Showing posts with label Sen. Brickwood Galuteria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sen. Brickwood Galuteria. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Obama to name Japanese internment camp a national monument, medical marijuana dispensaries advance in House, Senate to hear GMO labeling bill, school lunch prices could increase, Iwase popular PUC pick, Maui biogas project on hold, Galuteria owes $7k for declaring wrong residence, 160 acres on Oahu to be blanketed in solar panels, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy National Park Service
Old Honouliuli Internment Camp in Kunia, courtesy National Park Service

President Barack Obama will announce Thursday the designation of the old Honouliuli Internment Camp in Kunia as a national monument to "help tell the difficult story of the internment camp's impact on the Japanese American community and the fragility of civil rights during times of conflict," the White House said. Star-Advertiser.

For more than half a century, what had once been Hawaii’s largest and longest-operating internment camp was ignored and forgotten. To the hundreds of Japanese Americans who had been forcibly confined at the camp, the experience was a source of shame and rarely spoken of until it was rediscovered by historians more than a decade ago. Tribune-Washington Bureau.

A bill that would establish medical marijuana dispensaries and production centers in Hawaii passed through the House committees on Judiciary and Health on Tuesday afternoon. Civil Beat.

A bill to allow medical marijuana dispensaries across Hawaii — nearly 15 years after state leaders made medical use of the drug permissible — is still alive in the House. Star-Advertiser.

Michelle Tippens is one of nearly 13,000 patients in Hawaii who have conditions that could be treated with medical marijuana. But because there are no dispensaries in Hawaii, they’re left to fend for themselves, buying on the black market or growing it themselves. Associated Press.

The state Senate committees on Health and Agriculture will take testimony Thursday on a bill calling for the labeling of food with genetically modified organisms. Civil Beat.

Randy Iwase, whose nomination to head the state Public Utilities Commission was unanimously recommended Tuesday by a Senate committee, said it could take a year to 18 months for the commission to decide whether to approve the sale of Hawaiian Electric Industries to Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy Inc. Star-Advertiser.

There seems to be nothing but love for Randy Iwase. Gov. David Ige’s nominee to head the state Public Utilities Commission easily cleared a Senate committee hurdle Tuesday. He’s on track to be confirmed by the full Senate, possibly by the end of this week. Civil Beat.

Randall Iwase told state senators that if he’s confirmed as chairman of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, he will make public input a priority when tackling the commission’s biggest issue — reviewing NextEra Energy’s plan to take over Hawaiian Electric. Associated Press.

The Governor’s nominee to head the Public Utilities Commission was unanimously approved by a Senate panel today. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Board of Education's finance committee Tuesday tabled a proposal to raise school lunch prices by 30 percent over the next three years and challenged officials to instead look at cutting costs and boosting student demand for meals. Star-Advertiser.

The Department of Education is asking for an increase of 10 cents more for breakfast and 25 cents for lunch not just for next year, but for the next three years. KITV4.

Warmer temperatures and unstable conditions created by climate change could make it harder for Hawaii's native species to survive, while creating a opening for invasive disease-spreaders like mice and mosquitoes, state Health Department officials said Tuesday. Maui News.

ALTRES Office/Professional and ALTRES Technical, divisions of ALTRES Staffing, Hawaii’s largest human resources organization, announced today a significant spike in demand for office and technical professionals across all islands. While the state continues to experience unemployment rates at record lows, Hawaii’s available workforce is thinning out. Hawaii Independent.

Opinion: Gov. David Ige’s nomination of development lobbyist Carleton Ching to head the Department of Land and Natural Resources continues to generate lots of heated reaction. Civil Beat.


Hawaii Sen. Brickwood Galuteria owes the City and County of Honolulu more than $7,200 in property taxes and fees after improperly claiming a homeowners’ tax break on property in Palolo Valley for the past four years. Civil Beat.

About 200,000 solar panels may soon cover about 160 open acres of land laced with kiawe trees and brush that stretch from the edges of Kamaile Academy to the base of the Waianae Mountains. The 27.6-megawatt project is one of eight large solar farms planned for Oahu that are expected to break ground by the end of the year in order to take advantage of lucrative federal tax credits. Civil Beat.

Two plans aimed at making it easier for Oahu properties to have two living units, and a bill cracking down on illegal vacation rentals, will be aired by the Honolulu Planning Commission at a public hearing Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Building a 95-unit condominium in place of 19 homes on the slopes of Punchbowl didn't go over well with neighbors when it was proposed eight years ago. Now a revised plan with 140 condo units is raising even more opposition. Star-Advertiser.

Nasty weather over the weekend wreaked havoc on many parts of the windward side including one of Oahu's very popular and illegal hiking trails. Haiku Stairs, better known as the Stairway to Heaven, saw "extensive damage" according to Ernest Lau, Manager and Chief Engineer at the Honolulu Board of Water Supply. Lau says that plans are being made to conduct an assessment of the "stairs" and they want to see if a landslide was responsible for some of the damage. Hawaii News Now.

In an effort to combat websites and blogs that have been driving people to the off-limits Sacred Falls State Park, the Department of Land and Natural Resources is stepping up its communication efforts about the consequences of trespassing. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii officials have long been warning people to stay away from Sacred Falls, a dramatic waterfall where a landslide killed eight hikers more than 15 years ago. Associated Press.


What if Hawaii Island residents owned their own electric utility? That’s the question being posed by a nonprofit group that filed on Feb. 11 a motion with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission to intervene in the pending $4.3 billion sale of Hawaii Electric Light Co’s parent company, Hawaiian Electric Co. (HEI), to NextEra Energy. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative is seeking a seat at the table as the Public Utilities Commission considers the proposed merger of Hawaiian Electric Industries and NextEra Energy. Star-Advertiser.

Big Island business and community leaders have formed a nonprofit coop called the Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative to explore taking over Hawaii Electric Light Co., a subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Co. Civil Beat.

An Ocean View man who has become the poster child for the debate over the harvest of aquarium fish pleaded no contest Tuesday to tearing the regulator from the mouth of Maui reef activist Rene Umberger in West Hawaii waters last May. Jay Lovell, an aquarium fisherman of 30 years, received a deferred six-month prison sentence on the charge of second-degree terroristic threatening. West Hawaii Today.

More than 50 testifiers and three experts on aquarium fish collection kept a Hawaii County Council committee busy into the evening Tuesday, as council members pondered two bills attempting to regulate sea life collectors and set standards for transporting fish. West Hawaii Today.

Kulani Correctional Facility warden Ruth Forbes has been put on leave pending a review of allegations by employees at the facility, the state Department of Public Safety said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz will hold a town hall meeting today in Hilo. The meeting will last from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Hilo High School cafeteria. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Electric Co. has decided to hold off on submitting to Hawaii regulators a power purchase agreement with California-based Anaergia Services for a proposed agricultural energy project that would generate up to 6 megawatts of biogas energy, according to a letter from the utility's president to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. Pacific Business News.

The House Labor and Public Employment Committee on Tuesday passed House Bill 1075, which would allow the Maui region of HHSC — including Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital and Lanai Community Hospital — to transition into a new private nonprofit under Hawai‘i Pacific Health, the state's largest medical provider. Star-Advertiser.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of State Parks will close the Puʻuōlaʻi (Little Beach) area and a portion of Mākena Beach State Park in South Maui on Wednesday, Feb. 18, while DLNR staff and military ordnance experts conduct an investigation. Maui Now.

Heavy winds and rain Saturday knocked out power to more than 3,500 Maui Electric customers - and to a wastewater pump in Waiehu that caused a sewage spill. Maui News.

Officials from Starwood Hotels and Resort say they intend to convert a portion of the Sheraton Kauai Resort into timeshares by the end of this year as a part of a larger proposal to turn the worldwide corporation’s vacation ownership arm into a separate, publicly traded company. Garden Island.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

State employees fined for taking gifts from contractors, fire ants slow lava evacuation route, Granny could be liable for child support, Honolulu Police Department under fire, making prison guards work, $28M bonds sought for Hawaii Health Connector, Omidyar gives $100M for Hawaii causes, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii County government
Road construction through lava flow, courtesy Hawaii County
Nine mid- to high-level current and former state employees have agreed to pay a total of $34,800 in administrative penalties for allegedly accepting free golf from private contractors, consultants, vendors and other companies that did business with their agencies, the state Ethics Commission announced this week. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: Gov. David Ige’s Honeymoon Ended With Nomination of Ching. The Governor's Office has arranged meetings between the nominee to head the Department of Land and Natural Resources and his critics, but strong opposition remains.Civil Beat.

Going after grandparents for child support could happen under a new proposal before state lawmakers. HB128 would hold parents of a minor who has a baby financially responsible for their grandchild. KHON2.

A Hawaii state Senate committee is planning to take up a slew of bills that aim to improve elections. The bills are being introduced after Hawaii's recent elections were thrown off track by a series of natural disasters that hit Hawaii's Big Island. Associated Press.

State lawmakers are considering a handful of bills aimed at reforming Hawai‘i’s prison system. One would create and fund a pilot program that would hire part time workers to make sure weekend visitation days are fully staffed. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Hawaii Health Connector, which came under fire by the state auditor last week for the way it spent millions of dollars in federal grants, may be able to borrow as much as $28 million in bonds backed by the state. Star-Advertiser.

House lawmakers smacked down a bill Tuesday that would have created an exemption to the state open records law that one critic called “grossly over-broad.” The Judiciary had included House Bill 287 in its legislative package purportedly over concerns of identity theft and physical security. But it was really about finding a way to let judges, who have to retire at age 70, keep their birthdates secret. Civil Beat.

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii said Tuesday striking union workers picketing at its clinics blocked patients trying to get into the facilities on the second day of a six-day strike. The union denied the accusation. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii could become the first state in the country to adopt energy mandates requiring the state’s utilities to derive 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources, such as wind, solar and geothermal, if a bill backed by clean energy advocates is approved. Currently, Hawaiian Electric Co., serving Oahu, the Big Island and Maui County, as well as the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, are required to convert to 40 percent renewable energy by 2030 or face penalties. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Education will be trying out standardized tests for third- and fourth-grade Hawaiian language immersion students in May and is seeking a federal waiver so the students won't have to be tested in both English and Hawaiian. Star-Advertiser.

A federal judge said Tuesday she's inclined to order a settlement conference for both sides of a lawsuit claiming Hawaii discriminates against those with limited English skills. Associated Press.

Opinion: It is time for the Legislature to re-examine why Hawaii has an open meetings law. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Sunshine Law. Bills pending in the Legislature illustrate how the open meetings law has pulled in different directions over time. Civil Beat.

A superstition that warned people not to get married in the latter half of 2014 led to a drop in weddings in South Korea and may have affected travelers to Hawaii, which many Koreans see as a dream honeymoon destination. Pacific Business News.

Commentary: Pierre Omidyar in Hawaii: The Billionaire in the Corner. Bringing about positive social change in Hawaii isn't cheap or easy, but here's how $100 million has been spent on the effort. Civil Beat.


The FBI released semiannual 2014 crime stats for America's biggest cities last week, but don't bother trying to find out how safe — or dangerous — life can be in Honolulu. Even the state attorney general's office that compiles islandwide crime data every year cannot get statistics from the Hono­lulu Police Department on crimes ranging from murder to motor vehicle theft. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Police Department and its chief have faced tough questions about transparency and accountability. The latest Hawaii Poll reveals mixed feelings about HPD's investigations into police shootings and alleged misconduct. Hawaii News Now.

Several Oahu residents who participated in the Hawaii Poll said their opinion of Hono­lulu Police Chief Louis Kea­loha was marred by recent events involving the chief and his wife, Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kea­loha. The poll showed Oahu residents were nearly split in their opinions of Kea­loha with 32 percent favorable and 28 percent unfavorable. Star-Advertiser.

Cockfights, family abuse and tampering with government records are only a few of the crimes Honolulu police officers were punished for in 2014, according to an annual misconduct report submitted to the Legislature last week. In all, the Honolulu Police Department disciplined 39 officers for 47 incidents that also included surfing on the job, gaming the overtime system, beating up suspects and driving under the influence. Civil Beat.

In its 2014 annual report to the state legislature, Honolulu Police Department only focused on administrative actions taken against officers who were either suspended or discharged for violating the department’s standards of conduct. KHON2.

A state senator representing the Kakaako area asserts that he does in fact reside there — and that he made a mistake claiming homeowner tax exemptions on a property he owns outside his district. Sen. Brickwood Galuteria (D, Kakaako-McCully-Wai­kiki) made those assertions this week after an adviser to his latest general-election challenger filed a complaint with the Honolulu City Clerk's office this past fall. Star-Advertiser.

Sen. Brickwood Galuteria comes clean on tax exemption claims. KITV4.

Opinion: After reading about all the contributions to politicians from rail project contractors, I am struck by the arrogance and contempt our public servants share towards those they have been elected to serve. Civil Beat.

Opinion: A report confirming that Unit Director Michele Carbone ran the UH Cancer Center into the ground can teach us an important lesson about the systemic problems currently killing the University of Hawaii. Hawaii Independent.


A sewer pipe leaking off the Keaukaha coast is going to cost Hawaii County almost $6 million to fix. The County Council Finance Committee on Tuesday voted favorably on Bill 20, to appropriate $4.95 million on top of the $1 million already appropriated to fix the outfall pipe that sends treated sewage three-quarters of a mile into the ocean. West Hawaii Today.

Completion of the Chain of Craters alternate route is being pushed further back thanks to a tiny pest that already has taken over much of East Hawaii. Hawaii County Public Works Director Warren Lee said little fire ants have been found in baseyards supporting the approximately 8-mile road construction project that will reconnect Highway 130 with Chain of Craters Road in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Tribune-Herald.

A bill adding transparency and public input to the process of creating planned unit developments sailed through the County Council Planning Committee on Tuesday. The committee unanimously agreed to a positive recommendation for Bill 281, which now heads to two council votes. West Hawaii Today.

State legislators will hear from the Hawaii Island Family Residency Program’s inaugural class members as organizers support multiple bills seeking funding to keep the program going. Tribune-Herald.

A Hawaii County Police Department sergeant facing domestic abuse and terroristic threatening charges will make his initial court appearance next month. West Hawaii Today.

University of Hawaii will host meetings this week regarding an environmental impact statement for expanding its lease on Mauna Kea. The open houses are slated for 5:30-8 p.m. today at the Department of Hawaiian Homelands office in Waimea and Thursday at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.


Acknowledging that Maui County residents are dealing with substandard internet browsing speeds, the County of Maui has hired Joel Ogren of the U.S. Navy-sponsored Applied Research Laboratory at the University of Hawaii to “evaluate, develop and recommend a preliminary telecommunications strategy for Maui County,” according to a Feb. 2 county news release. MauiTime.


A Kauai Island Utility Cooperative committee has confirmed eight candidates who will run for three seats on its board of directors, the Lihue-based utility said Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

A public hearing on proposed medical marijuana rules is scheduled to take place at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in the basement room of the State Office Building, 3060 Eiwa Street in Lihue. Garden Island.

Sara Lee Silverman was reappointed to a second term as a Kauai District Court Judge. Garden Island.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Hawaii media focus on Kaiser Permanente workers strike, state senator admits falsifying tax records, House GOP outlines legislative priorities, UH Cancer Center aims to fix big problems, GMO lawyers try to limit opposition, Honolulu mayor popular, seawater to cool downtown condos, more government and political news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Kaiser Permanente Hawaii workers strike © 2015 All Hawaii News
Hundreds of workers at Kaiser Permanente Hawaii started a six-day strike Monday but made sure patients knew it was OK to keep their appointments with the state's largest health maintenance organization. nite Here Local 5, representing 1,900 Kaiser workers, organized a statewide strike following objections to what it calls low proposed wage increases and a proposal to eliminate guaranteed pensions for new employees. Star-Advertiser

Kaiser Local 5 members on strike. Kaiser Permanente's Local 5 workers have begun a 6-day statewide workers strike. Hawaii Independent.

Workers at Hawaii’s largest health care organization started a six-day strike early Monday, union spokeswoman Paola Rodelas said. Associated Press.

Members of the Local Union 5 began their six-day strike after labor disputes with health care giant Kaiser. KITV4.

Kaiser Permanente Local 5 workers on three islands are walking the picket lines as part of a six-day strike. The 1,900 workers include Kaiser receptionists, medical assistants and certified nurses aides. KHON2.

Six of Hawaii's seven House Republicans gathered Monday to introduce their latest caucus legislative package, a collection of bills touted as ways to encourage business across the islands, provide tax relief and better scrutinize the state's energy regulators. Star-Advertiser.

The seven Republican representatives in the 51-member state House will be pushing 20 bills this legislative session as part of their Minority Caucus package. The bills generally fall under three categories: creating jobs, lowering the cost of living and giving the government back to the people, Minority Leader Beth Fukumoto Chang said during a press conference Monday at the Capitol. Civil Beat.

Nearly 2,900 bills were introduced in the first week of Hawaii’s 2015 Legislative session. Associated Press.

A bill introduced in the Hawaii state Legislature would task the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs with licensing vacation rentals in the Islands. House Bill 825, introduced by Scott Saiki, D-McCully-Downtown, gives authority to the DCCA director to license transient vacation rental owners, as well as fine and investigate the actions of any vacation rental owner without a license. Pacific Business News.

Hundreds of people have asked the state to give them millions of dollars over the past year to cover claims such as potholes damaging cars, students suffering from food poisoning, prison guards assaulting inmates and public employees sexually harassing co-workers. But unlike larger claims that first go through the Attorney General’s Office and then to the Legislature where final approval is given during public hearings, claims settled for smaller amounts are quietly handled within the Department of Accounting and General Services. Civil Beat.

Senate bill would boost our food security. SB593 would require the Agribusiness Development Corporation to lease 50 percent of its land to local food production. Hawaii Independent.

Bill seeks to stop discrimination against Section 8 tenants. Associated Press.

A bill allowing schools to accept in-kind services in lieu of rent for use of their facilities was supported by Oahu pastors but opposed by the state Department of Education during a state Senate Education Committee hearing Monday afternoon. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Health Information Exchange and Hawaii Health Systems Corp. have signed a data sharing agreement to make patient medical records available electronically to community health care providers and hospitals across the state. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii’s state run hospital system appears to be in dire financial straits. However, it does have new leadership in its CEO, Dr. Linda Rosen, who as Pacific Business News reports, has a lot of experience dealing with emergencies. Hawaii Public Radio.

Mercury levels in yellowfin tuna caught in the Pacific Ocean near the Hawaiian Islands have been rising at a 3.8 percent annual rate since 1998, according to a new study.Star-Advertiser.


Halfway into his first term, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell retains job performance approval from more than 2 out of 3 registered voters. Star-Advertiser.

From paving pot holes to showing his support for bicycling commuters and picking-up trash, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell appears to be everywhere, and that face time with the community has translated into a favorability rating of 64% -- according to our Hawai'i News Now - Star Advertiser poll.

State Sen. Brickwood Galuteria admitted Monday that he has improperly claimed a rental property in Palolo as his primary residence and will likely have to pay back taxes on the nearly $1.8 million home. Civil Beat.

A University of Hawaii task force charged with reviewing operations at the financially struggling UH Cancer Center says a "flawed and incomplete" business model is preventing the center from achieving its mission to reduce the burden of cancer through research and education. Star-Advertiser.

A report critical of the University of Hawaii Cancer Center is leading to a call at the State Legislature to either sell or lease the research facility. KHON2.

An overwhelming majority of Oahu residents has no intention of using bike lanes, but they sure like the idea of getting someone else to use bicycles to commute — especially along Hono­­lulu's new King Street "Cycle Track." Star-Advertiser.

As local lawmakers struggle to find solutions to Hawaii's housing crunch, a local charity is demonstrating what out-of-the-box thinking could look like. Faith Action for Community Equity, or FACE, has set up a 20-foot-by-8-foot shipping container on the grounds of Honolulu Hale that can house a family of five. KITV4.

The Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning project, which expects to start construction this fall on the system to cool Downtown Honolulu office buildings and condominium towers with cold water from the ocean, may be expanding to cool the scores of high-rise condos being built nearby in the growing Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako, the project's CEO told Pacific Business News.

A 42,000-gallon jet fuel spill reported Jan. 21 is likely due to a weld failure on the bottom of an above-ground storage tank at a Sand Island tank farm, which supplies fuel to Hono­lulu Airport, the tank operating company said. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Coast Guard plans to honor a Honolulu-based cutter's 45 years of service during a decommissioning ceremony. The Honolulu-based Cutter Rush is being replaced by the Cutter Sherman. Star-Advertiser.


Attorneys representing groups suing Hawaii County over its restrictions on genetically modified crops want the county to defend itself without help from national advocacy groups such as Earthjustice and the Center for Food Safety. West Hawaii Today.

About 20 Kaiser Permanente employees marched Monday morning in front of the Hilo clinic as their labor union kicked off a six-day strike.Tribune-Herald.

Gov. David Ige released Monday $4 million in general obligation bond funds appropriated by the Legislature to finance construction of various improvements to the Waimea District Regional Park. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Department of Environmental Management will begin charging a new tipping fee on March 1 to businesses that deposit green waste at recycling facilities in Puuanahulu and Hilo. Revenue from the new fee will help finance an expansion of green waste recycling services across the island.West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County’s police and fire departments intend to maintain comparable coverage in lower Puna if the June 27 lava flow forces them to abandon their main posts on Highway 130. Both share a joint campus on the makai side of the highway outside Pahoa that remains about 0.36 miles from the flow’s stalled tip. Tribune-Herald.


The county Department of Environmental Management ended its 2-year-old curbside recycling pilot program Sunday, despite calls from South Maui residents to keep its "3 Can Plan." Maui News.

County of Maui in even more trouble with federal Clean Water Act. MauiTime

Kaiser Permanente workers on Maui took to the streets Monday as part of a statewide, six-day strike against the health care provider that is stuck in a labor contract dispute. Maui News.

Construction is underway in Kihei on what's believed to be Hawaii's first home built with hemp fiber insulation, according to those involved in the project. Maui News.


Are the pesticides being used by Kauai’s biotech seed industry impacting the health and environment of the island and its residents? And if so, how? Those are the main questions nine Kauai residents have been tasked with answering over the next year as members of a newly formed Joint Fact-Finding Group. Garden Island.

A former Kauai state senator and her siblings are defendants in a trust fraud case filed by their mother in 5th Circuit Court. Evelyn Ohai Fernandes, 87, individually and as trustee of William Ernest Fernandes and Evelyn Ohai Fernandes Revocable Living Trust, is suing four of her children and grandchildren regarding five properties near old Kapaa town that were transferred into a trust. Garden Island.

Hawaii’s rainy season has been lacking something it usually has plenty of: Rain. Garden Island.