Monday, December 16, 2019

University officials grilled over budget, Honolulu mayor signs plastics ban, Kauai woman, Mormon church, settle over child sex assault claims, Mauna Kea obstruction defense cites war crimes, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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UH Executive Salary Hikes, $2.7M Enrollment Contract Under Scrutiny. State lawmakers grilled University of Hawaii President David Lassner on Friday about the university's spending, focusing on a $2.7 million consultant contract to increase enrollment and recent salary increases for UH vice presidents. Hawaii Public Radio.

Senators question University of Hawaii officials over spending and raises. State senators grilled University of Hawaii President David Lassner on Friday for hiring an outside firm to help recruit new students and giving his vice presidents raises when student enrollment overall has dropped. Star-Advertiser.

Senators Think UH Regents Are ‘Too Cozy’ With Officials. A Senate panel will be digging into university issues in the next month. Civil Beat.

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State employees say supervisors are spying on them with taxpayer-funded cameras. Over the course of the last year, an additional set of surveillance cameras have been installed at the state parole office on Alakea Street. Hawaii News Now.

State budgets $2.5M to replace state Capitol’s carpeting. The price tag for a project to replace the carpets in offices and meeting rooms on four floors of the state Capitol is approaching $2 million, with crews working seven days a week to get the first phase of the job finished in time for the Jan. 15 opening of the state Legislature, according to state Comptroller Curt Otaguro. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Single-use plastic ban becomes law on Oahu. Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Sunday signed into law one of the nation’s strictest bans on plastics, which will prohibit all single-use plastic plates, bowls, cups and serv­ice ware on Oahu by 2022. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor signs Plastic Ban into law. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signs one of the strictest plastics ban into law Sunday following a 7-2 vote on the City Council level earlier this month. KHON2.

Bill 40 signed into law, banning most disposable plastics on Oahu by 2022. Supporters say protests from Hawaii's food manufacturers and restaurant owners allowed them to work together to include exemptions for local businesses. KITV.

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Ala Moana park playground backers announce relocation. A nonprofit group that has been working to build an inclusive playground at Ala Moana Regional Park announced Saturday that it now will focus on building the playground at Kakaako Makai Gateway Park. Star-Advertiser.

Controversial Playground Moving To Kaka'ako From Ala Moana. An inclusive playground planned at Ala Moana Regional Park will instead be built in Kaka'ako Makai Gateway Park, the group that lobbied for the project announced Saturday. Hawaii Public Radio.

A controversial playground planned for Ala Moana is headed to Kakaako. Supporters of a controversial playground at Ala Moana Beach Park officially announced Saturday that they are moving the project to Kakaako. Hawaii News Now.

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HART Reversed Course And Fired Embattled Employee. HART’s top executive has declined to say who advised the rail agency regarding former agency information specialist, Russell Yamanoha. Civil Beat.

Aiea Board Gives Its Blessing To Preliminary Plans For A New Jail. In a surprise move, after early indications they would oppose the project, the Aiea Neighborhood Board has given its blessing to the state’s next planning steps toward building a new jail in Halawa to replace the decrepit Oahu Community Correctional Center in Kalihi. Civil Beat.

Naval Air Museum Barbers Point cleaning up after eviction. The Naval Air Museum Barbers Point is busy clearing out exhibits and displays since getting evicted by the state over five weeks ago. KITV.

Spalding House’s closure brings mixed emotions, memories to those who loved it. The parking lot at Spalding House, the museum tucked away in Makiki Heights, has been packed this month as dozens of visitors walk its grounds one last time. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

County bill seeks to update energy code. Proposed amendments to the county’s conservation code intended to reduce power use and construction costs will be discussed at a county committee meeting next week. Tribune-Herald.

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Attorneys Plan To Argue State Engaging In “War Crimes”. Attorneys representing some of the kupuna arrested on the Mauna Kea Access Road in opposition to the Thirty Meter Telescope plan to fight obstruction charges on grounds that are related to the occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Big Island Video News.

5-year window for state to reimburse Hawaii county for Mauna Kea law enforcement. It took the state and county to November 1 to sign their written agreement on how the state will reimburse the county for police overtime relating to the blockade. Hawaii News Now.

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With Highway 132 open, county officials focus on recovery efforts for other lava-hit areas. About 13 miles of public roads were inundated by lava during the eruption last year, including portions of Highway 132, Highway 137, Pohoiki Road, Leilani Avenue, Hinalo Street, Honuaula Street and Lighthouse Road. Tribune-Herald.

Kimball launches council campaign. Surrounded by a small but vocal crowd of supporters yelling out a paddler’s cheer, Heather Kimball on Friday launched her campaign for the open County Council District 1 seat. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Vacation Rental Fine Hikes to Take Effect. Beginning Dec. 27, illegal short-term vacation rentals will be fined $20,000, plus another $10,000 each day the operation continues. Maui Now.

Nonresidents Will Soon Have to Pay for Parking at Big Beach. Beginning the first week of January, nonresidents will have to pay $5 for parking at the Makena State Park, the Department of Land and Natural Resources announced Friday. Maui Now.

Illegal Parking, Trespassing at Jaws Challenge Sparks Community Concern. Representatives from the Hana Highway Regulation committee say they received numerous complaints from Haʻikū residents regarding illegal parking and trespassing on private property during the contest on Thursday. Maui Now.

Kauai

Settlement reached in church suit. The Mormon Church has settled a lawsuit by a Kauai woman, who accused a missionary of molesting her as a child. Garden Island.

Kuhio Highway closures begin today. The Hawaii Department of Transportation reminds the public of temporary full closures on Kuhio Highway at Mile Marker 1, the hill approaching Hanalei Bridge. Garden Island.

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