Showing posts with label J. Kalani English. Show all posts
Showing posts with label J. Kalani English. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Two more plead guilty in legislative bribery scandal, special session mulled after Supreme Court felony ruling, police officers charged in rapes, more news fro all the Hawaiian Island

Businessman pleads guilty in huge bribery scandal that led to convictions of 3 public officials. A former Maui County official and the wealthy Honolulu businessman who bribed him both pleaded guilty to felony charges in Hawaii federal court Monday in connection with a six-year bribery scheme that steered more than $19 million in contracts to one company in exchange for $2 million in cash, trips, casino chips and other compensation. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Associated Press. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Lawmakers eye special session to tackle ruling that’s put hundreds of felony cases at risk.
High-profile criminal cases over the weekend had prosecutors on Hawaii Island scrambling in an effort to keep the suspects in custody. That’s because a recent state Supreme Court ruling requires grand jury indictments for felony crimes. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige extends SNAP emergency proclamation once again. Gov. David Ige has signed a fourth emergency proclamation allowing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program emergency allotment benefits to continue in the state in line with the federal COVID emergency. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. KHON2.

A New Sense Of Urgency Is Driving Nonprofits To Grow More Local Food In Hawaii. Some of Hawaii’s busiest food banks are turning to growing their own food rather than waiting for donations as the number of people showing up for help rises. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Elections: The Race Is On To Represent Downtown. In the Honolulu City Council race to represent downtown Honolulu and its surrounding neighborhoods, Tyler Dos Santos-Tam is promising new leadership while Traci Noguchi is pledging to continue the work she’s already doing as an aide to incumbent Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office Seeks Special Session to Reverse High Court’s Grand Jury Decision. The Honolulu prosecutor’s office says the Supreme Court ruling could result in 168 convicted felons being released unless indicted by a grand jury. Civil Beat.

HPD Chief Expects to Issue First Concealed Carry Gun Permits in October. HPD is slated to hold final its public hearing Oct. 4 before issuing new rules governing firearm permits and licenses. Civil Beat.

Judge Denies Kealoha Attempt To Sideline Federal Prosecutor. Prosecutors said Kealoha’s attempt to remove Michael Wheat from her case had no merit. The judge agreed. Civil Beat.

Retired Honolulu police sergeant charged with sexual assault of teen.
A retired Honolulu police sergeant with 25 years of experience on the force was arrested Friday and charged with continuous sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl, according to police booking records. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu's acting planning department director says staffing is top priority. As Deputy Director, Takeuchi Apuna oversaw the day-to-day personnel operations, while also handling projects addressing oversized residential homes, known as "monster homes," and short-term vacation rentals. Hawaii Public Radio.

Senior affordable housing project planned for condemned Waikiki property. The city is planning new senior affordable rental housing for Waikiki following the condemnation of a derelict apartment building sandwiched between the Watermark, one of Oahu’s toniest condominiums, and freshly renovated walk-up apartments. Star-Advertiser.

Officials: It could take months to determine what sparked a deadly ambulance fire.
More than three weeks after a deadly ambulance fire, officials are still working to identify the exact cause.The City Council committee on Public Safety called a special meeting Monday to discuss what exactly sparked the blaze, but the investigation continues. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

The Hawaii Supreme Court will hear oral arguments regarding a three-year-old Maunakea land use case this week. In 2019, Hilo residents Ku‘ulei and Ahiena Kanahele filed a petition with the state Land Use Commission requesting that the Commission declare that the current usage of the land on Maunakea summit is improper for its current zoning. Tribune-Herald.

Hunting rules could be eased. Hunters might be allowed to take twice as many feral pigs per day, seven days a week, in certain Puna forest reserves under new regulations being considered by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources. Tribune-Herald.

Protesters Block Access To County Road Leading To Waipio Valley. The group objects to Mayor Mitch Roth’s decision to start allowing limited access again to the famous Big Island valley. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.


80% of beach parks have ‘low resiliency’ to sea level rise. Solutions could include restoring dunes, relocating parks, acquiring more land, study says. Maui News.

Shoreline erosion along Kahana’s Lower Honoapiʻilani Road topic of public meeting Sept. 22.
Maui County’s Department of Public Works will hold an online community meeting to discuss shoreline erosion and mitigation alternatives along Lower Honoapiʻilani Road at Kaʻopala Bay in Kahana via Zoom on Sept. 22 from 9 to 11 a.m. Maui Now.

Veteran Maui police officer arrested for sex assault. Police say Sgt. Justin Mauliola, 35, of Wailuku has been placed on paid administrative leave, and his credentials and firearm have been temporarily removed. Authorities say his police powers have been temporarily suspended. Maui Now. KHON2.


Kaua‘i felonies may be dismissed because Supreme Court ruling in State V. Obrero
. Koloa man Kristofer Dwight Bush is facing a range of felony charges, including attempted murder, for an April incident where he allegedly attacked his girlfriend and her family with pepper spray before stabbing her and her brother. Garden Island.

DHHL’s Waimea project wins planning award. The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands’ Pu‘u ‘Opae Kuleana Homestead Settlement Plan was selected as the winner of the American Planning Association Hawai‘i Chapter’s Outstanding Planning Award at the Hawai‘i Congress of Planning Officials Conference awards session Thursday at the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort &Spa. Garden Island.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

English sentenced to 40 months in prison for accepting bribes, Green leads Democrats in gubernatorial poll, former chief justice Moon dies, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Former state senator is sentenced to 40 months in prison. The former majority leader of the state Senate expressed remorse and apologized Tuesday after he was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison for taking bribes to manage legislation on behalf of a wastewater treatment and industrial machinery executive. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Maui News. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Green Enjoys 30 Point Lead Over Kahele, Cayetano In Gov Race. According to a new Civil Beat/Hawaii News Now poll, Green has 48% of the vote compared to U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele with 16% and businesswoman Vicky Cayetano with 15%. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s Congressional District 2 Race: Veteran Tokuda Vs. Newcomer Branco. The CD 2 seat is open with the departure of Kai Kahele but the contest drew little interest from the state’s political office-seekers. Civil Beat.

Record number of Hawaii election observers, new ballot tracking planned. A record number of volunteer election observers are planning to monitor mail-in ballots as they’re opened and processed across the state, while voters this year also have new tools to track their ballots before they arrive at counting centers and as they’re being tallied. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s ‘clean energy future’ aided by new state laws. Hawaii is on an improved path toward lower electricity use and greenhouse gas emissions under new state laws enacted Tuesday that include a subsidy to develop hydrogen vehicle fueling stations. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now.

Biden awards Medal of Honor to 2 Hawaiʻi soldiers for Vietnam War heroism. President Joe Biden awarded the Medal of Honor to four Army soldiers, including two from Hawaiʻi, for heroism during the Vietnam War — bravery that he said had not diminished even with the passage of time. Associated Press. Maui Now. KHON2.

Sailors take on cybersecurity at RIMPAC. At this year’s iteration of RIMPAC, participants are holding their first cyberwarfare symposium as part of the biennial naval war game. Star-Advertiser.

More terminally ill patients are choosing aid-in-dying, but experts say obstacles remain. Hawaii’s “Our Care, Our Choice” Act went into effect on Jan. 1, 2019, giving terminally ill patients the right to use prescribed end-of-life medications. Twenty-eight people died that year after being prescribed the medications. In 2020, the figure was 34. And in 2021, according to new state numbers, there were 49. Hawaii News Now.

Former Hawaii Chief Justice Ronald Moon Dead At 81. Moon served as chief justice for more than 17 years before retiring in 2010. He was the first Korean American to become the chief justice of a state supreme court. Civil Beat. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.


Honolulu Police Department releases footage of Rep. Matthew LoPresti’s DUI arrest. The Honolulu Police Department today provided media with body-worn camera footage of officers interacting with LoPresti, who was arrested on the evening of June 16 after officers found his vehicle stopped on the shoulder lane of Fort Weaver Road. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Honolulu Aquifer Likely Contaminated, According to the Board of Water Supply. By the Navy's report, there could be 5400 gallons of fuel unaccounted for from the Red Hill fuel spill last year. KITV4.

Navy reports no evidence of ‘chronic exposure’ from Red Hill fuel spill. The Department of Defense has set up a medical database to track the health impacts of jet fuel that leaked from Red Hill into the Navy’s water system, according to U.S. Pacific Fleet’s Capt. Michael McGinnis. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu Councilwoman Takes Up The Fight Against Tour Helicopters. Tired of the long wait for action, City Council member Esther Kiaaina takes residents’ pleas for peace and quiet direct to helicopter companies. Civil Beat.

Seagull Schools to remain on city downtown campus. The city will temporarily relocate Seagull Schools in August 2023 from above the parking garage of the Frank Fasi Civic Center grounds to the Mission Memorial Center and the resource library — a reprieve for the early-childhood education center. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Stadium plagues UH in big money musical chairs. An announcement on building the new Aloha Stadium could come next week, but time is of the essence as a shift in college football weighs on the future of the University of Hawaii’s athletics department. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Council seeks homeless plan: Housing office to detail how it will spend millions coming its way. The county housing agency is awash with money, and the County Council wants to know how it’s being spent. West Hawaii Today.

Council to Consider Overriding Roth Veto on Housing Program Revolving Fund. A measure that made the language in the county’s housing program revolving fund code more specific as to how it can be used was vetoed by Mayor Mitch Roth. The County Council on Wednesday, July 6, will revisit the issue — and could consider overriding Roth’s disapproval. Big Island Now.

Health care CEOs upbeat about merger: Bay Clinic, West Hawaii Community Health Center consolidating. The Bay Clinic and West Hawaii Community Health Center consolidated operations on July 1, forming a new health care organization for the Big Island known as Hawaii Island Community Health Center. Tribune-Herald.

Wastewater Discharged Into Hilo Bay. An obstructed sewer line on the July 4th holiday sent an estimated 3,000 gallons into a nearby storm drain, which empties into Hilo Bay. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.


Firefighters respond to nine fireworks related incidents over the Fourth of July holiday. The majority of these incidents involved the discarding of spent fireworks in rubbish bins. All of these fires were quickly knocked down and extinguished, according to department reports.  Maui Now.

A fitting tribute is finally on its way for the residents of Kalaupapa. Gov. David Ige recently signed off on $5 million to fund a memorial dedicated to the thousands sent to the Hansen’s Disease colony. Hawaii News Now.


Sen. Hirono day trips to Kaua‘i. Tuesday, Sen.Mazie K. Hirono squeezed out a short day trip to Kaua‘i with several stops, including the Wailua River Bridge Improvement project, a stop at the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i, and the Boys &Girls Club, Lihu‘e before leaving on an afternoon flight. Garden Island.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Waikiki homeless capturing city and state attention, PAC attacks Green's doctor credentials in governor's race, judge overturns vacation rental ban on ag lots, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Homeless in Waikiki ©2022 All Hawaii News
Solutions sought for rise in homeless in East Honolulu. East Honolulu, which includes Waikiki, is experiencing the highest percentage increase of unsheltered homeless of any district on Oahu — hastening efforts by state and county officials to bring the region more homeless services and affordable housing even if they have to condemn properties to do it. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii gas prices are up 39% from a year ago. Hawaii’s $5.46 average price for a gallon of regular gas is up 4% from $5.27 a month ago, and 39% from $3.94 a year ago. Star-Advertiser.

Energy prices spike: Hawaiian Electric says increase due to rising fuel prices. Residential energy rates in Hawaii have increased by nearly 20% since March thanks to impacts to global fuel supply chains. Tribune-Herald.

Outgoing State Public Utilities Chief Reflects On His Tenure And Tough Decisions. Jay Griffin dealt with several contentious issues, from interisland shipping rates to Hawaii’s renewable energy transition. Civil Beat.

Former state Rep. Ty Cullen gets new sentencing date in cesspool bribery case. A judge has set a new sentencing date for former state Rep. Ty Cullen, who earlier this year pleaded guilty to one count in connection with his acceptance of bribes when he was a lawmaker. Former Senate Majority Leader Kalani English, who also pleaded guilty in a related case, is still scheduled to be sentenced on July 5. Associated Press.

Hawaiʻi Governor Signs Gun Inspection Bill. House Bill 2075 (Act 030) requires physical inspection of firearms under certain circumstances. The State says the new law “restores part of a previous gun law that was struck down by a federal court last year.” Big Island Video News. Maui Now.

Bill to reduce costs of public information requests on Ige’s desk. Among the bills awaiting potential signature or veto by Gov. David Ige is one that would cap copying charges of public records by government agencies at 25 cents per page or sheet. Tribune-Herald.

Will Hawaiian Voters Finally Show Up This Year? Hawaiian issues and the Thirty Meter Telescope are entangled in the governor’s race this year in ways that may help drive the ethnic Hawaiian vote in the critically important Democratic primary. But Hawaiians have been lining up politically in some startling ways. Civil Beat.

Super PAC Targets Josh Green As Hawaii Governor’s Race Heats Up. The biggest funders of a recent political ad that raises questions over his board certifications have also donated to Vicky Cayetano’s campaign. Civil Beat.

Oʻahu and Kauaʻi jails report COVID-19 clusters. New state Department of Public Safety data shows about 70 cases at Oʻahu Community Correctional Center and about 50 at the Kauaʻi Community Correctional Center. Hawaii Public Radio.


Honolulu’s rail recovery plan submitted to Federal Transit Administration. The recovery plan, submitted Friday, notably shortens the route to end in Ka­­kaako rather than continuing on to Ala Moana Center and delays construction of the Pearl Highlands parking garage. Star-Advertiser.

A Coastal Road Connects These Patients To Dialysis. Climate Change Could Make That Harder. In 2019, the Hawaii Department of Transportation released a report on the susceptibility of coastal roads to sea level rise, erosion and climate change. The strip of road through Kaleo’s neighborhood of Hauula was the No. 1 priority on a list of statewide highways in need of help. Civil Beat.

Waikiki noise reduction bills pending before City Council. Council member Calvin Say has introduced Bill 23, which bans trash pickup before 6 a.m. Council Chairman Tommy Waters introduced Bill 43, which bans amplified sound in Waikiki under certain conditions. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council approves federal COVID-19 funeral assistance to COFA citizens. A federal program grants financial death benefits to families who lost members of their household to COVID-19, but the program largely left out citizens of the Freely Associated States who live in the United States through the Compacts of Free Association. Star-Advertiser.

Motion details charges against ex-Honolulu police officer described as ‘prolific sexual predator’. Federal prosecutors described a former Honolulu police officer as a “prolific sexual predator” who should be jailed before his trial on charges he ran a child prostitution ring, produced child pornography and sexually assaulted youngsters for five years while working for the Honolulu Police Department. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Farm dwellings as vacation rentals: Judge overturns county ban on short-term rentals in ag district. More vacation rentals may be popping up on farmland, based on a recent ruling by a Kona judge. The future of Hawaii County’s authority to prohibit short-term vacation rentals in agriculture districts hangs in the balance, after the 3rd Circuit Court judge overturned a state Land Use Commission ruling upholding the county’s right to do so. West Hawaii Today.

State claims major victory in developer’s $360M suit involving Big Island housing project. A federal judge has dismissed a 2017 lawsuit filed by a company seeking $360 million from the state over an adverse regulatory action involving a mostly undeveloped $1 billion Hawaii island housing project. Star-Advertiser.

UH warns of Maunakea lease terminations if bill passes. The University of Hawaii at Hilo advised the state Board of Land and Natural Resources last week about the dozens of permits and leases that will have to be terminated should UH be removed from management of the summit of Maunakea. Tribune-Herald.


MPD cited for safety violations after recruit hospitalized. The Maui Police Department has been cited for safety violations after a police recruit suffered a heat stroke during training and was hospitalized this year. Maui News.

Hawaii’s first mobile biodiesel fueling station opens on Maui. The first of six mobile biodiesel fueling stations in Hawaii opened on Maui Friday, making the renewable fuel more accessible to customers. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui News. Hawaii News Now.

The Long Fight To Protect Public Hiking Access In Hawaii Isn’t Close To Over. A Maui nonprofit is suing the state and a ranch for failing to protect a historic trail. It’s the latest battle in the islands to ward off closures by private entities and government agencies. Civil Beat.

Administration interested in parcel that’s pending. Currently the 214.92-acre property, owned by Kauhikoa Investors LLC, is pending sale, according to The price is listed at $10.5 million. Maui News.

Maui median home sales price stays near record at $1.21M; sales slow. Maui County’s single-family home median sales price at $1.21 million in May hovered just below the record high while sales showed signs of slowing, according to a new report by the Realtors Association of Maui. Maui Now.


Federal tax break for the poor helps luxury developers on Kaua‘i. Wealthy investors in the Koloa and Hanalei real estate could be in line for millions of dollars in federal tax breaks. These areas are considered Opportunity Zones — a Trump-era program intended to pump investment cash into low-income areas. Garden Island.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Legislative leaders plead guilty to taking bribes, campaign donations in the spotlight, minimum wage bill advances, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

J. Kalani English and Ty J.K. Cullen

Ex-lawmakers J. Kalani English and Ty J.K. Cullen admit taking cash bribes and could face up to 20 years in federal prison. They were bribed by Milton J. Choy, owner of H20 Process Systems and Fluid Technologies. Choy, who is cooperating with the federal investigation, gave legal donations totaling $160,150 to more than 50 state and county lawmakers since 2014. His companies have received nearly $6 million in government contracts. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Associated Press. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Corruption At The Hawaii Legislature Puts Campaign Donations In The Spotlight. Amid a new push for change, critics say the process surrounding legal campaign contributions urgently needs to be reformed. Civil Beat.

Bills limiting Hawaii governor’s emergency powers advancing. Bills limiting Hawaii governor’s emergency powers advancing Star-Advertiser.

Minimum wage bill advances despite criticisms. A desire by state House leadership this year to raise Hawaii’s minimum wage took its first step forward as a bill was advanced Tuesday by a committee at the Legislature. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.

Lawmakers Seek Ban On Vehicles That Make Too Much Noise.
Senate Bill 2127 and House Bill 1545 would establish a decibel limit to define vehicular noise pollution, and make owning or operating a vehicle that exceeds the established limit illegal.  Civil Beat.

Bill would make it easier for seniors 65-plus to get marijuana.
Recreational use of marijuana is no closer to being fully legalized this year in Hawaii, but some seniors in the Aloha State may be able to use medical cannabis freely under a new bill. Tribune-Herald.

Bill to provide $2M to food banks passes first committee.
A bill to provide millions in funding to Hawaii’s four food banks is making its way through the state Legislature. West Hawaii Today.

By 2050, sea level in Hawaii could rise by as much as 1 foot.
The U.S. will get slightly more sea level rise than the global average. And the greatest rise in the U.S. will be on the Gulf and East coasts, while the West Coast and Hawaii will be hit less than average. Associated Press.

Battling long-haul COVID, some turn to magnetic brain treatment for relief. As the wave of Omicron cases declines, experts are worried about long-haul effects from the virus, but there is promising treatment for those searching for relief. Hawaii News Now.

As the Omicron surge subsides, experts ponder what’s next in the pandemic.
While most states, including California, move toward dropping their mask mandates, face coverings are still required in Hawaii. But with cases on the decline, experts say the state is moving into a different point in the pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii sees 294 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 232,302. The new confirmed and probable infection count includes 193 new cases on Oahu, 49 on Hawaii Island, 40 on Maui, four on Kauai, two on Lanai and six Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Another DPP Employee Pleads Guilty To Taking Bribes. A fourth defendant in the Honolulu permitting department bribery scandal has pleaded guilty to taking money in exchange for providing favorable treatment. Civil Beat. KHON2.

Overhaul of Oahu’s police scanners could lead to delay in reporting of emergencies. Honolulu’s emergency communications system has been upgraded, meaning scanners from all the city’s public safety departments are now shut off to everyone else. Hawaii News Now.

Eligibility for Honolulu Rental and Utility Relief Program expanded.
More Oahu families can now qualify for the City and County of Honolulu’s Rental and Utility Relief Program, city officials announced today, due to broader eligibility requirements. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Sewage spill into Kaneohe Bay traced to leaking septic tank. The Hawaii Department of Health is warning the public to avoid the waters of Kaneohe Bay near 47-048 Kamehameha Highway due to an ongoing wastewater discharge. Star-Advertiser.
Hawaii Island

Hawaii Island legislators return campaign contributions. Five of Hawaii Island’s 11 state legislators have taken campaign contributions from a Honolulu businessman who’s a cooperating government informant at the heart of a bribery scandal that took down two legislative leaders. West Hawaii Today.

Court rejects bid to delay approval hearing for wood-burning power plant. Hu Honua Bioenergy LLC, developer of the power plant designed to burn fast-growing trees as a locally grown renewable energy source, lost its bid to indefinitely postpone a hearing by the Public Utilities Commission to consider approval of the biofuel project, which is 99% built, after an earlier PUC approval from 2017 was overturned by the state’s highest court. Star-Advertiser.


Red-light enforcement cameras could be coming to Maui. The red-light enforcement camera program that launched recently on Oʻahu could be heading to Maui, but the pilot plan will have to be evaluated first, according to the state Department of Transportation.  Maui Now.

Entangled Mother Humpback With Calf Freed of Gear Off Maui. The adult female, accompanied by her calf and a male escort humpback, had a tight wrap of moderate gauge line wrapped around her head in front of her pectoral flippers. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.


In-person voting opens for OPA race. The special election for county prosecutor is on now, and voters have mail-in and in-person options. Feb. 26 is the deadline to vote. Garden Island.

A socially conscious farm venture moves to Koloa. A family farm is moving to the South Shore, just beyond the shadow of Ha‘upu mountain. Garden Island.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

English and Cullen get to keep half their pension even if convicted, House investigating bills for pay-to-play, Brian De Lima dies at 66, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Speaker Scott Saiki
Hawaii House speaker favors tough penalties to deter bribery. The speaker of Hawaii’s House of Representatives said Wednesday he supports stronger ethics laws and penalties to prevent bribery at the Legislature after federal prosecutors this week alleged two former lawmakers took bribes in exchange for shaping legislation while in office. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

Former Hawaii lawmakers J. Kalani English and Ty J.K. Cullen stand to lose half of their pensions if convicted of bribery. Former state Sen. J. Kalani English and former state Rep. Ty J.K. Cullen could lose half of their state pensions if convicted of federal bribery charges under a new law — and a review of Cullen’s voting record and introduction of bills this legislative session is now underway. Star-Advertiser.

Upset About The Corruption Charges? What Are You Going To Do About It? Democrats have such a complete lock on power in Hawaii — and Republicans are so marginalized —  that there may be little political fallout from even these egregious cases. Civil Beat.

Bribery allegations against two former legislators could affect mid-term election turnout. The seats of the entire Hawaii Legislature will be up for a vote on this year’s election ballot and party leaders said they are doing what they can to have a strong voter turnout, despite bribery allegations against two former legislators. KHON2.

Expanded ethics training up for hearing in wake of Capitol corruption. Momentum is building to widely expand mandatory ethics training and further crackdown on influence-peddling in the wake of high-profile corruption cases. KHON2.

Hawaii House considers bill to relax gift rule as watchdog group calls for culture shift. Common Cause Hawaii plans to submit testimony in strong opposition to House Bill 1871 bill, which aims to relax the rules when it comes to legislators accepting gifts by allowing things like gifts of aloha and foreign protocol gifts. KITV4.

Company at center of legislative bribery scandal a big political donor. State campaign spending records show that since 2014, company employees and officers, its owner and his relatives and related businesses and their workers have donated nearly $300,000 to more than 50 political candidates in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Bribery scandal could focus discussion on closing cesspools, environmentalists say. The bribery allegations against former lawmakers Kalani English and Ty Cullen are also shining a spotlight on the legislation they allegedly derailed regarding cesspools. Environmental groups say the sewage sites are an environmental crisis, but also see the scandal as an opportunity to fix it. Hawaii News Now.

Lawmakers consider bill to fund an emergency sex trafficking shelter for minors. HB1700 would provide funding for nonprofit or nongovernmental organizations to operate sex trafficking emergency shelter for children during the next fiscal year. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kahele Hints Strongly At 2022 Run For Hawaii Governor. U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele, the Democrat  has represented Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District for barely a year, indicated on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser “Spotlight” program Wednesday that he is seriously considering entering the contest. Civil Beat.

Rising harassment of public school employees sparks bill to make it a misdemeanor. Harassment of Hawaii public school employees is on the rise, the state schools superintendent says, and that is why his department wants the state Legislature to classify it as a misdemeanor crime. Star-Advertiser.

More cruise ships scheduled to arrive at Hawaii ports as COVID-19 cases continue to trend down. In a sign that Hawaii has reopened its economy, dozens of cruise ships have been scheduled to arrive at Hawaii ports this year and through the summer of next year, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii records 7 new coronavirus-related deaths, 519 additional infections.
The new confirmed and probable infection count includes 323 new cases on Oahu, 54 on Hawaii Island, 53 on Maui, 33 on Kauai, four on Molokai, three on Lanai and 49 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Cameras positioned to record Red Hill fuel leaks inoperable, Hawaii Congressman Kai Kahele says. Hawaii Congressman Kai Kahele says that the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility is lined with surveillance cameras, two of which were perfectly positioned to record the May and November fuel spills that are believed to have led to jet fuel contaminating residents’ tap water. Star-Advertiser.

Experts Say HPD Report Fails To Review Tactics Used In Deadly 2020 Standoff. HPD increased training following the Hibiscus Drive shooting but did not update its policies. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers progress 4 measures aimed at preventing another Red Hill fuel contamination crisis.
The House committees on Health, Human Services and Homelessness, and Energy and Environmental Protection held a joint hearing on four bills related to the Red Hill water crisis. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Homeless earmark bill advances.
Most of an extra tax property owners already pay on their multimillion-dollar residential homes would be earmarked for homeless projects, under a bill advanced Wednesday by the County Council Finance Committee. West Hawaii Today.

Puna access road bill advances for ‘ongoing discussion’. The state House Transportation Committee on Wednesday passed, with amendments, a bill that would require site surveys to identify the most suitable location for a Puna Makai Access Road to relieve traffic congestion on Highway 130. Tribune-Herald.

Officials: Hilo’s sewage plant in danger of failure that could trigger environmental disaster. Officials at Hilo’s Wastewater Treatment Plant warn the facility is in danger of complete failure, saying if the plant goes down it could trigger an environmental disaster. Hawaii County says it urgently needs $100 million to replace the facility. Hawaii News Now.

HPD seeks $2M for animal control.
The Hawaii Police Department has requested $2 million from the county to purchase a new animal shelter in Puna in order to improve its animal control capabilities. Tribune-Herald.

Brian De Lima, ‘a pillar of our community,’ dead at 66.
Hilo attorney and community leader Brian De Lima died Tuesday, according to his older daughter. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.


New Kaupō center took ʻlots of alohaʻ to build; E. Maui project gains approvals. Saying it took many years and “lots of aloha,” Kaupō community leaders highlighted the significance of their new community resource center on remote, historic East Maui grounds, which gained approvals Tuesday at Maui Planning Commission. Maui Now.

Tree Poaching reported at Lelekea Beach in Kīpahulu District of Haleakalā National Park. The National Park Service is requesting assistance in identifying anyone responsible for poaching trees at Lelekea Beach in the Kīpahulu District of Haleakalā National Park. Maui Now.


Public pushes Kaua‘i County Council to pass feral cat feeding ban. Speakers from throughout the island, state and mainland urged Kaua‘i lawmakers to ban the feeding of feral cats on county property, at Wednesday’s County Council meeting. Garden Island.

State, Kauai face suit over alleged pollution discharge into ocean. Environmentalists are threatening to sue the state and Kauai County over claims they are discharging untreated drainage water into the ocean in Kekaha. Hawaii News Now.

State tax bill could have major impact on Kaua‘i. A bill in the state Legislature could potentially mean more money in the pockets of working families on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Former Senate majority leader, House Finance Committee vice chairman accused of taking bribes, Ige won't mandate booster for Safe Travels, delegation goes to Germany to retrieve ancestral remains, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Former state Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English and state Rep. Ty J.K. Cullen, vice chairman of the House Committee on Finance. PC: Official legislative portraits

J. Kalani English and state Rep. Ty J.K. Cullen are accused of taking thousands of dollars in bribes to benefit an industrial services company. The state Legislature was shaken Tuesday by U.S. Department of Justice charges accusing a former state Senate majority leader and the vice chairman of the House Committee on Finance with taking thousands of dollars in bribes to promote and kill legislation related to cesspool and wastewater policy to benefit a Hawaii industrial services company and its affiliated businesses. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Associated Press. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii GOP says indictments show ‘system is rigged’. The federal indictments of two lawmakers who held powerful posts in the state House and Senate drew immediate condemnation from the Hawaii Republican Party and silence, for the most part, from leading Democrats on Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

A bribery scandal rocks the state Capitol and spurs new questions about legislative transparency. Political onlookers expressed shock Tuesday as federal prosecutors accused two former state lawmakers of taking money to influence legislation. The bribery scandal is also spurring calls for more transparency and public involvement at the state Capitol. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Bribery stymies efforts to fix Hawaii’s massive cesspool problem. Those affected by the alleged bribery schemes described in federal charges against Kalani English and Ty Cullen include people working in good faith to solve one of Hawaii’s most pressing environmental threats: cesspools and their 53 million gallons-a-day of untreated sewage. KHON2.

Governor to appoint representative to fill House District 39 seat following bribe allegations. Work begins to fill the seat that once belonged for former House Representative Ty Cullen. This comes as the legislative session is underway, causing concern for some residents. KHON2.

Hawaii governor, citing drop in COVID-19 cases, will not mandate booster for travelers. Following weeks of anticipation, Gov. David Ige on Tuesday announced that the Safe Travels Hawaii program will not require booster shots for travelers to bypass the state’s mandatory quarantine. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Maui Now. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii voters split on limiting tourism, support fees for visitors. Hawaii voters are divided over whether they want to cap tourism arrivals, but overwhelmingly want to charge visitor fees at certain state parks, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Hawaii Poll. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii residents strongly back minimum wage increase, poll finds. Hawaii voters overwhelmingly want to see the state’s minimum wage increased, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Hawaii Poll, whose results could influence whether local lawmakers make such a change this year. Star-Advertiser.

Supporting surfing: Bill proposes funding for DOE to make surfing a statewide interscholastic sport. Lawmakers are considering a measure to provide the Department of Education with a wave of funding to make surfing a prep sport across the state. West Hawaii Today. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Inmate Deaths Are The Highest In 10 Years. But The State Can’t Say Why. Corrections officials still aren’t providing a cause of death for 20 of the 23 prisoners who died in Hawaii prisons and jails last year. Civil Beat.

OHA delegation travels to Germany to bring ancestral remains back to Hawaii. The body overseeing Berlin’s museums this week began the process of handing over over Hawaiian ancestral remains collected by a German naturalist in the 19th century to authorities in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Video News. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii sees 533 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 227,817. The new confirmed and probable infection count includes 357 new cases on Oahu, 72 on Hawaii Island, 52 on Maui, 38 on Kauai two on Lanai and 12 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Bills To Shut Down Red Hill Fuel Facility Move Forward At Hawaii Legislature. As the federal government fights the state’s shutdown order in court, city and state lawmakers are making moves to close the facility through legislation. Civil Beat.

Chronic water pollution found in Honolulu, Kāneʻohe, and Haleʻiwa. The Surfrider Foundation’s Blue Water Task Force found high concentrations of bacteria in fresh water sources and beaches around Honolulu, Kāneʻohe, and Haleʻiwa. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

County officials provide council panel update on testing contract. Hawaii County officials said Tuesday they are satisfied with the performance of TrueCare24 Inc., the company contracted for county-sponsored COVID testing, despite reports of lost tests and late results. West Hawaii Today.

Roth, Magno explain response to tsunami threat. Hawaii County Civil Defense and Mayor Mitch Roth on Tuesday defended the county’s response last month to a tsunami threat triggered by the eruption of a volcano in Tonga. Tribune-Herald.

County Rolls Out New COVID Testing Program for Businesses. Hawaiʻi County is now offering a new COVID testing program for businesses to help prevent workplace spread of the illness. Big Island Now.


Rep. Kai Kahele visits Maui, giving ‘serious thought’ to run for governor. Democratic US Represenative Kaialiʻi Kahele (HI-02) continues making his rounds on Maui today as he updates various government and community organizations on issues pending before Congress. Maui Now.

Maui saw nearly 2.3 million visitors in 2021. Arrivals still lag behind pre-pandemic levels of 3 million in 2019. Maui saw nearly 2.3 million visitors last year who spent a total of $4 billion, closer to pre-pandemic numbers but still lagging behind 2019, according to a recent report of preliminary visitor statistics by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Maui News.


County of Kaua‘i ‘troubled’ by lessee’s pollution on Waimea 400 land. The County of Kaua‘i was unaware that a lessee on its Waimea 400 land was polluting state waters. Garden Island.

First Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death reported on Kauaiʻi’s Alakaʻi Plateau; beetle repellant may help. The first case of Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death in the Alakaʻi Plateau forest on Kauaʻi was found in a dead tree during a helicopter survey by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Maui Now. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Senate Majority Leader Kalani English stepping down following COVID-19 complications, Legislature passes hotel tax surcharge, car rental fee increases, automatic voter registration passes, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo
Sen. Kalani English

Hawaii state Sen. Kalani English stepping down due to long-term COVID-19 symptoms. Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English announced Tuesday that he is stepping down from his Senate seat on May 1, citing lingering symptoms from a COVID-19 infection. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now. KITV4.

Lawmakers pass budget and suspend pay raises. In one of their last days to make or amend state law, state legislators passed a budget they say avoided catastrophic cuts to the most needy, killed a bill aimed at restricting police no-knock warrants and suspended raises for themselves and other key state officials. Star-Advertiser.

New County Hotel Tax Is Approved In Final Vote. The Hawaii Legislature also approved a hefty rental car surcharge increase to squeeze more money out of tourists. Lawmakers gave final approval Tuesday to a package of bills that will wring more cash out of the rapidly recovering tourism industry while simultaneously scaling back on the sums the state spends each year to market Hawaii to visitors. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald.

State House kills bill curtailing emergency powers. The state House on Tuesday killed a bill that would have curtailed the governor’s emergency powers, a measure that was introduced after the coronavirus pandemic prompted Gov. David Ige to issue 19 emergency proclamations to suspend laws, impose travel quarantines and take other steps to address the public health crisis. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii House quashes bill eliminating no-knock warrants. The Hawaii House on Tuesday quashed a bill that would have eliminated no-knock warrants, a centerpiece of police reform legislation proposed in the wake of high-profile killings by police across the nation. Associated Press.

Lawmakers pass automatic voter registration bill. State lawmakers Tuesday passed a measure that would make Hawaii the latest state to implement automatic voter registration. West Hawaii Today.

State lease extension measure clears state Legislature. A bill that cleared the Legislature on Tuesday would allow the state to extend leases on state lands by 40 years, a measure applauded by developers such as those for Prince Kuhio Plaza, but that would apparently not apply to federal leases such as held by the U.S. Army at Pohakuloa Training Area. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Close to Honoring Juneteenth, Leaving 1 State Holdout. Hawaii was poised to become the 49th state to recognize Juneteenth after the House and Senate passed legislation Tuesday designating June 19 as a day to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. Associated Press.

Most UH students will likely remain at a distance until Spring 2022. UH Provost Michael Bruno said Tuesday the university system likely won’t resume normal campus procedures until Spring of 2022. Hawaii News Now.

Matson Inc. earns huge profit on heels of China growth. Matson Inc. earned a monster first-quarter profit that even it underestimated less than two weeks ago. Star-Advertiser.

As Tourists Return, Hawaii Is Looking At New Ways To Keep Them Safe In The Ocean. Ocean safety officials are relying on mobile response units, extended hours and data to protect visitors, some of whom are drawn to remote locations without lifeguards. Civil Beat.

Hawaii restaurants struggling to find employees despite nearly 60K unemployed residents. Many people remain out of work due to conditions outside of their control, including child care and health concerns, among others. KHON2.

Local reactions to new CDC rules on mask-wearing are mixed. Some celebrated, while others remained wary of, new federal guidelines saying fully vaccinated Americans do not need to wear a mask outdoors — unless at large, crowded events. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Garden Island. KHON2.

Health Department reports 1st COVID-19 death of child with underlying conditions. Health officials said the boy experienced COVID-19 symptoms shortly after arriving in the islands, and was taken to a hospital, where he died. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

April 27, 2021 COVID-19 Update: The state Department of Health reports that there were 54 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Tuesday, including 37 on O‘ahu, seven on Maui, five on Hawai‘i Island, two on Kaua‘i, and two in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.


City again takes first steps to relocate landfill. For the third time, the city has started evaluating sites to replace the island’s only municipal landfill, Waimanalo Gulch, on the West side of Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Prosecutors Have Long Been Stymied When Investigating Police Killings. That’s About To Change. The city largely leaves it to the police to investigate themselves when a civilian is killed. The new prosecuting attorney has plans for reform. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Roundabout eyed for busy Hilo intersection. The state Department of Transportation is working through the process to plan and fund improvements at the intersection of Waianuenue Avenue, Bayfront Highway and Kamehameha Avenue in downtown Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

6 of 14 North Kona wells remain offline. Nearly half of the water wells servicing the North Kona community remain offline, the Department of Water Supply said Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.


Lawsuit: Former Maui Prosecutor Says The Mayor Was Wrong To Fire Him. Don Guzman says his struggles with diabetes caused him to behave irrationally at times but that he warned the mayor that might happen. Civil Beat.

Most public schools to offer in-person summer programs. As Maui County public schools prepare to offer in-person summer programs, other popular child care programs like Summer PALS are still mulling their plans during the pandemic. Maui News.


Hideaways access cut off; county seeks easement. Posts went up Tuesday blocking the entrance of a trailhead that leads to Kenomene Bay, or Hideaway Beach, in Princeville. Garden Island.

Public input sought on Kalaheo water project. The county Department of Water is expecting to build a new Clearwell tank on a portion of state land, replacing the existing Clearwell tank in Kalaheo later this year. Garden Island.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Defending Hawaii against missiles, Honolulu rail school impact fee fails, Omidyar-backed Kauai dairy pauses EIS, felons to remain in jail, 'Styrofoam' ban advances on Big Island, biofuel crops planned for Maui, state Capitol crumbling, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Pacific Missile Range, Kauai © 2017 All Hawaii News
At the request of Congress, the federal Missile Defense Agency is evaluating the threat to Hawaii from ballistic missiles and possible defenses against them. Civil Beat.

A bill that would have authorized the head of the state Department of Public Safety to release some convicted felons to ease overcrowding in state-run jails appears to be dead for the session. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: Count On Hawaii To Ignore Logical Prison Report. In the rush to build a new prison, the Legislature is likely to shunt aside the work of a task force it created just last year. Civil Beat.

A state agency hopes to sell carbon offset credits linked to reforestation. Star-Advertiser.

Representatives from Hawai’i’s hospitality industry converged on the State Capitol today to brief lawmakers on their legislative priorities. Hawaii Public Radio.

High-schoolers are some of the loudest champions of a bill seeking to ban the use of disposable foam containers. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Lawmaker Accepted Junket From Turkish Opposition Group. Sen. J. Kalani English is among 151 state legislators nationwide whose official travel has been tied to exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Community Reinvestment Corp. has donated $790,000 to establish the HCRC Distinguished Professorship in Affordable Housing at the University of Hawaii to teach the next generation about affordable housing strategies and develop policy alternatives. Pacific Business News.

State officials believe falling exterior ceiling tiles at the Hawaii State Capitol are the result of strong winds on Monday and this past weekend. Civil Beat.

Matson Inc. delivered more containers and automobiles to Hawaii in 2016, but the largest ocean cargo company serving the state had rough sailing in other areas, which resulted in a 22 percent profit decline last year. Star-Advertiser.


The state school board for a second time has rejected an impact fee the Department of Education contends it needs to accommodate the estimated 10,000 students expected to enroll in urban Honolulu schools as developments pop up along the city’s rail line. Star-Advertiser.

A plan to charge developers along the rail line hundreds of millions of dollars in school impact fees has stalled. Hawaii News Now.

State lawmakers say they’re unlikely to get the briefing they want from the city rail system’s federal partners before they must decide what to do about Oahu’s cash-strapped transit project. Star-Advertiser.

While Honolulu may be the eighth-most traffic-congested city in the U.S., Oahu residents can take some solace in the fact that the problem isn't getting any worse, according to data from the 2017 TomTom Traffic Index. Pacific Business News.

A new bill before the Honolulu City Council would expand the city’s law banning people from sitting and lying down on certain public sidewalks to parts of Kalihi and Iwilei. Star-Advertiser.

Dozens of Airbnb listings in Honolulu are raking in six figures in annual revenue, according to a monthly market report by Airdna, the analytics arm of the online vacation rental platform, which ranked the top 10 highest-performing vacation listings for all accommodation sizes. Pacific Business News.

The state Public Utilities Commission is holding a hearing tonight about Hawaiian Electric Co.’s request to increase rates. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Biotech Inc. moved into its new research and development laboratory and headquarters at Dole Cannery in Honolulu on Tuesday, with staff hopeful the new 11,000 square foot space will facilitate greater efficiency as well as provide the company with access to much-needed emergency power. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Biotech Inc. opened a $3 million laboratory at Dole Cannery this week to continue its research of vaccines that can combat viruses such as Zika, West Nile and Ebola. Star-Advertiser.

The man who breached airport security in Honolulu and later died was court-ordered to be at a drug rehabilitation center just a week and a half before the incident. KHON2.


Foam food containers were back on the table Tuesday, when the County Council Environmental Management Committee on a 5-3 vote advanced a bill restricting those made of polystyrene. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii County Council Committee on Environmental Management gave a positive recommendation to a bill that would reduce the use of Styrofoam food containers on Hawaii Island. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County will not pay any penalties for terminating its composting and mulching contract, according to Mayor Harry Kim. Tribune-Herald.

The chief financial officer of Youth With a Mission’s University of the Nations in Kona stole $2.5 million from the international Christian school, owns a gold mine in Africa and kept loose diamonds in a safe deposit box, a federal prosecutor said Tuesday in U.S. District Court. Star-Advertiser.


Public scoping meetings for Alexander & Baldwin’s application to the state Board of Land and Natural Resources for a 30-year lease (holdover water permits) for water from streams in Nahiku, Keanae and Huelo are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 22 and 23, at two different locations on Maui. Maui Now.

Biofuel crops, including sunflowers, will be grown on 115 acres in Maui’s central valley as part of a demonstration project this month, according to an announcement from Pacific Biodiesel. Maui News.

The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas has named Chris Rabang as general manager ahead of the time-share resort’s April opening. Pacific Business News.


Hawaii Dairy Farms, the planned dairy operation on Kauai being funded by Pierre Omidyar’s social investment firm Ulupono Initiative, has withdrawn the project’s final environmental impact statement to expand responses to comments submitted during the process. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Dairy Farms took a step back in its plan to put a dairy on Kauai by withdrawing its Final Environmental Impact Statement from state consideration on Tuesday. Garden Island.

Hundreds on Kauai may have faulty solar parts. Garden Island.

A hearing is scheduled March 22 for Kauai Community College’s proposal to reclassify 148.5 acres of land from agricultural to urban usage. Garden Island.

Misuse of funds, poor record keeping, and violations of state animal euthanasia laws are just some of the findings of a recent audit of the Kauai Humane Society. Hawaii News Now.

A man accused of beating up a monk seal last year is expected to change his plea today. Garden Island.

Representatives of the Kauai Beer Company are proposing a private-public partnership to renovate Kalena Park. Garden Island.