Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Hawaii economy sours, TMT reaches Canary Island land agreement, Honolulu may lift rent caps, millions pledged for Maui jail, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Endangered Koloa Maoli duck in Hawaii ©2019 All Hawaii News
New study bolsters efforts to save endangered Hawaiian duck. New findings suggest conservation efforts aimed at protecting an endangered Hawaiian duck are working. Hawaii News Now.

State Economist: Challenges Ahead As Visitor, Construction Sectors Soften. Total visitor spending declined and the value of private building permits decreased this year through September, signs that the Hawaii economy is ratcheting back. Hawaii Public Radio.

Chinese Visitors Numbers Continue To Decline. Why Geopolitics, Free Market May Be To Blame. Chinese visitors to Hawaii are down 26 percent through the third quarter of 2019. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Tourism Authority marketing now includes teaching tourists to be responsible. The Hawaii Tourism Authority is adding “responsible tourism” to its traditional marketing, a departure from its past focus on promoting Hawaii’s beaches, weather, natural beauty and unique Hawaiian culture. Star-Advertiser.

Gen. LaCamera assumes role in change of command ceremony. There’s a new man in charge of the more than 85,000 soldiers of U.S. Army Pacific. Hawaii News Now.

What’s Behind Hawaii’s Rising Test Scores For English Learners. A policy shift several years ago that makes “exiting” out of an English language program more rigorous could hold some clues. Civil Beat.

Oahu

City affordable housing rent caps might be lifted. In an effort to ease Oahu’s housing crunch, the city in May passed the Affordable Rental Housing Bill, which provides tax waivers and other incentives to property owners who agree to rent most of their units to median- and lower-income families at federally established guideline rates of no more than about $1,500-$2,000 a month for one- or two-bedroom units. Star-Advertiser.

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Navy says their plan to reduce risk from Red Hill fuel tanks will take some time. People crowded into a public meeting on Tuesday to weigh in on the U.S. Navy and Defense Logistics Agency's proposal to upgrade the underground storage tanks at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility. Hawaii News Now.

Public comments taken at community meeting about Red Hill fuel storage tanks. People came to a public meeting Tuesday, Nov. 19 to let the federal Environmental Protection Agency know what they think about military fuel storage at Red Hill, and the risks it poses to Oahu’s water supply. KHON2.

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Honolulu officer expected to plead guilty in urinal case. A Honolulu police officer is expected to plead guilty to depriving a homeless man of his civil rights by forcing him to lick a public urinal. Associated Press.

Officer accused of forcing man to lick urinal set to change his plea. Another Honolulu Police Officer accused of forcing a homeless man to lick a public urinal is expected to confess to the civil rights violation. Hawaii News Now.

HPD officer accused of forcing homeless man to lick urinal expected to plead guilty. A Honolulu police officer is expected to plead guilty to depriving a homeless man of his civil rights by forcing him to lick a public urinal. KITV.

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More arrests made as hundreds of wind farm protesters turn out to Kalaeloa again. Several wind farm opponents were arrested late Wednesday after hundreds showed up in Kalaeloa for another night of protests. Hawaii News Now.

This Honolulu Lawyer Has Run A Marshallese Baby Business With Impunity. Laurie Loomis’ operation, including flying women from the Marshall Islands for adoptions, resembles that of a recently indicted Arizona lawyer, but thus far she has faced no consequences. Civil Beat.

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Marine Corps’ plans for 1,500-foot sea wall raises concern in Ewa Beach. Some Ewa Beach residents are concerned that a Marine Corps plan to install 1,500 feet of steel barrier to protect part of the oceanfront Puuloa Range Training Facility from beach erosion could create new problems for residents on either end. Star-Advertiser.

Schatz To Marines: Rethink Project That Threatens Ewa Beach. Neighbors and government officials say an environmental study is needed, but the Marine Corps has said it isn’t legally required to do one. Civil Beat.

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Prisons Chief: A New Halfway House On The Way For Hawaii. The state’s only re-entry facility for federal inmates closed after the city of Honolulu purchased the building and destined it for drug treatment. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Land agreement reached between TMT, Canary Islands. A governmental body in the Canary Islands approved a land concession deal with the Thirty Meter Telescope partners, although Maunakea remains the project’s preferred location. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County spends $5 million on TMT protests, mostly on police. The protests against the Thirty Meter Telescope have so far cost Hawaii County more than $5 million, according to the latest cost update provided to members of the Hawaii County Council today. Star-Advertiser.

Dozens Say Vote by Mail Cards Never Came. Concerns of disenfranchisement have cropped up recently on the Big Island, as residents and state officials alike have pointed to a potential flaw in Hawai‘i’s new vote by mail system that could leave some voters without a ballot come election day. Big Island Now.

Council panel hears task force recommendations for changes to property tax structure. County Council members on Tuesday heard a host of recommendations from a task force charged with making the property tax code more equitable, but they stressed there’s a long way to go before any recommendation becomes law. West Hawaii Today.

Council members hear bleak presentation about greenhouse gases. America and other developed nations have 10 years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero to prevent a runaway climate catastrophe, a University of Hawaii professor told a Hawaii County Council committee on Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

A ʻPromising Path Forwardʻ: Mahi Pono Strikes Deal in Water Use Application. A hearing for closing arguments in the nearly two decades-long Hui o Na Wai ʻEha contested case took place Tuesday before the State Water Commission. Maui Now.

Maui water rights deal praised as step toward resolving years-long dispute. After a decades-long battle over public water rights in Central Maui, there’s finally an agreement over stream flows. Hawaii News Now.

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Lawmakers set aside millions for overcrowding at Maui jail to prevent further riots. It’s been eight months since destructive riots broke out at the Maui Community Correctional Center ― and damage inside the modules is still visible. Hawaii News Now.

Eight Months After Riot, Maui Jail is Still 40% Overcapacity. Eight months after a riot that caused an estimated $5.3 million in damage, overcrowding remains an issue at the Maui Community Correctional Center. Maui Now.

First look inside Maui Community Correctional Center following riot in March 2019. It has been eight months since the riot at Maui Community Correctional Center that caused nearly $5 million in damages. KITV.

Kauai

County Council meets today. Waste Management Hawaii is withdrawing from its agreement with the county to operate the Kekaha Landfill, effective Dec. 1, and Managing Director Michael Dahilig will brief the council on the Department of Public Works’ plans to ensure uninterrupted service and get input concerning long-term landfill operations. Garden Island.

Better than before. Haena State Park played host to the Hawaii House of Representatives finance committee Tuesday morning, the first time members have returned since 2017. Garden Island.

Water used to run through it. Hike at least three hours upstream and into the interior of Kauai’s east side, and you’ll find yourself at the base of the two-tiered Makaleha Falls. Garden Island.

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