Thursday, January 17, 2019

Minimum wage, elections, recession preparation highlighted in opening day of Legislature, Ige names new DBEDT and Agriculture chiefs, federal shutdown could slow down Kealoha trial, lava recovery, Lihue post office to remain open, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Senate Majority
Opening day of the Hawaii Legislature PC:Senate Majority
Lawmakers plan initiatives on minimum wage, elections in new session. Lobbyists, lawmakers and activists have been busy for weeks, but the Hawaii state Legislature officially opened Wednesday morning with chant, hula, prayers and song, and also some speeches that hinted at political tensions at the state Capitol. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers gathering for the first day of a new legislative session said Wednesday they will consider raising the state’s minimum wage. Associated Press.

Lawmakers convened Wednesday for the 30th Hawaii Legislature, with representatives from both sides of the aisle vowing to avoid the divisiveness that’s defined national politics. Hawaii News Now.

The 30th legislative session opened Wednesday and lawmakers say they're ready to prepare Hawaii for what lies ahead. Many are preparing for a recession and a minimum wage increase. KHON2.

State Senate president: The time is now to prepare for a recession in 2020. Hawaii News Now.

Saiki Examines Economic Divide in Opening Day Remarks. Maui Now.

Budget Hawk Sylvia Luke: ‘I Try To Know More Than Them’. The House Finance Committee chair can be fearsome in budget briefings. She’s also not afraid to dive deep into state money matters, like the $3 billion tucked away in special funds. Civil Beat.

Gov. Ige’s Administrative Director Is Now Also His Chief Of Staff. Ford Fuchigami will have dual roles in the governor’s office, and former Chief of Staff Mike McCartney has been picked to lead the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Civil Beat.

Mike McCartney, who has served as Gov. David Ige’s chief of staff since 2014, will take over as the new director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Star-Advertiser.

Hundreds are expected to gather at Iolani Palace on Thursday to commemorate 126 years since the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii. The overthrow happened on Jan. 17, 1893. Hawaii News Now.


Legal experts say all city leaders should be concerned if they had dealings with the growing number of people suspected of various crimes related to a widening public corruption investigation. They say even Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell should be worried. Hawaii News Now.

Federal Shutdown Claims New Victim: Katherine Kealoha’s Right To A Fair Trial. With her federally funded attorney not getting paid and other expenses on hold, Kealoha wants her trial postponed. Civil Beat.

Former deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha is asking the court to postpone her upcoming federal trial because of the federal government shutdown. Star-Advertiser.

Katherine Kealoha claims government shutdown is impinging on 'rights to a fair trial'. KHON2.

The partial government shutdown is shutting down Katherine Kealoha's right to a fair trial. Her federally funded lawyer, Cynthia Kagiwada, said she's not getting paid by the government meaning no money for attorneys, witnesses, paralegals, or investigators. KITV.

The $250,000 paid out to then police chief Louis Kealoha came from HPD's budget. KHON2.


A “silent march” in support of federal employees who aren’t getting paid during the partial government shutdown is planned at Honolulu airport this morning, a union official said. Star-Advertiser.

Silent march planned at HNL airport to protest government shutdown. Hawaii News Now.

The four-story industrial building-turned-homeless hub in Iwilei has had 578 visits through Tuesday since opening on Jan. 8. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu’s new rest stop for the homeless is already proving its value. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii real estate investment firm Alexander & Baldwin Inc. has used some of the proceeds from selling its former Maui sugar plantation lands to buy two warehouse buildings in Kapolei. Star-Advertiser.

Alexander & Baldwin Inc. has purchased two industrial warehouse buildings in Kapolei for $40 million, the first acquisition financed by the Hawaii real estate investment trust’s $262 million sale of former sugar plantation land on Maui. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Thirty patients lined up Wednesday morning to await the opening of the first medical marijuana dispensary on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

As part of its recovery from the Kilauea eruption, Hawaii County is seeking more than half a billion dollars in federal disaster relief and economic aid. But state civil defense officials say some of the money is now being held up by the partial government shutdown in Washington, D.C. Hawaii News Now.

The county is suing a Hawi vacation rental ranch following more than two years of neighbor complaints over weddings, concerts and events being held there without a permit. West Hawaii Today.

Group buys 55 calves from Big Island Dairy in effort to find them forever homes. Tribune-Herald.


Haleakala National Park rangers have issued a reminder to the public that they are enforcing all regulations during the lapse in appropriated funds. Maui Now.

New veterans center plans move forward on Molokai. Some say second center not needed, others say it will save trip to town. Maui News.


Lihue Post Office will remain open after longtime efforts to consolidate operations. A historic post office on Kauai that the U.S. Postal Service slated to shut down will remain open, according to a USPS spokesman. Star-Advertiser.

The Lihue post office on Rice Street will be staying put. Duke Gonzales, spokesman for the United States Postal Service, confirmed the change in course on Wednesday. Garden Island.

The U.S. Postal Service will not relocate the Lihue Post Office. Initial plans to move the office from its Rice Street location to the Lihue Carrier Annex were met by opposition from the community. KITV.


New veterans center plans move forward on Molokai. Some say second center not needed, others say it will save trip to town. Maui News.

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