Thursday, January 12, 2023

Cayetano, super PAC fined over attack ads, crew, wreckage from Life Flight crash recovered, property tax breaks proposed for Oahu homeowners, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Commission Fines Cayetano Campaign, Super PAC Over Josh Green Attack Ads. The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission has fined both Vicky Cayetano’s campaign and super PAC Victory Calls over allegations of improper coordination between the candidate’s campaign and the independent expenditure political action committee. Cayetano denies coordinating with super PAC Victory Calls. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s Governor Vowed To Cut Homelessness. Will The Legislature Go Along? Gov. Josh Green has promised to prioritize the issue and included a request for more than $25 million to build housing and improve services in his budget proposal submitted to the 2023 Legislature, which will convene next week. Civil Beat.

Gov. Green proposes first biennial operating budget, requesting $36B for 2024-25 fiscal year. At the state capitol, Gov. Josh Green on Tuesday pushed his proposed biennial operating budget in front of the House Finance Committee. KITV4.

Green looking to jump-start Climate Impact Fund with $100M in state funding. During a briefing Tuesday, Green suggested a $50 visitor impact fee on those ages 12 and up. With an approximation of 8 to 10 million visitors annually, he said that could be an additional $600 million going into the fund. Hawaii Public Radio.

Push to legalize recreational cannabis underway in Hawaii. A recent local government-led task force report on legalizing adult recreational cannabis use is neither for nor against making such a change in Hawaii, but a concerted push has begun for the Legislature to do it this year. Star-Advertiser.

Bill aims at minimum wage tip credits to Hawaii workers. There’s a new proposal in the Hawaii State Senate that would take some wages away from workers who make tips. KHON2.

New state AG division dedicated to help combat human trafficking, raise awareness. The Special Investigation and Prosecution Division was created after funds were appropriated in 2022 by the Hawaiʻi Legislature. Kauai Now.

Crew, wreckage from Hawaii Life Flight crash recovered. A deep-water search operation has recovered the three-­member flight crew and wreckage of a Hawaii Life Flight medical transport plane that crashed into the ocean Dec. 15 off Maui near Kaupo, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Maui Now. Kauai Now.  Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Omicron XBB.1.5 subvariant — the ‘Kraken’ — on isles’ radar.  The subvariant, which some scientists have nicknamed the “Kraken” due to its formidable growth advantage, has been detected in Honolulu County wastewater samples, potentially bringing another rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the state. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii COVID-19 positivity rate at 7.5%, 5 more deaths recorded. By island, there were 946 cases reported on Oahu, 152 on Hawaii Island, 164 on Maui, 51 on Kauai, seven on Molokai, and one on Lanai. Another 22 infections were reported for Hawaii residents out of state. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.


Tax breaks eyed to offset rising property values. Mayor Rick Blangiardi is considering tax credits or tax exemptions for Oahu homeowners shocked by increases in their real property tax assessments, which Blangiardi called “an aberration.” Star-Advertiser.

Why Honolulu Hale Keeps Stealing State Appointees To HART. The difficulty finding qualified volunteers to fill board seats is another sign of the chaos that has plagued the troubled rail project. Civil Beat.

Red Hill task force expands scope after toxic foam spill.  Joint Task Force Red Hill, the military organization tasked with defueling the massive fuel tanks at the Navy’s underground Red Hill fuel facility, has expanded its scope of operations after a spill of toxic firefighting foam in November.  Star-Advertiser.

Beach access barrier or erosion control effort? Makeshift North Shore beach fence spurs debate. Near the surf spot known as Gas Chambers, there’s a long line of sticks planted in the sand — a makeshift fence of sorts. Hawaii News Now.

Efforts underway to address worsening erosion on Kamehameha Highway. In 2020, the state Department of Transportation spent $2 million on emergency repairs to stabilize and support the ocean side of Kamehameha Highway after a section of road fell into the water. Hawaii News Now.

Council panel supports $619M tower in Moiliili.  A local developer aiming to build a 43-story, $619 million residential tower complex in Moiliili, which would house 1,005 moderately priced condominiums and be taller than any other building in its immediate vicinity, saw its project advance this week. Star-Advertiser.

Details announced for public memorial service for Princess Abigail Kawānanakoa. The Princess will lie in state in the Throne Room on Sunday, Jan. 22 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.  

Hawaii Island

Burned body that of one-time award-winning coffee farmer.  A 59-year-old homeless woman police say burned to death Jan. 2 in a large banyan tree on Banyan Drive in Hilo was, in better times, an award-winning coffee farmer. Police identified the victim as Deborah Ann Cohn-Hoomalu of Hilo. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.

New Hawaiʻi County Police Chief Moszkowicz Sworn In. A private swearing in ceremony for newly-appointed Police Chief Benjamin Moszkowicz was held livestreamed over social media Jan. 11. Big Island Video News.

County to open application process for rental assistance program
. Applications for a state-funded rental assistance program will open next week for the first time in five years. Tribune-Herald.

Alii Drive road work continues. The southbound lane and sidewalks of Alii Drive in the heart of Kailua Village will remain closed through at least month’s end. West Hawaii Today.


Maui’s Plan To Protect Cultural Sites Is In Limbo. The former mayor vetoed the bill on his last day in office and it’s now up to the Maui County Council to override the veto and get the plan back on track. Civil Beat.

Former Maui senator J. Kalani English has paid $75,000 of his $100,000 fine. English’s payment is part of $2.1M that U.S. Attorney’s Office collected in fiscal year 2022. Maui News.

Schools and MPD work on preventing tragedies. If an active shooter were on a Maui school campus, the school resource officer or the responding officer would “go directly to that threat,” and not have to wait for backup, a Maui Police Department sergeant told state lawmakers on Tuesday afternoon. Maui News.


Kaua‘i County Council encourages hiring kama‘aina for leadership roles. In its first meeting of 2023, the Kaua‘i County Council passed a resolution encouraging hiring locals for top positions. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i police make strides in opening Lihu‘e KPAL facility. The Kaua‘i Police Department is nearing an agreement with the Philippine Cultural Center to lease nearly 3,000 square feet of space for keiki athletic programs. Garden Island.

Kauai County closing its COVID-19 testing site, mobile vans. The final day for testing at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall will be Feb. 28. Hawaii News Now.

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