on sidewalks and other public property, as well as existing ordinances that target the homeless. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii high school students tapped to fill medical assistant shortage. Hawaii Pacific Health has teamed up with Kapiolani Community College and five public high schools to launch an innovative program to train students as medical assistants during their senior year. Star-Advertiser.

The number of luxury homes on Oahu selling for $1.5 million and above rose 15 percent last month compared to the same month last year, although the median price of those homes declined by 8 percent, according to an analysis by Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

In its first year of service between Tokyo and Kailua-Kona, Japan Airlines’ daily flights were responsible for injecting $73.49 million in visitor spending into the Big Island, generating $8.58 million in state tax revenue, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Pacific Business News.

Salary Commission still irked at charter amendment oversight. How involved should the public be in determining government salaries? West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii County Salary Commission met in the Hilo Council Chambers on Monday to consider proposals for adjustments to future salaries of county executives and elected officials. Big Island Video News.

Closing of Pahoa lava shelter a bittersweet moment for volunteers, staff. Tribune-Herald.

Shelter that housed hundreds of eruption evacuees closes after four months. KHON2.

The process of reopening Highway 137 to Pohoiki began Monday after county officials and private contractors visited the lava-covered roadway. Tribune-Herald.

Lava upsurge dies down; naming the fissure heats up. A state board has received its first application recommending a name and expects a second application soon as part of a process that will involve Hawaiian elders, competing proposals and possibly a public meeting in Puna to determine what to call the roughly 100-foot-tall cinder cone that began as one of 24 cracks in the ground emitting lava and at times spouted magma more than 200 feet high. Star-Advertiser.

Overuse of the historic Waipio Valley and an effort to sell much of the land have created an uncertain future for the hearty people who live, work and play here. Civil Beat.


Former Maui police officer gets probation for his role in bribery scheme. Walter Ahuna was sentenced Monday to three years probation with six months of home confinement. Ahuna is accused of helping two other former police officers, Anthony Maldonado and Chase Keliipaakaua, in their effort to get a victim to withdraw his complaint. KHON2.

Haleakala National Park will begin accepting applications for guided astronomy and hiking tour Commercial Use Authorizations, valid for up to two years. Maui Now.


Andria Tupola, Republican candidate for governor of Hawaii, is on Kauai for a two-day campaign swing. Garden Island.

Kauai flush with films. “We started out this year with Disney’s ‘Jungle Cruise’ and we’re getting ready to start with the ‘Fast and the Furious’ offshoot — ‘Hobbs and Shaw,’” said Randy Francisco, Kauai film commissioner. “So with 2018, we’ll have these two bookend blockbusters.” Garden Island.

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