Showing posts with label Sugar tax. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sugar tax. Show all posts

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Alcohol tax hike, sugary drink tax proposed in Legislature, OHA whistleblower files lawsuit, only half of state residents plan to take coronavirus vaccination, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Sweet alcoholic umbrella drink on Hawaii shoreline ©2021 All Hawaii News

House measure would increase state liquor tax. House Bill 771 proposes a 3-year-long increase to the state’s liquor tax, which currently imposes a nearly $6 tax per gallon on distilled spirits and a nearly $1 tax on nondraft beer. Tribune-Herald.

Ige’s Proposed ‘Sugar Tax’ Could Generate $60 Million A Year For The State. Gov. David Ige has proposed a new 2-cents-per-ounce tax on soda and other sugary drinks in an effort to discourage sugar consumption and cope with the “huge health challenge” of obesity and diabetes. Civil Beat.

Labor unions push lawmakers to drop GET on groceries. Labor unions are asking lawmakers to get rid of the state general excise tax on groceries as a way to help struggling families. Supporters of the idea say bold initiatives are needed during these unprecedented times. KHON2.

Hawaii Chief Justice: Courts Must Address Systemic Inequities. Hawaii Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, invoking the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others who were killed by police, is calling on the state court system to do its part in addressing systemic inequities. Civil Beat.

Former OHA Finance Chief Sues Over Whistleblower Retaliation. A former official at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has sued the agency as well as its former chief executive officer alleging whistleblower retaliation and corrupt and unlawful practices. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii ‘Proud Boy’ Hires 9/11 Defense Lawyer To Fight Capitol Mob Charges. Nick Ochs ran for political office in Hawaii as a Republican and was endorsed by the Hawaii GOP. Civil Beat.

Women’s Legislative Caucus Outlines 2021 Bill Package Protecting Women, Children and Families. The bipartisan HawaiĘ»i Women’s Legislative Caucus announced their 2021 legislative package of five bills and two resolutions that will support and protect women, children and families. Maui Now.

Should the voting age be lowered? Proposal is among package of bills introduced by Keiki Caucus. A Wednesday presentation by the state Legislature’s Hawaii Keiki Caucus discussed 20 bills and resolutions that were devised after lawmakers discussed with children and teenagers what issues are important to them. Tribune-Herald. KITV4.

Only half of Hawaii residents surveyed plan to vaccinate. Only half of the respondents in a recent Department of Health survey indicated they would take the COVID-19 vaccination, while about 24.4% said they were not likely to get immunized against the virus that has sickened nearly 25,500 Hawaii residents, killed 404 and ravaged the economy. Another 25.5% said they were undecided. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige opens pre-arrival testing program to South Korea. Gov. David Ige today announced a pre-arrival testing program for travelers from South Korea starting Feb. 5. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Big Island Now.

Fed Help Would Give Hawaii’s Vaccination Campaign A Shot In The Arm. Faster vaccine deliveries promised by President Joe Biden would help the state could give a COVID-19 shot to every willing Hawaii resident by the fall, health official says. Civil Beat.

COVID-19 Testing Capacity Quadrupled. Hawaii’s largest locally owned medical testing laboratory, Diagnostic Laboratory Services, Inc. (DLS), has increased its capacity to 4,000 tests per day, up from 1,000. Big Island Now.

Teacher vaccinations slowed by vaccine shortage, educators unsure about the process. Teachers and educators fall under group 1B in the Department of Health (DOH) vaccine breakdown. The DOH said, they are working diligently to get Department of Education (DOE) employees their shots but some teachers claim the process is unclear. KHON2.

Lt. Gov. Green: We’ve given more vaccines than we’ve had cases. Hawaii is one of only two states that has administered more COVID-19 vaccines than confirmed cases of the virus. KHON2.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Jan. 27: 103 New Infections And 3 Deaths. Hawaii health officials reported three deaths and 103 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, including 64 on Oahu, 27 on Maui, three on the Big Island, and nine Hawaii residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


Mayor identifies affordable workforce rentals as a top priority. Rick Blangiardi’s first piece of legislation as Honolulu’s mayor calls for grant money to help fund more affordable rental units. Hawaii News Now.

Blangiardi feels energized in mayor’s role; hopes to ease COVID restrictions in February. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said about a month into the job, he feels energized to serve in his new position, as well as to the pressure of high expectations and a sense of responsibility as his new leadership team comes together. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu's Next Budget Director Expects Challenges, 'A Tough 2022' . Mayor Rick Blangiardi named Andy Kawano as the next person to lead the department. He came to the city from Foodland Supermarket as its director of facilities. Hawaii Public Radio.

Murder trials, other Oahu court cases with multiple defendants halted due to COVID-19. Prosecutions of homicide cases on Oahu — and trials involving multiple defendants — are not moving forward because of COVID-19 limits, Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald told a joint session of the state Legislature Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

HPD Chief Shakes Up Covert Intelligence Unit After Years Of Scandal. The Intelligence Enforcement Unit was at the center of the Kealoha conspiracy as well as a more recent surveillance operation that targeted a political appointee. Civil Beat.

Kualoa Ranch to lay off large number of workers. Kualoa Ranch Hawaii Inc., which employed some 370 workers pre-COVID-19, is permanently laying off a large number of its remaining employees due to a decline in business, its president confirmed Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Boatyard Agrees To Six-Figure Penalty For Keehi Lagoon Pollution. The levels of contaminants discharged from the facility into the lagoon violated federal regulations, the EPA found. Civil Beat.

An affordable housing complex opens in Maili, with more projects expected to break ground along the Leeward Coast and around Honolulu this year. More public and private housing projects will start construction this year, but experts say it still won't be enough to satisfy the state's supply shortage of affordable homes. KITV4.

Honolulu City Council OKs senior housing tower in Chinatown. The Honolulu City Council is endorsing a long-planned affordable rental housing tower for seniors on city land in Chinatown. Star-Advertiser.

All 4 Ko Olina lagoon parking lots will reopen completely on Monday. The four free parking lots, relied upon by the beachgoing public to access the popular lagoons, were closed during the resort’s coronavirus closure from March until October 16, when Ko Olina began reopening to tourists and partially reopened the lots, making 111 of 180 parking stalls available. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Some Big Island teachers get first dose of COVID vaccine. Approximately 630 DOE staff were given the first dose of the Moderna vaccine Jan. 16 at a closed “POD,” or point of distribution, conducted for Big Island DOE staff at Keaau High School, according to District Health Officer Eric Honda. Tribune-Herald.

Water employees offered vaccinations: Employees moved ahead in line after letter to Ige. There hasn’t been a single positive coronavirus test among the Department of Water Supply’s 164 staff, and the agency wants to keep it that way. West Hawaii Today.


Proposal pulls power from Maui Redevelopment Agency. The Maui Planning Commission on Tuesday gave its backing to a proposed bill that pulls power from a county agency with authority to alter zoning and variance rules for downtown Wailuku. Maui News.

Hawaii Governor Declares Maui County A Disaster Area As Drought There Persists. The drought has lasted since March 2019, taking a heavy toll on farmers and homesteaders, as well as the deer that roam those islands. Civil Beat. KITV4.


Council passes lower residential investor threshold evaluation. With one in eight homes on Kaua‘i empty, a bill attempting to incentivize filling these vacancies passed through the Kaua‘i County Council on Wednesday. Garden Island.

Kauai Is Moving Forward On One Of The Nation’s Most Advanced Energy Projects. The solar-charged hydro power concept is being eyed to replace coal and other fossil-fuel powered electric plants in the U.S. and abroad. Civil Beat.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Gay marriage bill dies, soda fee advances, Public Land Development Corp. faces repeal, Hawaii drops in ranking of government employees, charter school employee fined for conflict of interest, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

beach scene
Hawaii beach scene courtesy illustration
The state House Judiciary Committee has decided not to hear a bill to legalize gay marriage, likely tabling the issue for this year. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Neil Abercrombie issued a statement on the topic of marriage equality, calling on legislators to hold hearings on the marriage equality bill to further discussions on equal treatment. Maui Now.

The state Senate Health Committee voted Monday to advance a soda fee of 1 cent per ounce — or $1.28 per gallon — that would raise about $37 million a year to counter obesity. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers from two House committees have voted to repeal the Public Land Development Corporation, bowing to strong community opposition across the Hawaiian Islands. Associated Press.

Bending to public pressure, state House and Senate committees agreed Monday to repeal the Public Land Development Corp. Star-Advertiser.

House education committee Chair Roy Takumi wants to allow the state to lease unused public school land and use the revenue to help improve Hawaii’s schools. Associated Press.

A selective digest of bills and briefings of interest Tuesday at the state Capitol. Civil Beat.

Hawaii has slipped from having the highest percentage of government employees to third behind the District of Columbia and Alaska, according to a Gallup poll report released Monday. West Hawaii Today.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono warned Monday of "devastating" sequestration budget cuts that could cost Hawaii 11,000 jobs, result in furlough days for 18,000 defense civilians and cut into defense contracts that average $2.3 billion a year. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines’ parent said Monday that it has named its turboprop interisland subsidiary Ohana by Hawaiian, and said the service operated by contractor Empire Airlines will launch this summer with flights to Molokai and Lanai. Pacific Business News.

State roundup for February 12. Associated Press.


The state has decided not to prosecute Stoneridge Recoveries, the controversial vendor that had the city's most lucrative towing contract for eight years, on allegations of insurance fraud. Star-Advertiser.


The state Ethics Commission announced Monday that it has fined a Big Island charter school employee $10,000 for breaking conflict-of-interest laws. Civil Beat.

Police have arrested a 23-year-old Kona man whose threatening text messages prompted schools in Waimea and Honokaa to lock down their campuses Monday morning. Tribune-Herald.


Financial pressures, including the decline of cruise ships visits to Maui, have led The Hawai'i Nature Center in Iao Valley to close its interactive museum and gift shop. Maui News.

The state Land Use Commission ruled Thursday that revised plans for a commercial and light industrial subdivision violate the commission's 1995 order to reclassify 68 acres from agricultural to urban use and ordered the project stopped. Star-Advertiser.


The Beach House Restaurant in Po‘ipu has been named one of the top 37 “Most Romantic Restaurants” in the United States by Travel + Leisure magazine. Garden Island.


After nearly three years of waiting, Lanai residents are enjoying their own, full-time public health nurse. Maui News.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tourist injuries rise, sugary drink tax controversial, Tax Dept. snoops investigated, Legislature spurns Supreme Court, teachers want tax hike, Maui waste-to-energy bids roll in, Public Land Development Corp. targeted, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Tourist watches Hawaii surf (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Tourism officials and first responders are redoubling their efforts to raise visitor awareness about the potential perils of Hawaii's natural attractions after at least 11 accidental deaths of tourists this year. Star-Advertiser.

Public-health advocates on Wednesday called on state senators to approve a steep new fee on soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages to raise money to combat obesity, but beverage, restaurant and retail interests argued that singling out soda is unfair. Star-Advertiser.

A measure that would add a penny per ounce fee to sugary beverages will get another hearing before the state Senate’s Health Committee takes a vote on it. West Hawaii Today.

More than 57 percent of the people in Hawaii are obese or overweight. Hawaii News Now.

In an historic first, Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald on Wednesday delivered his biennial State of the Judiciary address on YouTube. The Hawaii Legislature didn't invite him to address lawmakers, as is customary. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald started a new tradition Wednesday when he delivered his State of the Judiciary address via YouTube, making it the first time that speech has been delivered through social media. Pacific Business News.

A software glitch mistakenly added Hawaii to a tsunami watch alert sent out globally on Tuesday, an official with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. Star-Advertiser.

A legislative inquiry has been made into the state taxpayer record breaches that KHON2 revealed yesterday had raised red flags with federal investigators. And the tax department itself is seeking tougher laws in the wake of the case. KHON2.

Hawaii’s educators are asking state lawmakers to bump up funding for education by increasing the general excise tax by 1 percent. West Hawaii Today.

There are 19 bills going through the Legislature dealing with election registration and oversight, and 16 regarding Internet or by-mail voting. Honolulu Weekly.

Connecticut and Illinois are ranked worst in the nation when it comes to taxpayer burdens from unfunded liabilities, but Hawaii is close behind them, coming in as the third worst “sink hole” state. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii lawmakers are moving forward this session with bills to fix the state’s broken school bus program. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers want to dedicate more than $1 million over the next two years to mitigate the effects of a beetle that is endangering the state’s coffee crops. Associated Press.

More than a dozen national media organizations have signed on to a letter opposing Hawaii's so-called "Steven Tyler Act," a bill that seeks to prevent paparazzi and reporters from stalking celebrities who vacation in the islands. Star-Advertiser.

A state education task force formed to help come up with a teacher evaluation system is causing some consternation among members who worry little is being accomplished as a deadline for recommendations quickly approaches. Civil Beat.

A Senate committee recommended Wednesday approving Gov. Neil Abercrombie's controversial nominee to run the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands even though the nominee's former deputy said she was fired in December for not accepting a position in another department that was to be paid for using DHHL money. Star-Advertiser.

The solar industry has been booming in Hawaii, but state officials worry the industry’s tax credits are draining state coffers. Associated Press.

One of the strongest measures of a politician's electoral strength is how much campaign cash they have and who gave it to them. In that regard, Gov. Neil Abercrombie would appear a formidable candidate. Civil Beat.

Between 12 and 15-thousand people are homeless at any given time in Hawai’i.  The state legislature is proposing a number of bills this session that attempt to ease the situation on all islands…especially for Native Hawaiians who comprise the largest segment of the homeless. Hawaii Public Radio.

Two bills aimed at providing more legislative access for neighbor island residents passed out of key committees. Maui Now.

Popular parrot fish could soon be off limits permanently. KHON2.

“Catching Fire,” the second installment of “The Hunger Games” movies, is due to resume filming in Hawaii at the end of this month. Pacific Business News.


A proposal for a year-round fairground in Kakaako with go-kart racing, a zip line, indoor skydiving and a surfing wave pool received limited but wholesale public support at a Wednesday hearing held by the state agency overseeing development in the area. Star-Advertiser.

Worse than ever and with no end in sight -- that's how some Chinatown merchants are describing conditions in their neighborhood. Hawaii News Now.

After KHON2 broke the story of private donors paying for a $10,000-a-month assistant to Honolulu's mayor, a list of who gave will be disclosed, and the Honolulu Ethics Commission may weigh in. KHON2.

A female green turtle that traveled more than 500 miles from the French Frigate Shoals to Oahu died Wednesday after being struck by a boat. Star-Advertiser.

A former high school teacher charged with having sex with a female student in his classroom was sentenced to 10 years in jail on Wednesday. KITV4.

University of Hawaii at Hilo College of Pharmacy administrators are warning that the fledgling program is in danger of having its wings clipped before it has barely had a chance to fly. Tribune-Herald.

For the second time in six months, the Hawaii County Council voted unanimously to send a message to the state Legislature that the county opposes threats to its home-rule powers posed by the Public Land Development Corp. West Hawaii Today.

A Hawaii island physician who was severely injured in a car crash two years ago involving former University of Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan reached an out-of-court settlement Wednesday in her personal injury lawsuit, her lawyer said. Star-Advertiser.


Maui County has received 20 bids from potential developers to build and operate a waste-to-energy plant that is proposed for a 10-acre site next to the landfill in Puunene. Maui News.

The state Land Use Commission on Thursday is scheduled to hear oral closing arguments and to consider a challenge to the development of two large retail centers and 250 affordable housing units proposed in north Kihei. Maui News.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing the designation of critical habitat to protect some 135 plant and animal species in Maui Nui. Maui Now.

Hundreds of Maui residents paid their last respects to noted Maui Attorney B. Martin Luna at services held at the Ala Lani United Methodist Church on Saturday. Maui Weekly.


Police arrested two men Wednesday at Wailua Beach for obstructing a construction site for the county multi-use path. But to James Alalem, 55, of Wailua, and Ray Catania, 62, of Puhi, they were only protecting their religious rights. Garden Island.

A new data projector and an audio-visual screen are just a few of the new toys Lihu‘e Library patrons will be able to enjoy once construction is finished. Garden Island.

A small but fiery crowd of biologists, fishermen and ocean enthusiasts gathered in Lihu‘e Monday to ask questions and provide comments related to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s proposal to list 66 species of corals under the Endangered Species Act. Garden Island.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Abercrombie seeks redo of Public Land Development Corp., Hawaii union membership rises, Legislature mulls sugar tax, legal marijuana, $750M to fix Honolulu airport, Hawaii County Council fights geothermal, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Ala Wai boat harbor (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
The Abercrombie administration wants state lawmakers to create a new development authority for state harbors and parks that would partner with the private sector on recreational and leisure projects to bring new revenue for the state. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's efforts to strengthen its lobbying laws have consistently fallen victim to a resistant Legislature. Civil Beat.

Allowing a greater swath of the population to take advantage of solar energy and save money on their electricity bills is a top priority for Gov. Neil Abercrombie this legislative session. Civil Beat.

Union membership in Hawaii rose in 2012 even as the unionization rate declined nationally. Star-Advertiser.

Several key Hawaii lawmakers want to legalize marijuana in the Aloha State. Associated Press.

Bills that reform Hawaii’s marijuana laws are likely to gain traction in the state Legislature this year, bolstered by a change in House leadership and a new poll that reassures lawmakers of broad public support. Honolulu Weekly.

Four Hawaii senators want to charge 1 cent per teaspoon of sugar in each drink and use the revenue to fund community health centers and help trauma victims.  They say the tax would translate to about 10 cents per 12-ounce soda. KITV4.

Hawaii governors have a lot of appointment power. They include Cabinet members and deputy directors, judges and justices, members of board and commissions. Civil Beat.

Federal attorney Derrick Watson appeared Wednesday before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, which is considering whether to send his nomination as Hawaii's fourth full-time U.S. district judge to the Senate floor for a vote. Star-Advertiser.

As tourism fuels recovery in Hawaii, the state's tourism marketers are focusing on getting more visitors to sample neighbor islands, where hotels have more free rooms. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii President MRC Greenwood Goes to Washington During Inauguration to Lobby for Presidential Center. Hawaii Reporter.

The largest supplier of flu vaccines in Hawaii has run out of some products. KHON2.

State briefs 1/24. Associated Press.

Travelers passing through Honolulu Airport can expect to see construction start later this year on a $750 million effort to erect new terminals, larger gates, a new rental car building and other improvements at Hawaii's busiest ­— but aging — commercial airport. Star-Advertiser.

A developer's request to raise the height limit for a new $275 million hotel in Waikiki gets its first airing before the City Council Zoning and Planning Committee today. Star-Advertiser.

The city of Honolulu has paid an exterminator $17,372 to eradicate bedbug infestations at two city-owned affordable housing complexes. Civil Beat.

Schofield soldiers train for mission as 'key leaders' of Afghan troops. Star-Advertiser.

A fiber optic cable near one that broke during a fire last Tuesday was intentionally cut Wednesday night, affecting phone and cable services around the state for the second time in less than two weeks. Hawaii News Now.

Eddie Sherman, the longtime three-dot columnist who wrote about celebrities for the Honolulu Advertiser, Honolulu Star-Bulletin and MidWeek, died Tuesday at Straub Clinic & Hospital after a massive heart attack at home, said his wife, Patty Sherman. He was 88. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Newspaper Columnist Eddie Sherman Dies at 89. Hawaii Reporter.

A bus rider was caught off guard by an army of rats. He couldn't believe his eyes and had to pull out his cell phone to catch it all on video. KHON2.

Olive Garden tops a list of national retailers eyeing a Hawaii debut. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii County residents offered a unified front against actions the Legislature took last year regarding what areas of the state could be used for geothermal energy. West Hawaii Today.

Almost three months after Hawaii County evicted Abel Simeona Lui and a group of Native Hawaiians claiming indigenous rights to the 784-acre oceanfront parcel, the property, purchased with taxpayer money through the public lands and open space fund, remains in limbo as the county works with community groups on how best to proceed. West Hawaii Today.

A Big Island lawmaker believes it’s “high time” for Hawaii to legalize marijuana. Tribune-Herald.

February marks the start of the Year of the Snake on the Chinese calendar, and the traditional celebration of the Chinese New Year nearly slithered away from downtown Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Three Projects Critical to the Big Island Economy. Big Island Now.

Wayne “Big Dog” Joseph, the Tribune-Herald’s running columnist who promoted health and fitness as his life’s motto, died Tuesday night. He was 65. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Planning Commission members reviewed and recommended approval Tuesday of a bill to permit transient vacation rentals at the 230-unit Puamana oceanfront resort complex in Lahaina. Maui News.

During more than 40 years as an attorney, B. Martin Luna represented developers at state and county hearings for many resorts and other large projects in Maui County. Maui News.

The 2013 OpenTable Diners’ Choice Award winners for the Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in the US included three Maui restaurants. Maui Now.


The proposed Waimea Sports complex would feature facilities for all ages when it opens. Garden Island.

Wednesday was a good day for the Kaua‘i County Council to push decisions to another day, as all four bills worked by different committees were deferred to February. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i County Department of Public Works is offering the public a bus tour of the proposed site for the new landfill and resource recovery park located about a mile north of Hanama‘ulu off Ma‘alo Road. Garden Island.


A fisherman and conservationist is being honored for a lifetime of work protecting Molokai's northern coast. Associated Press.