Monday, April 1, 2019

Reducing plastic straws, lawmakers look to tax hikes, two Cabinet members out, flavored vape bills advance, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2019 All Hawaii News
A new bill would require customers to ask for plastic straws. A bill making its way through the state Legislature would require restaurants in Hawaii to provide customers with straws only if they ask for them, or face a fine of $25 a day. Star-Advertiser.

Some Hawaii Taxes And Fees Are Almost Certain To Rise. The leaders of the Legislature’s money committees say more revenue is essential, and there’s a raft of proposals to raise more cash. Civil Beat.

Ige Decides Not To Renominate Two Cabinet Members. Jobie Masagatani, chair of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, and Rod Becker, director of the Department of Budget and Finance, will not be nominated to serve new four-year terms. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Considers Flavored E-Cigarette Ban To Curb Teen Vaping. The first state to limit tobacco and electronic cigarette sales to people 21 and older is contemplating a new nicotine crackdown: outlawing flavored electronic cigarette liquids and flavored tobacco to combat a spike in teenage vaping. Associated Press.

Oahu


UH law instructor under fire for speaking to media about Kealoha corruption case. The defense attorney for Louis Kealoha says the school should fire the employee if he continues to make statements to the media about the proceedings. Hawaii News Now.

Kealoha Attorney Wants UH Instructor Muzzled Or Fired. Rustam Barbee says that UH law school instructor Ken Lawson has crossed a line. But Lawson says Barbee is trying to bully him into silence about the case. Civil Beat.

"I won't shut up" - legal analyst responds to job threat from Kealoha's lawyer. A legal analyst says he will not be intimidated by Louis Kealoha's lawyer. KITV.

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‘Bring it on’: Judge issues stern warning to city Prosecutor’s Office. Circuit Court Judge Edward Kubo did not hold back in court Friday after the Honolulu prosecutor’s office ignored an order to turn over the personnel records of former deputy city Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha. Hawaii News Now.

It would save the city about $450 million to halt construction of the rail project at Middle Street, according to rail officials. Star-Advertiser.

A move to save some trees is stalling the construction of a new school library in Manoa. Environmentalists are upset because the original plans did not call for any tree removal. KITV.

Atlantis resort not ready to rise out of the sea, but work progressing. A Chinese firm is moving its estimated $1.5 billion Atlantis resort at Ko Olina closer to construction after more than two years of planning. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

The U.S. Geological Survey is looking for a new home for the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory after it became displaced because of the Kilauea volcano eruption last year. Associated Press.

Legislature Approves $60M In Volcano Disaster Relief. It includes $20 million in grants and $40 million in loans that the federal money is expected to cover. Associated Press.

Hawaii Legislature Passes $60 Million Kilauea Disaster Relief Bill. Big Island Video News.

Funding For Hawaii County Volcano Recovery Heads To Governor's Desk. Hawaii County is on track to receive up to $60 million in state funds for recovery efforts from last year’s Kilauea eruption. Hawaii Public Radio.

County awaits word from contractor about readiness of fields at long-delayed Kuawa Street park. The new baseball and multipurpose ball fields in Hilo were first estimated to be open in 2016, but the discovery of contaminated soil pushed the timeline back a year. Tribune-Herald.

NOAA assessment finds Kona crab fishery healthy, room for catch to increase. Despite fishermen seeking out the crabs for more than a century, it wasn’t until February that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center published a 2018 stock assessment of the main Hawaiian Islands Kona crab fishery. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Mayor’s budget proposes upgrades to landfill. 19-acre expansion, other improvements could extend its life by as much as 10 years. Maui News.

MECO to pay for some fossil fuel cost. PUC OKs new base rate hike of 3.8% Maui News.

Maui is front and center for its focus on green energy efforts. MEDB’s Hawaii Energy Conference attendance up by 25 percent. Maui News.

Haleakala park visitor count down 6.1% in 2018. Trend continues into the first two months of 2019. Maui News.

Kauai

Old plantation fuel tanks removed. While visitors were walking back and forth from the Pride of America Cruise Ship on Thursday afternoon, workers with Kauai-based Pacific Concrete Cutting &Coring Inc. were making a ruckus. Garden Island.

A food pantry that has operated out of a building on the St. Catherine Church and school campus is closing after nearly a decade of service to the community. Garden Island.

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