Monday, April 15, 2019

Honolulu council to cooperate with mayor after special election, businesses resist new taxes, Big Island rethinks polystyrene ban, Maui officials' raises unlikely, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Col. Brendan Raymond, 25th Infantry Division Artillery Commander ©2019 All Hawaii News
Pohakuloa Training Area showcases live-fire exercises with Schofield Barracks. The bass booms of heavy artillery echoed through the region Sunday morning as plumes of smoke spiraled into the blue skies along the slope of Mauna Loa. West Hawaii Today.

Business leaders resist tax proposals. Lawmakers are considering a package of tax increases and other tax changes in the final weeks of the legislative session that could raise more than $100 million a year to help balance the state budget, but those plans have aroused the ire of major players in the business community. Star-Advertiser.

Airport authority bill once again fails to pass. For the fourth year in a row, a bill that would place authority over the state’s airports in the hands of an independent corporation has failed to pass. Tribune-Herald.

Legislators pushing for electric vehicle chargers. Bills that mandate that EV charging capacity be part of new construction projects or provide developers with incentives for installing more charging stations are under consideration at the Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Bill to regulate midwives reveals divide. Senate Bill 1033, approved Friday by the Legislature and moved to the governor, licenses midwives and make it illegal for cultural and traditional practitioners to provide midwifery services after 2023. Star-Advertiser.

Where Hawaii Renters Spend Half Their Incomes On Housing. In the state as a whole, people at many income levels who rent — not just low-income residents — face a shortage of rental housing. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Lawmakers must try, try and try again until they forge needed law on vacation rentals. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu


After the election: Kobayashi and Caldwell promise to work together more. In the wake of Tommy Waters’ decisive Honolulu City Council win Saturday night, Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Council Chairwoman Ann Kobayashi spoke of the need to set aside politics and work more collaboratively in the coming months. Star-Advertiser.

Waters Wins Honolulu City Council Special Election. The unofficial results show Waters drew 17,491 votes to Trevor Ozawa's 16,487, a margin of 1,004 votes. Hawaii Public Radio.

Waters upsets incumbent Ozawa in a special election for Honolulu City Council. Tommy Waters is now the councilmember-elect for the District 4 seat on the Honolulu City Council. Hawaii News Now.

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HART board chair under federal investigation — but it’s not about the rail project. The FBI is investigating the local electrical workers’ and plumbers’ unions over a $6 million investment in a private company. Hawaii News Now.

Vacation Rentals On Oahu May Face Tough Enforcement And New Limits. Airbnb says bills before the Honolulu City Council could cause economic damage by suddenly removing many tourist rentals from the market. Civil Beat.

Some are worried about the impact homeless encampments have on a learning center for young children. A House Concurrent Resolution urges the state and the city to start a task force, develop strategies and a plan that'll assist those on the streets. KITV.

Hawaii Island

Councilman wants to make more clear what alternatives will be acceptable to polystyrene. Hawaii County’s polystyrene ban could be amended before it goes into effect. Tribune-Herald.

The state Public Utilities Commission, the state consumer advocate and representatives from Hawaii Electric Light Co. were out in force Friday evening for a public hearing on a proposed rate hike. Everyone was at the public hearing, in fact, except for one key component — the public. West Hawaii Today.

UH looks to hold additional hearings on Maunakea rules. The University of Hawaii is requesting a second round of public hearings be held for its draft Maunakea administrative rules after making revisions. Tribune-Herald.

Scrap yard cleanup costs nearly double. The price to clean up the old Kealakehe scrapyard has nearly doubled to $10 million. West Hawaii Today.

Nearly a year later, many eruption evacuees still in search of a permanent home. Of the 626 families who needed help finding a new place to live, only 153 have been able to secure permanent housing. Another 45 families, totaling 156 people, requested plane tickets so they could start over somewhere else. Hawaii News Now.

Is It A Waste Of Time To Complain About Illegal Building Here? Understaffed and saddled with red tape, inspectors have a hard time dealing with issues like a proposed farm complex in Upper Puna that has neighbors upset. Civil Beat.

Maui

3 percent Maui County Council salary hike lacks the votes in Salary Commission. Commission gave administration officials that amount in 2018. Maui News.

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino today announced his commitment to resurrecting Maui County’s longtime water reuse program. The program had been put on hold due to pending litigation involving the Department of Environmental Management’s permitted use of injection wells in West Maui. Maui Now.

The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development recently issued more than $254,000 in grants to various local organizations. Grantees were selected based on their economic impact within Maui County through business and/or the jobs they created or sustained. Maui Now.

New safety questions raised after 2 detainees escape Maui jail through broken door. Two pretrial detainees escaped from the Maui Community Correctional Center early Sunday through a broken door, raising new safety questions about the facility. Hawaii News Now.

Inmate: ‘This is crazy; we going die’. MCCC riot described by those inside Module B. Maui News.

Kauai

DLNR Worker Bought Truck Parts With State Money. The maintenance worker on Kauai faces ethics charges and is expected to be fined $4,500. Civil Beat.

Homeless encampment lies on state DOT land. The Department of Transportation has scheduled an assessment of a homeless encampment on Rice Street for April 17. Garden Island.

Community fears reopening Kuhio Highway will create flood of tourists. The April 14-15, 2018, flood washed out Kuhio Highway, the only route into the small communities of Lumahai, Wainiha and Haena. Since then the road has been opened to local residents but not tourists. Now with repairs almost complete, the state plans to reopen Kuhio Highway to all traffic May 1. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai communities have more miles to go on the road to recovery. Last year’s flooding was Kauai’s worst disaster since Hurricane Iniki struck the island more than 25 years ago. Over 350 homes were destroyed or damaged. A dozen landslides forced the closure of a 2-mile stretch of Kuhio Highway, cutting off the communities of Lumahai, Wainiha and Haena. Star-Advertiser.

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