Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Fraud in HI-5 recycling program, visitors can now get medical marijuana, Chinese hackers breach UH, lawmakers want to stop rail audits, excise tax hike advances, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Worker sweeps up cans at Hawaii recycling plant ©2019 All Hawaii News
State audit alleges cheating in redemption payments in Hawaii recycling program. The state still has not made changes in its HI-5 redemption and recycling program to protect against fraud, and spot checks of recycling companies turned up two cases where records were allegedly altered so the state would reimburse substantially more to a recycler than was paid out to the public, according to a new report by the Hawaii State Auditor. Star-Advertiser.

Audit finds instances of potential fraud at recycling redemption center. The findings of the audit prompted the state Health Department Tuesday to pledge greater oversight and to refer the findings of potential fraud to the state Attorney General’s Office. Hawaii News Now.

Audit Of HI-5 Recycling Program Finds Evidence Of Potential Fraud. Hawaii Public Radio.

Fraudulent receipts found in Hawaii’s Hi-5 recycling program, according to the latest state auditor’s report. KITV.

Read the audit summary.

Read the full audit.

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Senate Approves Proposed Tax Increase To Help Public Schools. The measure increasing the statewide general excise tax by 0.5 percent was one of many bills clearing their first chamber as the session’s midpoint nears. Civil Beat.

Senate passes GET hike. The state Senate passed a bill Tuesday increasing the general excise tax to help fund education. Tribune-Herald.

Senate passes bill to increase GE tax half percent. KHON2.

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State unveils process for visitors to obtain medical marijuana. The state Department of Health unveiled Tuesday the process by which out-of-state medical marijuana patients will be able to register for medical cannabis while visiting Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

Out-of-state patients now able to get legal medical marijuana in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii opens medical marijuana registration to visitors. The state Department of Health announced Tuesday that it is also rolling out an online registration system for medical marijuana, allowing qualified patients to quickly obtain an electronic registration card. KITV.

Online Registration Accelerates Access to Medical Cannabis. Maui Now.

Medical cannabis program is expanding. Hawaii's medical cannabis program is expanding to give those visiting from out-of-state the chance to obtain marijuana for medical purposes. KHON2.

Decriminalizing marijuana among measures ‘crossing over’ at the Capitol. The crossover deadline for bills is this Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii dispensaries sold $12.6M worth of pakalolo for medical use last year. Monthly medical cannabis sales doubled last year, and the number is projected to grow with out-of-state patients now able to purchase it locally. Star-Advertiser.

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Who Should Run Hawaii’s Pre-K Program? School Superintendent Christina Kishimoto is arguing DOE needs to be more heavily involved in the expansion of Hawaii’s pre-K program. Civil Beat.

Legislature Approves Nearly 1,000 Bills (No Surprise, Some Propose to Raise Taxes). The State Legislature is at the one-third mark of its 60-day session.  Today, lawmakers met to pass nearly one thousand bills to be sent to the opposite chamber for further consideration. Hawaii Public Radio.

As the 2019 Legislative Session nears its crossover deadline this week, the House of Representatives has passed nearly 500 bills during a productive session focused on good government, homelessness, and education. Maui Now.

Hawaiian Homes Funding Debated In The House. Representative Gene Ward and Finance Chair Sylvia Luke went back and forth on the House floor Tuesday over the budget for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Big Island Video News.

A new bill would require labels on coffee blends to disclose the geographic origins and percent by weight of the blended component coffees. Big Island Video News.

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University of Hawaii among dozens of schools targeted by Chinese hackers seeking military research. The University of Hawaii is among more than 27 universities that have been targeted by Chinese hackers seeking to steal maritime technology research being conducted for the military, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii and at least two dozen other universities have been targeted by Chinese hackers as part of an effort to steal military maritime technology research, The Wall Street Journal reported today. Hawaii Public Radio.

The University of Hawaii has been identified among more than two dozen universities around the globe that have been the target of Chinese hackers. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii among the universities hacked by Chinese. KHON2.

Chinese Hackers Target Universities in Pursuit of Maritime Military Secrets. University of Hawaii, University of Washington and MIT are among schools hit by cyberattacks. Wall Street Journal.

Editorial: OIP hinders public access to records. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Lawmakers aim to scale back state scrutiny of rail. House lawmakers gave preliminary approval Tuesday to bills that scale back the role of the Hawaii State Auditor in overseeing the Honolulu rail project, which is now the subject of a federal investigation. Star-Advertiser.

Federal Probe Has State Looking To Pull Back On Rail Audits. Proposed legislation would repeal the requirement for more audits. But added scrutiny has already led state finance officials to withhold $40 million from HART. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Board of Education offers open forum for public comments. The state Board of Education will offer an open forum at the end of its general business meeting Thursday at Mililani High School for members of the community to offer their thoughts. Star-Advertiser.

New proposal aims to strengthen crossing laws. Pedestrian fatalities are on the rise this year. With so many deaths, the city council is looking into ways to further protect pedestrians crossing the streets. KHON2.

Navy continues work on broken water main. U.S. Rep. Ed Case, who on Monday inspected the site of a break in a 42-inch pipeline that provides the main source of water for Pearl Harbor and other Navy properties, said he is urging senior Navy officials at the Pentagon to immediately implement an already appropriated replacement project. Star-Advertiser.

'Afraid for our lives’: The ocean is eating away at a major road in Hauula. Hawaii News Now.

Builder sues Kakaako developer for unpaid work. The developer of Ward Village is embroiled in another legal dispute over construction of a condominium tower in Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

The Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation in Kailua-Kona Monday evening held the first of several public hearings planned across the state to discuss fee increases at Hawaii small boat harbors and some other facilities. West Hawaii Today.

Leilani sees progress in effort to stymie squatters. The president of Leilani Community Association and the chairman of a committee formed to deal with squatters and resultant crime say progress has been made since they and police united late last year to clear illegal occupants from vacant homes in the lower Puna subdivision ravaged by Kilauea volcano’s lower East Rift Zone eruption. Tribune-Herald.

Mohouli Heights development enters third phase. Construction started on a project that will double the size of a Hilo housing development for low-income seniors. Tribune-Herald.

Mohouli Heights Senior Neighborhood Phase 3 Begins. 92 additional low income senior rental housing units are now under construction, officials say. Big Island Video News.

No future likely for popular Kainaliu turnaround. A petition signed by about 200 people is asking Mayor Harry Kim’s administration to reopen a popular Kainaliu turnaround that helped drivers negotiate left turns on busy Mamalahoa Highway. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The Maui County Department of Public Works expects to complete resurfacing a portion of South Kihei Road by March 6, 2019, and help relieve recent traffic impacts. Maui Now.

The Maui County Department of Parks and Recreation is accepting applications for park security officer jobs until Sunday, March 10. Maui Now.

Kauai

Retired Las Vegas police captain selected as new Kauai police chief. Todd Raybuck, a former Las Vegas Metropolitan Police captain, has been hired as the new Kauai police chief, the Kauai Police Department announced today. Star-Advertiser.

New police chief selected. The Kauai County Police Commission selected Todd Raybuck, a former Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Captain, as the new KPD police chief. Garden Island.

Kauai Police Commission selects a Las Vegas captain as new police chief. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai's new police chief comes to garden island from ninth island. KHON2.

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Kuleana lots on Zuckerberg estate draw crowd. People from all over the state — attorneys, politicians, activists, journalists and curious residents — arrived at an entrance to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s 700-acre estate on the North Shore for an opportunity to look at the four kuleana lots scattered across the property to be sold at public auction later this month. Garden Island.

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