Friday, May 10, 2024

Legislature appropriates $750M for public schools, personal income and GDP expected to drop, defense takes stand in Kaneshiro corruption trial, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Lawmakers Spent Big On Public Schools This Year. State lawmakers gave the Hawaii Department of Education an infusion of almost $750 million during the recent legislative session to support school facilities, professional development for teachers, student mental health and other initiatives. Civil Beat.

Personal income in Hawaii might contract this year.  The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization expects Hawaii’s real personal income will slow below 1% this year and that real gross domestic product will drop from 3.6% growth in 2023 to 1.5%.  Star-Advertiser. Kauai Now.

Hawaii bill exempts certain medical services from general excise tax. A Senate bill exempting private health care providers from general excise taxes for services to patients with Medicaid, Medicare and TRICARE has made it to the governor’s desk. Star-Advertiser.

Legislature passes bill to combat invasive species. The Hawaii State Legislature voted unanimously to pass a bill that appropriates nearly $20 million toward the battle against invasive species, sending it to the governor’s desk for consideration. Star-Advertiser. Kauai Now.

Disbarred attorney who served time in federal prison lands seat on prestigious state board. A disbarred attorney who spent time in federal prison has been confirmed to a prestigious state board. Stacy Moniz is representing the union point of view on the state Labor Board. Hawaii News Now.

Grand Jury Tapes Show Mitsunaga Employees Struggled To Explain Donations To Kaneshiro. Employees of a prominent Honolulu engineering firm had a hard time explaining their generosity toward former county prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro when they were questioned by the feds in 2021.  Civil Beat.

Kaneshiro bribery trial continues as McDonald takes the stand. One of the defendants in the bribery trial involving former Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro took the stand Thursday in his defense. KHON2.

The Price Of Police Misconduct Claims In Honolulu Is Going Up.
Experts say large payouts, like the $12.5 million settlement approved in March, do not usually lead to systemic change. Civil Beat.

State closes unofficial ‘back way’ to the Haiku Stairs. Second lawsuit filed to stop removal of Haiku Stairs. For the second time in less than a year, the Friends of Haiku Stairs has filed a lawsuit to stop the city from demolishing the more than 3,900 steps that lead to the top of the Koolau Range in Kaneohe. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Highgate picks up Kaimana Beach Hotel management agreement. Highgate confirmed Wednesday that Highgate Hawaii has signed a hotel management agreement with the property’s owners Tsukada Global Holdings, led by Masayuki Tsukada; and an affiliate of BlackSand Capital, led by Chairman and CEO B.J. Kobayashi. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

1,200-foot ti leaf lei draped across Pololū Valley to symbolize protection from overdevelopment. A 1,200-foot-long ti leaf lei made by the Kohala community on Hawaiʻi Island was draped across Pololū Valley over the weekend. It's a symbol of protection from increased development — and of community solidarity. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Video News.


Maui Rejects Proposal Allowing Chicago Company To Drill For Water In Kula. Free Market Ventures had offered to drill one or more deep water wells and sell the water to the county for 30 years for use by Upcountry residents. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric completes work on West Maui transmission line, including installation of 70 new steel poles. A critical transmission line that serves as a back-up route of power to approximately 11,000 customers in West Maui is now online after Hawaiian Electric rebuilt the line along former routes in the Lahaina area with new steel and wood poles and electrical equipment.  Maui Now.

Department of Health: Lead screening finds no evidence of widespread lead exposure from Maui fires
. While wildfire ash contains significant concentrations of lead, the screening results do not indicate evidence of widespread human exposure to toxins in the ash, according to a department news release. Maui Now.


Portion of Wawae Road in Kalāheo closed until further notice. Following recent rains and the flooding event in April, the portion beneath Wawae Road continues to erode, compromising the roadway’s stability. Kauai Now.

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