Monday, October 24, 2022

Hawaii Supreme Court applicants to be made public, Democrats hold grand rally in Hilo, developers seek subsidies for midpriced housing, more news from all the Hawaiian islands

Hawaii Supreme Court applicants to be made public. For the first time, the names of applicants to sit on the Hawaii Supreme Court will be made public when the Judicial Selection Commission considers who will replace retiring Associate Justice Michael D. Wilson. Star-Advertiser.

State to subsidize midpriced rental housing projects. Developers have blitzed a state agency to tap a special $150 million legislative appropriation for funding new rental housing aimed largely at middle-income Hawaii households. Seven developers submitted applications for 11 projects with a combined 1,416 rental homes, of which between 600 and 800 can probably be financed with the available $150 million. Of the 11 proposed projects, seven are on Oahu, two are on Kauai and one each is on Maui and Hawaii Island. Star-Advertiser.

Large exercise will be noisy, Army leaders say. Army leaders want people on Oahu and Hawaii Island to be prepared for increased traffic and noise as the Schofield Barracks-based 25th Infantry Division prepares for a large exercise at training sites across the two islands for an exercise involving 6,350 soldiers between Oct. 31 and Nov. 9. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s public school math, reading scores relatively stable as national results suffer pandemic drop. While a coronavirus pandemic drop-off in nationwide reading and math scores on “The Nation’s Report Card” is being called “appalling” by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Hawaii’s public-school scores surprised local officials by holding relatively steady in three out of four categories, declining significantly only in eighth grade math. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Charter School Oversight Is Still A Source of Contention In Hawaii. Hawaii’s only charter school authorizer is charting a path to progress, but some school leaders remain skeptical about the commission’s ability to both regulate and support the schools. Civil Beat.

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiary advocates blast $600 million spending plan. Two advocacy groups for existing and future Hawaiian homesteaders are challenging a tentative state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands plan to spend a recently appropriated historic $600 million helping beneficiaries. Star-Advertiser.

Former Hawaii football star accused of conspiring to sell methamphetamine. A former star University of Hawaii linebacker and high school football coach will plead guilty to federal drug charges for his alleged role in a methamphetamine trafficking ring that operated for three years on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island. Star-Advertiser.

Man Who Promoted Erotic Maternity Photos Is Suing The Women Who Called Him ‘Creepy’. Danny Gallagher’s lawyer acknowledges he advised women on how to sell nude photos and videos on line but says he never coerced or groomed anyone, as defendants say. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Short-term rental law could hurt Oahu’s economy. Economist Paul Brewbaker estimates if not for the pandemic, vacation rentals on Oahu could have been worth as much as $500 million in Hawaii’s recent economy. Without those tourism receipts, Brewbaker said, job losses and loss of income for many on Oahu are inevitable, especially when tourism spending adjusted for inflation is still running behind 1989 levels. Star-Advertiser.

Complications expected for registration of Oahu short-term rentals. Enforcement of city Ordinance 22-7, a controversial bill to regulate short-term rentals, is supposed to start today. Star-Advertiser.

Efforts To Reform Honolulu’s Troubled Permitting Office Face An Uphill Battle. Here’s Why. Contractors and property owners describe bureaucratic hurdles and delays in the application process that sometimes last years. Civil Beat.

New project is aimed at making the state’s no. 1 tourist destination more pedestrian-friendly. The state is kicking off a new pilot project to increase pedestrian safety in Waikiki. Ala Moana Boulevard and Hobron Lane along with Ena and Kalia Road were turned into all-pedestrian crossings on Saturday. Hawaii News Now.

Housing and infrastructure dominate District 2 City Council race. Housing and infrastructure are key issues in Honolulu City Council District 2 — an area that covers Royal Kunia, Wahiawa, along the North Shore to Kahaluu. Star-Advertiser.

Pearl Harbor Elementary School Water Sample Tests Positive For Coliform Bacteria. No illnesses have been reported, according to the Department of Education. Civil Beat.

Punaluu homeowners face high risk of shoreline enforcement. A growing number of coastal homeowners have been selling properties with expired sandbags and other illegal shoreline hardening structures as DLNR tries to increase enforcement. Star-Advertiser.

Emergency crews respond to a mock derailment and mass casualty drill in Kapolei. Honolulu police, firefighters and city and private paramedics responded to a mock train derailment in East Kapolei on Saturday that led to hypothetical mass casualties. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Democrats Hold General Election Grand Rally In Hilo. Speakers included former Governor Neil Abercrombie, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, candidate for governor Lt. Gov. Josh Green, candidate for lieutenant governor Sylvia Luke, candidate for US Representative Jill Tokuda, and others seeking to represent the Big Island in the State House or State Senate. Big Island Video News.

County election office’s mistake sends voters scrambling: Clerical error tells voters their ballots were received before they were sent. Erroneous text messages Thursday afternoon confused and alarmed some Big Island voters who were told their ballot had been “received, validated and accepted for counting,” even though many had not even received their mailed ballot when the notice went out. West Hawaii Today. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Mauna Loa meeting draws concerns. Hundreds of citizens packed into the Ocean View Community Center on Saturday to hear a presentation about the likelihood and contingencies for an eruption of the volcano, following weeks of elevated seismic activity, including a magnitude-5.0 earthquake near Pahala on Oct. 14. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

Search for Big Island’s next top cop narrows to 21; identities of applicants remain secret.
Commission hopes to find new police chief by end of year. “The Police Commission still does not know the names of the individual applicants,” said John Bertsch, the commission’s chairman. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Extension of lease for mall in question: Legal issue clouds long-term future of Prince Kuhio Plaza. A 40-year lease extension sought by Prince Kuhio Plaza is in a legal quagmire between the state and federal governments, and most who testified last week at the Hawaiian Homes Commission’s monthly meeting opposed extending the lease for almost 39 acres of homestead land. Tribune-Herald.

Public frustrated by ban on trailers at transfer stations
; department says new rules could be in place next year. County officials are once again hopeful that trailers could be allowed at certain county transfer stations by early next year. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

New Maui law caps rent for subsidized units to one-third of a tenant's income. County-subsidized housing on Maui will soon follow new pricing guidelines. It's the county’s attempt to define affordable housing. Hawaii Public Radio. Maui Now.

Maui County Voters Asked To Boost Transparency Between The Police Chief And Commission.
There is no requirement at present for the chief to tell the commission when he or she disagrees with its findings. Civil Beat.

‘Oiwi department proposal is in voters’ hands. Some say it would bring more Native Hawaiian input in planning, others question need for new department. Maui News.

UH-MC enrollment down 9.3%. University of Hawaii Maui College’s enrollment dropped 9.3 percent this year compared to last year for the largest drop in the UH system, according to information released this week by the university. Maui News.

Kauai

Repaving project to resume at Lihu‘e Airport. The second phase of a repaving project at Lihu‘e Airport is scheduled to begin on Monday, Oct. 24, the state Department of Transportation Airports Division said in a statement. Garden Island.

County median home price falls in September. A steep drop in sales of single-family homes, likely brought on by rising mortgage interest rates, helped keep the median price of home under $1 million in the County of Kaua‘i last month. Garden Island.

Flat tax rate of $40,000 a year for Ni‘ihau proposed. The 47,605-acre island was purchased in 1864 by Elizabeth Sinclair from the kingdom of Hawai‘i for $10,000, equal to about $170,000 in 2021. Garden Island.

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