Thursday, February 7, 2019

Styrofoam ban advances, sports gambling considered, judge rules against non-solar water heaters, shipping costs rise, Mauna Kea ski video rankles, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Polystyrene 'styrofoam' takeout ©2019 All Hawaii News
Statewide styrofoam ban advances. A bill to ban styrofoam containers for take-out food -- statewide. KHON2.

The House Judiciary Committee today will consider a bill to legalize and regulate sports betting in Hawaii, which is now one of only two states in the nation that has no form of legalized gambling. Star-Advertiser.

Bail-reform legislation, seven years in the making, is moving rapidly through the Legislature. The bills would require public safety officials to make it easier for people to gain release if they are arrested for nonviolent crimes and are not a flight risk, requires consideration of a defendant’s financial situation before setting bail, and eliminates money bail for low-risk offenses. Civil Beat.

Judge: DBEDT must adhere to solar water heater mandate. Environmentalist and renewable energy advocates are hailing a court decision Tuesday ordering the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism to follow state law mandating all new single-family homes include solar water heaters and to consider variances for gas water heaters only on a case-by-case basis. Tribune-Herald.

Court Ruling On Water Heaters Will Help ‘Protect The Climate’. The state has been wrongly approving too many gas hot water heaters in new homes, a judge says. Civil Beat.

Effort To Pump Up Voter Interest In Elections Goes Nowhere In Legislature. It looks like there will be no hearings for bills that would have advanced the top two primary vote-getters to the general election regardless of political party. Civil Beat.


Legislature Seeks to Reform OHA Elections. State legislators have taken the first step toward overhauling the elections process for Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees. The Senate Hawaiian Affairs Committee started with campaign funding and the way candidates' names are listed on the ballots. Hawaii Public Radio.

The attorney for former Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Rowena Akana said Wednesday his client will appeal a state Ethics Commission complaint that imposes a fine of more than $23,000 for 47 ethics violations. Star-Advertiser.

Former OHA Trustee Rowena Akana Hit With $23K Ethics Fine. Akana, who served on the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees for nearly 30 years, may also have to pay back more than $21,500 in gifts. Civil Beat.

Ex-OHA trustee who used office allowance for cable bills slapped with hefty fine. Former OHA trustee Rowena Akana must pay more than $23,000 in fines for accepting legal fees from Hawaiian heiress Abigail Kawananakoa and misusing her annual office allowance. Hawaii News Now.

Former Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee Rowena Akana must pay more $23,000 in fines. The State's ethics commission found that she committed 47 ethics violations. KITV.


It was Agriculture Day at the State Capitol today inside committee rooms and outside on display tables. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii lawmakers want to fight mosquitoes ... with more mosquitoes. But introducing new insects could have adverse affects. Hawaii News Now.

Young Brothers LLC announced Wednesday it has received approval from the state Public Utilities Commission for its first significant rate increase in six years. Garden Island.

Rate increase for interisland service. The 4.3% rate increase is critical to allow Young Brothers to reinvest in its business and upgrade equipment to continue providing essential interisland cargo transport services. KHON2.

Gabbard Takes Heat On MSNBC Over Russia, Assad. As the Hawaii congresswoman escalates her bid for president, she’s already facing stiff questions from journalists on a number of issues. Civil Beat.

Gabbard on defense after more bad publicity. On national television on Wednesday, she was questioned about her positions on Syria and Russia and even the Ku Klux Klan. Hawaii News Now.


Manoa board calls for pause in Ala Wai Flood Control Project. The Manoa Neighborhood Board unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday calling for a halt on an Ala Wai Canal flood control project to give stakeholders an opportunity to give feedback on a plan to add detention and catchment basins to the upper reaches of Manoa, Palolo and Makiki. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu home, condo prices, sales all declined in January for first time since 2010. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu housing inventory up, prices down. KHON2.

Developers to receive incentives. The Honolulu City Council is proposing a new bill that would ease building requirements for developers in an effort to increase affordable housing options. KHON2.

City seeks landowner incentives to build hundreds of affordable rentals. As skyscrapers were added to Honolulu’s skyline and “monster homes” sprouted up in residential neighborhoods, low rises in Makiki and Moiliili have decayed. Hawaii News Now.

City begins to condemn Palolo properties damaged by severe erosion. Hawaii News Now.

Mysterious Manoa Tree Hackers May Be Peddling Hallucinogenic Bark. Large gashes in acacia trees, whose bark is reportedly hallucinogenic, were first noticed in December by Manoa residents. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Police Department met for its monthly Commission meeting and one of the topics that came up was recreational marijuana. KITV.

Sewer spills were at a historic low last year amid ongoing monitoring and proactive measures taken by the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Environmental Services. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

A bill to provide state funding for restoring lava-covered portions of Highway 132 cleared its first committee Wednesday at the state Capitol. The Senate Committee on Transportation voted unanimously in favor of Senate Bill 1298, which provides $15 million for restoration. Tribune-Herald.

At the request of the state Department of Health, legislators have shelved a bill that would have funded two ambulances for Hawaii Island, including one at the Makalei Fire Station. West Hawaii Today.

Pahoa pool reopens to the delight of area residents. For the first time in months, swimmers glided through the water at the Pahoa Community Aquatic Center on Wednesday morning. Tribune-Herald.


Lawmakers and The Office of Maunakea Management said they were disturbed by a recent social media video that shows three individuals skiing and snowboarding on Puu Poliahu on Maunakea on University of Hawaii managed lands. West Hawaii Today.

Snowless Skiing On Mauna Kea Denounced. Big Island Video News.

The Office of Maunakea Management condemned a video posted to social media showing three individuals skiing and snowboarding down a revered volcanic cone on Mauna Kea that is managed by the University of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Video of skiers, snowboarders on Mauna Kea sparks outrage. KITV.


People packed the room at the Grand Naniloa Resort to hear about the proposed Pacific Spaceport Complex-Hawaii and the environmental assessment process. Big Island Video News.

Dozens of residents crowded into a public meeting on Wednesday to learn about a proposal to build a satellite launch facility on the east side of the Big Island. Hawaii News Now.


A council committee on Tuesday advanced a recommendation of Michele McLean as director of the Department of Planning, but voted down the mayor’s appointment of Pat Wong as Corporation Counsel. Maui Now.

Planning’s McLean gets preliminary OK. Committee 5-4 vote comes amid claims of ‘prescripted’ process. Maui News.

Panel votes against Wong confirmation. Corporation Counsel choice second to go down in panel. Maui News.

A House committee holds a hearing on Friday to consider the holdover of revocable water permits, allowing for the continuation of water leases authorized in previous legislation. Maui Now.

VA one-stop facility is ‘progressing’. Still, local veterans have waited for more than a decade. Maui News.


Bolstering the bridge. For weeks, Hawaii Department of Transportation workers in their yellow coats have been floating their barge through yellow barriers around the base of the bridge over Wailua River. Garden Island.


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