Thursday, January 24, 2019

Ige proposes hikes in gas, vehicle taxes; state GOP wants tax exemptions for food and medicine; Honolulu City Council advances bus fare hikes; Hawaii open-carry law in federal court, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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2011 file photo pumping gas in Hilo ©2019 All Hawaii News
Gov. David Ige’s administration is proposing increases in the state gasoline tax, weight tax and vehicle registration fees to collect an extra $40 million a year for road maintenance and other highway projects. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Makes Lt. Gov Green Point Man On Homeless. Governor David Ige is officially giving Lieutenant Governor Josh Green a greater role in dealing with the difficult issue of homelessness in Hawaii, as Green had hoped he would. Big Island Video News.

Republicans propose tax exemptions on food, medical services, feminine hygiene products. The measure, HB 610, would exempt certain foods, medical services, and feminine hygiene products from the General Excise Tax. Representative Lauren Matsumoto says dozens of states already have similar tax exemptions so it's about time Hawaii does too. KHON2.

The governor is proposing to raise the minimum wage in Hawaii to $15 an hour by 2024, while offering small businesses tax credits to offset the increase. Under the governor’s plan, the current minimum wage of $10.10 an hour would go up to $11 in 2020 and then increase by $1 annually through 2024. Hawaii News Now.

New bill would allow schools to ask for donations for facilities. That means schools can ask businesses, companies or even private donors for money to foot the bill. In exchange, the donor could have their name or product placement visible. KHON2.

State Improperly Shared Unsubstantiated Reports Of Child Abuse For Years. Federal officials have told the Hawaii Department of Human Services to stop using the reports outside of child abuse investigations. Civil Beat.

George K. Young Jr., Continues His Quest To Open Carry Firearms. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in July that Hawaii’s law to carry firearms is unconstitutional. The State and Hawaii County have petitioned the Court to reconsider. Hawaii Public Radio.

TSA agents at Hawaii airports are starting to turn in their resignations. The burden of working with no pay has gotten to be too much for some federal workers impacted by the ongoing government shutdown, now in its 33rd day. Hawaii News Now.

Hardships faced by Hawaii's TSA employees. Because of the shutdown, homes, health and even their very jobs may hang in the balance for Hawaii workers with the Transportation Security Administration. KITV.

What Kai Kahele's Bid for Congress Means for the Neighbor Islands. If elected, Kahele would be the first neighbor island resident to represent the second congressional district, which is made up primarily of the neighbor islands. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

The City Council Budget Committee on Wednesday adopted a proposal by Chairwoman Ann Kobayashi that would increase the single-ride bus fare to $3 from $2.75, the one-day pass fare to $6 from $5.50, monthly passes to $80 from $70, and annual passes to $880 from $770. Star-Advertiser.

Police Commission Opts For Public Hearings In Former Chief’s Case. Louis Kealoha says he needs taxpayer help to pay for his criminal defense lawyers. Civil Beat.

Police commissioners blast city legal team for ‘breathtakingly’ bad advice. The chair and vice chair of the Honolulu Police Commission — both of them experienced attorneys — complained Wednesday about poor legal advice the body received from the city’s office of Corporation Counsel when it was led by Donna Leong. Hawaii News Now.

Former Police Chief Wants Taxpayers To Cover His Criminal Defense. Louis Kealoha already has a federal public defender but now wants the city to provide legal help, too. Civil Beat.

More charges may be filed against members of sovereignty group who stormed OHA. Hawaii News Now.

Proposed West Oahu wind farm gets voted down at neighborhood board meetings. West Oahu residents speak out against proposed wind farm project. KITV.

Inquiry prompts Airbnb to remove Hawaii mobile vacation rental listings. Airbnb has removed all mobile vacation rental listings in Hawaii from its online hosting site. Star-Advertiser.

DLNR finds a dead honu, fish in abandoned lay net along an Oahu shore. Hawaii News Now.

Prospects to save the Falls of Clyde at Honolulu Harbor appear to be sinking as another deal for a lift ship to transport it back to Scotland, originally anticipated to take place in early February, fell through. Star-Advertiser.

All Nippon Airways this spring will begin offering passengers on its Tokyo-Honolulu routes a chance to fly on the world’s largest passenger plane, which has 520 seats. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Nature Conservancy survey finds Hawaii island reefs recovering. Star-Advertiser.

The purchase of a large Ka'u tract for conservation might take more time as Hawaii County seeks to set aside 25 acres for a wastewater treatment plant. Tribune-Herald.

Evidence tampering, assaults against youth and other allegations of misconduct were among a disciplinary report submitted to the state Legislature by the Hawaii Police Department. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii County Council gave final approval Wednesday to bills adding disaster recovery projects to the capital budget.Tribune-Herald.

Maui

As Hurricane Lane Approached, Some Boats Had Nowhere To Escape. Tour boat operators say they were “blindsided” when state harbor officials barred them from taking shelter in commercial ports — a change from years past. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige wants to return to the old formula of giving the counties a straight percentage of the hotel room tax, instead of setting a cap that has long been a sore point for Maui County officials. Maui News.

A management plan is being developed for 244 acres of land at Honolua Bay and Lipoa Point in West Maui. The land was acquired by the state from Maui Land & Pineapple Inc. in 2014, in an effort to preserve the area in perpetuity. Maui Now.

Equipped with park guidelines, maps and other information, Friends of Haleakala National Park volunteers spent last weekend at the summit in an effort to help protect the park. Maui News.

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino will be the featured guest speaker at the LahainaTown Action Committee’s annual meeting on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019 at 5 p.m. at the Pioneer Inn Courtyard. Maui Now.

Kauai

Anini Beach will be getting lifeguards. The Kauai County Council on Wednesday approved funding for three new lifeguard positions to address safety concerns at North Shore beaches crowded with visitors during the winter season. Garden Island.

World’s Biggest Solar Power Plant Relies On A Flock Of Sheep. The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative is far ahead of the statewide schedule for conversion to alternative energy sources for producing electricity. Civil Beat.

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