Friday, January 27, 2023

Youth climate change lawsuit has day in court, legislators mull Aloha Stadium plans, long-delayed Kona homeless project to begin construction, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kids pack courtroom to support youth climate change lawsuit against Transportation Department. Attorneys representing 14 Hawaii youths appeared in court Thursday to argue in favor of a lawsuit that claims the state Department of Transportation is violating their client’s state constitutional rights by not doing enough to stem the emissions that are contributing to climate change. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Hawaii Needs To ‘Double Down’ On Biosecurity, Experts Say. State lawmakers are asked to find a little more funding now to save a lot more money later in order to protect the islands' fragile ecosystems and ag lands. Civil Beat.

Gov. Green's plan focuses on 'targeted' taxes, strays from repealing general excise tax. The plans outlined in Green’s tax reforms would be expansive. It would change the state's income tax by increasing personal exemptions to inflation and increasing the standard deduction to $5,000 for single filers and $10,000 for joint filers.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Bills seek GET exemptions: Some focus on medical services in an effort to easy physician shortage. This year in the state Legislature, there are roughly two dozen House bills and another two dozen Senate bills targeting the general excise tax, many of which request exemptions. Tribune-Herald.

Does The Office Of Hawaiian Affairs Need To Be More Representative? Candidates for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs board of trustees would need to win their island districts rather than run a statewide election under a pair of bills that advanced Thursday with preliminary approval from the Senate Hawaiian Affairs Committee. Civil Beat.

Over $1B was appropriated for Native Hawaiians last year. Now it needs to be used. Last year’s legislative session shaped up to be a big year for Native Hawaiian issues at the capitol, with more than $1 billion appropriated to Native Hawaiian projects and initiatives. Hawaii Public Radio.

Women's Legislative Caucus backs bills for working mothers and survivors of abuse.  The Hawaiʻi Women’s Legislative Caucus introduced their bill package Wednesday morning, which includes efforts to combat human trafficking, domestic violence and instill better lactation services across the islands. Hawaii Public Radio.

UH graduate assistants’ fight to unionize reaches high court. A years-long struggle by University of Hawaii graduate assistants for the right to unionize and collectively bargain for better wages and working conditions has progressed further than ever before, with their case now being considered by the Hawaii Supreme Court. Star-Advertiser.


New Aloha Stadium finish date unchanged, planner says. The requests for proposals for construction of the new Aloha Stadium won’t be out by the end of this month as previously expected, but that in itself won’t change the project’s completion date, a key state planner said Thursday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Ex-prison guard charged with sex abuse of 3 female inmates. Mikael Salvador Rivera, 45, of Kapolei pleaded not guilty at his arraignment, held Thursday at Honolulu federal court, on charges of six counts of sexual abuse by threats and 11 counts of sexual abuse of a ward. Star-Advertiser.

Former police union head breaks down on stand in defamation trial. The former head of the state police union broke into tears on the witness stand Thursday when he talked about the false allegations that he padded his overtime. Tenari Maafala said he experienced mental “anguish” as a result of the false accusations involving former HPD chief Susan Ballard. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Ordered An Acupuncturist To Stop Practicing. Three Years Later, He Still Was. Mike Hashimoto, an architect of the state's regulation of acupuncture, asked the state to intervene in a billing dispute last year despite his agreement to not treat patients. Civil Beat.

Construction starts for new healthcare campus. Buildings are being demolished to make room for the Straub Medical Centers’ new, state-of-the-art healthcare campus. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Homeless project housing begins.
The much-needed and long-planned Kukuiola Emergency Shelter and Assessment Center moved a step closer to fruition Thursday with a groundbreaking and blessing ahead of the start of mass grading of the site in Kailua-Kona. That first phase, as currently outlined, will include 16 emergency shelter units, a congregate kitchen area, restrooms, parking and other amenities. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

The hunt for unknown male in Ireland case. Hawaii County’s police chief and prosecuting attorney issued separate statements late Thursday afternoon saying they will be steadfast in their quest to bring to justice the man who left DNA on several pieces of key evidence in the 1991 rape and murder of Dana Ireland.  Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. KHON2.  KITV4.

Hilo Car Rental Company Fined For Large Capacity Cesspools. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Truck to resolve a claim of violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.


Ex-lover receives life for murder of Maui woman. Nine years and 14 days after 46-year-old Moreira Monsalve’s disappearance, a Maui Circuit Court judge sentenced her ex-boyfriend Bernard Brown on Thursday to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole for killing the Maui mother of three. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Nightly closure of Piʻilani Highway for Kīhei roundabout paving, Jan. 30-Feb. 1.  The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation will close Piʻilani Highway nightly in both directions between Kaonoulu Street and Piʻikea Avenue from 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 30, through 5 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1. Maui Now.


Kauai Is Making A Blueprint To Meet ‘Huge Desire’ For Local Food. Confronted with the question of how to boost local food access, dozens of Kauai farmers, ranchers, community leaders and concerned residents have underscored two critical needs: farm worker housing and connecting farmers to farmable land.  Civil Beat.

Kaua‘i Island Energy Cooperative unveils habitat conservation plan.  The Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative has released a nearly $265 million Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) entailing a 50-year strategy to minimize its impact on threatened wildlife. Garden Island.

Former Kaua‘i prosecutor sues county for wrongful termination. The former Kaua‘i deputy prosecutor, who was fired after lodging a complaint against a judicial nominee, is suing the County of Kaua‘i for wrongful termination, defamation, and violation of free speech rights. Garden Island.

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