Friday, April 5, 2019

Legislature kills water permit plan, flavored vape bill dies, Public Safety director confirmation delayed, Maui jail riot evidence missing, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Flume brings water from the mountain to valley farmland ©2019 All Hawaii News
Senate panel shelves bill on access to public water. A Senate committee Thursday killed a bill that would have allowed an assortment of utilities, landowners, ranchers and farmers to continue accessing public water under revocable permits while they worked to satisfy stringent state requirements for obtaining long-term leases. Star-Advertiser.

Water Rights Bill Goes Down The Drain In ‘Historic Vote’. The land company Alexander & Baldwin is among the big losers after senators can’t agree on a proposal to allow stream diversion to continue. Civil Beat.


Decision on reappointment of public safety director is delayed. The Senate Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs Committee on Thursday delayed making a decision on whether to advise the full Senate to reconfirm Nolan Espinda as Gov. David Ige’s pick to lead the department after hearing two hours of testimony from both supporters and opponents. Star-Advertiser.

Senators’ Scrutiny Of Public Safety Chief Will Stretch Into Next Week. Nolan Espinda faces two more days of committee hearings before his reconfirmation will be considered by the full Senate. Civil Beat.

Senate Committee Defers Decision On Public Safety Chief’s Confirmation. A state Senate committee deferred a decision Thursday on Governor David Ige’s nominee to head the Department of Public Safety. Hawaii Public Radio.

Public Safety Director fights to keep his job, faces opposition. Senate committee to decide if they'll recommend Espinda for the director position to the full Senate next week. KITV.

Embattled Public Safety director testifies at confirmation hearing. Embattled Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda addressed senators at his confirmation hearing Thursday, saying he’s proud of the progress he’s made at the head of a department that oversees the state’s correctional facilities and sheriff’s division. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii legislative committee kills ban on flavored e-cigarettes. Hawaii lawmakers today killed a proposal that would have banned flavored electronic smoking devices and e-liquids, saying they suspected teenagers would continue to get the products online even if sales were prohibited. Star-Advertiser.

Surprising Support For New Tax On Hawaii’s Powerful Real Estate Interests. Past efforts to tax REITs, which own $18 billion of property locally, have gone nowhere. This session, the proposal has already passed the full Senate and House committees. Civil Beat.

In wake of critical audit, OHA board approves internal reboot. Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees unanimously approved a new governance framework for the agency Thursday in a push to address the results of a critical audit. Hawaii News Now.

Micronesians In Hawaii Still Struggle To Get Health Care. Low-income patients are afraid of going to the doctor and being saddled with co-payments. Unlike U.S. citizens or many green card holders, they aren’t eligible for Medicaid. Civil Beat.

Legislators Seek Ways To Improve Healthcare for Micronesians. Hawaii Public Radio.

Meth, weed use up, cocaine down. Marijuana and amphetamine use is on the rise in Hawaii, according to an analysis of drug test results. Garden Island.

Hawaiian Airlines begins service to Boston. Hawaiian Airlines on Thursday celebrated a milestone in its 90-year history by becoming the only carrier to offer nonstop flights between Honolulu and Boston. Star-Advertiser.


Waters Leads Ozawa In Money Raised And Spent In City Council Race. The service workers union AiKea Unite Here raised $170,000 in three months to support Waters. Civil Beat.

Waters out-raising and out-spending Ozawa. Tommy Waters raised more and spent more than Trevor Ozawa through March 29 in their winner-take-all, third-round election duel for the Honolulu City Council District 4 seat. Star-Advertiser.

The Special Election for the District 4 seat in the Honolulu City Council is eight days away. Tommy Waters has raised about $97,000 more in campaign contributions than Trevor Ozawa. KITV.


Unsealed court documents released Thursday show Katherine Kealoha is mentally fit to stand trial. A forensic psychiatrist evaluated Kealoha last November for about two and a half hours. KITV.

Caldwell plan for garbage fee could be trashed. Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s plan to impose a $5 monthly curbside trash pickup fee on Oahu households may be tossed into the rubbish heap, Honolulu City Council Budget Chairman Joey Manahan said. Star-Advertiser.

Solvent contamination delays rail work. The discovery of contamination from an industrial solvent in a monitoring well near the Honolulu airport halted drilling for columns on a segment of the Honolulu rail project for more than three months, according to the rail authority. Star-Advertiser.

One year after major flood, repairs to Aina Haina Library finally complete. A year after floodwaters rushed through Aina Haina Library, leaving behind a big mess, the popular community gathering place is set to reopen. Hawaii News Now.

Hippo Louise moves into her newly renovated home at Honolulu Zoo. After the completion of a $3.5 million capital improvement project, the hippo habitat now features an upgraded barn and a filtration system that cycles the 40,000-gallon hippo pond every 20 minutes. KHON2.

Oahu home prices continue to rise despite lower sales. Single-family home prices on Oahu rose over the past 12 months even as overall sales dropped and condominium prices remained flat. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Fish in marine reserve off North Kona coast are recovering, surveys find. Signs that fish populations are beginning to recover at the Ka‘upulehu Marine Reserve off the North Kona coast are giving scientists and community members hope after two years of restrictions on fishing. Star-Advertiser.

Fish Recovering At Kaupulehu Two Years Into Moratorium. Based on surveys conducted in 2018, the Nature Conservancy reported an increase in fish populations at the Kaupulehu Marine Reserve. Big Island Video News.

Open space fund draws most opinion at charter meeting. The Charter Commission afforded West Hawaii residents a platform Wednesday to make their voices heard on potential amendments to the county’s foundational document. West Hawaii Today.

Possible relocation of HVO to Oahu raises concerns. Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno is among those concerned about a potential move of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory to Oahu. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo Farmers Market Permit Revoked, New Permits Sought. A plan to construct a 3-story commercial building at the current Hilo Farmers Market site has been abandoned in favor of a “scaled-down, open-air building concept” that requires different permits. Big Island Video News.

Farmers market’s SMA permit revoked. Long-abandoned plans to build a three-story building at the Hilo Farmers Market have been formally scrapped. Tribune-Herald.


DOE will build underpass or overpass to Kihei high school. This follows LUC vote reaffirming project condition. The state Department of Education said Wednesday that it will comply with the requirement to build an overpass or underpass across Piilani Highway to Kihei high school — but not until after the school opens. Maui News.

Infrastructure Exploratory Work Begins in Wailuku. The first phase of the Wailuku Civic Complex project includes the full upgrade of roads and utilities on the block of Church Street between Main and Vineyard streets as well as the two blocks of Vineyard between High and Market streets. Maui Now.

Video Evidence from Maui Jail Riot is Missing. The incident remains under investigation but, department officials have pointed toward “extreme overcrowded conditions” as the motivation behind the riot. Maui Now.

Vital piece of evidence in investigation into Maui jail riot is missing. Hawaii News Now.

Phone threat prompts lockdown at Maui hospital. A spokesman from the Maui Police Department says Maui Memorial Medical Center was placed on lockdown Thursday night. KHON2.


Recycling facility moves to Ahukini. The certified redemption center accepts all Hi5 products and also will have a buy-back program for aluminum, copper, brass and stainless steel scrap metals. Garden Island.


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