Monday, June 6, 2022

Waikiki homeless capturing city and state attention, PAC attacks Green's doctor credentials in governor's race, judge overturns vacation rental ban on ag lots, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Homeless in Waikiki ©2022 All Hawaii News
Solutions sought for rise in homeless in East Honolulu. East Honolulu, which includes Waikiki, is experiencing the highest percentage increase of unsheltered homeless of any district on Oahu — hastening efforts by state and county officials to bring the region more homeless services and affordable housing even if they have to condemn properties to do it. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii gas prices are up 39% from a year ago. Hawaii’s $5.46 average price for a gallon of regular gas is up 4% from $5.27 a month ago, and 39% from $3.94 a year ago. Star-Advertiser.

Energy prices spike: Hawaiian Electric says increase due to rising fuel prices. Residential energy rates in Hawaii have increased by nearly 20% since March thanks to impacts to global fuel supply chains. Tribune-Herald.

Outgoing State Public Utilities Chief Reflects On His Tenure And Tough Decisions. Jay Griffin dealt with several contentious issues, from interisland shipping rates to Hawaii’s renewable energy transition. Civil Beat.

Former state Rep. Ty Cullen gets new sentencing date in cesspool bribery case. A judge has set a new sentencing date for former state Rep. Ty Cullen, who earlier this year pleaded guilty to one count in connection with his acceptance of bribes when he was a lawmaker. Former Senate Majority Leader Kalani English, who also pleaded guilty in a related case, is still scheduled to be sentenced on July 5. Associated Press.

Hawaiʻi Governor Signs Gun Inspection Bill. House Bill 2075 (Act 030) requires physical inspection of firearms under certain circumstances. The State says the new law “restores part of a previous gun law that was struck down by a federal court last year.” Big Island Video News. Maui Now.

Bill to reduce costs of public information requests on Ige’s desk. Among the bills awaiting potential signature or veto by Gov. David Ige is one that would cap copying charges of public records by government agencies at 25 cents per page or sheet. Tribune-Herald.

Will Hawaiian Voters Finally Show Up This Year? Hawaiian issues and the Thirty Meter Telescope are entangled in the governor’s race this year in ways that may help drive the ethnic Hawaiian vote in the critically important Democratic primary. But Hawaiians have been lining up politically in some startling ways. Civil Beat.

Super PAC Targets Josh Green As Hawaii Governor’s Race Heats Up. The biggest funders of a recent political ad that raises questions over his board certifications have also donated to Vicky Cayetano’s campaign. Civil Beat.

Oʻahu and Kauaʻi jails report COVID-19 clusters. New state Department of Public Safety data shows about 70 cases at Oʻahu Community Correctional Center and about 50 at the Kauaʻi Community Correctional Center. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

Honolulu’s rail recovery plan submitted to Federal Transit Administration. The recovery plan, submitted Friday, notably shortens the route to end in Ka­­kaako rather than continuing on to Ala Moana Center and delays construction of the Pearl Highlands parking garage. Star-Advertiser.

A Coastal Road Connects These Patients To Dialysis. Climate Change Could Make That Harder. In 2019, the Hawaii Department of Transportation released a report on the susceptibility of coastal roads to sea level rise, erosion and climate change. The strip of road through Kaleo’s neighborhood of Hauula was the No. 1 priority on a list of statewide highways in need of help. Civil Beat.

Waikiki noise reduction bills pending before City Council. Council member Calvin Say has introduced Bill 23, which bans trash pickup before 6 a.m. Council Chairman Tommy Waters introduced Bill 43, which bans amplified sound in Waikiki under certain conditions. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council approves federal COVID-19 funeral assistance to COFA citizens. A federal program grants financial death benefits to families who lost members of their household to COVID-19, but the program largely left out citizens of the Freely Associated States who live in the United States through the Compacts of Free Association. Star-Advertiser.

Motion details charges against ex-Honolulu police officer described as ‘prolific sexual predator’. Federal prosecutors described a former Honolulu police officer as a “prolific sexual predator” who should be jailed before his trial on charges he ran a child prostitution ring, produced child pornography and sexually assaulted youngsters for five years while working for the Honolulu Police Department. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Farm dwellings as vacation rentals: Judge overturns county ban on short-term rentals in ag district. More vacation rentals may be popping up on farmland, based on a recent ruling by a Kona judge. The future of Hawaii County’s authority to prohibit short-term vacation rentals in agriculture districts hangs in the balance, after the 3rd Circuit Court judge overturned a state Land Use Commission ruling upholding the county’s right to do so. West Hawaii Today.

State claims major victory in developer’s $360M suit involving Big Island housing project. A federal judge has dismissed a 2017 lawsuit filed by a company seeking $360 million from the state over an adverse regulatory action involving a mostly undeveloped $1 billion Hawaii island housing project. Star-Advertiser.

UH warns of Maunakea lease terminations if bill passes. The University of Hawaii at Hilo advised the state Board of Land and Natural Resources last week about the dozens of permits and leases that will have to be terminated should UH be removed from management of the summit of Maunakea. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

MPD cited for safety violations after recruit hospitalized. The Maui Police Department has been cited for safety violations after a police recruit suffered a heat stroke during training and was hospitalized this year. Maui News.

Hawaii’s first mobile biodiesel fueling station opens on Maui. The first of six mobile biodiesel fueling stations in Hawaii opened on Maui Friday, making the renewable fuel more accessible to customers. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui News. Hawaii News Now.

The Long Fight To Protect Public Hiking Access In Hawaii Isn’t Close To Over. A Maui nonprofit is suing the state and a ranch for failing to protect a historic trail. It’s the latest battle in the islands to ward off closures by private entities and government agencies. Civil Beat.

Administration interested in parcel that’s pending. Currently the 214.92-acre property, owned by Kauhikoa Investors LLC, is pending sale, according to Realtor.com. The price is listed at $10.5 million. Maui News.

Maui median home sales price stays near record at $1.21M; sales slow. Maui County’s single-family home median sales price at $1.21 million in May hovered just below the record high while sales showed signs of slowing, according to a new report by the Realtors Association of Maui. Maui Now.

Kauai


Federal tax break for the poor helps luxury developers on Kaua‘i. Wealthy investors in the Koloa and Hanalei real estate could be in line for millions of dollars in federal tax breaks. These areas are considered Opportunity Zones — a Trump-era program intended to pump investment cash into low-income areas. Garden Island.

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