Friday, January 4, 2019

Ige appoints Connors as attorney general, Honolulu officer cooperating with feds in police corruption case, Maui's new mayor takes office, Big Island water bottling plant unpopular, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Governor's Office
Attorney General appointee Clare Connors with Gov. David Ige PC:Governor's Office
Gov. David Ige has appointed Clare Connors, a prominent local attorney and experienced litigator, to serve as Hawaii’s next attorney general, replacing Russell Suzuki. Star-Advertiser.

Governor’s pick for attorney general is longtime litigator — who sometimes targeted state. Hawaii News Now.

Former assistant U.S. attorney picked to be Hawaii's new attorney general. KHON2.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige Thursday appointed Clare Connors as the state’s new attorney general. Pacific Business News.

Governor David Ige today announced the appointment of Clare Connors to be the attorney general of the State of Hawaii, subject to Senate confirmation. Big Island Video News.

Gov. David Ige press release on appointment of Clare Connors as attorney general can be found here.

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‘I Feel The Energy’: Ed Case Returns To Congress. The Hawaii congressman is back in office after more than a decade. But things are very different. Civil Beat.

A key lawmaker Thursday accused the state Department of Education of lying about the size of the statewide backlog of repair and maintenance projects at Hawaii public schools. The DOE told lawmakers in January 2018 that the school repair and maintenance backlog was $293 million as of 2017, which was a significant drop from $392 million in 2010. However, later in the year DOE notified some lawmakers that the true backlog was $868 million. Star-Advertiser.

If You Thought Legislature Would Bury The Hatchet With Ige, Think Again. The House Finance Committee chair questions the trustworthiness and organizational structure of the governor’s administration. Civil Beat.

43 pedestrians died on Hawaii roadways in 2018. That’s more than the number killed in vehicles. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii cannabis advocates hope to work with state to set rules for hemp. While the federal government did pass the Farm Bill on December 20 making hemp and its products legal, there's still some confusion over how the state should set rules for this crop. KITV.

There’s a high probability an El Nino will form and persist through the winter and spring, bringing with it threats to corals and farming concerns as well as an increased risk of wildfires. West Hawaii Today.

Honolulu-based electric utility Hawaiian Electric Cos. Thursday said it submitted the contracts for seven new solar-plus-storage projects across its service territory to the state Public Utilities Commission for review. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

A Honolulu officer charged in the corruption case targeting Honolulu’s former police chief and his wife plans to change his plea to guilty. It’s a major development that could prove pivotal to prosecutors. Hawaii News Now.

One of the police officers indicted in a public corruption case involving former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, Katherine, has indicated he wants to change his plea. KHON2.

A Honolulu police sergeant charged in a corruption-related investigation targeting the department’s former chief and his former prosecutor wife is pleading guilty. Star-Advertiser.

The attorney for the Big Island firefighter wrapped up in the Kealoha conspiracy case said recent news stories about his client and the explicit messages he reportedly sent Katherine Kealoha are "salacious" and "irrelevant." KITV.

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A Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board committee Thursday recommended approval of a $7.5 million change order to settle a delay claim made by the company hired to build the rail project’s three Waipahu stations. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Is Short On Cops — And Seattle Is Poaching. Mainland police departments are making it easy for rookie and veteran officers to relocate. With 246 vacancies, the HPD may start doing the same. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Council concerned after multiple recruits fired from Honolulu Fire Department. KHON2.

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The City and County of Honolulu is expanding its park security initiative to Windward Oahu and the North Shore. Starting Friday, crews will add locks to parking lots and comfort stations at 18 parks in an effort to prevent vandalism. Hawaii News Now.

Starting tonight, 59 city parks will be locked at night to curtail vandalism and illegal homeless activity. Star-Advertiser.

In the continuing effort to secure park facilities island-wide, the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is expanding its securing parks initiative to District IV, including Windward Oahu and the North Shore (from Makapuu to Mokuleia). KHON2.

City expands securing parks initiative to 18 more parks. The initiative began in April 2018 with 25 parks in the urban Honolulu area. KITV.

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The president and CEO of Damien Memorial School is out after the institution’s owners cited conflicts in leadership style. Hawaii News Now.

Damien Memorial School announced today the appointment of Brother Brian M. Walsh to serve as president, replacing Wes Porter, who was the school’s leader the past 2-1/2 years. Star-Advertiser.

Sixth Howard Hughes condo goes on sale. The Koula condo tower will have 565 units and sit adjacent to the new Victoria Ward Park, where a pop-up LED flower garden now resides, on Auahi Street. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

The Windward Planning Commission postponed action on a proposed bottling plant near Wailoa River State Recreation Area to a future meeting, but that didn’t stop dozens of Big Island residents from testifying against it during the panel’s Thursday meeting. Tribune-Herald.

Water protectors, environmentalists, and supporters of the new organization, Extinction Rebellion, spoke out against an application for a Special Management Area Use Permit to develop a potable water well and bottling facility in Hilo. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is being partially staffed during the federal government shutdown thanks to a little help from its friends. Tribune-Herald.

Retired Hawaii physician Charman J. Akina has donated 135 acres of land in South Kona to The Nature Conservancy that will provide habitat for rare native wildlife and plants. Star-Advertiser.

Maui

In his first day on the job, new Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino went to work announcing that landfills will once again open on Sundays and that his office will convene groups addressing Native Hawaiian culture and economic diversity and bringing together environmentalists and the hospitality industry. Maui News.

Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino took the oath of office on Wednesday morning from 2nd Circuit Chief Judge Joseph Cardoza, with First Lady Joycelyn Victorino, other family members, Maui County Council members and dignitaries looking on. Maui Now.

The new Maui County Council elected Kelly King as chairwoman, Keani Rawlins-Fernandez as vice chairwoman and Tasha Kama as presiding officer pro tempore during the council’s first meeting of the term on Wednesday. Maui News.

Featuring several new faces and a majority of women for the first time, the Maui County Council officially took office on Wednesday. Maui News.

Kauai

Mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami signed a sixth supplementary emergency proclamation on Thursday for the County of Kauai, extending the emergency relief period for damages sustained during the April flooding. Garden Island.

Hawaii officials are planning to issue additional permits and extend the six-month trial period of pig hunting in a mountain area on Kauai. Associated Press.

Chipper Wichman, who has served as a backbone for the National Tropical Botanical Garden for 15 years, is turning over the position of chief executive officer and director to someone else. Garden Island.