Monday, March 11, 2019

Hawaii could become sanctuary state, corruption charges rampant in Honolulu, state cuts Canada and Europe tourism budgets, Maui corporation counsel on leave following arrest, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Organizers of Ala Moana park forum call for more transparency. Officials with Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration have agreed to attend a meeting tonight hosted by groups that have raised concerns about planned improvements at popular Ala Moana Regional Park. Star-Advertiser.

Here’s your chance to sound off on the future of Ala Moana Beach Park. Several community groups are teaming up to discuss the future of Ala Moana Beach Park. On Monday, a public meeting will be held to go over the city’s master plan for the popular destination. Hawaii News Now.

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Hawaii would become the second “sanctuary state” for tax-paying undocumented immigrants with no criminal convictions under a bill that would give local law enforcement agencies the option to not cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Tourism Authority shifts focus to managing tourism. The message at the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s first statewide event under new leadership was more about how the agency is going to partner with the industry to manage tourism rather than its marketing plans. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is cutting marketing budgets for Canada and Europe and reinvesting funds into other priorities, including diversifying and managing tourism and programs that benefit the community. Star-Advertiser.

Phillipine court rules against Hawaii's Omidyar's media ownership. A Philippine appeals court has upheld a decision that an online news site critical of President Rodrigo Duterte violated a constitutional ban on foreign ownership of news media. Associated Press.

David Ige Unwinds And Chats About Hawaii’s Future. He said he’s learned a lot since 2014 about running the state government, and cites progress on housing, homelessness and education. Civil Beat.

House Passes Bill To Expand County Use Of GE Tax. The House passed a bill on third reading that would give the neighbor islands greater flexibility in how they spend general excise tax surcharge revenue. Big Island Video News.

HMSA’s payment rates under scrutiny. Nearly three years after the Hawaii Medical Serv­ice Association changed the way it pays primary- care doctors and pediatricians, lawmakers are considering funding a study to see whether the program is actually saving money and improving quality. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu


How An Accused Drug Dealer Became Key To The Biggest Corruption Case In Honolulu History. A 2015 drug raid highlights the many angles federal investigators are pursuing as part of a years-long corruption investigation. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu City Council on Friday unanimously approved a $550,000 settlement in a decade-old lawsuit that alleges Police Chief Susan Ballard played a role in altering test scores of some police academy recruits. Civil Beat.

The Kealohas Could Lose Their Taxpayer-Funded Lawyers. With the sale of their Hawaii Kai home pending final approval, federal prosecutors have asked a judge to review whether the couple can afford their own defense counsel. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Council OKs Legal Fees For Embattled Prosecutor. The Honolulu City Council Friday approved hiring a law firm to represent the city's prosecutor against an impeachment effort launched when he became a target in a federal corruption investigation. Hawaii Public Radio.

Yet Another Audit Planned For Honolulu Rail Project. The City Council wants to investigate potential criminal activity surrounding the fiscally troubled transit project. Civil Beat.

New city council bill would limit events on busy Kalakaua Ave. If the bill becomes law, events this year won't be affected but activities in 2020 might. KITV.

House bill seeks to protect pedestrians from bicyclists behind state Capitol. Star-Advertiser.

Pearlridge moves toward mixed-use development. The owner of Pearlridge Center is considering residential and hotel development at the Aiea mall. Star-Advertiser.

Lawsuit Claims HPD Officer Sexually Assaulted Woman. When two police officers responded to a drunken disturbance in her home, the plaintiff claims that one of them assaulted her in her bedroom. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

A proposed charter amendment advanced Friday requires the county to sock away $20 million for disasters such as have hammered the Big Island in recent years. West Hawaii Today.

Kuahiwi Ranch among public water users that face uphill battle to earn long-term leases. The ranch is one of about a dozen water users, including Alexander & Baldwin, the electric utilities and farming operations throughout the state, that are facing an end-of-the-year deadline to convert state water permits into long-term leases — or risk losing access to water. Star-Advertiser.

Purgatory in Puna: Eruption survivors eager to return home — with or without roads. Tribune-Herald.

Changes to Wailani project approved. A long-delayed mixed-use development in Hilo inched closer to fruition last Thursday after the Windward Planning Commission approved several changes to the project plan. Tribune-Herald.

Boaters want better: Public hearing brings out testifiers wanting improvements if fees are going up. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Avocado Association is up in arms about what members have described as chronic mislabeling of Sharwil avocados at the West Hawaii Safeway located off Henry Street. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Corporation Counsel Wong is placed on leave following arrest for physical abuse. Spokesman: Wong has been charged with abuse of a household member, a misdemeanor. Garden Island.

Maui County Corporation Counsel Patrick K. Wong was placed on administrative leave after being charged Saturday with abuse of a household member, the county said. Star-Advertiser.

Top civil attorney for Maui County arrested for domestic abuse. Hawaii News Now.

Corporation Counsel Patrick Wong on Administrative Leave. Maui Now.

Maui County's Corporation Counsel charged with abuse. KHON2.

Maui County corporation counsel Patrick Wong on administrative leave. KITV.

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Repairing Hana’s bridges will require plenty of ingenuity. Six of 43 historic structures in plan are on challenging terrain. Maui News.

Maui-style airport car rental facility is about ready to roll. Plantation meets modern at CONRAC: Two trains, or trams, will take travelers on a 4-minute ride from baggage area to facility. Maui News.

Maui home, condo prices rise more than 10% in February. Single-family home prices on Maui rose by more than 15 percent last month, compared to February 2018, while the number of homes sold dropped by nearly 20 percent, according to statistics from the Realtors Association of Maui. Pacific Business News.

Kauai

“A slow resurrection.” Those are the best words to describe how groups of volunteers and benefactors have transformed a crumbling camping facility located in the crisp air of Kokee State Park into a clean, attractive and safe resource for groups of every age and size. Garden Island.

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