Tuesday, January 28, 2020

House Speaker Saiki resurrects state property tax bill, groups sue DLNR over aquarium collectors, coronavirus hits Hawaii tourism, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News
School of fish in Hawaii ©2020 All Hawaii News
State agency has not protected reef fish, lawsuit says. Earthjustice filed suit Monday against a state agency it says is sidestepping the law when it comes to the regulation of tropical fish taken from Hawaii’s reefs for the commercial aquarium pet trade. Star-Advertiser.

DLNR draws lawsuit. The State’s Department of Land and Natural Resources is drawing a lawsuit from the environmental law firm Earthjustice, claiming the agency has created loopholes for the aquarium fishing industry to continue unregulated. Garden Island.

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Saiki Proposes Tax Funding Measure To Raise Teacher Pay. Under the House Speaker’s plan, voters could approve a constitutional amendment giving the Hawaii Board of Education power to increase property taxes. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers seek to add new property tax to fund teacher pay. The bill comes a little more than a year after the Hawaii Supreme Court struck down a similar ballot question less than three weeks before the 2018 general election. Pacific Business News.

Bill introduced to better pay Hawaii's teachers. Speaker of the House Scott Saiki introduced the bill that would allow the public to vote on whether or not the Board of Education should be able to raise property taxes to fund teacher salaries. KITV4.

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Bill: Don’t Let State Workers Access Online Porn. Government facilities that provide free WiFi would also require blocking filters. Civil Beat.

A bevy of marijuana bills: Full legalization, dispensary improvements among proposed measures. After 2019 brought several changes to marijuana management at both the state and county level, dozens of new marijuana-related bills have been proposed in 2020. Tribune-Herald.

OHA Submits Package of Proposed Bills. As part of its mandate to advocate for Native Hawaiians, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs submits a package of proposed bills to the Hawai`i State Legislature each year. Maui Now.

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Agencies scramble as trips to and from China are scrubbed amid the coronavirus outbreak. The outbreak of the 2019 coronavirus is hitting travelers between Hawaii and China as well as Hawaii companies that rely on their business. Star-Advertiser.

Report: Two-Thirds of Hawaii Residents Struggle Financially. Residents cope by working multiple jobs, living with relatives and tapping savings, a new study shows. Civil Beat.

Major Decrease In Hawaii’s Cost Of Living Unlikely, But A Little May Be Enough. According to Peter Fulekey, an economist with the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, the price of goods and services in Hawaii are 18.5 percent higher than the national average. Hawaii Public Radio.

Midwives prepare for licensing. Midwives in Hawaii are gearing up for new licensing requirements that will go into effect this summer. Tribune-Herald.

New suitor comes forward to buy Hawaiian Telcom’s parent company. An unsolicited potential acquirer has upped the ante for Hawaiian Telcom’s parent company, and investors are speculating that the offer may have fueled a bidding war. Star-Advertiser.

Bank of Hawaii posts 7.8% earnings increase and announces 4 new branches. Bank of Hawaii Corp. reported today that its net income rose 7.8% in the fourth quarter amid solid loan and deposit growth. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Kalama vigil tonight, Enriquez funeral Thursday. A candlelight vigil will be held tonight at Sandy Beach to honor the memory of Honolulu police officer Kaulike Kalama, whom friends and family have described as a “quiet hero,” whose calm presence made him the “rock” that others looked to as a source of strength. Star-Advertiser.

City considers creating a new utility (and fee) for tackling storm water. The city is considering a new utility ― and a fee for residents ― in order to better manage storm water runoff. Hawaii News Now.

Renewed calls for law enforcement on central O'ahu ag-land. Hawaii State Senator Donovan Dela Cruz (D) is calling for a security presence on state agricultural lands in Wahiawa. KITV4.

Kakaako tower facing extraordinary maintenance fee hike. Living in Kakaako was supposed to be pretty affordable for several hundred moderate-income Hawaii residents who bought into a condominium tower via lottery last year at Ward Village. Star-Advertiser.

Nearly one year after fatal Kakaako crash, new plans to improve safety at intersections. Tuesday, Jan. 28 will mark one year since the deadly Kakaako crash that injured six people and killed three pedestrians, local doctor, Travis Lau, Reino Ikeda from Japan and Casimir Pokorny from Pennsylvania. KHON2.

Major make-over for Ewa Beach park set to begin. Nightly closure signs have gone up at One'ula Beach Park, just the start of major multi-million dollars improvements. KITV4.

How These Makaha Neighbors Saved A County Park From Crime And Weeds. When police and social services agencies couldn’t help, this small band of neighbors took matters into their own hands. And it worked. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Construction ongoing: Kona prosecutor’s office delayed, completion now set for March. Hawaii County prosecutors will have to wait a couple more months before they can move into their new home at the West Hawaii Civic Center. West Hawaii Today.

Stinky problem points to need for sewer solution. A sewer system for Naalehu has been talked about for decades, but it can come none too soon, as a stinky problem last week demonstrated. West Hawaii Today.

County begins Alii Drive sinkhole repair work. Work is underway to repair damage to Alii Drive caused by a sinkhole that opened late last year fronting Coconut Grove Marketplace. West Hawaii Today.

Aliʻi Drive Sinkhole Repair Project Begins. The county says traffic on Ali‘i Drive fronting Coconut Grove Marketplace will be reduced to one lane during daylight hours as crews work to repair damage caused by sinkhole. Big Island Video News.

National Park Works To Reopen Popular Lava Tube. The unpaved Escape Road will close while repairs continue at Nāhuku, also known as Thurston Lava Tube, damaged during the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea. Big Island Video News.

Escape Road at HVNP to Close Temporarily. An unpaved emergency route between Highway 11 and the comfort station at Nahuku (Thurston Lava Tube) will be closed to the public starting Tuesday, Jan. 28 while repairs to a faulty electrical line are made. Big Island Now.

Maui

Kaiser Permanente No Longer Has Contract For Med-QUEST Coverage On Maui. Med-QUEST, the state’s health and medical coverage for low-income individuals, has awarded healthcare providers HMSA, United Healthcare, AlohaCare and Ohana Health Plan contracts that take effect in July. Hawaii Public Radio.

Stubbs Named Kihei Charter Head of School. Stubbs replaces former Head of School John Colson, who has been with the school for several years and will now serve as an educational consultant. Maui Now.

Fewer turtles found stranded in 2019 than in year previous. Fishing gear – mainly nets – continues to be the greatest cause of marine entanglements. Maui News.

Pro-life marchers take to the streets in Kahului. A sign-waving crowd of about 190 people makes its way along Puunene Avenue in Kahului Saturday morning while taking part in the annual Maui March for Life. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauai United Way funding being considered. Nonprofit organizations that provide human services to the people of Kauai can now apply for Kauai United Way funding covering the period from July 2020 through June, 2021. Garden Island.

Small group rallies against abortion on Kauai. Garden Island.

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