Tuesday, April 16, 2019

DLNR chief faces easy confirmation, Honolulu condo sprinkler bill watered down, Kona homeless rousted, cutoff Kauai residents prepare for visitors, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo
DLNR Chairwoman Suzanne Case PC:DLNR
Senate panel recommends reappointment of Suzanne Case to lead Hawaii land department. The committee also voted unanimously to approve Robert Masuda as DLNR’s deputy director. Star-Advertiser.

Senate Committee Recommends Confirming Case As DLNR Chair. The vote was unanimous in favor of the governor’s nomination to head the state land department. Civil Beat.

The State Senate voted to confirm Scott T. Murakami and Leonard Hoshijo as the director and deputy director of the Hawaii State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.  Maui Now.

Lawmaker seeks study on sliding-scale tickets. A leading lawmaker who deals with issues of crime and punishment in Hawaii wants to study the concept of “fair and proportional” fines, which means a schedule of fines for traffic or other violations that requires rich people to pay more than poor people. Star-Advertiser.

Group Opposed To Taxing Billions In Real Estate Trusts Is A Big Spender At Capital. The national association supporting owners of some of Hawaii’s premier commercial locations spent $126,000 in two months — but a bill to tax them is still alive. Civil Beat.

Final road usage charge meetings set. The Department of Transportation is holding its final three of 14 community meetings on its proposed road usage charge instead of fuel tax paid at the pump. Star-Advertiser.

HDOT still seeking your thoughts on a proposal to tax drivers by the mile. The idea behind the tax is to charge drivers for the distance they drive in place of the current fuel tax — which brings the state 16 cents per gallon of gas at the pump. Hawaii News Now.

Navy remembers North Korean shoot-down on 50th anniversary. Twenty-one relatives of three fallen crew members traveled to Oahu and Ford Island for a memorial ceremony organized by Navy Information Operations Command Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

The High Price Of Luring The Movies To Hawaii. The film industry says the state’s $35 million cap on tax credits is too low, costing Hawaii projects and jobs. But some question whether the benefits are worth the cost. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Raises $1.9 Million In Bid For White House. Meanwhile, Kai Kahele, the state senator vying to take her congressional seat, says he feels good about the $250,000 he raised so far. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Sprinkler bill allows easier compliance for condo owners. A bill making it easier for owners of older high-rise residential buildings to meet a tougher fire safety law comes up for a final vote before the Honolulu City Council on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Grandma’s Deposition In Kealoha Corruption Case Postponed. Florence Puana was hospitalized over the weekend. Prosecutors want to question her early because of her poor health. Civil Beat.

Katherine Kealoha’s grandmother, Florence Puana, is appealing the case that ended with her paying more than $100,000 of Kealoha’s legal fees. The 99-year-old was ordered to pay up after losing her state lawsuit against Kealoha several years ago. Hawaii News Now.

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Commentary: This Is Why We Rarely Rely On Anonymous Sources. Readers should be able to know and trust where your information is coming from. But public officials also have a responsibility to speak up and correct erroneous reporting. Civil Beat.

High-ranking deputy Prosecutor Janice Futa is denying that she has received a subject letter from the FBI. In December, Hawaii News Now reported Futa received a subject letter. Based on Futa’s denial in court documents, Hawaii News Now has removed references to the letter from prior online stories. Hawaii News Now.

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Recycling rates have been dropping on Oahu, while the cost of the program has been rising...thanks in part to contaminated recyclables in those blue bins. KITV.

Windward Mall Sears to close on April 28. The Kaneohe department store will close April 28 — shortly after Wednesday’s shutdown of the auto center. Star-Advertiser.

Sears at Windward Mall to close this month. Officials said Monday that Sears at Windward Mall would close April 28. The auto center will be closing much earlier -- on Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Urban Honolulu has lost 76,000 trees in the last four years, aerial survey finds. The big loss in numbers is one of the reasons a group of volunteers headed to Kaimuki District Park on Monday morning. Their mission was not just to count the trees, but to help in an effort to get more trees planted and cared for. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

DOT empties homeless encampment near busy Kona intersection. Cleanup crews targeted two main sites in Kona on Monday — the Palani Road and Queen Kaahumanu Highway intersection where nine homeless individuals were informed a week prior they had seven days to collect their possessions and go, and the Tunnels where two individuals were given the same warning on the same day. West Hawaii Today.

A Hawaii nonprofit was awarded a $750,000 grant to preserve a 32-unit apartment complex in Pahoa. The grant money will serve to preserve the 32 units of the Nani O Puna apartment complex. Tribune-Herald.

Commission denies approval for too big of signs already in place at Planet Fitness.  West Hawaii Today.

Heavy rainfall leads to another stormwater discharge at dairy. Because of heavy rainfall during the past week, Ookala-based Big Island Dairy on Monday again discharged stormwater collected in its wastewater lagoons. Tribune-Herald.

Final EA For New Kona Museum Gallery Published. The Kona Historical Society says the new building will be a benefit to the South Kona area, which currently lacks community program and gallery space. Big Island Video News.

Mauna Loa activity rises. The Hawaii Volcano Observatory is monitoring Mauna Loa closely as the volcano shows signs of increasing activity following the Kilauea eruption. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The Maui County Council will hold a public hearing on the mayor’s proposed budget for next fiscal year at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Council Chambers at the Kalana O Maui building in Wailuku. Mayor Michael Victorino has proposed a $781 million budget for the 2020 fiscal year, which begins July 1. Maui News.

County looking to convert two West Maui water wells. Proposal would turn exploratory wells into full production wells. Maui News.

$254K in county grants disbursed. Seabird recovery work, electric vehicle charging stations and the annual whale festival are among projects slated to receive money through the county Office of Economic Development. Maui News.

Kauai

As Kauai Highway Prepares To Reopen, State Plans Limits On Haena Park Visitors. The state Department of Transportation plans to phase-in the re-opening of Kuhio Highway beginning in May and plans to limit visitors when the Haena State Park and popular Kalalau Trail is scheduled to re-open in June. Hawaii Public Radio.

Even though Kuhio Highway is scheduled to reopen May 1, the main attractions on the North Shore will remain closed. Garden Island.

Some Kauai residents, cut off by damage for a year, will miss life in the slow lane. Star-Advertiser.

Kalalau Trail and the Napali State Wilderness Park are set to open in early-mid June. The trail is monitored by the Department of Land and Natural Resources and a few locals who have taken it upon themselves to protect the public and the place itself, but a couple of people have made it down the trail a little ways. Garden Island.

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