Friday, March 8, 2019

Hawaii infrastructure gets low marks, Kaneshiro takes paid leave amid federal probe, House passes pot decriminalization, entangled whale freed off Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Walking along Diamond Head Road ©2019 All Hawaii News
Hawaii’s infrastructure gets D+ in yearly report from engineers society. Most of the Aloha State’s infrastructure systems are in poor to fair condition. The report card recommends the state Legislature increase the state gas tax and support “innovative funding mechanisms” to pay for a backlog of repairs. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's infrastructure received its first report card today and more than half of grades were below passing. The 2019 Report Card covers 11 infrastructure categories.  And of those categories, 5 are in mediocre condition and six are in poor condition or already at risk. Hawaii Public Radio.

Report: Majority of Hawaii’s infrastructure operating ‘beyond its useful life’. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii's infrastructure given D+ grade from civil engineers. Poor to fair, that's what the American Society of Civil Engineers Hawaii section ranked most of Hawaii's infrastructure on Thursday, giving an overall grade of “D+.” KHON2.

Most of Hawaii’s infrastructure systems, including those for roads, schools, drinking water and stormwater, are in such poor condition that the local chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers has given the state an overall grade of “D-plus” on an inaugural report card. Pacific Business News.

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House Votes To Decriminalize Possessing Small Amounts Of Pot. The measure that now goes to the Senate would apply to having 3 grams of marijuana or less, which still could result in a $200 fine. Civil Beat.

The state House of Representatives passed a bill today that would decriminalize the adult use of marijuana, which is currently illegal under federal law. Star-Advertiser.

A bill that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis passed the state House of Representatives and will now go before the state Senate. Tribune-Herald.

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Unanimous vote in State Senate clarifies rules on how to use crosswalk signals. There was a unanimous vote in the State Senate Thursday clarifying rules on how to use crosswalk signals with countdown timers. KITV.

Hawaiian Airlines said Thursday it would award $31 million in profit- sharing and performance bonuses to employees following what was an “exceptional” 2018. Star-Advertiser.

Local Dairies Could Solve Future Milk Shortages, But It's An Expensive Venture. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro said Thursday he would take a voluntary paid leave effective immediately. He was notified last year that he was a target of a federal investigation into government corruption, and has faced pressure from Attorney General Clare Connors and Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard to step down. Star-Advertiser.

Embattled Honolulu Prosecutor Takes Immediate Leave Of Absence. Keith Kaneshiro is a target in a wide-ranging corruption investigation. His removal was sought by the state attorney general. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro announced Thursday he is taking a leave of absence from his office. His action follows reports that he is a target in an ongoing federal corruption investigation and subsequent calls for him to step down. Hawaii Public Radio.

After refusing to step aside for months, embattled city prosecutor takes leave amid federal probe. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu's prosecutor is taking a leave of absence from his office, a month after confirming he received a target letter in connection with a federal investigation. KHON2.

Kaneshiro takes a leave of absence amid federal investigation. Dwight Nadamoto will serve as Acting Prosecuting Attorney. KITV.

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City Poised To Pay $550,000 To Cop Who Claimed HPD Doctored Test Scores. A lawsuit alleges Police Chief Susan Ballard, while commander of the police academy in 2008, took part in making it easier for recruits to pass. Civil Beat.

Pali Highway fix expected to be done in August. It’s going to be a long road ahead — another five months at least — before Pali Highway is fixed and reopened following last month’s rockslide. Star-Advertiser.

$15 milion price tag to repair the Pali Highway. Heavy rains last month triggered multiple landslides along the Pali Highway. KITV.

Kakaako intersection may turn into roundabout to accommodate Rail. "HART" is planning to put a rail column in the middle of the road on Queen and Waimanu streets, along with a roundabout. This is the area next to South Shore Market and TJ Maxx. KHON2.

A year in, mobile hygiene center demonstrates the incredible power of a shower. The mobile hygiene center travels to different communities across Oahu up to five days a week. Hawaii News Now.

Homeless man accused of West Oahu wildfires had been arrested 30 times before. Hawaii News Now.

Council Member Wants Audit of Hawaiian Humane Society. Ann Kobayashi said she was stunned by how many key employees had left the Humane Society under its current CEO. Civil Beat.

The abrupt shutdown scheduled today for Argosy University- Hawaii will leave about 800 graduate and under­graduate students in the lurch, midway through the semester. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Salary Commission approves new rules to slow down raise-setting process. Slow and steady is the name of the game for the county Salary Commission, which on Thursday revised its rules and received updates on collective bargaining agreements, private sector pay scales and county finances, but took no action on salaries for top management. West Hawaii Today.

Proposal for water-bottling plant killed. A proposal for a new water-bottling plant near Wailoa State Recreation Area was resurrected briefly before being definitively killed again at Thursday’s meeting of the Windward Planning Commission. Tribune-Herald.

A permit to allow the construction of a water bottling facility in Hilo was denied by the Windward Planning Commission on Thursday. Big Island Video News.

Kona pool down 6 to 7 months. After almost being shut down for a full week, Hawaii County officials expect Kona Community Aquatics Center to remain closed for six to seven months until a new filter system can be installed. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Two tourism reports for January indicate a softening of the Maui market with visitor spending down nearly 14 percent from last January and hotel revenue and average daily rates off across the board. Maui News.

A new study from financial technology company, SmartAsset, ranks the Waihee-Waiehu area of Maui as the most affordable place to live in Hawaii. Maui Now.

70 Waikapu affordable housing units offered. Waiale Elua applications due by March 29. Maui News.

Team cuts 500 feet of fishing gear from emaciated juvenile whale off Maui.  NOAA says five entangled whales have been spotted in Hawaii in the past week. Four of them were off Maui. Hawaii News Now.

Entangled Humpback Whale Freed of Gear Off Maui. An estimated 500 feet of heavy gauge line was removed from an entangled humpback whale off Maui. Maui Now.

Kauai

Nearly a year after April floods triggered a sinkhole and washed out a portion of Kahiliholo Road, residents are celebrating its reopening. But they’re also wondering what took so long. Garden Island.

Esaki’s Produce doesn’t usually fly their shipments to Kauai, normally relying on Matson to transport them via boat in deliveries that are made twice a week — Tuesdays and Fridays. But, for the past two weeks, Esaki’s has been shipping its wares in through Hawaiian Airlines to combat about a month of delayed shipping at sea. Garden Island.

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