Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Senate president's son now a lobbyist, vacation rentals eat into hotel profits, BLT Steak restaurant in Trump Tower cited by Health Department, dead baby humpback washes up off Kauai, national parks reopen, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Trump International Hotel Waikiki ©2019 All Hawaii News
Hotel units drop as vacation rental units fuel growth. Hawaii’s visitor accommodation units grew just a smidge in 2018 with growth in vacation rentals and timeshares offsetting a dip in the state’s larger supply of traditional lodging. Star-Advertiser.

The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii has hired the son of Senate President Ron Kouchi as its new assistant vice president for government affairs and alliances, which some at the state Capitol fear could mean trouble this year for proposals to increase Hawaii’s minimum wage. Star-Advertiser.

House Speaker Scott Saiki says he works well with Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald despite tension over court decisions that sparked a turf fight between the two branches. Civil Beat.

"Tax Season" started Monday. It's the first big test of the state's new "E-Filing" system. The upgrade to the tax department's website is intended to make it quicker to file, and should make it easier for the state to track people who don't pay their taxes. KITV.

A bill that would allow restaurant owners to decide whether dogs are allowed on their premises has been introduced at the Hawaii State Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

A House bill introduced this session aims to arm student journalists in Hawaii’s public high schools with greater First Amendment protections. Civil Beat.

Representative Roy M. Takumi, Chair of the House Consumer Protection and Commerce Committee, introduced a package of bills in an effort to protect consumers. KHON2.

Lawmaker proposing no down payment on a home for returning kamaaina. KHON2.

The effort to control non-native species in Hawaii was dealt a significant setback by the 35-day partial shutdown of the federal government. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

East Honolulu voters might learn today or Wednesday when and how they’ll cast a vote for their City Council member, City Clerk Glen Takahashi said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

The upcoming Special Election for the Honolulu City Council District 4 seat has not been scheduled. But the candidates aren’t waiting to go back on the campaign trail. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Honolulu City Council is now required to temporarily fill the City Council District 4 seat left vacant after the Hawaii Supreme Court invalidated Trevor Ozawa's win over Tommy Waters. KITV.

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The state Office of Planning's Coastal Zone Management Program is developing comprehensive high-resolution Tsunami Design Zone maps for the Island of Oahu. KHON2.

Officials with the city climate office toured the island over the past few months to spread public awareness of the issue and gather feedback on ways to reduce emissions. Civil Beat.

Over the past decade, crime against the elderly on Oahu has shot up 300 percent. Hawaii News Now.

A Hawaii Kai man sued the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Monday along with several other DLNR law enforcement officers over an aggressive boat seizure in 2017. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Disability Treatment Center For Kids Will Close. Civil Beat.

State health inspectors have issued a yellow placard to an upscale steak house at Trump International Hotel in Waikiki after finding a number of serious violations. Hawaii News Now.

A $70 million 120-bed home veterans home planned for about seven acres of a 26-acre state-owned parcel across from the Walmart store in Kapolei must choose a general contractor by March to meet Veterans Administration deadlines or risk losing nearly two-thirds of the project’s federal funding. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park returned to normal operations Monday after more than a month of partial closures during the shutdown of the federal government. Tribune-Herald.

The possibility of creating a future Hawaiian cultural and/or educational center somewhere on the higher elevations of Mauna Kea was discussed during a recent informational briefing at the Capitol. Big Island Video News.

State Senators are hoping to pass a bill this legislative session that will establish a Hawaii Airports Corporation, as lawmakers question some of the issues at Hilo International Airport. Big Island Video News.

As little fire ants continue to swarm West Hawaii, the state inches closer to fortifying permanent reinforcements to combat the invasive species on the Big Island’s leeward side. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Park services at Haleakala getting back to normal after shutdown. Visitors center back in business; Pools of Oheo also open. Maui News.

Hilton Grand Vacations has started construction at the Maui Bay Villas, with work on the first phase slated for completion in the first quarter of 2021. Maui Now.

Kauai

A whale was reported dead on the beach in Kekaha Monday morning. Garden Island.

Five whale sightings reported at Princeville. Garden Island.

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