Showing posts with label HomeAway. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HomeAway. Show all posts

Friday, July 26, 2019

Crackdown on Honolulu vacation rentals, Gabbard sues Google, TMT protest simmers, rail fares discussed, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

screenshot from video
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell screenshot from video
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell warns of crackdown on illegal vacation rentals. The city has sent out approximately 5,000 “courtesy” letters to owners and operators of illegal vacation rentals, warning them to cease advertising or risk paying hefty fines starting Aug. 1. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Sends Warning Letters To 5,000 Owners Of Suspected Illegal Rentals. More aggressive enforcement of laws against unpermitted short-term rentals begins Aug. 1, but some potential violators are hearing from the city now. Civil Beat.

City sends warning letters to 5,000 owners of suspected illegal vacation rentals. The city has mailed out letters to 5,000 property owners who are suspected of running illegal vacation rentals. Hawaii News Now.


Gabbard sues Google for $50 million. Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is suing Google alleging that the tech giant harmed her bid for the presidency and infringed on her free speech when it briefly suspended her campaign’s advertising account after the first Democratic primary debate in June. Star-Advertiser.

Gabbard sues Google for $50M, claiming ‘interference’ in her presidential bid. Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is suing Google, claiming the internet behemoth suspended her Google Ads account in the hours immediately after the first Democratic presidential debate last month in a deliberate act of “election interference.” Hawaii News Now.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign sues Google. Representative Tulsi Gabbard is going after Google. Her presidential campaign has sued the tech giant. KHON2.

Tulsi Gabbard, the most searched candidate during debate, sues Google. Representative Tulsi Gabbard's presidential campaign sued Google on Thursday after the company suspended the candidate's Google Ads account following last month's Democratic presidential debate. KITV.


A new law that took effect July 1 is providing for tougher penalties for DUI offenders. Tribune-Herald.

Ige Veto Means Some Eligible Patients Still Can’t Get Medical Cannabis Legally. The bill to allow interisland transport of the medicine would have been especially helpful for patients on Molokai and Lanai, which have no dispensaries. Civil Beat.

State Aims To Reduce Unnecessary ER Visits By Empowering Paramedics. Hawaii is creating a community paramedicine program that officials hope will mean fewer ambulance trips to hospitals. Civil Beat.

Six weeks after Kaiser Permanente filed suit against The Queen’s Health Systems after the latter informed the former it would begin billing Kaiser members for the balance of emergency services it provides, Queen’s has yet to file a response in court. West Hawaii Today.


City Kick-Starts Public Discussion On Future Rail Fares. Commissioners will consider whether the fares should be a flat rate or distance-based, as well as how much the interim service should cost. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Rate Commission wants your input on future rates for the rail once it begins operations. The Honolulu Rate Commission is requesting input and testimony from the public on the future policies and rates for the Honolulu Rail Transit Project once the system begins operations. KITV.


About 100 to 150 supporters of the Thirty Meter Telescope project rallied in front of the Capitol during the evening rush hour Thursday.  Associated Press.

TMT supporters rally at the Capitol. Organizers of the two-hour rally in Honolulu said they wanted to show the world Hawaii appreciates astronomy, that its edu­ca­tional and economic benefits are welcomed and that Hawaiian culture and science can coexist on Hawaii’s tallest mountain. Star-Advertiser.

HPD chief faces council over Mauna Kea deployment; police-powers suit in legal ping-pong. Honolulu’s police chief told lawmakers today, public safety on Oahu was never compromised during their absence. KHON2.


‘We are not willing to negotiate,’ Thirty Meter Telescope opposition leader vows. A key leader of the effort to stop construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope says it is clear that neither the state nor Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim has the power to stop the project. Star-Advertiser.

TMT opponents say no deal; Kim’s office says offer not made. Opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope rejected an offer by mayor Harry Kim Thursday that would temporarily suspend construction efforts — a proposal that Kim’s office later said was never made. Tribune-Herald.

Despite talk of negotiation, both sides make clear there’s little middle ground in TMT conflict. The Thirty Meter Telescope insisted Thursday that it has no plans to pull out from building at Mauna Kea. Hours earlier, activists protesting at the base of the summit reiterated their demand: They’ll take down the human barricade only if TMT leaves. Hawaii News Now.

TMT Talks: Kim Clarifies Role, Gabbard Sends Ige Letter, OHA Votes. Big Island Video News.

Day 11 of TMT: Hawaii County mayor acts as bridge between Kiai and TMT construction. KHON2.

OHA Board Calls on Governor to Rescind Emergency Proclamation for Mauna Kea. On Thursday, July 25, 2019, the OHA Board approved a resolution that both calls for the governor to rescind the proclamation, as well as authorizes the OHA administration to advocate for the rights, safety and well-being of Native Hawaiian protectors and provide related-assistance as appropriate, according to an OHA press release. Big Island Now.

OHA approves resolution to advocate for health, safety of protectors. All nine trustees unanimously voted Thursday to approve a resolution that supports a proclamation retraction and allows OHA to advocate for the health and well being of demonstrators. KITV.

Hawaii Island Mayor Clarifies Role in TMT Dispute. Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim says “he has no authority to intervene or make any kind of deal regarding TMT.” Instead, Kim says his role is “to work with all sides to find a better way forward for everyone concerned.” Hawaii Public Radio.

Dozens of TMT supporters turn out for rally. Tribune-Herald.

Governor Ige’s official website now has a form that you can fill out to let him know whether you support the TMT project or not on Mauna Kea. As of Wednesday afternoon, we’re told that his office has received more than 14,000 responses. KHON2.

Hawaii Enters Next Phase Of Eruption Recovery, FEMA Talks Set. There are a number of upcoming initiatives and public meetings scheduled in regards to the 2018 Kilauea volcano eruption recovery effort. Big Island Video News.


Offshore Sand Sought to Mitigate Erosion at Kahana Bay. A 157-page Environmental Impact Statement Preparation Notice has been filed to address erosion mitigation at Kahana Beach in west Maui. Maui Now.

Maui Adds New Traffic Safety Initiatives As Death Toll Increases. The Maui Department of Public Works is trying to decrease the county’s traffic-related death toll through various safety initiatives. Hawaii Public Radio.

MPD officers return to Maui after being called to Mauna Kea. Officers assisted Hawaii County police with safety, road congestion. Maui News.

Summit brings new solutions for landlords. Annual event dispels myths about housing subsidies; offers tips to solve issues between landlords and tenants. Maui News.


100 come to meeting on EIS for Kealia Mauka subdivision. The Land Use Commission held a packed meeting in the Moikeha Building conference room Thursday where 38 public testimonies were taken and over 100 people attended. Garden Island.

Hawaii Life acquires Kauai real estate brokerage. Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers has acquired Kauai real estate agency Hanalei Country Brokers, giving the growing firm an office in the place where it began. Pacific Business News.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Honolulu council cracks down on vacation rentals, prosecution rests in Kealoha case, some lava evacuees told to give FEMA money back, Kauai's Kuhio Highway reopens, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2019 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Honolulu high rises along the Ala Wai ©2019 All Hawaii News
Honolulu Council OKs vacation rental policy bill. The Honolulu City Council voted unanimously Monday to impose stiffer fines and harsher regulations on Oahu’s vacation rentals, tossing the entire short-term rental industry on the island on its head. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Council Approves Crackdown On Vacation Rentals. Under the measure expected to be signed by the mayor, property owners who rent out entire houses outside of resort zones could face major fines. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Council Adopts Two Approaches To Short-Term Rental Regulations. The Honolulu City Council on Monday unanimously approved Bill 89 that would implement stiffer regulations for short-term vacation rentals. Hawaii Public Radio.

City Council approves pair of tough new regulations for vacation rental industry. After months of debate, the Honolulu City Council on Monday night passed a pair of bills that are considered some of the toughest new regulations for Oahu’s vacation rental industry in decades. Hawaii News Now.

Vacation rental bills approved by Council. After hours of testimony, the City Council approved two bills that would severely limit the number of rentals, while putting heavy restrictions on those that would be allowed. KHON2.

City Council passes both bills to restrict and regulate vacation rentals on Oahu. KITV.

Emotional day as vacation rental bills pass. KHON2.


State chipping in for farms’ compost purchases. The state Department of Agriculture wants to help local farmers buy compost under a new pilot program established by Hawaii lawmakers and paid for by tax­payers. Star-Advertiser.

A Growing Number Of Hawaii’s Keiki Live In Economic Insecurity. Hawaii is in the middle of the pack for overall child wellbeing, with keiki falling behind in education and economic security markers but tracking ahead of most states in measures of health, family and community. Civil Beat.

Hawaii ranks #3 in the country as the most dangerous state for elderly pedestrians. Between 2018 and 2017 a new report by non-profit Smart Growth America shows 226 pedestrians were hit and killed in the state. KITV.


Prosecutors rest case in Kealoha trial. Federal prosecutors Monday wrapped up their case in the public corruption and conspiracy trial of Louis and Katherine Kealoha, and by day’s end two of the five defendants, including former Police Chief Louis Kealoha, already had completed their defenses. Star-Advertiser.

Kealoha Trial: ‘A Conspiracy Is A Living, Breathing Thing’. Prosecutors wrap up their case. Civil Beat.

Katherine Kealoha Gets Second Defense Lawyer Late In Trial. Earle Partington joins the former’s prosecutor’s defense team in her public corruption trial. Civil Beat.

Former Honolulu Police Chief Rests His Defense In Corruption Case. A retired Honolulu police chief charged in a corruption case won't be testifying in his defense. Associated Press.

After 58 witnesses, prosecution rests its case in Kealoha ‘mailbox trial’. Hawaii News Now.

Kealoha Corruption Trial Day 13: Prosecution rests, defense attorneys call first witnesses. KITV.

KEALOHA TRIAL: Time for Katherine Kealoha's attorney, her first witness is Gerard Puana. KHON2.


As Sanctuary City Bill Dies, Question Arises: How Progressive Is Hawaii? States, counties and cities across the country have adopted sanctuary policies to protect unauthorized immigrants and limit the role of local law enforcement agencies in immigration enforcement but similar efforts have not gained traction in the islands. Hawaii Public Radio.

Residents: Growing piles of garbage in Chinatown may be linked to city rule change. Residents and businesses in Chinatown say there are growing piles of garbage blocking sidewalks and creating health hazards. Hawaii News Now.

Residents: Pieces Of History Could Have Been Lost To Future Ball Fields. City and state officials may have allowed part of Sherwood Forest to be stripped bare without proper archaeological monitoring. Civil Beat.

Enchanted Lake residents fear planned development will destroy wetlands. Developer Lacus LLC plans to build a residential development in the heart of Enchanted Lake. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

FEMA wants some eruption evacuees to return disaster assistance funds. Dozens of eruption evacuees say a federal agency that gave them funds after last year’s Kilauea disaster is now asking for some of the money back. Hawaii News Now.

Committee to receive update on county’s disaster relief efforts. County administrators will present an update on their plans to continue to provide disaster aid to lava-affected communities during a meeting today of the County Council Finance Committee. Tribune-Herald.

As Emergency Funding Ends, Crisis Counseling Turns To Community Resources. Emergency proclamation funding is no longer available and officially ends June 20, 2019, the health department says, and those in need of crisis counseling services are being referred to local resources. Big Island Video News.


Is towing the answer? Council unclear on window tinting bill. Should police be able to impound your car because its windows are too dark? West Hawaii Today.

County slates public meeting to discuss Hilo landfill closure. The county Department of Environmental Management’s Solid Waste Division will host a public informational meeting next week to discuss the upcoming closure of the South Hilo Sanitary Landfill. Tribune-Herald.

Korean War Memorial to be dedicated Saturday in Hilo. A long-envisioned Korean War Memorial in Hilo will be dedicated Saturday, three days prior to the 69th anniversary of the beginning of the three-year-plus conflict known as “The Forgotten War.” Tribune-Herald.


In battle over iwi kupuna, Maui judge invalidates license for archeology firm. A Maui judge has invalidated the license for a company accused of desecrating ancient burials in Wailuku’s sand dunes. Hawaii News Now.

Maui Metropolitan Area Designated Most Dangerous in the State for Pedestrians. A new report lists Hawaii as being the third-most dangerous state in the nation for older pedestrians. Maui Now.

Paul Simon to play at MACC Aug. 13-14. Concert benefits two biodiversity groups including Maui Auwahi Forest Restoration. Maui News.


Kauai’s Kuhio Highway off to slightly bumpy start. It wasn’t all smooth riding when a 2-mile stretch of Kauai’s Kuhio Highway opened Monday, restoring access to some of the Garden Isle’s most popular tourist attractions under new tourism management guidelines. Star-Advertiser.

It was the moment that many had been waiting for — or dreading — the reopening of Kuhio Highway and reintroducing Wainiha and Haena to the rest of the island. Garden Island.

Haena State Park reopens to little fanfare. Garden Island.

The Hanalei Initiative launched the Kauai North Shore Shuttle upon Monday’s re-­opening of the Waipa–Haena portion of Kuhio Highway to the general public. Garden Island.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Honolulu City Council defers vacation rental bills, All Nippon Airways gears up for Hawaii expansion, Big Island tourism shifts from volcano viewing, Maui home prices top $800k, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2019 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Honolulu skyline ©2019 All Hawaii News
Honolulu City Council Defers Measures to Crack Down On Vacation Rentals. Council members hear heated testimony from supporters of the rentals who say their livelihoods are at stake, and opponents who say they worsen the housing shortage. Civil Beat.

Bills to regulate vacation rentals on Oahu get sent back to committee. After hours of debate, the city council sent bills meant to regulate vacation rentals back to committee. Hawaii News Now.

Council balks at vacation rentals decision. After more than 100 hundred people testified on the short-term vacation rental issue over a span of over five hours Wednesday, the Honolulu City Council decided to hold off on a final decision on the two bills before them and send them to a newly formed Council Zoning, Planning and Housing Committee. Star-Advertiser.

Short-Term Rental Rules Stumble at Honolulu Hale. After months of debate, the Honolulu City Council was poised yesterday to approve new rules that would have restricted short-term rentals on Oahu. But after more than eight hours of public comment and deliberation, councilmembers sent two proposals back to committee for revisions. Hawaii Public Radio.

Vacation rental bills draw nearly a hundred testifiers to City Council hearing. As one of the biggest vacation spots on the planet, Hawaii's former Governor warning Honolulu is going the way of other top world cities like Barcelona and Amsterdam, being overrun by Airbnbs. KITV.


Former Head Of Hawaiian Home Lands Is Back At Agency In A New Job. Jobie Masagatani will earn a six-figure salary as executive assistant to the director. Civil Beat.

Governor David Ige will sign new rules for the state Environmental Impact Statement process after a nearly two-year effort to modernize the existing rules. State officials say this is the first time in 23 years that the environmental review process has been revamped. Maui Now.

Hawaii Put This Woman On A Child Neglect List — And Now She Can’t Fight It. Julia Milam was placed on Hawaii’s abuse and neglect registry, a label that could kill her lifetime dream of becoming a nurse. Civil Beat.

All Nippon Airways gearing up to expand in Hawaii in a big way. Big was the name of the game for All Nippon Airways, which gave Honolulu patrons a sneak peek Wednesday of the world’s largest wide-body plane and the state’s largest airport passenger lounge. Star-Advertiser.

Stormy seas cut into Matson profit. Recent bad weather on the Pacific Ocean hurt business somewhat for Matson Inc., but Hawaii’s largest ocean cargo transportation firm still said its financial performance is off to a good start this year. Star-Advertiser.


Anderson Chosen City Council Chair As Leadership Shifts. A leadership shakeup today at the Honolulu City Council landed Ikaika Anderson the chairmanship of the council while Tommy Waters was sworn in to represent East Honolulu following a court challenge and months of delays. Hawaii Public Radio.

Tommy Waters takes oath of office as newest member of the Honolulu City Council. District 4 covers Ala Moana Beach Park to Hawaii Kai, Waters won the seat in last month's special election against Trevor Ozawa. KITV.

Blaisdell Center set for Kealoha trial. Jury selection for the Kealohas and three Honolulu police officers is scheduled for Monday at the Blaisdell Center. KHON2.

Hawaiian Heiress Renews Fight Over Her Millions. A judge is allowing a 93-year-old Native Hawaiian heiress to switch lawyers in a legal fight over control of her $215 million estate. Associated Press.

Hikers still trespassing at Sacred Falls 20 years after tragedy. It was 20 years ago today — on a picture perfect Mother’s Day — when boulders rained down from 50 feet above Sacred Falls State Park with the sound of a freight train, killing eight people and injuring about 50 more. Star-Advertiser.

Hanauma Bay set to reopen after sewage pump is repaired. After being closed since Monday, Hanauma Bay is set to reopen for the tail end of the week. Hawaii News Now.

Female monk seal returns to Waikiki; NOAA urges public to give her some space. Federal officials are reminding the public to keep a good distance from a female monk seal that has hauled out at a Waikiki Beach for the fourth day on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Tourism officials shift marketing strategy. Hawaii’s volcanoes are no longer the Big Island’s chief selling point for tourism marketing after the Kilauea eruption. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo golf course needs more green. Low attendance and higher than anticipated costs have forced a $180,000 taxpayer bailout of the island’s only municipal golf course. West Hawaii Today.

A draft environmental assessment has been published for a planned subdivision along the North Kohala coast. The six-lot subdivision will be makai of Akoni Pule Highway, and will be developed on a 37.88-acre parcel, 3 miles north of Kawaihae. Big Island Video News.

On May 2, the Windward Planning Commission voted to approve a Verizon Wireless permit application to build a telecommunications tower that will serve lower Puna. Big Island Video News.

Big Island Dairy closure ahead of schedule. Five months after the owners of Big Island Dairy announced they would cease operations at the Ookala facility, by the end of April all cows were removed from confinement and the dairy ended all milking operations ahead of schedule, according to the state Department of Health. Tribune-Herald.


Mahi Pono to begin planting in June. Mahi Pono is preparing to plant its first 400 acres in June and has announced today its plans to grow avocados, bell peppers, potatoes and about a dozen other crops on 1,500 to 2,000 acres in Central Maui this year. Maui News.

Mahi Pono, LLC, today announced its 2019 crop plan, which includes different varieties of produce that are scheduled to be planted on approximately 1,500 to 2,000 acres of land in Central Maui. Maui Now.

Single-family home sale prices break $800,000 mark. April’s median cost highest on record for Maui County. Maui News.

Maui’s median home price soared to $819,500, according to new data released by the Realtors Association of Maui.  That’s up +13% from the month before when the median was listed at $725,000. Maui Now.


Black Pot Beach Park set for June 4 opening. Three public meetings on the county’s proposed fiscal year 2019-2020 budget, which runs July 1 through June 30, will be held on May 10, 13 and 14, all from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Garden Island.

This Island’s Only Bookstore Is Thriving. Small independent bookstores can survive despite today’s proclivity toward digital downloads and a giant online retailer. Civil Beat.

Counting corals. Recent reports from Kauai’s North Shore are pointing to new coral growth. Garden Island.

A stone ukulele is missing from a monument in Nawiliwili Park dedicated to the memory of Israel Kamakawiwoole. Garden Island.


State health inspectors close Molokai restaurant due to roach infestation. The state Health Department has posted a red “closed” placard at Paddlers Restaurant and Bar in Kaunakakai, Molokai. Star-Advertiser.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Hawaii could take $452M hit in Trump cuts, plastic ban advances, UH jobs on the line in budget cuts, Honolulu grapples with vacation rentals, how to pay for education, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2019 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Quonset huts at Pohakuloa Training Area ©2019 All Hawaii News
Isle projects in Trump’s cross-hairs. The Pentagon on Monday identified $12.9 billion in military construction funding — including $452 million for projects in Hawaii — that could be tapped to help build President Donald Trump’s southern border wall. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii weighs first-in-nation plastic bans at restaurants. Hawaii would be the first state in the U.S. to ban most plastics at restaurants under legislation that aims to cut down on waste that pollutes the ocean. Associated Press.

Survey supports more funds for public schools, but how to do it remains a question. There’s support for greater investment in Hawaii’s public schools, according to a new survey commissioned by HawaiiKidsCAN. Hawaii News Now.

The Battle Over Preschool Puts Hawaii Governor On The Hot Seat. Gov. David Ige’s remarks suggest he believes the statewide school administration, not the office delegated to bolster early learning programs, should be in charge. Civil Beat.

Proposed cuts could ‘devastate’ University of Hawaii, officials say. A Senate proposal to slash the University of Hawaii’s budget and eliminate 220 faculty and staff positions is sparking outrage at the university and a flood of calls and emails to the Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Hundreds of UH jobs on the line with proposed budget cuts. UH administrators hope to work with legislators to save jobs. KITV.

Proposed legislation would provide funds to open more mobile clinics for Hawaii's homeless. Project Vision Hawaii has seven mobile units statewide that provide medical and hygiene services for the homeless. KITV.


Council panel moves vacation rental bill. A bill allowing up to 4,000 new bed-and-breakfast permits to be issued while at the same time strengthening enforcement of residential vacation rentals moved out of the City Council Planning Committee on Monday. Star-Advertiser.

The new hire charged with reining in HART’s budget is being paid $85,000 a month. Five months after he was ousted as the head of a Canadian rail project, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation has hired veteran rail executive Paul Giannelia. Hawaii News Now.

City to pay $5.25M in firefighter suit. The city has agreed to pay $5.25 million to settle a federal negligence and wrongful death lawsuit filed over the death of Honolulu firefighter Cliff Rigsbee. Star-Advertiser.

Unused vehicles raise spending concerns at EMS. Some workers have complained about specialized vehicles worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, which have never been used. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Mayor Harry Kim wants more flexibility so he can stretch the general excise tax farther across the county budget. And, so far, the state Legislature is going along. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo Farmers Market clears a permit hurdle. The county Planning Department approved one of three permits required to erect permanent canopies over Hilo Farmers Market. Tribune-Herald.

Abandoned vehicle disposal costly to county in West Hawaii. Abandoned vehicles are more than eyesores, traffic hazards and general nuisances to the county and the taxpayer. They’re also big business. West Hawaii Today.

After Half Century, Endangered Seabird Found On Mauna Kea Again. During the 46th annual meeting of the Pacific Seabird Group on Kauai, Bret Nainoa Mossman with the University of Hawaii at Hilo presented the first documentation of the 'ua'u, or Pterodroma sandwichensis, on Mauna Kea since 1963. Big Island Video News.


Meetings will be held next month in all Maui County community plan areas on the proposed fiscal year 2020 budget, Councilmember Keani Rawlins-Fernandez, chair of the council’s Economic Development and Budget Committee, announced today. Maui Now.

New Maui Housing Director Announcement Due This Week. Interim Housing and Human Concerns Director William Spence completed his temporary appointment in the department on Friday. Maui Now.

Transportation options in South Maui and a road user charge system will be the topic of presentations at the Kihei Community Association’s meeting on Tuesday. Maui News.


Maui Community Correctional Center assessing riot damage. The Department of Public Safety released photos Monday of the damage caused by inmates during the riot at Maui Community Correctional Center. Star-Advertiser.

Armed Perimeter Remains at Maui Jail, Mood Has “Calmed”. Maui Now.

A week after a riot at MCCC, crews are still working to clean up the mess. On Monday, the state released new images from inside MCCC. Hawaii News Now.

The maintenance staff at the Maui Community Correctional Center continue to clean up and repair the damage left behind by last week's riot. KHON2.

The median sales price for single-family homes and condominiums in Maui County spiked in February while the number of sales and inventory continued to decline. Maui News.


Police look to improve efficiency. The Kauai Police Department on Monday launched its Online Crime Reporting System, offering the public a new way to submit a police report. Garden Island.

Kauai Police Department Launches New Online Crime Reporting System. The new website aims to make filing a non-emergency police report easier and more convenient for residents. Hawaii Public Radio.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Feds: Kealoha sent secret supportive texts to suspect she was prosecuting, Legislature advances vacation rental tax, deadly force bill dies, environmental group sues Maui over street lights, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

pool photo
Katherine Kealoha
Feds release Katherine Kealoha’s secret texts. Former deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha sent secret messages of support to a defendant in a drug-dealing case Kealoha was prosecuting, according to documents released Wednesday by federal prosecutors. Star-Advertiser.

In court filings Wednesday, federal prosecutors offered new details into the investigation into Katherine Kealoha’s alleged misconduct as a deputy city prosecutor ― along with the role that city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro allegedly played. Hawaii News Now.

Kealoha And Her Brother Are Free Pending Trial On Drug Charges. The former city prosecutor and Dr. Rudolph Puana are accused of running an illegal opioid racket out of his medical clinic. Civil Beat.

A Hawaii pain doctor and his former prosecutor sister were released on bond Wednesday while awaiting trial on charges they dealt opioids. Dr. Rudolph Puana and his sister, former Honolulu deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, stood side-by-side as they pleaded not guilty to a 54-count indictment alleging she used her position to cover up their crimes. Associated Press.

Former deputy city Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha and her brother, a Big Island physician, pleaded not guilty to dozens of drug charges in federal court on Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Former Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha was back in court today. This time with her brother facing dozens of drug charges. Both plead not guilty to the allegations. KHON2.

The attorney for Rudolph Puana, a Big Island doctor and brother of former Honolulu Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, said he's ready to go to trial. The siblings pleaded not guilty Wednesday to dozens of drug charges in federal court. They're both out on bail awaiting trial. KITV.

Prosecutors: Elect them, or appoint them? Honolulu's top prosecutor has been elected since 1980. Before that it was a position appointed by the mayor, which became a lightning rod for accusations of corruption at worst -- and cronyism, at a minimum. KHON2.


Vacation-rental tax bill advances at Legislature. A state proposal is back to allow vacation-rental hosting platforms like Airbnb, VRBO and Home­Away to collect tens of millions of dollars in state taxes generated by transient accommodations while making it illegal for them to do business with any rental operators who are breaking county laws. Star-Advertiser.

State Lawmakers killed a bill Wednesday that would have given residents more rights to defend themselves and their families from attackers by using deadly force within their own homes. KITV.

Legislature’s New Approach: Inspect Budgets In Bite-Sized Chunks. Dozens of programs and offices are getting closer scrutiny under a new House process that’s less reliant on the Finance Committee. Civil Beat.

A bill addressing Climate Change preparing Hawaii for rising sea-levels passed through a pair of Senate committees Wednesday. The measure would prevent development along shorelines projected to be impacted, and to reduce the amount of people potentially affected by future coastal hazards. KITV.

At the State Capitol, Senators are fast tracking a proposal that would give housing vouchers of $500 per month to more than 1,300 teachers who work in the state's hardest-to-staff schools. KITV.

Former state lawmaker was influential feminist, advocate for Native Hawaiians. Former state lawmaker Jackie Young, an influential feminist in Hawaii, died on Sunday. Hawaii News Now.

The chief executive of Southwest Airlines says the Dallas-based carrier is considering adding nonstop flights between Las Vegas and Hawaii. Associated Press.


The House Committee on Transportation passed House Bill 327 that would allow the use of Oahu’s zipper lane for single occupant vehicles, for a price. Hawaii Public Radio.

Bill would abolish bus fare program for low income. The bill would also increase single-ride fares to $3 from $2.75, day passes to $6 from $5.50, monthly passes for seniors to $8 from $6 and annual passes to $45 from $35 and single TheHandi-Van fares to $2.25 from $2. Star-Advertiser.

Official charged in money laundering free on bond. Master Halbert is one of at least two FSM officials accused of assisting Frank James Lyon, co-owner of civil engineering firm Lyon Associates Inc., in securing contracts worth $7.8 million for FSM government projects in exchange for bribes. Star-Advertiser.

Developer’s plan for pricey farm lots, equestrian operations in Mokuleia moves forward. A developer has taken major steps toward turning a controversial North Shore project into reality. The plan would split up historic Dillingham Ranch and sell pricey farm lots to buyers who could build homes on the agricultural land. Hawaii News Now.

State Looks To End The Battle Over Kakaako’s Disputed Roads. A new move by the attorney general could resolve the longstanding question of who owns the pothole-plagued roads. Civil Beat.

The state is urging current and former students of Argosy University-Hawaii to obtain their academic and financial records from the school as soon as possible in case it shuts down suddenly. Star-Advertiser.

State officials on Wednesday issued an urgent message to Argosy University students in Hawaii, advising them to get their affairs in order ahead of the potential closure of the campus. Hawaii News Now.

State Urges Argosy Hawaii Students to Take Necessary Steps to Continue their Education. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Mauna Kea draft rules don’t limit Hawaiian culture, university says. The university is now asking for public comment on the latest revision of the draft rules. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii has released revisions to its proposed administrative rules for the Maunakea Science Reserve. Tribune-Herald.

Construction of a permanent Federal Inspection Station to allow for continued international arrivals beyond 2021 at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole remains on track for completion ahead of deadline. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Island microalgae producer Cyanotech Corp. boosted sales in its fiscal third quarter to a record but failed to achieve a profit because of higher costs. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Health confirmed two new cases of rat lungworm disease, both of which were contracted on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.


Maui County is being sued by two Hawaii environmental protection groups over the installation of LED street lights. Represented by the non-profit Earthjustice, the suit alleges the County of Maui Department of Public Works failed to perform mandated review of potential harm to wildlife. Hawaii News Now.

Hearing Friday on bat deaths at wind farm. A hearing on Auwahi Wind Farm’s plans to increase the limit on incidental deaths of the endangered Hawaiian hoary bats in its turbines from 21 to 140 through 2032 will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at Kula Elementary School. Maui News.

The Department of Parks and Recreation is in the process of securing a contractor to complete repairs to the boilers that service the 50-meter pool and training pool at the Kihei Aquatic Center. Maui Now.

Despite rumors circulating about its closing, Charley’s Restaurant and Saloon, a 50-year-old landmark for food and entertainment on Maui, will remain open for the time being, a restaurant official said Tuesday. Maui News.


The county is suing the owners of a vacation home in Wailua for allegedly using the property as a transient vacation rental in violation of county zoning ordinances. Garden Island.

An excavator operator working at a Kauai recycling plant was treated for severe burns last year after accidentally triggering a massive blast that was caught on camera — and authorities believe they know who will be held accountable for the explosion. Hawaii News Now.

County of Kauai officials on Wednesday, in partnership with Lihue Safeway and Intellectual Technology Inc., launched the island’s first self-service kiosk for motor vehicle registrations. KHON2.

In about the time it takes to write a check, amass the necessary documents, place everything in an envelope, and seal it, the new registration documents and emblems could be ready — using the county Department of Finance Motor Vehicle Registration section kiosk at the Safeway store in the Hokulei Village. Garden Island.