Monday, December 17, 2018

Assisted dying law kicks in Jan. 1, Honolulu rail costs climb, legislators pan Ige homeless plan, audit clears Mauna Kea management, Hanabusa, Gabbard look to future, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Preparing For Hawaii’s New Medical Aid In Dying Law. The state estimates around 40 people will use the new law to seek medical assistance to end their lives next year. Civil Beat.

Health care industry prepares for ‘Our Care, Our Choice Act’ New law that takes effect Jan. 1 will allow terminal patients to end their lives. Maui News.

University of Hawaii economists are forecasting that the state’s expansion has more room to run, but their outlook for the Asia-Pacific region is less rosy in the wake of the U.S.-Chinese trade war and a weakening global environment. Star-Advertiser.

Ige Releases $17.3 Million For ‘Ohana Zones’ On Oahu And Big Island. Counties and nonprofits will use the money to build permanent housing for the homeless and create more shelter space. Civil Beat.

Legislators pan governor’s $17M plan for homeless ‘ohana zones’. Just ahead of a deadline, the governor on Friday announced plans to spend millions of dollars on so-called “ohana zones” for Oahu and Big Island homeless residents. But legislators who set aside $30 million for the special zones say the governor isn’t doing enough. Hawaii News Now.

Timeshare visitors to Hawaii decreased in the third quarter, and occupancy was flat, according to the Hawaii Timeshare Quarterly Report released Friday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Star-Advertiser.

Tulsi Gabbard’s birthplace could create political fodder in national campaign. Gabbard needed only one of her parents to be a U.S. citizen to gain automatic citizenship. But the question, if she’s to run for president, is not whether she is a citizen, but whether she’s a “natural-­born citizen,” the definition of which is a matter of legal debate. Star-Advertiser.

Hanabusa reflects on time in Congress, talks future in politics. During both of Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa’s stints in the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats have been the minority party. As she wraps up her time in Washington, there’s one key lesson learned: relationships matter. KITV.

Seven of the 76 confirmed cases of large whale entanglements documented along U.S. coasts in 2017 were in Hawaii waters, and all seven involved humpback whales, according to a recent report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as whale season in the state gets underway. Star-Advertiser.

Study: Chuukese Patients In Hawaii Often Face Discrimination. Micronesian patients face language and cultural barriers when seeking medical care, and are far less likely to have insurance coverage. Civil Beat.

Hawaii cuts price for state's affordable housing portfolio by $40M. Pacific Business News.


Oahu voters resoundingly rejected a proposed charter amendment that would have made it easier for the Honolulu rail authority to conduct its business, and one member of the rail board says the election loss was a sign that there is “no public trust in our organization.” Star-Advertiser.

The Cost Of Honolulu Rail’s Westside Stations Keeps Going Up. HART had boasted of savings from its decision to build the nine stations three at a time. But those savings have disappeared. Civil Beat.

Civil Beat Law Center Files To Unseal Secret Kealoha Court Documents. Even if the documents refer to Katherine Kealoha’s medical condition, other information should be made public, the center says. Civil Beat.

Defense attorneys question cases prosecuted by deputies facing federal corruption probe. The attorney for convicted murderer Dae Han Moon sent a letter to the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office on Friday, requesting information about the federal public corruption investigation that has widened to include the prosecutor’s office. Hawaii News Now.

HECO customers see big spike on their bills. Some residential electric customers on Oahu got sticker shock when they opened their power bills over the last few months. A few even claim their bills doubled or tripled between October and December. Hawaii News Now.

An owner of a Canadian thrill-ride company wants to build an aerial tramway and a zip line in the hills above Waialua as part of an “agribusiness” on land zoned for agriculture. Star-Advertiser.

Affordable Home/Studio Rentals. For Artists. In Kaka'ako. Wha?! Hawaii Public Radio.

Hanauma Bay reopens after bacteria levels in the water return to normal levels. KHON2.

Kamehameha Schools plans to build a community learning center in Nanakuli next year, with educational programs focused on teens and young adults. Star-Advertiser.

Two Windward churches that began hosting monthly fairs this year to attract homeless people in their communities have seen dramatically different results, underscoring the complexities of addressing island homelessness. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

A financial audit to be presented to the University of Hawaii Board of Regents found no irregularities in how the various entities involved in use and management of Maunakea lands account for their revenue and expenses. Tribune-Herald.

A proposed ballot measure reducing the county land fund from a minimum of 2 percent of property tax revenues to a minimum of 1 percent was advanced Friday by the Charter Commission, over objections from fund supporters. West Hawaii Today.

HELCO Proposes Rate Increase Of 3.4%. The power utility says grid modernization, storm resilience, and renewable energy work are driving costs up. Big Island Video News.

HPM could be first to take advantage of redevelopment bill. Tribune-Herald.

HI-SEAS 2.0: Mauna Loa dome to get re-purposed for moon simulations. A small dome on the slopes of Mauna Loa used for the past five years as a NASA-funded Mars simulation is being given a new mission. Tribune-Herald.

Group offers $10,000 for Ireland case DNA testing. A retired judge and his group has offered $10,000 to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney to have genetic genealogical research performed on DNA left on a key piece of evidence in the Dana Ireland murder case. Tribune-Herald.

Round the clock security ends at HOPE Services campus in Kona. West Hawaii Today.


Two hotly debated bills for a community plan amendment and parking lot project at the north end of Keawakapu Beach have passed the first of two readings, and now the measures are en route to a public hearing before final action by the Maui County Council. Maui News.

A county-state land exchange paving the way for Maui County to build a new bus hub near Sears in Kahului passed on first reading Thursday. Maui News.


Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami reflects on first two weeks in office. It's been 2 weeks since Derek Kawakami took on the role of Mayor of Kauai. Kawakami succeed Mayor Bernard Carvalho, who reached his term limit. KHON2.

The county is seeking volunteers to assist with an annual count of the area’s homeless population in January. Garden Island.

Mauna Kea Trask, who served as county attorney from December 2014 to November 2018, has joined a new firm on Kauai. Garden Island.

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