Friday, March 11, 2022

Electricity expected to jump 10-20%, state has extra $450M in taxes to spend this fiscal year, government transparency commission meets in secret, more news from all the Hawaiian islands

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Council Anticipates Big Budget Boost But War In Ukraine Dampens Economic Future. The Council on Revenues raised growth of projected tax collections this year from 15% to 21%. State lawmakers could have about $450 million more to spend on the state budget for the last four months of this fiscal year, which ends June 30. Civil Beat.

Rise in electricity bills ahead, Hawaiian Electric Co. warns. Hawaiian Electric Co. warned customers Thursday that electricity bills will climb higher over the next few months due to the rising prices of petroleum driven by the U.S. sanction on Russian oil. The utility is forecasting residential bills will rise about 10% for Oahu customers, and about 20% for those in Maui County and on Hawaii island, heading into the summer. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

This New Hawaii Commission Is Aimed At Open Government. So Why Has It Been Meeting In Secret? A commission tasked with making recommendations for government transparency and accountability has so far been meeting behind closed doors but the commission’s chairman says it will open its meetings after delivering an interim report to state lawmakers later this month. Civil Beat.

Hawaii House Proposes 48 New Positions To Beef Up Child Welfare Services. A proposed $8.3 billion state budget for next year would beef up staffing and funding for the struggling state Child Welfare Services agency in the wake of an alleged murder of a 6-year-old girl on Oahu last year. Star-Advertiser.

Public workers’ union announces endorsement in race for governor. Hawaii’s largest union of public workers has announced their endorsement in the race for Hawaii’s next governor. HGEA, Hawaii’s Government Employees Association, endorsed current Lieutenant Governor Josh Green on Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Ige looks back at 2 years of COVID restrictions. The state’s mask mandate comes to an end in two weeks and Gov. Ige is reflecting on decisions made during the pandemic. Hawaii Public Radio.


Oahu residents are asked to reduce water use.
The Honolulu Board of Water Supply on Thursday called on all Oahu water users to voluntarily reduce consumption by 10% — a consequence of the loss of a key source of city water in the aftermath of Navy water contamination by fuel from its Red Hill fuel storage facility. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Kahikina Poised To Get $25K Bonus For First Year As Rail Director. HART board members contemplated what message that bonus might send to the public, however, as rail faces a severe financial crisis. Civil Beat.

Survey of Oahu’s homeless returns. After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, more than 300 volunteers dispersed across Oahu on Thursday morning to record the number of unsheltered homeless people for the annual Point-in-Time count. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

UH Manoa Engineering Faculty Cast Vote Of ‘No Confidence’ In College Dean. Provost Michael Bruno said he will meet with engineering faculty members in the coming weeks to continue discussing complaints about Dean Brennon Morioka’s leadership. Civil Beat.

Bad Blood Between Crime Boss And His Son’s Friend Started Over Stolen Watch, Plea Says. A year before Mike Miske blamed Jonathan Fraser for the fatal car accident that killed Miske’s son, he had Fraser beaten for stealing a gold Rolex, the agreement says. Miske is accused of later ordering Fraser’s murder. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

No consensus on Waipio closure
. Nobody could agree on a middle ground during a community discussion Wednesday evening about the closure of Waipio Valley Access Road. Tribune-Herald.

Planning Committee advances Waikoloa timeshare project. An array of promised community benefits was enough Tuesday to propel a Waikoloa Beach Resort timeshare project out of a County Council committee with a positive recommendation. West Hawaii Today.


Mike Molina launches mayoral campaign. Maui County Councilmember Mike Molina, who currently holds the Makawao-Haʻikū-Pāʻia residency seat, submitted his nomination form to the County Clerk’s office on Wednesday, signaling the start of his Mayoral campaign.  Maui Now.

Master-planned community headed to contested case.
A mediation ordered by the Maui Planning Commission last month between Honua’ula representatives and intervenors Maui Tomorrow and Ho’opo-nopono O Makena, has failed, attorneys on both sides said during a commission meeting Tuesday afternoon. Maui News.

Alaula Builders selects 40 Maui families in Kīhei workforce housing lottery. Hale Kaiola is located in North Kīhei and will consist of 40 duplex homes with a yard starting at $395,000.  Maui Now.

Management plan may result in fewer air tours above Haleakala. Federal officials are working to develop an air tour management plan for Haleakala National Park that will likely result in fewer air tours within a half-mile of the park. Maui News.


Council unanimously approves polarizing ‘cat bill’. The Kaua‘i County Council adopted debated legislation forbidding the feeding of feral cats on county property, in a unanimous vote on Wednesday. The ban on feeding, which complies with the Kaua‘i Seabird Habitat Conservation Plan, triggered protest from individuals and “community cat” groups. Garden Island.

Key player in Kauai councilman's drug trafficking ring reaches plea agreement. Orlando Manguchei was one of the 11 suspects indicted in the incident involving former councilman Arthur Brun, who already agreed to serve a 15-year prison sentence. KITV4.

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