Monday, January 21, 2019

Paying for climate change, state sells affordable housing cheaply, delays and cost overruns plague Oahu jail, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Fighting Climate Change Will Cost The State Millions. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources says money is urgently needed to protect beaches, watersheds, native species and more. Civil Beat.

Experts in climate change say Hawaii needs to plan now for rising sea levels. Star-Advertiser.

The shortfall in Hawaii’s largest public pension fund climbed to an all-time high of $13.41 billion last year and is expected to keep rising until 2024. It will take 25 years, until June 30, 2043, before the pension is 100 percent funded. Star-Advertiser.

Reforms to end corporate tax loopholes in Hawaii could reduce lost tax revenue and bring in an additional $38 million to the state, according to a new report released on Friday by The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Maui Now.

State officials recently agreed to sell a collection of low-income housing to a private developer for less than originally planned, after an examination of the more than 1,200 rental homes showed a need for substantial renovations. Star-Advertiser.

New proposal would ban hotel guests in Hawaii to bring firearms or ammunition into rooms. There are no state laws making it illegal for hotel guests to have guns and ammunition in their rooms, says state Representative Tom Brower. KHON2.

Hawaii legislators introduce measures to protect sharks, rays. West Hawaii Today.

Rooftop solar installations increased 5.3 percent in 2018 across the five islands served by Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light. Pacific Business News.

Commentary: Good intention trapped in an outdated local style. This week, Hawaii Congressman Ed Case caused a kerfuffle when, while speaking at a gathering of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote Celebration, he described himself as an “Asian trapped in a white body.” Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

A long-delayed project to replace the locks, video surveillance systems and other electronics in the Halawa Correctional Facility has turned into a multimillion-dollar headache for prison officials after work stalled because of problems with two subcontractors. Star-Advertiser.

Government Shutdown Won’t Stall Kealoha Trial. A federal judge on Friday said he would guarantee that all attorneys and expert witnesses would be paid for their services. Civil Beat.

Labor Board: Police Chief Did Nothing Wrong When She Transferred SHOPO President. It was OK for Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard to publicly explain why she felt it necessary to reassign Tenari Maafala and other union officials. Civil Beat.

Council member Heidi Tsuneyoshi has a plan to help bring tax relief to Oahu's overburdened residents. Bill 3 would increase the basic property tax exemption from $80,000 to $100,000. KHON2.

The U.S. Marine Corps will be conducting urban training exercises in multiple locations on Oahu starting Sunday. Hawaii News Now.

A rental housing complex in Hawaii Kai has been partially converted into condominiums following purchase of the nearly 3-year-old complex by a local development firm. Star-Advertiser.

Volunteers expect to hand out emergency bags of food Tuesday to 150-300 federal workers on Oahu affected by the partial federal government shutdown. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii State Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by a woman ordered to pay a fine for abandoning kittens at a park. Hawaii News Now.

There is a state law against sleeping in your vehicle on public streets at night, but that hasn’t stopped at least one Oahu host from parking a former car rental shuttle he turned into a mobile vacation rental, dubbed Hippie Bus Hawaii, in front of Kapiolani Park and selling beds with an ocean view. Star-Advertiser.

It’s a treasure trove of ancient Hawaiian history in West Oahu. But a bureaucratic standoff is threatening to derail its preservation. Hawaii News Now.

A group of researchers at UH Manoa has received a $10.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study microbiomes, or the community of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi and viruses, that live everywhere, and their impact on human health. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

It sounds too good to be true: A national law firm wants to sue Big Pharma on behalf of Hawaii County in a no-risk deal that has the county paying nothing if it loses, but sharing in any damage awards if it wins or settles. West Hawaii Today.

A state health official told legislators Thursday prescriptions written for opioid pain relievers in Hawaii have declined over the last four years. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii County Mayor’s legislative package – a $155 million appropriation request for Kilauea Volcano eruption disaster relief and recovery – has been submitted to the state legislature. House Bill 184 and Senate Bill 166 have been introduced as the 2019 legislative session gets underway. Big Island Video News.

First-line supervisors remain a priority for law enforcement during discussions with the county on additional budget needs for the upcoming fiscal year, officials told police commissioners last week. Tribune-Herald.

Missing drugs, assault of a juvenile suspect, and false violations on traffic tickets. That's among the low-lights of the past year at the Big Island Police Department. KHON2.

Volunteers needed for PIT Count of county homeless. West Hawaii Today.

A project to renovate several properties in Keaukaha may be able to proceed after a state environmental assessment was published earlier this month. Tribune-Herald.

Elite Pacific Properties has acquired Boundless Hawaii, a Big Island vacation home and property management company. Pacific Business News.

Maui

Queen Kaahumanu Center ramping up security measures. MPD foot patrols, more cameras, more personnel among the steps taken in wake of criminal attacks. Maui News.

Despite a fractured national movement and march cancellations around the country, including on Oahu, the Women’s March on Maui moved forward Saturday morning. Maui News.

Kauai

Hospitals revamp menus to utilize locally grown foods. The Hawaii Health Systems Corporation Kauai Region will treat residents and staff to the results of its food and nutrition program that focuses on increasing scratch-cooked, local food in its facilities that includes Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital and the Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital. Garden Island.

The state Commission on Water Resource Management is holding statewide open hearings to solicit input on its update to the statewide Water Resource Protection Plan. On Kauai, the meeting is scheduled for Feb. 5, starting at 6 p.m. at the Lihue Civic Center Moikeha Building first-floor conference room. Garden Island.

A Kauai park with ties to Russia is stirring up an international name dilemma. The Russian ambassador and Russian Americans are fighting to preserve the name of Russian Fort Elizabeth in Kauai’s west side town of Waimea. Hawaii News Now.

Powering Up on Kauai. Kauai's electrical utility has a different history from the rest of the islands and different opportunities. Hawaii Public Radio.

A new method of parking enforcement is set to hit Princeville’s streets in early February, a vehicle-immobilization device called the Barnacle that covers the windshield instead of using a conventional boot on the wheel. Garden Island.

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