Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Connors confirmed as attorney general, raises for firefighters in new contract, Maui's first industrial hemp farm, Raybuck new Kauai police chief, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo
Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors, courtesy photo
Clare Connors confirmed as Hawaii's 16th Attorney General. Clare Connors was confirmed as Hawaii's 16th attorney general by the state senate Monday. KITV.

Hawaii hotels report lackluster first quarter. State occupancy in March fell nearly 3 percentage points to 79.6%, while the average daily room rate fell 1.1% to $285, according to a report released by hotel analytic company STR. Star-Advertiser.

Firefighters’ pay to increase with new contract. Hawaii firefighters have a new two-year contract giving them 2% pay increases in each of the next two years, one-time bonuses in each of those years and an increase in their regular raises based on years of service. Star-Advertiser.

Bill would ID police fired or suspended for misconduct. Lawmakers are again considering a bill to require that police departments disclose the names of officers suspended or fired for misconduct, a controversial subject that has prompted years of debate and litigation in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

The embattled head of Hawaii’s Public Safety Department on Monday promised his employees he won’t retaliate against them for criticizing him. Nolan Espinda is struggling to win Senate confirmation for a second term. Hawaii News Now.

Lavish salaries, perks focus of federal theft investigation into union boss. Federal prosecutors are wrapping up a three-year investigation into IBEW Local 1260′s former business manager Brian Ahakuelo. Hawaii News Now.

Legislature passes suicide prevention bills. Two measures aimed at suicide prevention and raising suicide awareness passed the Legislature on Monday. Garden Island.

Law meant to help those with severe mental illness is trapping them on the streets. It’s estimated there are up to 600 homeless people who suffer from severe mental illness statewide. Hawaii News Now.

’Kal’s Law’ would help disabled people with jobs to keep key health benefits. People with disabilities who want to have jobs are often faced with an unfortunate decision: If they make too much money, they risk losing their Medicaid benefits. Hawaii News Now.

Climate Activists: Hawaii Legislature ‘Wasted An Entire Year’. Measures big and small died this session with little fanfare as time runs out to combat the disastrous effects of a warming planet. Civil Beat.

About 20 representatives from about a dozen organizations gathered at the state Capitol on Monday to commemorate Earth Day and mourn the death of bills they said would have helped Hawaii tackle climate change. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's Small Independent Doctors May Be Struggling Under New Payment System. Some doctors are struggling with the latest changes in the way they are paid by the Hawaii Medical Service Association, the state’s largest health care insurer. Hawaii Public Radio.

Charter Schools Have By Far The Highest Rates Of Unvaccinated Kids. The statewide percentage of students exempted by their parents from being immunized is 8.1% at charter schools, 2.7% at private schools and 1.4% at traditional public schools. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Kamehameha Schools land being readied for housing. The $12 billion charitable trust has plans to produce 8,000 to 10,000 new homes in Honolulu’s urban core over the coming years. Star-Advertiser.

Neighborhood Board Elections Begin Friday. Oahu residents will choose among more than 500 candidates to sit on 36 boards representing the island’s neighborhoods. Civil Beat.

Public meeting coming up on Oahu's First Pedestrian Plan. The City is looking for public input on areas throughout Oahu that may need to be focused on for changes to pedestrian areas like sidewalks and crosswalks. KHON2.

Petition to impeach city prosecutor prompts legal debate: Are e-signatures legal? Those pushing to impeach embattled city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro have hit another roadblock. Hawaii News Now.

Councilwoman calls for ‘fair’ treatment of Leeward Oahu parks. Now, she wants an audit of Honolulu’s Department of Parks and Recreation. Hawaii News Now.

‘End Is Near’ For Company’s Hold On Kakaako Streets After $250K Fine. A business that has long profited from parking fees it charges on roads that it doesn’t maintain faces several legal challenges. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Councilwoman’s former side job raises questions. Community members who filed an ethics complaint against Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz told the Board of Ethics on Monday they want to pursue the complaint against her, even though she has since publicly disclosed a possible conflict of interest and resigned her position at a public relations company that represents officers of the landowner in a zoning application before the County Council. West Hawaii Today.

Kona Micro-Distillery Gets Planning Commission Approval. On April 18, the Kona Distilling Company went before the commission, seeking a Special Permit to allow the establishment of the micro-distillery, visitor’s center (including a tasting component) and related facilities on an approximately 7.5-acre portion of 70-acres of land in the State Land Use Agricultural District. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County’s unemployment rate edged up slightly in March, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reports. Some 3.7% of the island’s 87,850 person workforce was without work during March, up slightly from February when the rate was 3.6%. In March 2018, the rate was 2.6%. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui’s first industrial hemp farm set to begin production. The commercial farming operation will initially produce full-spectrum industrial hemp extract. Maui News.

Maui’s First State-Licensed Industrial Hemp Farm Blessed on Earth Day. Maui Now.

Kauai

Todd Raybuck has officially taken over as chief of the Kauai Police Department. Garden Island.

Police seek to spend $500K for guns, truck. The Kauai Police Department is looking to buy new trucks and guns and get federal funding to crack down on illegal drugs. Garden Island.

Thirty parking spots will be dedicated daily to Hawaii residents at Haena State Park and according to officials, reservations for Aloha State residents won’t be required. Garden Island.

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