Monday, January 27, 2020

Oahu newly homeless numbers increase, red light cameras, stiffer DUI laws mulled in Legislature, vacation rentals grow on Maui, drop on Oahu, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Homeless man along the Ala Wai in Honolulu ©2020 All Hawaii News
Nearly 7,000 became homeless in 2019 on Oahu. Oahu was overwhelmed with 6,924 people who became newly homeless in 2019. Star-Advertiser.

Guidelines proposed for legalization of stun guns. Hawaii’s law tightly restricting possession of electric “stun guns” is being challenged in court as an alleged infringement on people’s Second Amendment rights, and state Attorney General Clare Connors is now proposing lawmakers strike it from the law books and adopt a new system to regulate privately owned electric guns such as Tasers. Star-Advertiser.

After 106 traffic deaths last year, lawmakers push for drastic changes to roadway laws. A push for safer streets seems to have gained some traction at the Hawaii State Capitol. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Medicaid Patients May Have Fewer Insurance Choices. The state’s decision to consolidate insurance plans could particularly affect people with limited incomes on the neighbor islands. Civil Beat.

Case continues quest to change Jones Act. A trio of bills introduced Dec. 19 by Case seeking to exempt Hawaii from the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 — better known as the Jones Act — haven’t yet been scheduled for committee hearings, but the veteran lawmaker remains undeterred in his effort to change the 100-year-old law. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Is Seriously Short On Census Job Applicants. Hawaii’s census response rate is among the lowest in the nation. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Hawaii Innocence Project To Host Prosecutor Candidate Debate. Five candidates are expected to participate in the Tuesday debate. Civil Beat.

Legal battle over e-signatures pursued amid effort to impeach Honolulu prosecutor.  Those wanting Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro impeached have taken their case to a federal judge. Hawaii News Now.

Number of Oahu vacation rental units is shrinking. The number of residential vacation rentals on Oahu continues to fall, according to the latest monthly Hawaii Tourism Authority study released this week. Star-Advertiser.

What was once just a vision for Oahu’s homeless is now a thriving community. Kahauiki opened in January 2018 and just reached its 2-year anniversary. The Institute for Human Services hosted a Wellness Day for Kahauiki Village residents with various booths and services. Hawaii News Now.

Board of Water Supply looking to unload Haiku Stairs. "Due to mounting security costs and liability concerns, BWS is proposing to take down Haiku Stairs," part of the study reads. KITV4.

Homeowner wants to rebuild on Hibiscus Drive. One week after a fire and shooting in a quiet Diamond Head neighborhood left four people dead, including two Honolulu police officers, numerous onlookers visited the street, some to pay respects and others to get a glimpse of the destruction. Star-Advertiser.

Kalihi Elementary School is cutting back on single-use plastics thanks to a cafeteria upgrade. More than 500 volunteers worked together to improve the campus of Kalihi Elementary School on Saturday. Hawaii News Now.

Certain algae help Kaneohe Bay corals weather warmer seas. A unique algae may be helping corals at Kaneohe Bay become more resilient to climate change, but the algae might also cause the corals to eat less, according to a study by University of Hawaii researchers. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Rate hike blasted: Opposition mounts to Young Brothers’ request for 34% increase. Hawaii Island residents have an opportunity to respond to the state’s only regulated interisland ocean cargo shipping company’s request for a 34% rate increase. Tribune-Herald.

DHHL Chair Aila Grilled On Mauna Kea Access Road. DHHL chair William Ailā gave an update on the "final adjudication and compensation" for the contentious road leading to the summit of Maunakea. Big Island Video News.

More intervenors in PGV docket. Three organizations — Tawhiri Power, Hu Honua Bioenergy and Puna Pono Alliance — have filed motions to intervene in a docket before the state Public Utilities Commission regarding an amended and restated power purchase agreement between Hawaii Electric Light Co. and Puna Geothermal Venture. Tribune-Herald.

Lifesaving equipment to reach firefighters sooner. When lifesaving equipment like Jaws of Life extrication tools are donated to the Hawaii Fire Department but then sit months in a warehouse until the paperwork is completed and the donation is formally accepted by the County Council, something needs to change. West Hawaii Today.

Lawsuit: Guards Had Suicidal Inmate Cuffed, Let Him Bleed To Death. A wrongful death lawsuit alleges that guards at Kulani Correctional Facility failed to render aid to a dying inmate and that it only came to light when another inmate came forward. Civil Beat.

Expanding for emergencies: ER at NHCH increases in size to 13,000 square feet. North Hawaii Community Hospital will quadruple its emergency room size with the opening of the new facility on Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

Maui


Maui Mayor Wants Federal Help With Island Sustainability. Civil Beat caught up with the mayor at a recent event in Washington, D.C., to discuss climate change, his hope to turn Maui into Hawaii’s food basket and the U.S. Supreme Court. Civil Beat.

Report: Maui Tops State in Vacation Rental Supply. In December 2019, Maui County had the largest vacation rental supply of all four Hawaiʻi counties at 293,000 unit nights–a 28 percent increase compared to a year ago, according to a report from the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority. Maui Now.

Maui parrotbill might wing it to the mainland following reintroduction setback. It was 13 years ago that the U.S. Forest Service formally recommended establishing a second population of the critically endangered kiwikiu, or Maui parrotbill, to significantly lower its risk of extinction. Star-Advertiser.

Conference held on Maui for prosthetics, orthotics. Losing a limb is one thing, but being crippled by insurance systems is quite another, according to athlete, amputee and advocate Nicole Ver Kuilen. Maui News.

Kauai

‘UFO’ defeated. Eight months after a large, metal object appeared out on the reef in the bay near Aliomanu, the unidentified floating object, nicknamed the “UFO,” was removed from the beach thanks to combined efforts of the state and the community. Garden Island.

Tax payments due soon.  County officials remind property owners that the second installment of real-property taxes for the 2019-20 tax year are due by Thursday, Feb. 20. Garden Island.

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