Monday, May 20, 2024

Ethics Commission to renew push for lobbying transparency laws; Kaneshiro, co-defendants found not guilty in corruption trial; HECO execs get raises despite tumultuous year, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Ethics Commission to reintroduce 2 bills to improve transparency.  The executive director of the state Ethics Commission plans to again push for two bills in the next legislative session designed to provide greater transparency about relationships between lawmakers and lobbyists. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Shareholders Overwhelmingly Supported Exec Pay Raises In 2023. Hawaiian Electric Industries investors saw their stock’s value plummet, their dividends disappear and the once-credit worthy company’s bond rating cut to junk status in 2023. But that didn’t stop the investors from supporting raises for the company’s top executives.  Civil Beat.

Hawaii counties differ in approach to regulating vacation rentals. Senate Bill 2919, which became Act 017 when Gov. Josh Green signed it May 3, makes it possible for county lawmakers to “regulate the time, place, manner, and duration in which uses of land and structures may take place.” Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii coffee wins greater protection from Legislature after epic struggle. House Bill 2298, if enacted, will require that by July 1, 2027, roasted, instant and ready-to-drink coffee contains at least 51% of coffee grown in a region of Hawaii if the product package uses the name of the region — such as Kona, Kau, Waialua, Molokai, Maui and Kauai — in a blend with foreign coffee. Star-Advertiser.

Clash over labeling of Hawaii mac nut products results in split legislation. Hawaii lawmakers sent a bill to Gov. Josh Green that, if enacted, would disclose to consumers, starting Jan. 1, 2026, whether macadamia nuts grown in Hawaii are actually in some packaged foods that suggest the nuts are locally grown. Star-Advertiser.

Search for UH president’s replacement to begin soon. The search for the successor to University of Hawaii President David Lassner officially will begin in late May following the Board of Regents’ approval of the job description and leadership profile. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News.

‘No Easy Answers’ For How To Keep Hawaii’s Smallest Public Schools Open And Thriving.
Principals at small schools say they need more money to adequately serve students, but some state leaders say school consolidation and closures could be the answer. Civil Beat.


Jury returns swift not-guilty verdict in corruption trial of Kaneshiro, Mitsunaga.  Former Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro, prominent Hawaii businessman Dennis Mi­tsunaga and four Mitsu­naga &Associates executives were found not guilty on all counts in their pay-to-prosecute conspiracy trial in federal court Friday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Hawaii Public Radio.

‘No Evidence To Convict’: Jury Foreman Explains Acquittal In Kaneshiro, Mitsunaga Trial.
Prosecutors presented only circumstantial evidence that left room for reasonable doubt, a juror said. Civil Beat.

Big increase in homeless families on Oahu puts more keiki at risk.
The latest census of Oahu’s homeless population showed a 19% increase in homeless families since January 2023, including 635 children who can suffer lifelong consequences. Star-Advertiser.

This Alternative Method Of Demolishing Structures Could Help Honolulu Avoid A Landfill Crisis. Honolulu is considering how to promote deconstruction and re-use of the materials from buildings that are being torn down, an idea that has already caught on in other cities. Civil Beat.

The Miske Trial: How An Accused Crime Boss Fooled The State To Get A Motor Vehicle Dealer License. When he ran into hurdles because of his criminal background, court testimony shows, he simply lied or fabricated a non-existent entity. Civil Beat.

UH Manoa ranked in top 2.5% globally of 20,000 universities. The University of Hawaii at Manoa was ranked 511 on the Global 2000 list by the Center for World University Rankings, which measured key areas such as education, employability, faculty and research. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiʻi Supreme Court will decide if farmland can be used for short-term rentals. The Rosehill petitioners argued that if agricultural land from 1976 in the county was allowed to be rented for less than 31 days, then the new 2019 law was more restrictive. That meant the agricultural landowners that were operating STRs before 2019 could be grandfathered in. Hawaii Public Radio.

Bill would change how corporation counsel is selected. Two council members have proposed making the council the sole appointing authority for the position, a move that left some of their fellows excited and others skeptical during a Tuesday meeting of the council’s Committee on Governmental Operations and External Affairs. Tribune-Herald.

Michael Konowicz announces candidacy for Hawai‘i County representing Kohala Districts. Michael Konowicz of Waikōloa announced his candidacy for Hawai‘i County’s District 9 representing North and South Kohala residents. Big Island Now.


Why Was The Maui County Finance Director Fired? The absence of former finance director Scott Teruya, which has never been explained, was felt during the county's about-to-conclude critical budget deliberations. Civil Beat.

Another telescope controvery is brewing, this time on Maui. The U.S. Air Force wants to build seven more telescopes on the summit of Haleakala to help better track the growing number of objects whizzing about in space. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Maui County issues first rebuilding permit for wildfire survivors. The Maui County Recovery Permit Center, which opened three weeks ago to facilitate permitting for August wildfire survivors, has issued its first building permit to a Lahaina couple to rebuild their destroyed home. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Kaiāulu o Kūkuʻia affordable housing waitlist opening; lottery planned. A waiting list opens next month for the Kaiāulu o Kūku′ia affordable apartment project located on Keawe St. in West Maui.  Maui Now.

Public to discuss new site for destroyed Lahaina school. The state Department of Education will hold a community meeting Tuesday to discuss options for a permanent site for the King Kamehameha III Elementary School campus, which was damaged beyond repair in the Aug. 8 wildfires on Maui. Star-Advertiser.

Maui seeks contractor to review MEMA’s Aug. 8 response.
County officials are seeking an outside agency to review the response of the Maui Emergency Management Agency during the Aug. 8 wildfires because they said the department currently has only two full-time employees. Star-Advertiser.

Committee authorized $193,274 fine to settle with EPA over county violations of Safe Water Drinking Act. Violations took place in seven different county owned properties with high capacity cesspools. Maui News.


Kauai apartment residents challenge DHHL as eviction looms.
Residents at an apartment complex in Kapaa, Kauai, are rallying to fight the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands’ proposed acquisition of their building, which they say would evict about 300 current residents in over 80 units. Star-Advertiser.

Lawa‘i still cleaning up from flood debris. Between 25 and 30 volunteers, including about a dozen from the U.S. Coast Guard came from as far away as Kapa‘a and toiled to clear the two ditches in the Lawai Valley Estates that were originally put in as drainage aids when the land was used for growing pineapples. Garden Island.

Fern Holland begins second campaign for Kauaʻi County Council. Fern Ānuenue Holland has officially launched her 2024 campaign for a seat on the Kauaʻi County Council, outlining a candidacy that would prioritize affordable housing, agriculture production, drug rehabilitation, and tourism management during a discussion at her first fundraising event at Anahola Marketplace earlier this week. Kauai Now.

No comments:

Post a Comment