Thursday, January 16, 2020

2020 Hawaii Legislature opens with speeches, rallies; mayors seek congestion pricing, vehicle registration increase; Honolulu councilwoman seeks 4-day workweek; Big Island parks to get corporate sponsors, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy of Hawaii House majority
2020 opening day for Hawaii House PC:House Majority
Lawmakers open 2020 session with big plans for taxes, preschool, housing. Hawaii lawmakers thumped the gavels to open the 2020 session of the state Legislature Wednesday with an unusually detailed plan for the laws they plan to pass this year, and with a large demonstration by Hawaiian activists rumbling in the background. Star-Advertiser.

Can Hawaii’s Elected Leaders Save The State From ‘Drowning?’. Legislators kicked off their 2020 session united with the governor to tackle the cost of living. The question is whether their bold ideas will become reality. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers vow to address high cost of living. Lawmakers opened a new session of the Hawaii Legislature on Wednesday with vows to address the state’s punishingly high cost of living so families don’t have to abandon the islands for cheaper places. Associated Press.

Optimism Abounds Going into the 2020 Legislative Session. Lawmakers and Gov. David Ige entered the first day of the 2020 legislative session with optimism and big goals. Big Island Now.


Transportation issues top priorities of Council of Mayors. A $25 increase in vehicle registration fees to pay for removing abandoned vehicles, a charge to drive on certain roads during peak hours and a surcharge on ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are three of a largely transportation-related package the Hawaii Council of Mayors presented Wednesday to legislative money committees. West Hawaii Today.

‘Congestion pricing,’ fee for abandoned cars dominate mayors’ requests to Legislature. Hawaii’s four county mayors made their annual appearance before the money committees of the state house and senate, seeking ways to relieve traffic congestion and to fund ways to clear away abandoned vehicles. Hawaii News Now.

Mayors Want State Action On Traffic, E-Scooters, Rideshare . Hawaii’s four mayors have transportation initiatives on the brain in 2020, their latest requests to state lawmakers show. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell proposes study of traffic congestion pricing. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell wants state lawmakers to begin studying the idea of charging motorists a fee for driving on key roads during peak traffic hours, a concept known as congestion pricing that’s been in effect in London and other cities and was recently approved by New York state. Star-Advertiser.

All four County Mayors in Hawaii addressed the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday afternoon. The Mayors were making their financial requests to the State Legislature and one topic they all agreed on was the need for funding to remove abandoned vehicles. KITV4.


Hundreds with the Hawaii Rising movement gathered at the State Capitol. Hundreds with the Hawaii Rising movement gathered at the State Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 15, for the opening of the Legislature. KHON2.

Hawaiian protests move to state Capitol on opening day of business. Months of frustration on the part of Native Hawaiian activists at Mauna Kea, Kahuku and Waimanalo coalesced in a passionate rally at the state Capitol on Wednesday for the opening day of the 2020 Legislature, but key lawmakers said they were unclear about the rally’s message. Star-Advertiser.

Movement aimed to change political landscape to a future rooted in Aloha Aina. Thousands showed up for Hawaii Rising, a movement to change the political landscape to a new future rooted in Aloha Aina. KITV4.

Maunakea Unrest Discussed At Legislature Opening Day. Big Island Video News.


Over 100 rally at state Capitol to support fight against human trafficking. Over 100 people attended the Ho‘ola Na Pua Walk and Fair at the state Capitol this afternoon to recognize January as National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Star-Advertiser.

Could ‘pop-up preschools’ help solve Hawaii’s child care woes? Legislators think so. An increase to the minimum wage, tax credits, affordable housing and universal preschool. Lawmakers say those are their priorities this legislative session. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii’s Office of Elections to send postcard reminders of vote-by-mail transition. The state Office of Elections will be mailing over 658,000 postcards to active registered voters in Hawaii to raise awareness of its transition to by-mail voting in the 2020 elections. Star-Advertiser.

Elections Officials Announce Voting by Mail. The Office of Elections will be sending out over 658,000 notification postcards to active registered voters in Hawai‘i. Big Island Now.

Check your mail for important information on voting in 2020. The election is quickly approaching, and election officials want to make sure the transition to mail-in voting is a smooth one. Hawaii News Now.


Fewer criminal cases taken to court statewide. In every county statewide, a suspect busted on the street is increasingly less likely to come before a judge and jury. KHON2.

Staffing And Facility Upgrades Among Top Priorities For Public Safety Department. State Department of Public Safety administrators outlined the department's budget priorities to lawmakers Tuesday at the state Capitol, including a request for $8.4 million over two years for staff on Mauna Kea. Hawaii Public Radio.

Three Hawaii Correctional Facilities Ban Contact Visits Despite Potential Benefits. Studies suggest non-contact visits can be harmful for families, especially children. Civil Beat.


A 4-day work week ... every week? A city councilwoman toys with the idea. Some city workers could be getting four-day weekends every week, if a new resolution catches on. Hawaii News Now.

City councilmember introduces resolution that could give some City workers a four-day work week. Honolulu City Councilmember and Mayoral candidate Kymberly Pine introduced a resolution on Wednesday urging the administration to consider giving certain City and County of Honolulu workers a four-day, 40-hour work week. KITV4.

1,700 gallons of wastewater spills at Pearl Harbor. U.S. Navy personnel responded to a wastewater spill resulting from three overflowing manholes at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam this morning. Star-Advertiser.

Former KITV sportscaster Rick Quan returns to station as news anchor. KITV4 Island News announced today the return to the station and to Hawaii of veteran broadcast journalist Rick Quan. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

County mulling business sponsorships for parks. County parks may soon be “brought to you by” local businesses and other sponsors thanks to a proposed new county rule. Tribune-Herald.

Lawsuit: Slug Found In Sandwich Exposed Family To Rat Lungworm Disease. Two Hilo parents are suing the health food store that served them an avocado and lettuce sandwich that contained a two-and-a-half-inch long slug that they fear has exposed them and their infant to rat lungworm disease. Civil Beat.

Millions Requested For Future Maunakea Enforcement Operations. The Department of the Attorney General and the Department of Land and Natural Resources are both asking for a total of $8.7 million over the next two fiscal years for "Public Safety Operational Requirements". Big Island Video News.

Tents, other items remain on mauna. Anti-Thirty Meter Telescope protesters intend to remove abandoned property left behind following the months-long occupation of the Maunakea Access Road within the coming days. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Council Chair Delivers Legislative Package of 15 Bills. The Maui package includes 15 bills covering a wide range of issues, including the taxation authority and revenue, roadway safety, the regulation of hosting platforms for unpermitted vacation rentals and environmental issues like invasive species and sea-level rise. Maui Now.

Chairwoman to deliver bill package to legislators. 2020 Maui County Legislative Package includes 15 bills covering a wide range of issues, including taxation authority and revenue, roadway safety, the regulation of hosting platforms for unpermitted vacation rentals and environmental issues like invasive species and sea-level rise. Maui News.

West Maui Hui Sues Condo Over Blocked Shoreline Access. West Maui community groups Nā Papaʻi Wawae ʻUlaʻula and the West Maui Preservation Association filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Mahinahina condominium Kuleana II alleging blocked shoreline access. Maui Now.

$8M Alloted to Maintain Kahului, Kaunakakai Harbors. The US Army Corps of Engineers in Hawaiʻi received more than $8 million in federal funding to maintain the Kahului Deep Draft Harbor and the kaunakakai Deep Draft Harbor. Maui Now.

Leath named interim publisher of The Maui News. Bart Leath has been appointed interim publisher of The Maui News. Longtime Editor and Publisher Joe Bradley retired last month. Maui News.


Copter crash Report: Visibility low. Safari Helicopters pilot Paul Matero flew the route of the fatal Dec. 26 tour flight successfully seven times the day of the crash that killed all passengers aboard the Airbus AS350 B2 chopper. Garden Island.

NTSB Report: Visibility Low When Kauai Tourist Helicopter Crashed. The preliminary report also said that the helicopter’s pilot was on his eighth and final scheduled 50-minute tour flight of the day. Associated Press.

NTSB says adverse weather conditions was a factor in the Kauai helicopter crash that killed 7. A witness hiking along a nearby trail reported heavy rain and fog at the time a tour helicopter crashed into a cliff face on Kauai in December, killing all seven people aboard, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board. Star-Advertiser.

NTSB releases preliminary report on Kauai tour helicopter crash. The pilot of a Kauai tour helicopter that crashed Dec. 26 was on his eighth and final flight of the day, according to a preliminary NTSB report on the incident. Hawaii News Now.

NTSB releases preliminary report of fatal Kaua'i helicopter crash detailing eyewitness account. The National Transportation Safety Board released their preliminary report on what led up to that fatal helicopter crash on Kaua'i in December, killing all seven people on board. KITV4.

NTSB Preliminary Report Released into Kaua‘i Tour Helicopter Crash. A preliminary accident report released by the National Transportation Safety Board was released today, detailing initial findings involving a fatal tour helicopter crash on Kauaʻi that claimed the lives of seven on board last month. Maui Now.

Hearing set on Young Brothers rate hike request. The state Public Utilities Commission has scheduled public meetings relating to its review of Young Brothers LLC’s request for approval of a general rate increase of approximately 34% over revenue at present rates. Garden Island.

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