Monday, November 7, 2022

Candidates gear up for final day of campaigning, Maui council caps vacation rentals, state lags in curbing Medicaid fraud, defamed doula wins damages in lactation porn case, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

The race for Hawai’i governor pits two men who have served as lieutenant governor. The 2022 race to replace term-limited David Ige for Hawaiʻi’s governor pits Democrat Josh Green, the state’s current lieutenant governor, against one of the state’s former lieutenant governors, Republican Duke Aiona. Kauai Now.

Hawaii’s down-ballot contests expect to be close races in this election. Every eligible voter in Hawaii should be able to cast consequential votes in Tuesday’s general election, even though many ballots lack competitive races for topmost offices. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s New Governor Will Have To Make Some Hard Decisions On Crime And Punishment. Something must be done about Hawaii’s overcrowded and run-down jails, or the courts may finally force the state to act. Civil Beat.

Final push to encourage Native Hawaiians to vote. Native Hawaiian community groups and organizations are working on their final push that seeks to draw out more native Hawaiians to participate in elections.  KHON2.

HTA president warns against adding extra fees for tourists. John De Fries, president of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, discussed the possibility of imposing usage fees upon visitors to offset their environmental impact, a policy proposed by gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Josh Green, who has suggested a $50 fee per person. Tribune-Herald.

Time to legalize it? With Gov. Ige leaving office, some think recreational pot legalization is inevitable. Although marijuana use for medical purposes has been available through dispensaries in Hawaii since 2016, recreational use of marijuana remains illegal, even as other states lower their pot restrictions. Tribune-Herald.

Despite plenty of potential cases, Hawaii lags in Medicaid fraud and abuse prosecutions. Hawaii has a huge population of people on Medicaid and thousands of health professionals, nursing home and care home operators taking care of them. But the law enforcement unit in charge of finding theft from the program and abuse of its patients has the lowest rate of charging crimes in the nation. Hawaii News Now.

‘Just A Number’: Parents Who Face Losing Their Kids Say Court-Appointed Attorneys Don’t Do Enough. A Civil Beat review found that parents almost never win on appeal, and that the appellate court finds procedural flaws in half the cases. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric ordered to revamp power rate structure. Hawaii state laboratory reclaims full certification. The Pearl City lab handles some of the state’s most important work, testing hundreds of drinking water samples annually to ensure compliance with safe drinking water standards and analyzing hundreds of water samples from the nearshore waters to make sure they comport with clean water laws. Star-Advertiser.

In a landmark order that could set the tone for electricity rates across the country, the state Public Utilities Commission has ordered Hawaiian Electric to transform its existing power rate structure into one that better acknowledges the growing use of renewable energy. Star-Advertiser.

Defamed Doula Wins $52,000 In Punitive Damages In Lactation Porn Case.
The jury found women went too far warning each other about Danny “The Doula” Gallagher’s promotion of lactation erotica. Civil Beat.

JABSOM vaccine candidates could help with current Ebola outbreak and COVID. At his laboratory at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine in Honolulu, researcher Axel Lehrer has several vaccine candidates that potentially could save lives around the globe. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Two Socially Conservative Candidates Vie To Represent Kapolei’s HD42. In West Oahu, longtime Democratic Rep. Sharon Har faces Republican Party Vice Chair Diamond Garcia in perhaps her toughest competition yet. Civil Beat.

Military finishes moving 1M gallons of fuel from Red Hill pipelines to Pearl Harbor. Recovered fuel has been moved to above-ground tanks on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and oil barges at Hotel Pier for use. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu Struggles To Revise Gun Laws After Supreme Court Decision. Honolulu is the only county in the state that hasn’t yet finalized new concealed-carry gun rules, leading to a backlog in permit applications. Civil Beat.

Honolulu EMS: 2 killed in small aircraft crash on Oahu’s North Shore. Two people were killed Saturday morning when a motorized glider crashed on Oahu’s North Shore. Honolulu EMS officials said the crash happened about 8:15 a.m. at Kaena Point. Hawaii News Now.

Police Found Guilty In Kealoha Case Fail To Overturn Convictions. Two former Honolulu police officers who were convicted for their roles in a conspiracy to frame an innocent man were unsuccessful in their appeals to reverse their findings of guilt, an appeals court ruled on Friday. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu’s construction pipeline for hotel properties extends beyond Waikiki. There’s a wave of new hotel development on Oahu, where more than a dozen properties are in the planning or the construction pipeline with delivery goals between 2023 and 2027. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu home sales fall 42% for biggest drop of year. Sales of existing single-­family homes on Oahu in October suffered their biggest drop so far this year as fear of recession as well as rising mortgage rates, high home prices and stubbornly high consumer prices gave some buyers pause. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Help wanted: County government looking for workers with nearly a quarter of positions unfilled. Job stability. Competitive pay. Good benefits and retirement package. Strong union protection. It wasn’t that long ago that county jobs were considered plum positions, subject to intense competition and even political favoritism. West Hawaii Today.

More than 1,000 Big Island students held back a year. The number of students repeating grades for the 2021-22 school year in Hawaii County more than doubled from the year before. Tribune-Herald.

Waiakea Flood Reduction Project Moves Forward. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Hawaiʻi County’s Department of Public Works want to reduce the risk of flooding in residential areas near the Waiākea and Palai streams. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Video News.

Big Island home sales drop. The Big Island’s real estate market is feeling the effects of global uncertainty, with home sales dropping islandwide during the third quarter of the year. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

New cap creates “point-in-time freeze” on Maui TVRs; starts regulation on camper vans. In an ongoing effort to manage tourism, the Maui County Council passed Bill 159 Friday with a series of amendments that effectively caps transient accommodations and regulates camper van rentals on public property. Maui Now.

With election around corner, Bissen again tops contributions. Maui County mayoral candidate Richard Bissen Jr. continued to fetch an abundance of campaign contributions, with nearly $100,000 raised during the latest reporting period leading up to Tuesday’s general election. Maui News.

After close primary, Kama and Nobriga back for Round 2. The two emerged from a seven-candidate field in August. Maui News.

Maui County acquires 1.4 acres in ʻĪao Valley from Hawaiʻi Nature Center. The purchase surfaced for discussion in July when Mayor Michael Victorino transmitted a proposal to the Maui County Council to purchase the acreage and the structure that was the former ʻĪao Valley Lodge in ʻĪao Valley for $1.5 million from the Hawaiʻi Nature Center. Maui Now. Maui News.

2022 Made in Maui County Festival draws crowd of 7,000.
An estimated 7,000 residents and visitors attended the 9th Annual Hawaiian Airlines Made in Maui County Festival, held Friday and Saturday, Nov. 4 and 5, at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kaua‘i elections by the numbers: Turnout lagging; council incumbents spend big. Kaua‘i County Elections Administrator Lyndon Yoshioka reported that Kaua‘i election turnout was 23 percent as of Wednesday night, compared with 27 percent statewide. Garden Island.

Kauaʻi community group trying to buy Coco Palms from Utah owners planning 350-room hotel. The current Utah-based owners of the once iconic Coco Palms Resort in Wailuā plan to build a new 350-room hotel on the site that once hosted A-list celebrities and the film production of Elvis Presleyʻs 1961 musical “Blue Hawai‘i.” Kauai Now.

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