Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Water concerns linger at Legislature, Maui mayor reveals past sex assault, DOE accelerates school repairs, tobacco tax hike snuffed out, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Pipe brings water down from the mountain ©2019 All Hawaii News
State Senate leaders say they don’t intend to revive water bill. Leaders in the Senate say they have no plans to revive a controversial bill that would extend the deadline for Alexander & Baldwin and other water users to convert their water permits into long-term leases, contrary to a flurry of concerns from the bill’s opponents that the Senate might attempt a last-ditch maneuver to ram the measure through the Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: Possible Resurrection Of Water Bill Has Capitol Abuzz. Lawmakers supporting the measure to extend rights to divert stream water — including for Alexander & Baldwin — play hardball behind closed doors. Civil Beat.

All eyes were on House Bill 1326 at the Legislature on Monday, even though the Senate Committee on Ways and Means deferred it last week, effectively killing the measure. Garden Island.

Gathering at the State Capitol rotunda over water rights bill. The sound of chanting and pahu drum echoed through the state Capitol Monday night. KITV.


Bills Lighten Up On Pot Possession, But Add Penalties For Drugged Driving. A Senate committee passed a measure to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, while a House committee voted to add penalties for drugged drivers. Civil Beat.

There will be no increase to the tax on cigarettes and little cigars after a measure that initially sought to increase the cost of a pack of cigarettes by $1 was snuffed out. West Hawaii Today.

Sen. Kai Kahele says he’s raised $250K for run at U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s seat. Kahele is running for the U.S. House of Representatives’ seat currently occupied by U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. The seat represents rural Oahu and the neighbor islands. Star-Advertiser.

Ed Case’s ‘Talk Story’ Has Aged Well. The Hawaii congressman perfected constituent forums when he was in office 10 years ago. Now he’s taking that show on the road again. Civil Beat.

Moving Hawaii’s Technology Out Of The Dark Ages. The Legislature is considering bills that would help modernize decades old and outdated systems. Civil Beat.

State Initiates Audit Of School Impact Fees On Developers. The fees on new residential developments in certain areas have proven controversial since they were authorized by the Legislature in 2007. Civil Beat.

DOE finds quick fix for school roofs. Previously, each roof repair for a public school had to go through the traditional design-bid-build process, which typically takes several years. The new approach, known as job-order contracting, instead relies on several companies chosen through competitive bidding to perform common repair projects at fixed prices under a multiyear contract. Star-Advertiser.

Department of Education using new contracting method to clear backlog of repair projects. KHON2.


Katherine Kealoha loses fight to keep personnel file secret, but questions remain. Circuit Court Judge Edward Kubo has reviewed Katherine Kealoha’s employment records from the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney’s office, but hinted in court Monday that it didn’t provide all the information requested. Hawaii News Now.

The state is soliciting developers again to revitalize its run-down Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor in Waikiki 11 years after making a similar attempt that failed amid much public criticism. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources published a request for proposals Friday seeking competitive bids to redevelop 11 acres that include parking areas, public restrooms, a former fuel dock, a former boat repair site and submerged lands extending off the fuel dock and boat repair sites. Star-Advertiser.

Longtime television anchor Marisa Yamane is leaving KHON2 to join the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Yamane, 40, who co-anchors newscasts three times a day, will be director of communications and public relations at the HTA, where she will oversee a contract with PR firm Anthology Marketing Group. Star-Advertiser.

Solar permits issued on Oahu continued their downward trend and plunged 14 percent in the first quarter. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Verizon Tower For Lower Puna Planned. The Windward Planning Commission has some concerns about the placement of the tower near Highway 130, although they agree the service in needed in the area. Big Island Video News.

Waimea-Kohala Airport subsidy moving forward. Continuation of commercial air service from Waimea-Kohala Airport is on solid footing for the next two years, based on an agreement Hawaii County plans to sign with the U.S. Department of Transportation. West Hawaii Today.

The planning for the removal of the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory from Mauna Kea is underway, but an event that occurred at the facility in 2009 sparked some discussion at the Maunakea Management Board meeting on April 2 in Hilo. Big Island Video News.

Thirty Meter Telescope has green light, but protesters aren’t giving up fight. On Monday, Native Hawaiians gathered at the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus to honor the season of Ku -- and honor those who stand for Mauna Kea. Hawaii News Now.

The future of marijuana: Island cannabis industry reps talk hurdles, economic woes. The Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce Medical Cannabis Forum brought business owners together to participate in a panel discussion about medical marijuana on the island. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Mayor Breaks Silence on Sex Assault. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino today, recounted a very personal account of sex assault that he shared for the very first time as joined in offering a proclamation to recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the County of Maui. Maui Now.

Maui mayor reveals haunting personal details of an incident from teenage years. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor to announce decision Tuesday on corporation counsel. There have been calls for the mayor to dismiss Patrick Wong. Maui News.

Maui mayor faces mounting pressure to oust appointee after abuse arrest. Hawaii News Now.

Make way for Southwest. Inaugural flight of Maui service touches down at Kahului Airport. Maui News.


A Kekaha woman was sentenced on Monday to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars she stole from the federal government while working as a clerk at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. Garden Island.

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