Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Tulsi Gabbard on Trump veep list, state Senate panel seeks 10%-15% contingency cutbacks from administration as Maui mayor asks for $402M, same-sex marriage measure advances, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Trump says he’s considering former Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard as running mate. Former President Donald Trump revealed Tuesday that he’s considering former Hawaii Congresswomen Tulsi Gabbard as his running mate. She sought the democratic presidential nomination in 2020 before dropping out of the party in 2022. Hawaii News Now.

Maui Makes A Big Ask As Rising Wildfire Recovery Costs Prompt Talk Of State Budget Cuts. The Senate asked the state budget director to develop contingency plans for imposing state spending cuts of 10% and 15%. Civil Beat.

Maui Mayor Bissen requests $401M from state for Lahaina rebuild, recovery.  Mayor Richard Bissen made a plea to the state for $401.75 million over the next three years to help Lahaina rebuild and recover.  The request was made before the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday, on behalf of the people of Maui County. Maui Now. KHON2.

State considers nearly $1 billion in wildfire recovery costs. The nearly $1 billion potential expense was presented to the Senate Ways and Means Committee during a roughly five-hour briefing by state and Maui County administration leaders to help the panel shape the state budget a little over six months after the Aug. 8 disaster that destroyed most of Lahaina and killed at least 101 people. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers consider state constitutional amendment to protect same-sex marriage.
  A section in the Hawaiʻi State Constitution threatens marriage equality for same-sex couples. Now, lawmakers are considering a constitutional amendment to remove it. Hawaii Public Radio.

Legislation would require disclosure of labor standards from renewable energy developers. Developers would be required to attest to the Hawaiʻi State Energy Office that their employees are properly trained, licensed, and receive benefits like health care and retirement. Hawaii Public Radio.

Gov. Green travels to attend National Governors Association 2024 winter meeting
. While there, Gov. Green will participate in solution-driven conversations and bipartisan collaboration on the most pressing policy issues facing the states and territories.  Maui Now.

Researchers record 170 Hawaiian monk seal pups born in Northern Hawaiian Islands last year.
Researchers documented 170 new Hawaiian monk seal pups born in 2023 around the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument during their annual field camp. Big Island Now.

Outback Steakhouse shutters 3 locations, pulls out of Hawaii.
The Florida-based company closed down its restaurants at the end of the day Sunday, reportedly with short notice, leaving customers and employees stunned. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu ethics panel mulls gift prohibition for all city employees. The Honolulu Ethics Commission plans today to discuss a long-considered proposal to prohibit city employees from accepting gifts, including cash or alcohol, related to their official duties. Star-Advertiser.

City Faces Legal Bill After Losing Short-Term Vacation Rental Battle. The City Department of Planning and Permitting, corporation counsel, and other defendants have agreed to pay the Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance $292,514.27 for attorneys’ fees and $619.07 costs,  after a federal judge struck down the city's 90-day minimum short-term rental law. Civil Beat.

City and County of Honolulu seeks new chief information officer. The department is responsible for delivering IT services to its employees, as well as Oʻahu residents, businesses and visitors. Hawaii Public Radio.

$1.9M in forfeitures collected from illegal gambling operations on Oahu. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Hawaii announced that the latest forfeiture has raised the amount to more than $1.9 million the United States has obtained in forfeitures from an illegal gambling business running at least nine illegal game rooms on Oahu as a result of a joint criminal and civil investigation. Star-Advertiser.

Speeders could be cited using Red-Light Safety Cameras. Fewer people are running red lights at intersections due to the Red-Light Safety Camera Pilot Program, according to the transportation department.  KHON2.

Veteran journalist Emme Tomimbang remembered as ‘dear, caring storyteller,’ dies at 73.
  Emme Tomimbang Burns — a pioneer in Hawaii radio and television, successful multimedia businesswoman and ardent supporter of the local Filipino community — died Monday while undergoing emergency open-heart surgery at The Queen’s Medical Center. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Boyfriend of drowning victim claims inadequate response by police, fire.
The boyfriend of a 29-year-old Keaau woman who drowned early Sunday morning after slipping and falling into the ocean off a sea cliff in Hawaiian Paradise Park alleges she died because of an inadequate response by police and fire rescuers. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.

County wastewater resolution advances. Hawaii County officials believe they are capable of repairing the island’s ailing wastewater infrastructure before a series of deadlines mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Tribune-Herald.

DWS: Hilo tap water safe to drink despite discoloration.
The Hawaii County Department of Water Supply said Tuesday the tap water for its Hilo customers remains safe to drink after the isolated discovery of turbid or discolored water. Tribune-Herald. KHON2.


Campaign seeks to bring visitors back to Maui. The Hawaii Tourism Authority has launched a new public service campaign, “Makaukau Maui,” which seeks to tell visitors that while historic Lahaina remains closed after the deadly Aug. 8 wildfires, accommodations on West Maui are open and residents are ready to welcome them back. Star-Advertiser.

DOH: Lahaina monitoring and sampling report shows good ambient air quality. The first Ambient Community Air Sampling Reports for Lahaina, issued by the Hawaiʻi Department of Health, confirm good ambient air quality for the period of Jan. 13-24, 2024.  Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Haggai Institute affordable housing proposal headed to Maui County Council for review.
During last year’s legislative session and before the wildfire disaster, the state set aside $45 million to transform the Haggai Institute, the former 216-room Maui Sun Hotel, into affordable and teacher workforce housing, and preschool classrooms. Maui Now.


Kupuna testify against purchase of Kauai apartments for DHHL beneficiaries. More controversy over the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) latest strategy to reduce its almost 30,000 beneficiary waitlist. KITV4.

Community meeting scheduled to discuss boat ramp design at Kikiaola. Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor users are invited to attend a community meeting on Feb. 27 to discuss proposed designs for a new boat ramp and loading dock. Kauai Now.

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