Wednesday, June 5, 2019

State, EPA agree on pesticide use, court approves Zuckerberg land sale, Katherine Kealoha's grandmother testifies, tourism industry opposes Honolulu tax, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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HDOA, EPA reach resolution about impact of chemicals. Tuesday, Earthjustice announced an informal resolution agreement between the two agencies, one that forces the state Department of Agriculture to start implementing restricted-use pesticide reporting, annual public disclosure of the reports, maps that indicate buffer zones around schools and public notice of the prohibition of chlorpyrifos use. Garden Island.

State, EPA reach agreement on how to implement law aimed at regulating pesticide use. The Environmental Protection Agency has reached an agreement with the state Department of Agriculture on how to implement Act 45, which was signed by the governor last year. Hawaii News Now.

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To help solve Hawaii’s housing crisis, some leaders are looking to Singapore. An affordable housing delegation from Hawaii -- made up of lawmakers, state and city housing officials, developers, architects, entrepreneurs, and community advocates -- traveled to Singapore last month to learn how the island nation overcame a major housing crisis and now touts one of the highest home ownership rates in the world. Hawaii News Now.

Federal Fisheries Council Has A Long History Of Secrecy. Wespac has for years resisted releasing information, fighting public records requests, lawsuits and even congressional inquiries. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Katherine Kealoha’s grandmother gives tearful testimony. Florence M. Puana, a 99-year-old great-great-great-grandmother with an eighth-grade education, testified in a videotaped deposition aired Tuesday that she trusted her attorney/granddaughter, Katherine Kea­loha, to manage a reverse mortgage on Puana’s home only to discover that $23,976.69 of the money went to a lavish breakfast for then-Police Chief Louis Kealoha at the Sheraton Waikiki. Star-Advertiser.

She Says She Was Betrayed By Her Granddaughter, Katherine Kealoha. Jurors watch the video testimony of Florence Puana, 99, in the public corruption trial of the Kealohas and three police officers. Civil Beat.

She said to trust her’: Kealoha’s 99-year-old grandma tells her story to jury. In an emotional, hours-long video deposition played for jurors Tuesday, Katherine Kealoha’s 99-year-old grandmother talked about how she trusted her granddaughter -- and how devastated she was to learn “she wasn’t the person I thought I knew.” Hawaii News Now.

KEALOHA TRIAL: Jurors watched video testimony of Florence Puana, Katherine Kealoha's grandmother. KHON2.

Katherine Kealoha's grandmother says that she 'didn't know' about a joint checking account. Florence Puana did not have a card, nor a checkbook for the bank account. KITV.

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Hawaii Tourism Industry Opposes Proposed Property Tax Increase, Say It's Paying For Rail. Members of the Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association, opposing Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s proposal to raise real property taxes for hotels and resorts, say they're being made to bear the burden of the $9 billion rail system. Hawaii Public Radio.

Last ditch effort afoot to quash proposed property tax hike for hotels. Leaders from the hotel industry gathered on the lawn of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Tuesday in a last ditch bid to block an increase in their property taxes. Hawaii News Now.

Leaks detected in deck of Honolulu rail line. The concrete deck of the elevated Honolulu rail line has cracks in a “handful” of areas that have been allowing rain to leak into the hollow interior of the structure, according to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's homeless: Dying on the streets. For many homeless residents, death is just part of life on the streets. KITV.

Project To Help Homeless Imperiled By Major Donor’s Bankruptcy. A local philanthropic organization formed to reduce homelessness may never get on its feet following a recent bankruptcy case involving its first major donor, a one-time violent criminal turned entrepreneur. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Raises for firefighters. With more than 30 black-shirted firefighters crowding into council chambers and watching them closely, three County Council members switched their votes Tuesday to give unanimous support to their raises. West Hawaii Today.

State wants case involving cop closed off. Prosecutors are looking to have a felony drug case thrown out at the request of the police chief because a key witness is a sworn police officer under internal investigation. West Hawaii Today.

Disaster bill packed with aid for Big Island, including funds for HVNP, HVO, farmers and more. The long-delayed $19.1 billion disaster relief bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday contains some “sorely needed” funds for Hawaii Island and other parts of the state struggling to recover from natural disasters. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Carlos, Alexa PenaVega caught up in Maui’s vacation rental housing debate. Acting couple seeking short-term rental permit for Kihei home. Maui News.

A popular Maui beach is the subject of a turf war between paddlers, businesses. A county council committee considered a measure that would ban commercial activities at Lahaina’s Hanakao’o Beach Park, otherwise known as Canoe Beach. Hawaii News Now.

New invasive caterpillar threatens rare native plants on Maui. State officials are warning of a new, invasive insect destructive to mamaki plants – the Ramie caterpillar — which has been detected on Maui. Star-Advertiser.

Construction down on Maui since rental car facility finished. Most still employed but no more large jobs in pipeline. Maui News.

Kauai

Land auction involving Facebook CEO gets court’s OK. A retired University of Hawaii professor Tuesday bid nearly $2.2 million to wrest 2 acres of land on Kauai from a few hundred family members in a forced court auction initiated partly by Facebook’s billionaire CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Star-Advertiser.

Andrade buys all four kuleana. Carlos Andrade, a retired history professor and partial heir to several small land parcels on Mark Zuckerberg’s North Shore estate, outbid a group of his distant relatives during a court hearing on Tuesday, purchasing all four of the contested lots for just over $2 million. Garden Island.

Former Las Vegas Captain Adapts To New World As Kauai Police Chief. Todd Raybuck commanded one of nine patrol divisions packed into a single city. Civil Beat.

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