Wednesday, February 19, 2020

House budget cuts police actions against demonstrators on Mauna Kea, elsewhere; Hawaii County Councilman's husband arrested for allegedly slugging county official, plastics ban mulled on two islands, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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House cuts funding for TMT enforcement from state budget. House lawmakers approved a rough draft of the new state operating budget Tuesday that cut more than $65 million in funding that Gov. David Ige requested for law enforcement operations to cope with disturbances such as the ongoing protests over the Thirty Meter Telescope, according to House Finance Committee Chairwoman Sylvia Luke. Star-Advertiser.

Want To Build Affordable Housing More Quickly? This Bill Would Sidestep Public Input. Affordable housing developers would be allowed to sidestep a process designed to protect Hawaii’s lands if a bill backed by Hawaii’s top political leaders becomes law. Civil Beat.

Prison overcrowding targeted in proposed law reducing ‘dangerous drug’ penalty. Senate Bill 2793 proposes to reduce the penalty of controlled substances from a felony to a misdemeanor, it would reduce the sentence for people who get caught. KHON2.

No isle residents found to have extended, close contact with infected pair. State health officials have not found any Hawaii residents who came into “prolonged close contact” with a Japanese couple who visited the islands more than a week ago and was subsequently diagnosed with the deadly coronavirus. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii auto sales keep losing traction. Hawaii auto sales are projected to keep softening in 2020 as they appear headed for a third straight year of declines. Star-Advertiser.


City bill would let citizens help bust trash dumpers. An inspector would not need to witness an illegal dumping violation for the city to fine someone under a bill up for a final vote today by the Honolulu City Council. Star-Advertiser.

Will Espero Looks To Return To Public Service. The former state senator is running for the Honolulu City Council. Civil Beat.

Red Hill fuel storage deadline in doubt. Hopes to shut down the Navy’s underground fuel tanks at Red Hill in 2028 were in doubt Tuesday after the chairwoman of a critical Senate committee removed the revised version of Senate Bill 2774 from scheduled decision making on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

The city considers charging property owners a new fee for a project that could turn storm water runoff into drinking water. The city and county of Honolulu wants to take on a massive new endeavor to overhaul its storm drain system. Hawaii News Now.

Should Hawaii Build An Underwater Tunnel Between Ewa And Downtown? State lawmakers may ask the DOT to study the idea as a way to alleviate traffic, even as a rail line is still being built. Civil Beat.

Worries of misdirected funds swirl as trial over Princess Kawananakoa’s fortune set to begin. As the fight for Hawaiian royalty descendant Abigail Kawananakoa’s fortune heads to trial next month, both sides are accusing each other of racketing up their legal fees, which are now approaching $7 million. Hawaii News Now.


Honolulu Tattoo Expo fined $120K for using 12 unlicensed artists. The state Health Department has fined promoters of the Honolulu Tattoo Expo $120,000 for allowing 12 unlicensed tattoo artists to participate in its event. Star-Advertiser.

State slaps expo organizers with big fine for allowing unlicensed tattoo artists to work. The state has fined Honolulu Tattoo Expo $120,000 for allowing 12 unlicensed tattoo artists to ink clients at an event in January. Hawaii News Now.

Unlicensed artists at Honolulu Tattoo Expo had not completed blood-borne pathogen transmission prevention class. Health officials are calling it a complete disregard for public health rules, resulting in the maximum fine to the Honolulu Tattoo Expo. KHON2.

Tattoo expo promoters receive $120k fine. The Department of Health has issued a $120,000 fine to Erin Carillo and Thomas Hernandez, the promoters of the Honolulu Tattoo Expo for aiding and abetting 12 unlicensed tattoo artists to tattoo at the recent event held at the Hawaii Convention Center. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Ex-cop charged in attack: Husband of councilwoman arrested for allegedly assaulting county official. The felony information complaint filed Feb. 7 in Hilo Circuit Court charges Ian Lee Loy with second-degree assault, a Class C felony that carries a possible five-year prison sentence upon conviction. Tribune-Herald.

Frustration with traffic flow: Council members seek answers about congestion, timing of signals. Hawaii County Council members were unhappy with the Department of Public Works’ efforts to relieve traffic congestion across the island. Tribune-Herald.

Council committee advances Kaloko sewer improvement district. Neighbors of the 1,300-unit master-planned Kaloko Heights development will get a free ride on sewer hookups, thanks to an improvement district initiated by the developers. West Hawaii Today.

Young Brothers’ livestock shipping changes raise concerns. Proposed changes to livestock shipping procedures by interisland ocean shipper Young Brothers have some concerned that all but the largest ranchers might be priced out of the market. Tribune-Herald.


No Timeframe for TMT construction on Maunakea, Officials Say. As an agreement to hold off construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope comes to an end, TMT officials say they don’t have a timeframe for beginning work on Maunakea. Big Island Now.

TMT truce might be extended 2 months. Hawaii Mayor Harry Kim has asked the Thirty Meter Telescope for a two-month extension of the current moratorium that has kept the peace on Mauna Kea over the last few months. Star-Advertiser.

A truce at Mauna Kea is almost up, but Big Island Mayor Kim wants more time. Big Island Mayor Harry Kim has asked the Thirty Meter Telescope for an additional delay on construction. Hawaii News Now.


Council Considers County-Wide Ban on Single-Use Plastics. County council members met on Tuesday afternoon to discuss a bill aiming to ban the use and sale of single-use disposable plastics throughout Maui County. Maui Now.

Maui mayor urges people to remain vigilant amidst coronavirus fears. While Maui County continues to have no confirmed cases of the coronavirus, Mayor Michael Victorino urged people to remain vigilant and take precautions against the spread of disease. KITV4.

Kula meeting to cover water, energy. The upcoming auction of four East Maui watershed lease areas will be among the topics at the Kula Community Association meeting Wednesday. Maui News.


Mayor moves to prohibit disposable plastics.  Just one day before the Kauai County Council is set to consider a bill that would ban most polystyrene food containers from sale and use on Kauai, Mayor Derek Kawakami signed an administrative policy aimed at the same thing. Garden Island.


Why is Ni'ihau Hawaiian Language So Different? One could argue that Niʻihau Hawaiian is the closest we’ve got to early forms of the language spoken in the islands. It’s been passed down from generation to generation uninterrupted largely because of Niʻihau’s isolation. Hawaii Public Radio.


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