Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Hawaii to ban 'gay panic' defense, allow 'Gender X,' herbicides banned at schools, Honolulu hires criminal defense in rail probe, Karen Pence to visit military families, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii to Become 6th State to Ban “Gay Panic” as Affirmative Defense for Murder. Hawaii's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, and asexual community is awaiting the governor’s signature on bills, that when signed into law today, will advance rights and protections of those who identify as such. Maui Now.

Gov. Ige to sign bill allowing ‘Gender X’ on Hawaii driver licenses. In an effort to reduce discrimination against transgender and gender fluid individuals, Hawaii driver licenses will soon sport ‘Gender X’ as an option. Hawaii News Now.

Bill to add more gender categories on Hawaii driver’s licenses to be signed into law. A bill to expand gender categories on Hawaii driver’s licenses will be signed into law today. KHON2.


Herbicides banned on Hawaii public school campuses, superintendent says. Superintendent Christina Kishimoto, after hearing that Roundup was being used on some campuses, sent a memo Tuesday to all principals stressing that herbicides are banned at Hawaii public schools. Star-Advertiser.

Vague guidelines on pesticide use at schools has community calling for change. Parents alongside concerned members of the the community are challenging school officials over the chemicals being used to kill weeds on campus. Hawaii News Now.

Two mothers are suing the Hawaii Department of Public Safety on behalf of their children, over what their lawsuit describes as “repeated and deliberate indifference towards the safety and well-being of inmates with serious mental health issues.” Garden Island.

More than 1,000 pieces of stolen mail found in late postal worker’s storage unit. In an email confirming the discovery, the USPS said there were about 1,000 pieces of stolen mail from about 13 to 15 years ago, along with roughly 11,000 USPS Return Receipt post cards. Hawaii News Now.

Karen Pence visits Hawaii. The Second Lady will speak to military families to highlight the Blue Star Museum program, which she serves as honorary co-chair. KHON2.


Mayor Caldwell signs vacation rental policy bill. It took roughly three decades, but the city now has a broad-ranging policy regulating vacation rentals. Star-Advertiser.

City Will Use ‘Digital Stings’ To Nab Illegal Vacation Rentals Starting Aug. 1. But the full effect of Oahu’s new law severely limiting Airbnb-type rentals and imposing stiff fines on violators won’t start until late 2020. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayor Signs Measure To Regulate Short-Term Rentals. Mayor Kirk Caldwell vetoed one short-term rental measure and signed another that will restrict the operation of the rentals on Oahu. Hawaii Public Radio.

Caldwell signs ‘historic’ bill regulating vacation rental industry on Oahu. Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed a bill into law on Tuesday that will enact some of the toughest new regulations for Oahu’s vacation rental industry in nearly 40 years. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Caldwell signs vacation rentals bill 89, vetoes bill 85. The mayor signed the bill at a press conference at Honolulu Hale on Tuesday. KITV.


City hiring lawyer to address rail subpoenas. The city is hiring an outside attorney to help handle issues related to a federal criminal investigation of the Honolulu rail project, and has budgeted up to $50,000 to cover the cost of that legal work. Star-Advertiser.


Closing arguments in Kealoha corruption trial begin. Prosecutors have said Katherine Kealoha wanted to frame Gerard Puana to keep him from revealing fraud that financed the couple's lavish lifestyle. KITV.

The Kealoha conspiracy case is a story of “greed and manipulation,” a federal prosecutor says. Lawyers for the two remaining defendants, Nguyen and Shiraishi, are scheduled to give their closings this morning; then the government gets the last word with rebuttal remarks. Star-Advertiser.

Kealoha Conspiracy Trial: ‘Power, Greed And Manipulation’. Closing arguments began Tuesday in the trial of Louis and Katherine Kealoha and three Honolulu police officers. Civil Beat.

Defense calls government’s allegations in Kealoha mailbox trial ‘imagination’. In fiery closing arguments Tuesday, a federal prosecutor in the closely-watched public corruption case against the Kealohas told jurors that the case isn’t about a mailbox but about why the defendants would try to frame a Kealoha relative with its theft. Hawaii News Now.

30 HPD Officers Assigned to Watch Kealohas' Relative, Prosecutor Says In Closing Arguments. A U.S. prosecutor says 30 Honolulu police officers conducted 24-hour surveillance on the uncle of former deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha the week she claimed he stole her mailbox in 2013. Associated Press.

Hawaii Island

E. Kalani Flores testified in opposition to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit renewal for the Thirty Meter Telescope construction on Mauna Kea, one of many to speak out at a public hearing held Tuesday night in Kona. Big Island Video News.

Kailua-Kona’s first medical marijuana dispensary opens Sunday. Hawaiian Ethos, one of only two businesses licensed to sell medical marijuana products on the Big Island, plans a grand opening celebration Sunday at its Olowalu Street dispensary in the Kaloko Light Industrial Area. West Hawaii Today.

Island’s two major well-diggers have work galore. The Big Island’s two major well-drillers continue to ask for more time to complete their projects, even as new contracts are awarded to them. West Hawaii Today.


Final EIS released for Pulehunui master plan. Plan outlines water, wastewater, roads for major state projects. Maui News.

Maui Bus to Reduce Fares for Seniors, Disabled and Others, July 1. The County of Maui Department of Transportation announced that beginning Monday, July 1, 2019, the Maui Bus is implementing reduced single boarding fares of $1.00 for fixed route service. Maui Now.


Hundreds rally for salt ponds. A Kauai County Planning Commission meeting drew a crowd of well over a hundred local residents, who showed up at the county government building in Lihue on Tuesday morning to speak on behalf of their culture, their heritage, their land and their salt. Garden Island.


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