Thursday, February 24, 2022

Legislature mulls rental car impact fee, opposes putting $1B in rainy day fund, Kauai military crash victims identified, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Climate change impact fee on rental cars proposed. A plan to charge tourists a special rental car fee to offset their effect on climate change has been met with technical and philosophical pushback, along with support to have visitors pay more to help the environment. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers rain on Gov. David Ige’s plan for $1 billion ‘rainy day’ fund.
Hawaii lawmakers this week zeroed out the proposed $1 billion emergency savings account appropriation in a Senate bill introduced on behalf of Ige, and deferred an identical House companion bill. Star-Advertiser.

Restorative Justice Group Calls For Sweeping Reform Of Women’s Prison System. A group of prominent women is pushing for a complete overhaul of Hawaii’s women’s prison system through a slew of bills under consideration by the Legislature. Civil Beat.

Bills Would Limit Rental Application Fees.
Only one member of a household may be charged a $25 fee under measures moving through the Legislature. Civil Beat.

Measure that would settle OHA's share of public land trust revenue heads to final Senate vote. Hawaiʻi lawmakers are considering a bill to settle unresolved issues over exactly how much public land trust revenue the state must direct toward the betterment of Native Hawaiians. Hawaii Public Radio.

Constitutional Changes And Legal Challenges Loom As Redistricting Commission Wraps Up Work. State lawmakers want to change the way the commission counts military personnel and college students. Civil Beat.

3 former Hawaii defense contractors plead not guilty in illegal campaign scheme. Martin Kao, 48, Clifford Chen, 48, and Lawrence “Kahele” Lum Kee, 52, of Martin Defense Group LLC, formerly known as Navatek LLC, are charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and to make conduit and government contractor contributions, and making government contractor contributions to support U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) who ran for reelection in 2020 and won. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press.

Former OHA trustee Oswald ‘Oz’ Stender remembered for his dedication to the Native Hawaiian community, dies at 90. Oswald “Oz” Stender, who rose above the turmoil of the Bishop Estate’s “Broken Trust” scandal and went on to serve 14 years as an Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee, died Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

DOE sets rules for Hawaii graduation ceremonies.
The state Department of Education has released its gathering rules for this year’s graduation and transition ceremonies. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Feb. 23, 2022 COVID-19 update: 134 new infections in Hawaiʻi. The  count includes two cases on Maui, 12 on Hawaiʻi Island, 10 on Kauaʻi, one on Molokaʻi, 0 on Lānaʻi, and 18 out of state.  There are 91 new COVID-19 cases on Oʻahu. Maui Now.

Oahu

Council unanimously passes bill mandating permits for large underground storage tanks
, in response to Red Hill. The Honolulu City Council on Wednesday unanimously backed a measure that requires a city permit to operate an underground storage tank system that can hold more than 100,000 gallons of any regulated substance. It also requires the permit seeker to secure approval from the state health director. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers want the state to take over Lake Wilson, but it would come at a steep price. Some state lawmakers want the state to take over Wahiawa’s Lake Wilson and the surrounding irrigation system. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Settles Four Law Enforcement Lawsuits.
The Honolulu City Council on Wednesday approved legal payouts totaling millions of dollars to settle lawsuits filed against the Honolulu Police Department and Prosecuting Attorney’s office. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Kenneth Silva Appointed To Honolulu Police Commission.
Former fire chief will fill the lone vacancy on the seven-member police commission. Civil Beat.

City: Efforts to tackle crime in Chinatown are working, but there’s more work to do.
The city administration says efforts such as cracking down on criminal activity has improved Chinatown during the past year. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Council advances homeless funding bill. Hilo Councilman Aaron Chung, jogging Wednesday morning prior to the County Council meeting, came upon a large “Aloha, Welcome to Kona” sign. West Hawaii Today.

Council members question funding requests for waste management equipment
. Requests for hundreds of thousands of dollars for equipment for the county Department of Environmental Management led to frustration at Wednesday’s County Council meeting. Tribune-Herald.

County’s Honuʻapo Lands in Kaʻū to Reopen.
Because the area is cooling and new safety measures put in place, Hawaiʻi County will reopen some of its public lands in Kaʻū that have been closed since October. Big Island Now.

Maui

1,150-unit Honua‘ula project heads to mediation. The Honua’ula master-planned community of more than 1,000 housing units and mixed-use development faces yet another challenge as it heads into mediation and may end up in a contested case hearing. Maui News.

Maui Is Getting Ready To Move Part Of A Major Highway Due To Climate Change.
The Honoapiilani Highway is the main artery in and out of West Maui and keeping it open is considered crucial for public safety, commerce, tourism and other transportation needs. Civil Beat.

Temporary closure of Lahainaluna boy’s dorm comes amid investigation into misconduct allegations. A temporary closure of the boys’ dormitory at Lahainaluna High School went into effect on Tuesday, Feb. 22, and will continue for nearly a month through March 20, 2022, the state Department of Education has confirmed. Maui Now.

Kauai


Victims of Kauai helicopter crash identified.
Matthew Haider, 43, Erika Tevez-Valdez, 42, Daniel Maurice, 64, and Patrick Rader, 55, were killed in Tuesday’s deadly helicopter crash on Kauai. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

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