Friday, April 12, 2019

Senate panel votes against Public Safety director's confirmation, more details emerge on federal rail fund withholding, AC Hotel Wailea by Marriott breaks ground on Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Senate panel votes against reappointing public safety director. A state Senate committee voted Thursday against reappointing Nolan Espinda director of the Department of Public Safety, citing last month’s riot at the Maui jail, recent shootings of an Oahu jail inmate and a homeless man, detention of prisoners beyond their release dates and an alleged culture of retaliation and intimidation within the department. Star-Advertiser.

Ige Stands By His Public Safety Chief After Senate Panel Calls For Espinda’s Ouster. A Senate committee harshly criticized Nolan Espinda’s leadership of Hawaii’s prisons and the Sheriff Division. Civil Beat.

Senate Committee Votes Against Confirming Public Safety Director. Nolan Espinda, Gov. David Ige’s nominee to head the state Department of Public Safety, won’t get the backing of a key legislative committee. Hawaii Public Radio.

Senate committee won’t recommend Espinda’s return as public safety director. Hawaii News Now.


Administrator in charge of DPS training programs accused of lying on her resume. The woman in charge of training more than 1,500 of Hawaii’s deputy sheriffs and adult corrections officers is facing public scrutiny for allegedly being dishonest about her job qualifications. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Rifle Association, NRA Seek Injunction To Suspend Gun Carry Requirements. Gun advocates filed a motion Thursday in U.S. District Court asking for an immediate injunction stopping enforcement of permit requirements that they say amount to a de facto ban on carrying guns. Hawaii Public Radio.

Urgency claimed in isle lawsuit over public carry of guns. The Hawaii Rifle Association is attempting to obtain quick action in a 2-week-old federal lawsuit aimed at allowing many residents statewide to carry loaded handguns in public. Star-Advertiser.

The number of farms in Hawaii grew substantially from 2012 to 2017, though the market value of the industry dropped nearly $100 million over the same period. That’s according to numbers released Thursday morning by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in its 2017 Census of Agriculture. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii School Chief Asks DeVos About Teacher Shortage. Christina Kishimoto mentioned the challenge of teacher retention in remote areas. Civil Beat.


With still two days left, record number of ballots cast in City Council special election. Ahead of Saturday’s deadline, more than 31,000 votes have already been cast in the City Council District IV special election. Hawaii News Now.


Honolulu Rail’s Final Federal Money Not Expected Until Next Year. The Federal Transit Administration has withheld $744 million from the project since 2015. Civil Beat.

Federal agency demands faster city contributions for rail. The Federal Transit Administration wants to see the city accelerate the pace of its contributions to help fund the Honolulu rail project before the FTA releases $744 million in federal funding it has withheld from the project. Star-Advertiser.

Feds Delaying Rail Funding, Citing Concerns About The Project. The Federal Transit Administration is withholding payments for Honolulu's rail system until officials make changes to its plan to get the $9 billion project back on track. Hawaii Public Radio.

Feds to delay release of millions in rail funding over construction concerns. Citing concerns about two impending construction contracts, the FTA has decided to delay the release of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding intended to help propel Honolulu’s rail line toward completion. Hawaii News Now.

Federal Transit Administration withholding rail transit funding until February 2020. KHON2.


Health director wants Navy to move Red Hill fuel tanks. State Department of Health Director Bruce Anderson is urging the Navy to relocate its underground fuel storage facility at Red Hill away from a major source of Oahu’s drinking water.  Star-Advertiser.

Worried about 'catastrophic’ spill, state wants U.S. Navy to move its Red Hill fuel tanks. Hawaii News Now.

Turtle Bay to start $70M renovation. Turtle Bay, which is owned by Blackstone and managed by Benchmark Resorts &Hotels, plans to start a $70 million renovation by the fourth quarter of this year that will be the precursor for its plan to add about 725 more units during a lengthy build-out that could start two or three years from now. Star-Advertiser.

An Ewa Elementary School A-plus teacher is accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old former student. An Oahu grand jury returned an indictment today charging Jordan Cortez with eight counts of sexual assault. Star-Advertiser.

Thousands of items from the Honolulu Police Department’s evidence room are up for auction. HPD amassed the items from various criminal cases over the years as well as from personal property turned in by the public that was never claimed by their owners. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Lawmakers talk successes, failures at legislative forum. A handful of lawmakers took some time Wednesday to return to Hawaii Island for a Community Forums event and talk story on a few measures of note in the 2019 legislative session, both those that look promising and those that have fallen short. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Council approves two of three lava disaster aid bills. Bills passed on final reading clear the way to accept $40 million in loans from the state and adds restoration of Highway 132 to the capital budget. Tribune-Herald.

An old hospital in Hilo is being transformed into a haven for the homeless. In Hilo, an old hospital is being transformed into one of the state's first homeless Ohana Zones. It's one of two Ohana Zone projects in the works for Hawaii Island. Hawaii News Now.

Wally Lau, Kimo Lee Named To Kahu Ku Mauna. The Maunakea Management Board voted to approve the two selections to the volunteer advisory board during its April 2 meeting. Big Island Video News.


Hale Mahaolu Lahaina Surf will not raise rents on tenants. Housing complex only looking to raise subsidy that HUD pays  Maui News.

Lahaina Cannery Mall eyes expansion with gas station. Plans call for 8-pump gas station and convenience store. Maui News.

New AC Hotel Wailea Breaks Ground. The 110-room AC Hotel Wailea by Marriott is being built on a three acre-lot situated at the corner of Wailea Ike Place and Wailea Ike Drive, adjacent to the Wailea Tennis Club. Maui Now.

Ex-Maui inmate gets $10K in sex assault lawsuit settlement. A former inmate who says Hawaii officials didn’t protect her against a guard convicted of sexually assaulting her is settling a lawsuit for $10,000. Associated Press.

Ex-Maui inmate gets $10K in sex assault lawsuit settlement. A former inmate who alleges Hawaii officials didn't protect her against a guard convicted of sexual assault is settling a lawsuit for $10,000. Hawaii News Now.


Former lifeguard’s lawsuit dismissed. A Fifth Circuit Court judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit brought by a former firefighter, alleging his supervisors in the Kauai Fire Department threatened and retaliated against him for testifying about their alleged misconduct. Garden Island.

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