Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Interim Honolulu councilman chosen, LoPresti challenges state Senate election results, Southwest Airlines closer to Hawaii route, Big Island council advances tax hike, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Surfing Waikiki PC: Tor Johnson Hawaii Tourism Authority
State lawmakers consider commission to tie surfing back to its Hawaiian roots. Has the sport of surfing strayed from its roots? A State Surfing Commission would help connect the culture. KITV.

Former state Rep. Matt LoPresti is asking the state Supreme Court to reconsider his challenge of election results in his close contest for a state Senate seat, saying he recently learned the Honolulu City Clerk included 126 invalid ballots in the vote tally in his race. Star-Advertiser.

These Lawmakers Think The State Should Charge $20 To Unblock Porn Sites. The ACLU argues the bills, which would require manufacturers to place blocking devices on computers and phones, are unconstitutional. Civil Beat.

Lawmaker says increase to minimum wage ‘definitely’ happening this year. Tribune-Herald.

Civil Beat Sues To Get Teacher Misconduct Records. The Hawaii Department of Education has refused to turn over much of its information regarding the  disciplining of employees accused of wrongdoing. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers say they're open to tougher punishment for repeat and first-time DUI offenders. KHON2.

Hawaii lawmakers are urged to stop sales of flavored e-cigs and tobacco. State health officials and lawmakers are pushing to ban flavored tobacco products in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Candy flavored tobacco hooks kids.” That’s what the Hawaii Public Health Institute is warning through a new public display. Hawaii News Now.

State lawmakers are working to reduce waste by preventing restaurants from giving out single-use plastic straws. The bill was co-introduced by Representative Roy Takumi and Representative Linda Ichiyama, and would not completely ban plastic straws, but would require full-service restaurants to provide them only if requested by a customer. KITV.

Long-distance flight test indicates Southwest getting closer to Hawaii routes. Southwest Airlines is expected to carry out a long-distance test flight to Hawaii on Tuesday, an indication that the carrier is getting closer to beginning its long-awaited service to the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii News Now.

Southwest Airlines performing validation flights for Hawaii routes. Southwest Airlines is getting one step closer to beginning passenger service to Hawaii. KHON2.


A Honolulu City Council committee Wednesday voted to recommend former city transportation chief Mike Formby to be the temporary District 4 representative, pending resolution of the Trevor Ozawa-Tommy Waters election conflict. Star-Advertiser.

City Council Likely To Appoint Mike Formby As Interim Member. A council committee votes unanimously for the former city transportation director and congressional chief of staff to fill in until the Ozawa-Waters special election. Civil Beat.

Former congressional chief of staff tapped for vacant council seat. Mike Formby served as chief of staff for former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, and was also previously the acting executive director of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. Hawaii News Now.

Mike Formby favored to fill interim city council seat. KHON2.

By a vote of 8 to 0 Monday Honolulu City Council passed a resolution recommending interim representation for the District 4 seat. Former City Department of Transportation Services Director, Mike Formby was the pick for the interim position. KITV.


Ala Wai Flood Control Project under fire. The project includes a stand-alone debris catchment, three multipurpose detention areas in open spaces through the developed watershed, and concrete flood walls averaging 4 feet high along one or both sides of approximately 1.9 miles of the Ala Wai Canal, including two pump stations. Star-Advertiser.

The state is in the process of creating a high-resolution map detailing how a tsunami would affect coastal areas on Oahu. Hawaii Public Radio.

City officials said today that work on an extensive repaving project in the Manoa Valley area is scheduled to begin next Monday and will involve more than 30 roads, including Oahu Avenue, Old East Manoa Road and Woodlawn Drive. Star-Advertiser.

Sara King of Ala Wai Elementary School, who has wanted to be a teacher ever since she was little, was singled out Monday as among the nation’s best with a $25,000 Milken Educator Award. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

A doubling and 10-year extension of the county’s general excise tax moved forward Monday on an 8-1 vote after the County Council Finance Committee heard dire warnings of property tax hikes and service cuts from Mayor Harry Kim. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County officials are considering another tax increase, and are taking a look at increasing the General Excise Tax surcharge that just went into effect in January. Big Island Video News.

A vision for Maunakea. While law enforcers are preparing a response to anticipated protests of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea, Mayor Harry Kim is talking to stakeholders, has assembled a committee of Hawaiian cultural leaders and released his vision statement for the mountain’s future. Tribune-Herald.

Harry Kim’s vision statement for Maunakea. Tribune-Herald.

No Aloha So Far For A Puna Spaceport. A public meeting Wednesday is the next chance for residents to hear about the idea of launching about 24 rockets a year. Civil Beat.


Maui visitor numbers keep climbing each year with over 3 million expected in 2019. Maui News.

Affordable Housing Presentation at MNHCOC Networker. The Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce welcomes Howard Kihune, Jr. and Sandra Duvauchelle to make a presentation at their next general membership meeting on Feb. 12 at the Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu. Maui Now.

A free public lecture on Maui wildfires will take place this week at the Pacific Whale Foundation’s classrooms at the Maalaea Harbor Shops on Feb. 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. Maui Now.


The County of Kauai celebrated one year of the county’s transition to 100 percent Electronic Plan Review services on Friday. Garden Island.

Rushing To Save Kauai’s Ohia Trees From A Deadly, Fast-Spreading Disease. Rapid ohia death, which has felled hundreds of thousands of the environmentally and culturally important trees on the Big Island, was first spotted on Kauai in May. Civil Beat.

Female employees of the Kauai Marriott Resort want to add sexual harassment and retaliation charges to the class-action lawsuit filed against their employer last year when a coworker’s phone was allegedly found recording women in the hotel’s employee locker room. Garden Island.

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