Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Hawaii Democrats pick new leader, $38M spent on Honolulu police overtime, Ige mulls bill curbing governor's emergency powers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Democratic summit ends with new leader. Delegates representing the Democratic Party of Hawaii elected Honolulu attorney Dennis Jung to be the political organization’s new leader. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Gov. Ige faces decision on bill to limit emergency authority of future governors. Lawmakers this session approved a bill that would allow them to end his and future governor’s emergency powers after 60 days. Termination will require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature. Hawaii News Now.

Transportation Department: Budget Cuts Could ‘Cripple’ State Airports. But the state senator in charge of budgeting said positions that were eliminated have been vacant for years. Hawaii lawmakers have proposed cutting three high-ranking airport employees in a move that transportation officials have said could “cripple and obstruct” state-run airports. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers Spent Big This Year To Help Hawaii Families ‘Pushed Over The Edge’. A historic budget surplus, strong coordination by advocacy groups and the undeniable fact that many of Hawaii’s families are struggling — both financially and mentally — helped drive big investments in early childhood initiatives this year. Civil Beat.


Audit of Honolulu Police Department reveals $38 million in overtime. The audit, released Friday, found that the department uses handwritten time cards to track overtime hours, resulting in nearly $30,000 in unsubstantiated payments and up to $6 million in increased city pension costs over the past five years. The top 10 unnamed earners scooped more than $4 million for 76,726 hours of overtime pay over five years, city Auditor Arushi Kumar found. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Police Patrol: Riding With HPD In Downtown Honolulu Underscores Staffing Needs. The Honolulu Police Department has about 350 officer vacancies as the department prepares to onboard a new chief. Civil Beat.

Report: Navy’s Oahu fuel tanks need repair before draining. A contractor hired by the Navy is recommending a series of structural repairs to a massive fuel tank farm in Hawaii to make sure the facility doesn’t leak petroleum when its tanks are drained, a report released Friday said. Associated Press. Hawaii Public Radio.

Ford Island Control Tower opens. The Ford Island Control Tower is open to the public at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum. The Top of the Tower tour offers a look at the Operations Building, the Firehouse Exhibit, and it includes an elevator ride to the control tower. KHON2.

Nonprofit releases survey in last-ditch effort to save Haiku Stairs on Oahu. Ahead of a Honolulu City Council vote Wednesday allocating $1.3 million to dismantle the hotly debated Haiku Stairs, a nonprofit organization pushing to preserve them has released a survey in a last-ditch effort to save the illegal Windward Oahu hiking trail. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Inaba seeks to shift tax breaks to homeowners, affordable rentals. North Kona Councilman Holeka Inaba wants the little guy to get more of a break on property taxes than proposed by Mayor Mitch Roth, and he’s brought forward a resolution to get the conversation started. West Hawaii Today.

A voice for Native Hawaiians: Charter amendment would offer a seat at the table on water policy
. Bill 180, to be discussed by a County Council committee today, would require the addition of a Department of Hawaiian Home Lands representative to the county Water Board, training in Native Hawaiian law for board members and administrative staff and annual reports from the Department of Water Supply to the council. West Hawaii Today.

Judge will consider whether to unseal DNA evidence in Dana Ireland murder. A group seeking to overturn convictions in the Dana Ireland murder trial filed a motion Thursday seeking to unseal post-conviction DNA testing conducted on a piece of key evidence in that case. Tribune-Herald.


Community Needs Survey launched to better understand causes of poverty in Maui County. Maui Economic Opportunity has begun circulating a survey on the causes of poverty in Maui County to be used in the development of a Community Needs Assessment and Action Plan that the nonprofit generates every three years. Maui Now.

Online marketplace adds more farms, ranches. Project Mahi‘ai, which launched last year, wins grants to offer goods, produce boxes. With an initial enrollment of eight farmers and ranchers last year, the Amazon-style distribution system was created to connect mostly Native Hawaiian cultivators who want to provide fresh produce, meats, eggs and dairy products to the community. Maui News.


Interests clash over proposed HPM manufacturing facility in Koloa. A proposed South Shore manufacturing facility has emerged as the latest battleground in the ongoing debate over the island’s approach to development. Garden Island.

Ha‘ena, Black Pot still closed to camping. Kaua‘i County officials have suspended permitted camping at Ha‘ena Beach Park and Black Pot Beach Park indefinitely. Garden Island.

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