Friday, March 15, 2019

Disasters, breakdowns bring national park visitors down, 10 tiny home homeless villages proposed, plastic ban advances, money in Honolulu City Council race, Maui jail riot highlights overcrowding, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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After the eruption, visitors at Kilauea volcano ©2019 All Hawaii News
Parks losing traction with visitors. The latest visitation statistics released by the National Park Service show that 2018 was a particularly challenging year for some of the state’s busiest tourist attractions, with associated park economies taking a hit. Star-Advertiser.

Bottles, utensils and bags: Lawmakers are coming for your single-use plastics. An ambitious measure that would institute a broad ban on single-use plastics in Hawaii -- including plastic bottles, utensils and straws -- is gaining traction at the state Legislature despite widespread concern among businesses. Hawaii News Now.

Bill To Create An Airport Corporation Advances — With A Very Big Catch. Backers of an independent corporation to run Hawaii’s airports say it needs freedom from the state’s time-consuming procurement process. Key lawmakers disagree. Civil Beat.

Desperate to ease the homeless crisis, state leaders want to set up permanent villages made up of clusters of tiny homes. Lt. Gov. Josh Green says he wants to see up to 10 villages statewide with six on Oahu, two on the Big Island and one each of Maui and Kauai. Hawaii News Now.

State pushes for comprehensive review of EMS statewide. The state Department of Health wants a review of EMS systems across the state, following reports of  ambulances breaking down while on an emergency call. KHON2.

Some state lawmakers push for statewide EMS system review. The last review was in 1991. KITV.

Nonprofits Get 3 Nerve-Wracking Minutes To Make Pitch To Legislators. Nearly 300 Hawaii organizations seek grant-in-aid funding from the state. Most will probably fail. Civil Beat.

The governor, department heads and state legislators are set to get modest to sizable pay raises under a salary schedule approved by the Commission on Salaries this week. Hawaii News Now.


Maui Riot Just The Latest Sign Of Trouble In State’s Overcrowded Jails. Pretrial detainees make up a big part of the inmate population. Meanwhile, most proposed reforms appear dead in Legislature. Civil Beat.

Man accepts 5-years in prison to get away from jail. Conditions in MCCC ‘out of control,’ he says. Maui News.

21 Maui Inmates Transferred to Halawa After Riot. The pretrial detainees were upset about jail overcrowding, according to Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda. Civil Beat.

MCCC Inmates Identified In Riot Transferred to Halawa. State corrections officials transported 21 pre-trial detainees to Halawa Correctional Facility today who were identified as participants in Monday's riot at a Maui jail. Hawaii Public Radio.

A total of 21 inmates were transferred from the Maui Community Correctional Center in Wailuku to the Halawa Correctional Facility on Oahu this morning. Maui Now.

Maui inmates involved in disturbance transferred to Halawa Correctional Facility. KHON2.

Department of Public Safety moves 21 inmates from MCCC to Halawa Correctional Facility. KITV.


State won’t pay rail invoices subject to subpoena by feds. The state has warned the Honolulu rail authority that it will not release funding for invoices that are being scrutinized by the federal government as part of the ongoing federal investigation of the city rail project, according to state Comptroller Curt Otaguro. Star-Advertiser.

Kaneshiro not in charge, acting prosecutor says. Acting Prosecuting Attorney Dwight Nadamoto insisted Thursday that he is in charge of day-to-day operations at the city prosecutor’s office despite several visits in the past week by Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro, who is on paid leave. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council questions new acting prosecutor Dwight Nadamoto. KHON2.

Spending soars in special election race for City Council seat. A Hawaii News Now analysis of campaign spending records shows that Tommy Waters is outspending Trevor Ozawa nearly three-to-one for the race for the east Honolulu City Council seat. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu City Council heard budget proposals from emergency personnel departments on Thursday. There weren't major increases from Honolulu Police and Honolulu Fire Departments, both asking for an additional 1.5% increase from last year's budget. KHON2.

Ala Wai project will affect 37 private properties. A $345 million project to lessen flood risks at the Ala Wai Canal is moving quickly through the state Legislature despite concerns from property owners, including 37 who would be directly affected. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmaker wants solution to keep large trucks from hitting overpass. Representative John Mizuno, whose district is next to the overpass, says he's very concerned that this keeps happening and wants the Transportation Department to survey the overpass for any improvements. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs lawsuit against the University of Hawaii and the State over the management of Mauna Kea will continue in Honolulu Circuit Court, both sides report, although one of two motions to dismiss was granted. Big Island Video News.

Times of the signs: Holiday Inn still waiting, 5 years later, for sign approval. An application for downsized signs for the Holiday Inn in Kailua-Kona is making its way to the Kailua Village Design Commission, five years after developers first sought permission to erect the trademark franchise signs. West Hawaii Today.

Three bills seeking to encourage redevelopment of Hilo’s Banyan Drive hotel area remain alive in the state Legislature. Tribune-Herald.

County offers to pick up vehicle disposal fees in short-term. Starting today and ending on April 30, the Department of Environmental Management Derelict/Abandoned Vehicle Section is accepting applications into a short-term program to pick up the disposal fees for any resident wanting to rid themselves of their rides. West Hawaii Today.

Ige releases funds for North Hawaii Community Hospital emergency department. Gov. David Ige released on Thursday $500,000 for construction of North Hawaii Community Hospital’s expanded emergency department. West Hawaii Today.

Geologists offer new insights into frequency of devastating waves. A paper from the U.S. Geological Survey suggests tsunamis like the one that devastated Hilo in 1946 might be predictable — and more frequent than previously thought. Tribune-Herald.


The Liquor Control Department is proposing new rules that include allowing dispensers and restaurants to sell liquor for off-premises consumption. Maui News.

A study of 22,000 coral colonies at 51 sites along Maui’s south and west shores found formally protected reefs near managed areas were among the most likely to show resilience to climate change. Star-Advertiser.

Resilient Reefs on Maui, Threats Identified. Maui Now.

Maui's most resilient reefs found in State marine managed areas. KHON2.

‘Renaissance man’ Reeser, former national park superintendent, dies. Supporter of groups and environment initiated fencing to keep out goats. Maui News.


In a 35-minute talk before about 150 people, Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami outlined his first 100 days in office, his proposed budget and his goals for the road ahead as this island’s highest-elected leader. Garden Island.

Kunoa announces expansion to operations, executive team. Local livestock processor Kunoa Cattle Company announced the growth of its Kauai ranch operations Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

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