Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Hawaii pushes new road usage charge, ex-Schofield Army range director pleads guilty in bribery scandal, Kauai giving affordable rental tax breaks, relocated rare Maui birds die, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Survey: Hawaii’s Roads Third Worst To Drive. Only South Carolina and Louisiana scored worse than the Aloha State. Civil Beat.

Survey shows Hawaii has third worst roads in the country. A survey released Tuesday by Consumer Affairs, shows Hawaii has the third worst roads in the country. KITV.

HDOT Continues Study on Road Usage Charge. Beginning this month, the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation will mail driving reports to thousands of vehicle owners across the state in an effort to research the feasibility of adjusting to a per-mile road usage charge. Big Island Now.

Check your mail: HDOT sends out info on proposed road usage charge. Starting this week, thousands of vehicle owners across Hawaii will be receiving driving reports in their mailboxes. Hawaii News Now.

DOT looks to switch from gas tax to road usage charge for road maintenance funding. One third of the state’s funding for road and bridge maintenance comes from our 16 cents-per-gallon gas tax. KHON2.

DOT has a long-term fix for Hawaii’s roads. The Department of Transportation has a solution that could double the life of their roads. It’s called stone matrix asphalt, a stronger and more flexible aggregate that could last up to 25 years.  KHON2.

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Companies Vie to ‘Accelerate’ Clean Energy Transition. The Hawaiian Electric Companies have received more than 75 proposals after its call for more renewable energy resources to “accelerate the state’s transition off fossil fuels used for generations of electricity.” Maui Now.

Public Safety Deputy Director For Corrections Is Retiring. Jodie Maesaka-Hirata is leaving in December and will be replaced by a top DPS administrator. Civil Beat.

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State consumer office warns of email phishing scam. The state Office of Consumer Protection warns local businesses about fraudulent emails that have been going out with its letterhead and a spoofed account. Star-Advertiser.

Phishing scam imitating state agencies sent to local businesses. The fraudulent email says a claim has been submitted against the business and provides a link for the business to reply. KHON2.

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Mazie Hirono Gets A Book Deal To Tell Her Life Story. The U.S. senator from Hawaii will detail her upbringing as an immigrant, her recent bout with kidney cancer and her political life in the Trump era. Civil Beat.

Gabbard enlists high-profile law firm with roster of colorful clients in claims against Clinton. Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is being represented by the law firm Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht in her claims that Hillary Clinton defamed her by making comments about Russian support for Gabbard’s presidential bid. Star-Advertiser.

White Nationalists Try To Claim Aloha Spirit As Their Own. David Duke endorsed an ultra-right radio show on social media with the caption “the aloha spirit will set you free.” Civil Beat.

Museums and archives are often celebrated as rich repositories of culture and history. But for the communities whose culture and history are on display, having a say over what should become of these items is an ongoing battle – one that some native Hawaiian advocates and scholars are tackling head on. Hawaii Public Radio.

UFO? Satellites? Aircraft? Some across the islands saw strange lights in the night sky. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Proponents of plastics-ban bill hold rally before committee vote. With smiles and cheers beneath a bright morning sun, supporters of Bill 40, which seeks to ban Styrofoam and single-use plastics in the City and County of Honolulu, gathered Tuesday for an educational rally on Honolulu Hale’s front lawn. Star-Advertiser.

Scaled-down version of single-use plastics ban finds support from some businesses. After pushback from food industry leaders, a City Council committee is set to consider a revised version the bill that would target Oahu’s single-use plastics. Hawaii News Now.

Some O'ahu businesses support revised bill of "plastic ban". It's a proposal working it's way through the city council that has many businesses upset. KITV.

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Former Schofield Army range director pleads guilty in bribery scandal. The U.S. Department of Justice says 67-year-old Victor Garo of Mililani admitted to accepting over $100,000 in bribes to steer federal contracts worth more than $18 million to a specific contractor. Hawaii News Now.

Former US Army Range Director Pleads Guilty of Conspiracy. Victor Garo is the third public official to plead guilty as a result of an ongoing investigation into fraud and bribery at Schofield Barracks. Big Island Now.

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Kealoha Drug Plea Results In New Claim Of Prosecutorial Misconduct. Accused drug dealer Tiffany Masunaga wants charges against her dropped because Katherine Kealoha admitted manipulating the case. Civil Beat.

Controversial Ala Moana Playground Is a ‘Gift’ City Council May Refuse. A recent vote suggests the proposal may lack the Honolulu City Council support it needs to proceed at Ala Moana. Civil Beat.

New homeless services hub is expected to open in Waipahu next month. A pilot project involves inflatable, portable tents and the opportunity for unsheltered homeless people to receive medical and counseling services, housing help, hygiene and laundry services, and, if needed, a temporary place to sleep. KITV.

Honolulu City Council considers shortening time Hawaiian Humane Society must keep stray dogs, cats. A Honolulu City Council committee Tuesday gave preliminary approval to a bill that would require registered pet dogs and cats to be microchipped and would shorten the minimum time that strays need to be held by the Hawaiian Humane Society to five days from the current nine. Star-Advertiser.

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Hawaii thieves target cars’ catalytic converters at huge cost to motorists. At least a dozen vehicles, mostly Honda Elements, have had their catalytic converters stolen in the last six weeks because they contain precious metals such as platinum. Star-Advertiser.

Thieves target a part under cars that could be a costly fix. There is a warning from auto repair shops about an expensive new crime. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Study of Hilo Bay breakwater expected to begin in early 2020. A state and federal study to determine whether the Hilo Bay breakwater should be modified likely will begin early next year. Tribune-Herald.

Ormat Gives Puna Geothermal Update In Latest Earnings Call. Ormat hopes to have the Puna Geothermal Venture plant in Puna back in full operation by the end of the second quarter of 2020, and has also filed suit against insurers. Big Island Video News.

Kierkiewicz disclosure, Ethics Board presentation planned. It’s been almost three months since the Board of Ethics approved an advisory opinion requiring Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz to file an after-the-fact written disclosure of a possible conflict of interest stemming from a vote she took earlier this year. West Hawaii Today.

‘There’s many laws I don’t like’: Mayor Kim seeks neutrality in dealing with Mauna Kea conflict. During a high-stakes interview with Harry Kim, the 80-year-old Hawaii County mayor repeatedly referred to his commitment in finding a peaceful way forward despite, what appears to be an impossible impasse. Hawaii News Now.

HVO updates webcam network at Kilauea’s summit. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has updated its Kilauea webcam network, adding new cameras and decommissioning old ones that are no longer useful for monitoring purposes, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Nine Rare Kiwikiu Birds Die Out of 13 Translocated at Maui’s Nakula Forest. The Kiwikiu or Maui Parrotbill birds were part of a larger group of 13 that were translocated from captivity and the wild to the Nakula Natural Area Reserve on the leeward slopes of Haleakalā in East Maui. Maui Now.

Effort to help endangered Maui bird on hold following multiple deaths. A multiagency campaign to establish a second population of one of Hawaii’s most critically endangered birds got off to a dreadful start, with at least nine of 13 kiwikiu apparently succumbing quickly to avian malaria, officials said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Mosquitoes are threatening the population of rare birds on Maui. Mosquitoes are having a negative impact on the efforts to save the Kiwikiu in the forests of Haleakala, the state said. Hawaii News Now.

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Protesters unhappy with mayor, injection well case. Maui News.

Kula Community Association to discuss tax proposals. Proposed changes to Maui County Council’s real property tax system will be among the topics at the Kula Community Association meeting Wednesday night. Maui News.

Kauai

Mayor signs rental bills. Mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami signed five Additional Rental Unit bills on Tuesday that would waive permitting fees on additional rental units deemed affordable. Garden Island.

Dive finds healthy corals and plenty of fish. A recent diving outing on the south side of Kauai found an array of colorful corals and fascinating fish. Garden Island.

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