Monday, February 10, 2020

Bill would allow exemptions from child vaccinations, Airbnb sends campaign cash, Honolulu prosecutor could be term-limited, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii Prison Reformers Call For New Approach To Guard Training. An overhaul of the training program is competing with many other priorities. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers consider bill that would allow for ‘conscientious’ exemption for child vaccines. New state child vaccinations requirements are about to kick in. But some parents are calling on lawmakers to delay the new rules — or make it easier to exempt children. Hawaii News Now.

State Health Laboratory to begin testing for novel coronavirus. The State Department of Health said beginning next week Hawaii should be able to test for coronavirus at the State Laboratory in Pearl City. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii lawmakers explore controversial ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws. State Representative Sean Quinlan's proposal would allow people to defend themselves on their own property or at their business, without fear of criminal prosecution. Hawaii News Now.

Environmental groups contend in lawsuit that the EPA has not protected Hawaii’s shorelines. Environmental groups last week filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, saying plastic is undoubtedly a criterion and that the EPA has failed to protect 17 coastal water bodies around Hawaii from wide-scale plastic pollution under the federal Clean Water Act. Star-Advertiser.

Inouye pushes for stricter DUI law. A bill that would lower the blood-alcohol content for drivers to be considered legally intoxicated was passed unanimously Wednesday by the state Senate Transportation Committee. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii legislators advance bill to create LGBTQ commission. Hawaii state legislators have preliminarily approved a bill that would create a commission to address issues concerning the LGBTQ community. Associated Press.

Bills target dog-tethering. Improperly chaining dogs could become illegal later this year if a pair of animal cruelty bills passes the state Legislature. Tribune-Herald.

Bills would toughen penalties for assaulting, threatening sports officials. A pair of bills introduced this legislative session by state senators from Oahu seeks harsher penalties for parents, spectators and athletes who assault or terrorize sports officials such as referees, umpires and coaches. Tribune-Herald.

Survey Shows Extent of Sexual Harassment Among UH Students. The University of Hawaiʻi officially released its latest biennial student survey on sexual harassment and gender-based violence, issues that are prevalent among college students nationwide. Maui Now.

State could pay $1 million to settle lawsuits. Measures before the Legislature would appropriate more than $1 million to settle claims against the state — $650,000 of which would go toward a lawsuit over the 2014 death of a teenager who was riding a scooter on a Likelike Highway onramp. Star-Advertiser.

Tulsi Gabbard Bets Her Presidential Campaign On New Hampshire. The Hawaii congresswoman, who performed dismally in Iowa, has pretty much lived in the Granite State since December and hosted more than 100 events. Civil Beat.


All prosecutor candidates but 1 agree with 2-term limit. Oahu voters will be asked in November whether they want to stop future Honolulu city prosecutors from serving more than two consecutive terms. Star-Advertiser.

Thousands turn out to tour the nearly complete Halaulani city rail station. The general public got its first chance to visit a city rail station Saturday ahead of initial limited service projected to start 10 months from now. Star-Advertiser.


HART opens the doors to rail cars and platform for a community preview. Days after the mayor scrapped plans to renovate the Blaisdell Center over concerns of rail costs, the public had a chance to check out the already-completed rail facilities that have been years, and billions of dollars, in the making. Hawaii News Now.


Controversial Kahuku wind farm is built, what's next? All eight turbines in Na Pua Makani wind farm in Kahuku are built as construction and commissioning activities march forward. KITV4.

Emergency repairs begin on crumbling highway near Crouching Lion, snarling traffic. With high surf pounding shores across the state, erosion is continuing to cause problem for some, including an already troubled portion of highway on Oahu’s windward side. Hawaii News Now.

Owners at affordable condo to appeal after seeing their property taxes skyrocket. Nearly 50 owners of affordable condos at an Ala Moana area highrise are appealing their city property tax assessments. Hawaii News Now.

Aloha Tower restaurant Gordon Biersch closes after 26 years. After 26 years of business, Gordon Biersch at Aloha Tower has been closed for good. KHON2.

Oahu condo sales rise 16%, median price up by 7.5%. Condominium sales on Oahu increased by 16% in January as the median price rose 7.5%, compared to a year ago, while single-family home sales increased 8% as the median price remained flat, according to statistics from the Honolulu Board of Realtors. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Airbnb fattens four council campaign war chests. Four Hawaii County Council members each received a $500 contribution from Airbnb last year, although the source of their money wasn’t obvious. West Hawaii Today.

Puna Kai work continues. Despite the developer’s assurance last fall that many retailers in the Puna Kai shopping center would be open by Thanksgiving, work is still underway on the Pahoa project. Tribune-Herald.

Time is ticking for a bill to secure funding for an ambulance to be stationed at Makalei Fire Station, and it doesn’t look like it has a promising future. The closest ambulance-equipped fire station is 8 miles away in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

DHHL Takes On Abandoned Vehicles in Makuʻu. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands says it is working to address abandoned vehicles, trespassing and unpermitted structures in the Makuʻu homestead area. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii Island home sales get off to roaring start in 2020. Single-family home sales on Hawaii Island got off to a roaring start in January, with a 44% increase in sales and a 25% increase in the median price, compared to a year ago, while the median price of a condominium jumped 32%, according to statistics provided by Hawaii Information Service on behalf of Hawaii Island Realtors. Pacific Business News.


Top elections officials approved. County Council OKs Kaohu, Krueger for Clerk’s Office. Maui News.

Lab: Mahi Pono’s potato crop is free from chemical residuals. Amid questions over farming practices and the quality of its produce, third-party testing of Mahi Pono potatoes for 400 chemicals shows that they are free from pesticide residuals and safe for eating, the company said. Maui News.

ML&P sells 46 acres of Kapalua Resort for nearly $44M. Maui Land & Pineapple Co. reached an agreement to sell 46 acres at the center of its Kapalua Resort for nearly $44 million to Delaware limited-liability company KCRMD LLC, according to financial filings. Maui News.

Grand Wailea delay proves barriers to enter Maui’s hotel market. Expansion plans for the Grand Wailea Maui, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, recently hit another snag when the Maui Planning Commission granted a petition to intervene in the wake of community pushback against the $150 million project. Star-Advertiser.

Costs for Maui County seniors high. Maui County’s kupuna face some of the highest cost of living challenges in the nation, with some shelling out more than $5,000 annually for necessities compared to their Mainland counterparts, a recent study shows. Maui News.


Hanapepe bridges, other topics part of mayor’s talk story. The Hanapepe Economic Alliance is hosting a talk story session Wednesday, Feb. 12, beginning at 5:30 p.m., for Hanapepe and ‘Ele‘ele communities, to discuss the status of the four bridges in the Hanapepe area, led by Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i is good place to start a small business. A recent study from SmartAsset, a New York Financial company discovered that Kaua’i is one of the top islands in the state to start a small business. Maui comes in at first, with Kaua’i at second, Hawai‘i Island at third and Oahu in last. Garden Island.

Eradication unlikely. An invasive weed community members have been battling for years along the Kilauea River is creeping back along the banks, growing rapidly in a thick blanket of green that is known to take over the surface of lakes and slow-moving water. Garden Island.

Kauai single-family home prices jump 16%. The median price of a single-family home on Kauai rose 16% in January, compared to a year ago, and the median price of a condominium declined by 18% while sales of both categories dropped, according to statistics provided by Hawaii Information Service on behalf of the Kauai Board of Realtors. Pacific Business News.


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