Thursday, April 25, 2019

Public Safety Director Espinda confirmed, no budget surplus tax refunds this year, Maui may withdraw injection well appeal, Kauai officials get raises, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda, courtesy photo
Hawaii Senate reconfirms Public Safety Department leader Nolan Espinda. Nolan Espinda was confirmed by the Senate to lead Hawaii’s Department of Public Safety for another four years, but he will do so amid numerous internal and external investigations into a recent riot at the Maui jail that took more than three hours to contain, and the fatal shootings of an Oahu jail inmate and homeless man outside the state Capitol. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Senate voted 17-8 on Wednesday to reconfirm Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda for another term. The Senate’s vote came after a tumultuous couple of months for Espinda and his department. Civil Beat.

State Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda was confirmed by the Hawaii Senate Wednesday after critical remarks by several of his opponents. Hawaii Public Radio.

After intense debate, senators vote to reconfirm embattled Public Safety head. Hawaii News Now.

Senate votes to reconfirm Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda. KHON2.

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Lawmakers decline to issue budget surplus refunds. State lawmakers have decided to make a modest $5 million deposit into the state’s “rainy day” budget reserve fund instead of issuing taxpayer refunds from the state budget surplus this year. Star-Advertiser.

Supporters, critics of $15 minimum wage make last-minute appeals to lawmakers. The deadline to raising Hawaii’s minimum wage is getting closer and both sides of the debate have strong opinions on the issue. Hawaii News Now.

State To Housing Applicants: Sign Up Online Or Lose Your Spot On Wait List. Nearly 14,000 applicants for public housing in Hawaii must sign up online or risk losing their spot in line for one of about 6,100 federal and state-subsidized low-income housing units. Civil Beat.

Members of AARP urged Hawaii lawmakers to save a bill that would help residents save for retirement. They rallied outside the capitol Wednesday hoping to push Senate Bill 1374, which would create a "Hawaii Saves Retirement Savings Program." KITV.

Lost Your Firearm? You Have To Report It. Hawaii’s governor signed the enabling legislation into law Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Attorney general investigates use of illegal GPS jammers by DOCARE officers. The state Attorney General’s Office is investigating the use of illegal GPS jammers by state conservation officers. Hawaii News Now.

Are Medical Costs Dropping Under HMSA's New Doctor Payment Plan? HMSA now pre-pays primary care doctors with a capped amount per patient. The new system has been in place for two years, and the jury is still out on whether it's met its goal of lowering medical costs and improving the quality of care. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

Honolulu leads state in population loss, Census finds. Honolulu was the biggest population loser over the eight-year period, having posted a net loss of more than 61,700 residents from domestic migration — residents leaving Oahu for other U.S. counties versus newcomers arriving. Star-Advertiser.

A Nonprofit Honolulu Rehab Center Mixes Taxpayer Support With Lavish Pay. The executive director of the nonprofit Sand Island Treatment Center has been paid as much as $500,000 a year — and many counselors make over $100,000 — far in excess of their peers in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Residents run into red tape in push to tackle squatters’ village in Kalihi Valley. Homeless squatters have built a new village in Kalihi Valley, and the city says they can’t evict them. Hawaii News Now.

Lawsuit filed raises allegations of conspiracy and abuse against HPD and several officers. KHON2.

Public input still open for "Oahu's First Pedestrian Plan". The City and County of Honolulu wants to improve pedestrian safety by creating "Oahu's First Pedestrian Plan" to update streets. It's currently taking public feedback of pedestrian areas that need additional safety measures. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

DLNR Chair Gives Pohakuloa, Mauna Kea, TMT Update. During the nomination hearing before the Senate Water & Land Committee, Sen. Kai Kahele asked DLNR chair Suzanne Case for an update on the hot-button land management issues. Big Island Video News.

Council approves software upgrade. The County Council approved a three-year, $320,000 software license Wednesday that the administration said will fix the problem holding up the county’s $2.3 million building permit system as well as improve geographic information systems at the Civil Defense Agency, Mass Transit Agency and other county departments. West Hawaii Today.

Gov. Ige Releases $1.9M for New Waikoloa Public Library. Ige released $1.9 million in Capital Improvement Project funds on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, to buy a 1.750-acre parcel for a new Waikoloa Public Library. Big Island Now.

Maui

Council looks to have final say over injection wells settlement. Chairwoman King wants to see county withdraw appeal from US Supreme Court. Maui News.

Tsuhako approved as housing director. Lori Tsuhako was unanimously approved as director of Housing and Human Concerns on Tuesday by the Maui County Council. Maui News.

Kauai

Raises get green light. Raises for some county officials and employees were approved Wednesday. Garden Island.

Homeless camp cleared. In what is the start of an islandwide homeless encampment sweep, government agencies began removing unauthorized property and persons on a parcel of state land along Rice Street Wednesday morning. Garden Island.

Research rockets launched from PMRF. The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration and Sandia National Laboratories launched two research rockets this week from the Pacific Missile Range Facility. Garden Island.

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