Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Hawaiian homestead litigation settled, Honolulu mayor signs bill curbing short-term rentals, Maui mulls property tax cuts for homeowners, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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State settling 23-year litigation over Hawaiian homesteads for $328 million. Leona Kalima and two other named plaintiffs filed the lawsuit in state court alleging that the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, overseer of a 203,000-acre federally created land trust, had breached its fiduciary duty by not awarding homestead lots on a timely basis to qualified applicants, who must be at least half Hawaiian and can receive house, farm or pastoral lots under 99-year leases that cost $1 a year. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Associated Press. Big Island Now.  Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Supreme Court: State Must Release ‘Explosive’ 2016 Report On State Auditor. The Attorney General’s investigative report details wrongdoing by then-State Auditor Jan Yamane and her top assistants. Civil Beat.

Search for Hawaii public schools superintendent is down to 7 candidates. The search for the next new permanent superintendent of Hawaii’s massive public school system is down to seven candidates, and the state Board of Education has released a revised timeline, plus a proposed selection process meant to increase transparency and shed light on how the finalists would solve problems and lead. Star-Advertiser.

Raking It In: Hawaii’s Federal Delegation Brought More Than $265 Million To The State. Fiscal year 2022 was the first budget cycle in more than a decade in which lawmakers were able to secure funding for pet projects in their states and districts. Civil Beat.

Ex-Sen. Jill Tokuda to challenge U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele for Congress. Former state Sen. Jill Tokuda — who had been running for lieutenant governor in the upcoming Aug. 13 Democratic primary — disrupted state and federal races Tuesday by filing federal election papers to run for the congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.  

Pandemic modeling group: Daily COVID case count in Hawaii likely 7 times official figure. COVID infections are on the rise in Hawaii, but home testing means it’s hard to get a true picture of the daily case count. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Mayor Rick Blangiardi signs short-term rental bill. A new short-term rental proposal became law Tuesday after Mayor Rick Blangiardi signed a measure that would notably lengthen the minimum stay in most cases to three months from 30 days — making Honolulu among the toughest cities in the country for vacation rentals. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

City to offer interest-free loans to help residents cover home down payments. Those eligible must be earning 80% or below of the area median income, which is just over $77,000 for a couple and roughly $96,600 for a family of four. Hawaii News Now.

Several Oʻahu private schools report receiving bomb threats via email. The emails were identical and appeared to be sent from the same address. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Mauna Kea proposal now pushes University of Hawaii away from oversight. A proposed draft compromise creates an 11-member Mauna Kea Stewardship and Oversight Authority with responsibility over the entire mountain, including the astronomy precinct. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.

Water bills to increase. Water rate increases are on tap for Big Island customers, with consecutive 9.5% increases in standby and usage charges this year and next. West Hawaii Today.

New barracks unveiled at PTA: Project is part of a $210 million effort to improve the Army facility. The result of a $17 million contract, the 10 new barracks replaced the Quonset huts originally constructed as easy-to-assemble, temporary buildings during the early 1950s. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Proposals call for tax cuts for some homeowners. Council budget committee to hold public hearing this week as it mulls ratesMaui County families who reside in their own home could potentially see property tax cuts under proposals being hammered out in the budget in the coming weeks. Maui News.

The Maui County Council will hold a public hearing on property tax rates at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Here are the current property tax rates compared with Mayor Michael Victorino’s proposals for fiscal year 2023 and the council’s Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee draft proposed rates. Maui News.

50,000 more Hawaiʻi locations getting ultra fast internet, including on Lāna‘i and Moloka‘i. Fioptics is delivered on Hawaiian Telcom’s fiber network that goes all the way to a home or business. A fiber-optic cable is made of thin strands of flexible glass fibers, each smaller than the width of a human hair.  Maui Now.

Kauai

Increased KPD budget proposed. Kaua‘i Police Department Chief Todd Raybuck presented the proposed KPD budget before the Police Commission Friday, requesting an increase of more than $1.4 million over last year. Garden Island.

University of Hawaii releases study on devastating Kauai rainfall in 2018. The storm came with no warning at all and destroyed or damaged more than 500 homes. It also caused about $180 million worth of damage. KHON2.

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