Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Polling places may become a thing of the past, public resists Honolulu park plans, Kauai residents want road to themselves, Big Island struggles with Sunshine Law, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Lawmakers approve statewide mail-in voting. Leading lawmakers have finally agreed on a plan to switch to statewide mail-in balloting starting in the 2020 election, a shift that is expected to save the state hundreds of thousands of dollars each election cycle and possibly boost voter turnout slightly. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Takes Another Step Toward Statewide All-Mail Voting. A House-Senate conference committee approves the measure, and other election reform bills remain alive as well. Civil Beat.

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Senate To Vote Wednesday On Public Safety Chief. A panel of senators previously advised that Nolan Espinda not serve a second four-year term. Civil Beat.

Deputy sheriffs, COs using guns and ammo that violate state policy. The department provides all corrections officers who qualify with 9mm, semi-automatic handguns, but the 2010 policy mandates the older, Smith and Wesson .38 revolvers. Hawaii News Now.


Lawmakers Pass Bill Giving Indoor Farmers Better Electric Rates. Hawaiian Electric Co. and the Hawaii Farm Bureau say that the potential rates may not be fair. Civil Beat.

A bill to get rid of the statute of limitations for child sex abuse is facing a mysterious hurdle in the Hawaii Legislature, even though lawmakers in both chambers appear to agree that it’s a good idea. Civil Beat.


State officials announced today the launch of its “Malama Hawaii” campaign in partnership with the Hawaii Tourism Authority, encouraging visitors to care for the state’s natural resources. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Tourism Authority is partnering with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources on two new projects aimed at wilderness preservation and raising public awareness about respect for the land. Garden Island.

Oahu

Neighborhoods Are Really Angry At The Feds’ $345 Million Ala Wai Project. Seven local boards want legislators to halt the flood control project, saying it protects Waikiki at the expense of their communities. Civil Beat.

Bacteria Could Clean Up the Ala Wai Cheaply and Quickly. Honolulu’s Ala Wai canal is one of the most polluted waterways in the country. Hawaii Public Radio.

A Honolulu City Council committee voiced opposition Tuesday to key parts of Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s plan for improving Ala Moana Regional Park. The Parks, Community Services and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee approved a resolution, Resolution 19-92, calling on the mayor to reconsider. Star-Advertiser.

City Council members get into debate over City's controversial master plan for Ala Moana regional park. KITV.

Honolulu residents weigh in as new bulky item collection pilot project nears. Under the new bulky item collection pilot project, residents will have to go to the City's website or call to make an appointment to get their bulky items removed. KHON2.

Convention center scrapped from plans for Hawaiian music and dance center. Key members of the state House and Senate have agreed to scrap the Hawai‘i Convention Center as the location for a proposed Hawaiian music and dance center after the state spent $800,000 studying the feasibility of the location and coming up with preliminary design and business plans. Star-Advertiser.

Kakaako Land Company fined by Hawaii Community Development Authority for poorly maintained roads. The company has been fined $250,000 by the Hawaii Community Development Authority and the deadline to pay is May 15th. KITV.

City Council Searching For New City Auditor. Edwin Young, who has held the job since 2010, retired in February. Civil Beat.

A Honolulu Police Department officer with a troubled past has been arrested for felony abuse of a household member. Officer Darren Cachola was in custody Tuesday night at Honolulu’s main police station. Hawaii News Now.

Police Sergeant who was seen hitting girlfriend in video has been arrested again. KHON2.

HPD officer arrested for abuse of household member. KITV.

HNN picks up 8 regional Edward R. Murrow awards. Hawaii News Now has netted eight Edward R. Murrow regional awards for outstanding broadcast and digital coverage in 2018. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

County budget group may violate Sunshine Law. Behind-the-scenes budget meetings could run afoul of the state Sunshine Law, County Council members learned Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Developers, county host community brainstorming session for Village 9. An accelerated path to alleviating some of the homeless pressure in Kailua Village began Tuesday at the West Hawaii Civic Center. West Hawaii Today.

Kuawa Street park nearly ready for use. The long-delayed Kuawa Street park in Hilo is “99 percent” sure to open by this summer, according to county Parks and Recreation officials. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui Grant Funding Available. The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development has grant funding available for the last quarter of fiscal year 2019. Maui Now.

Founders of biodiesel firm unveil their own green new deal: Hemp. Earth Day blessing fetes Maui’s first state-licensed industrial hemp farm. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauai residents say state misled them on rationale for reopening Kuhio Highway. Residents are pushing back on the state Department of Transportation’s decision to reopen a 2-mile stretch of Kuhio Highway to outside traffic on May 1, and they have found a new argument to fuel their objections. Star-Advertiser.

Flood insurance need arises. Some home and business owners near the Waimea and Hanapepe rivers may have to buy flood insurance starting next year because levees on the banks of both rivers do not meet federal standards for flood prevention. Garden Island.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has determined the Waimea and Hanapepe levees on Kauai do not provide a high level of protection and are to be de-accredited. New preliminary flood maps, effective in 2020 show areas behind the Waimea and Hanapepe levees to be in a high-risk flood zone. Maui Now.

Sub-par Kauai levees mean some could have to buy costly flood insurance. Residents and businesses in Waimea and Hanapepe may be required to purchase costly flood insurance after FEMA found the levees along the rivers do not provide “a high level of protection.” Hawaii News Now.

Endangered Hawaiian monk seal RH38 is back at the Hawaii Island seal hospital in stable, but critical condition about two years after being released back into the wild. Garden Island.

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