Showing posts with label decriminalization. Show all posts
Showing posts with label decriminalization. Show all posts

Monday, May 13, 2019

Marijuana decriminalization, banking sought; Honolulu tax hikes to pay for rail; senator is anti-vaxxer; Kealoha trial starts today; more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy PixaBay Commons
Marijuana PC: Pixabay Commons
People caught with roughly three to five joints won’t be considered criminals under a bill awaiting Gov. David Ige’s signature, but it is unclear how many would actually benefit from the change. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Attorney General Clare E. Connors joined a bipartisan coalition urging Congress to grant the marijuana industry access to the federal banking system. Maui Now.


Condo Associations May Be On Verge Of Gaining More Foreclosure Power. A bill on the governor’s desk seeks to bail the associations out of legal jeopardy and clarify they can take away property even if their bylaws don’t say so. Civil Beat.

HEI CEO tops isles’ salaries at $5.7M. Seven CEOs received total compensation last year of at least $3 million and two of them topped $5 million, according to recent company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Star-Advertiser.

Report card coming up for Hawaii public schools’ top official. Superintendent Christina Kishimoto is aiming to sharpen the focus to individual campuses with distinct approaches to education. Star-Advertiser.

ACLU Hawaii expands Title IX lawsuit against DOE to a class action lawsuit. A local civil rights group is still pushing to put boys and girls on equal playing fields. KITV.

Commentary: All talk, no political spine in controlling illegal vacation rentals in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.


Three tax increases proposed to cover rail costs. The three tax increases Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell proposed in his budget package earlier this year are designed in part to prepare the city to cover the cost of operations and maintenance of rail, a looming expense that rail critics have long warned would eventually force the city to raise taxes. Star-Advertiser.


The Kealoha Trial Begins. The theft of a mailbox, which federal prosecutors say was staged, opened the door to the largest public corruption scandal in Hawaii history. Civil Beat.

Jury selection to begin Monday in high-profile Kealoha case. The city is warning drivers that traffic will be heavy around the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Monday, as an estimated 430 people are expected on the first day of jury selection for the so-called ‘mailbox’ trial. Hawaii News Now.

The trial of Honolulu's former police chief and his wife, a former deputy prosecutor, is set to begin with jury selection Monday. It's one of the state's most high-profile cases, so how does that affect jury selection? KHON2.


Chinatown grapples with surge in homeless. Morning, noon and night in Chinatown they yell at the sky, mutter obscenities, and sleep in doorways where they sometimes reek of urine — or worse. Star-Advertiser.

 Abandoned boat spills oil into the Ala Wai Harbor. An unknown amount of oil leaked from an abandoned vessel at the Ala Wai Boat Harbor. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Ruderman expresses vaccine concerns. As measles cases grow nationwide and state health leaders monitor mainland outbreaks, one Big Island state senator has expressed more concern about the vaccine than the disease itself. Tribune-Herald.

Commissions and boards could go nonpartisan. A ballot initiative making county boards nonpartisan was advanced Friday by the Charter Commission. West Hawaii Today.

A Hawaii Island charter school gets $12M in funds for new campus atop Kilauea. State leaders set aside $12 million in Capital Improvement Project funds for the construction of a new Keakealani Campus in Volcano Village at the summit of Kilauea. Hawaii News Now.

Students Build Machine To Clear Plastic Bits On Big Island Beach, Among World's Dirtiest. Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources is involved in a new project to clear microplastics from the state’s beaches, helped by a machine built by Canadian university students. Hawaii Public Radio.


Council OKs higher property tax rates for most. Hotels, short-term rentals see greatest increase over 2018. The Maui County Council on Friday approved property tax rates for the next fiscal year, which includes near across-the-board increases for property owners with hotels and resorts seeing the highest increase. Maui News.

Official: Upcountry water users a priority. Death of controversial water rights bill leaves EMI ditch in question. Maui News.


North Shore high school proposed. The high school is designed as a two-story, 46,888-square-foot structure that would host 600 students, grades 9-12. Garden Island.

No cause of death yet for Kekaha beached whale. Scientists say the whale calf that washed up on the shores of Kekaha Beach in January appears to be a failure to thrive case, with predators involved. Garden Island.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Department of Education unveils 2030 plan, FTA seeks more local rail money, journalists named as witnesses in Honolulu police trial, tasers purchased but never used, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo
Gov. Ige visits school PC: Governor's Office
Press Release: The Hawaii State Department of Education is seeking feedback on the first draft of a 2030 Promise Plan, which will guide the Department for the next decade, centered around five promises to students. Hawaii Department of Education.

Community resources and step-by-step toolkit to support community groups to collectively add their input through August 1. Department of Education.


Bill Passes Decriminalizing Marijuana In Hawaii. House Bill 1383 decriminalizes the possession of three grams or less of marijuana, but Governor David Ige is taking a cautious tone in response to the legislation. Big Island Video News.

Hotels urge Ige to veto vacation rental taxation bill. The American Hotel & Lodging Association along with heads of more than 10 Hawaii hotel companies are urging Gov. David Ige to veto Senate Bill 1292, which would authorize vacation rental platforms such as Airbnb to collect taxes on behalf of the state. Star-Advertiser.

Federal investigations of Hawaii institutions ‘unprecedented’. The number and breadth of current federal investigations into alleged corruption at Hawaii’s public institutions is unmatched in the state’s history, according to about a dozen former investigators, prosecutors, judges and others who have spent decades working in, documenting or observing the law enforcement arena in the islands. Star-Advertiser.

Another state agency spent thousands on tasers. Four years later, they remain unused. Back in 2015, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources paid more than $72,000 to buy 30 tasers. But four years later, none of the tasers have been deployed and are now gathering dust in the Land Board’s armory in Pearl City. Hawaii News Now.

Tulsi Gabbard: The Media Is Ignoring Me. The Hawaii congresswoman is known for refusing media interviews and dodging debates yet she now says she’s being ignored. Civil Beat.


Kawananakoa says she’s fine, should control her own money. Abigail Kawananakoa insists she has a sound mind and is capable of making decisions about her own $215 million estate. Star-Advertiser.

FTA insists Honolulu step up its funding of rail. The Federal Transit Administration is insisting the city contribute more money in the near term to help finance construction of the Honolulu rail project before it will release any of the $744 million in federal funding it has withheld from the project, according to an FTA spokeswoman. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Journalists Named As Witnesses In Kealoha Corruption Trial. Dozens of police officers and other former officials, including the past head of the Honolulu Ethics Commission, are set to testify as well. Civil Beat.

Vacation rentals' fates hang in the balance. No more vacation rentals in your neighborhood? That's one of two bills being considered by the City Council -- that could drastically change Hawaii's vacation rental industry. KHON2.

‘Save Sherwood Forest’: Anger Grows Over Planned Sports Complex. Honolulu’s $32 million plan to clear out part of Waimanalo Bay Beach Park for new ball fields and parking has run into furious opposition. Civil Beat.

Hanauma Bay to remain closed as crews repair sewage pump problem. Hawaii News Now.

Kamehameha Schools, partners to develop farm. Kamehameha Schools has partnered with a pair of Oregon agriculture investment and management firms to establish a more than 200-acre farm on Oahu’s North Shore. Star-Advertiser.

Dead Halawa Correctional Facility employee suspected of child sex assault. The Halawa Correctional Facility employee found dead Monday was scheduled for arraignment in Honolulu District Court this morning on charges of sexual assault of a young girl. Star-Advertiser.

State contracts Wahiawa hospital for mental health, drug abuse patients. The state Department of Health is contracting with Wahiawa General Hospital to use up to 30 beds by next year for mental health and substance abuse patients. Star-Advertiser.

Foodland to close Beretania Street store after nearly 70 years. The store’s 73 employees will be offered positions at other Oahu locations. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: Kakaako Homeless Population Grows While City And State Dither Over Land Transfer. The state is in the process of signing the area over to the city but the deal is taking longer to work out. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

State steps in, helps recoup $6.9M federal transit funds. Some $6.9 million in federal funds has been freed up for Hawaii County buses and Mass Transit operations following state intervention in a county paperwork breakdown. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii County Mass Transit administrator, under pressure to fix a difficult situation, was joined by state transportation officials at a County Council committee meeting on Tuesday. Big Island Video News.

A bill that allows landowners to remove albizia trees from adjacent properties has become law and will take effect in July. Senate Bill 464 became law without the signature of Gov. David Ige on April 22 and allows homeowners to take action to remove potentially dangerous albizia trees on adjacent properties. Tribune-Herald.

Greenwell Garden could reopen this summer. More than three years after Bishop Museum closed the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden to the public, the nonprofit that has helped care for the site is aiming to welcome people back this summer. West Hawaii Today.

South Kona transfer station still not accepting green waste. It’s been more than six weeks since the Department of Environmental Management stopped accepting green waste at the Keei Transfer Station in South Kona, and it doesn’t appear ready to re-open for such business anytime soon. West Hawaii Today.


Napili Point II condo reaches settlement on shoreline access. Trail to bay to be restored with no restrictions on hours of useShoreline access to Honokeana Bay through “Fisherman’s Trail” will be restored as part of a settlement involving the Napili Point II condominium. Maui News.

A&B puts ag land sale proceeds to commercial projects. Company closed last 800 acres in first quarter. Maui News.

Seven Maui Schools Serving Poi. For the first time, seven Maui County schools are serving poi through the Aina Pono Program including Kilohana Elementary, Maui High School, Kula Elementary, Lahainaluna High School, King Kekaulike High School, Kahului Elementary and Waihee Elementary. Maui Now.


Kauai Gets A Residential Drug Treatment Facility For First Time In Decades. The eight-bedroom Adolescent Treatment and Healing Center in Kapaia was first proposed in 2003. Civil Beat.

Nancy Long new medical director for Kauai Hospice. For the first time since its grassroots beginning in 1983, Kauai Hospice has its first full-time medical director. Garden Island.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Ige returns from Washington, state economy stagnates, marijuana decriminalization advances, power companies & military top polluters, Hawaiian Electric CEO makes $5.6M, good reviews for Honolulu police chief, Kauai auditor settles, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy Hawaii Governor's Office
Ige at NGO conference, courtesy Governor's Office
Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Thursday that he met with several of members of President Barack Obama’s cabinet during his latest trip to Washington and talked about transportation funding, airports and Native Hawaiian sovereignty, among other topics. Associated Press.

Gov. David Ige took advantage of his recent trip to Washington, D.C., to make a direct pitch to President Barack Obama, encouraging him to choose Hawaii as the location for his presidential library. Ige briefed reporters Thursday about his trip to the National Governors Association Winter Meeting last week as well as a variety of meetings he held with Cabinet members, including Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige took time Thursday to debrief reporters on his recent visit to Washington, D.C., highlighting his meetings with President Obama, federal officials and other governors. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige on Thursday released the names of the people on his transition team who have been advising him on key decisions to appoint members of his Cabinet, including the highly controversial nominee Carleton Ching. The governor’s transition team includes Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui; former vice president of Hawaiian Electric Co. Robbie Alm; real estate attorney Gordon Arakaki; Ige’s campaign manager Keith Hiraoka; University of Hawaii vice president Dan Ishii, who served as an assistant to former Gov. George Ariyoshi; Ige’s longtime office manager Joyce Kami; the governor’s Chief of Staff Mike McCartney; and Lorrie Stone, a land use attorney who is married to developer Jeff Stone. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige sent state senators a letter Thursday urging them to support Castle & Cooke lobbyist Carleton Ching to lead the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority says the number of travelers visiting the islands declined 0.6 percent last month over the same month a year ago. Spending by travelers dropped 2.5 percent. Associated Press.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority has set a target of hosting nearly 8.6 million visitors this year, up from the 8.3 million who came last year, despite a dip in January arrivals. The board also set a goal to increase visitor spending to $15.58 billion in 2015. Star-Advertiser.

It's going to be 2014 all over again for the state economy. Hawaii is expected to continue its moderate expansion this year with nominal gains in visitor arrivals, steady labor market improvement and additional income growth, the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization said in a report set for release Friday. Star-Advertiser.

Possession of an ounce or less of marijuana would be punishable by a fine of not more than $100 under a decriminalization bill that is moving through the state Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously approved Senate Bill 879 to allow Hawaii to join 19 other states and the District of Columbia that have decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. Star-Advertiser.

If Senate Bill 879 becomes law, getting busted with an ounce or less of marijuana would no longer be a petty misdemeanor. Hawaii News Now.

A bill that would relax the state's annual motor vehicle safety check requirement to allow vehicles on the neighbor islands to be inspected just once every two years has won the approval of the key House Consumer Protection Committee. Star-Advertiser.

A full suite of bills related to aquarium fishing continues to move ahead at the state Capitol, and several are set to be heard in the House Committee on Judiciary today. West Hawaii Today.

No Political Pedigree: Can Tulsi Gabbard’s Top Advisor Succeed in D.C.? Many questions surround the Hawaii congresswoman's pick of Kainoa Penaroza as her new chief of staff, mainly his lack of political experience that the job demands. Civil Beat.

It looks more and more like the Obama Presidential Library is headed for Chicago. But Honolulu could play the role of the second city. Hawaii News Now.

Thirty-five Hawaii facilities — mostly power companies, fuel industries and the military — combined to release 3 million pounds of toxic material into the islands' air, water and land in 2013, representing a 12 percent increase from the year before, according to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Star-Advertiser.

Award-winning journalist Naomi Klein blamed Hawaiian Electric Co. for limiting the progress of solar energy during a motivating speech Thursday evening at the University of Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Constance Lau, the president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc., received $5.6 million in total compensation in 2014, more than the $3.8 million in compensation she received the previous year, according to the Honolulu-based firm's 2014 annual report released Thursday. Pacific Business News.

KHON2 has learned the state is issuing an order to Hawaiian Electric following the utility’s decision not to approve solar applications.

The nominating committee for state water commission members is accepting applications for one open position. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said Wednesday the four-year term for the position begins on July 1. Associated Press.


Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha's handling of an incident involving an off-duty officer captured on video punching a woman at a Wai­pahu restaurant may have negatively affected his annual review, but the Hono­­lulu Police Commission still rated his 2014 performance as above average. For the third year in a row, the Police Commission determined Kealoha "exceeds expectation" in his annual review. Star-Advertiser.

According to  Dan Grabauskas, the executive director and CEO of the Honolulu Authority of Rapid Transportation, contract termination would set the city back $1.4 billion on top of the $1.3 billion that's already been spent. Then there are contract obligations at another $400 million and an estimated $100 million to tear down what's already been built. The grand total equals $3.2 billion, or about half what the rail project is now projected to cost. KITV4.

Despite City’s Sit-Lie Crackdown, Homeless Aren’t Moving Into Shelters. Instead, they're moving to other parts of the island as the city enforces bans on sitting and lying on sidewalks in Waikiki and business districts throughout Oahu. Civil Beat.

Bill 82 would create the Waikiki Beach Special Improvement District, where private sector funds would be collected for restoration and improvement projects. However, it's in the language--and the district boundaries---of the bill, where opposition is fervent. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu inflation remained far below its historical average and finished 2014 below the U.S. rate for the first time in 13 years, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Star-Advertiser.

A hotel could be part of a new mixed-use project being planned for the corner of Kapiolani Boulevard and Atkinson Drive in Honolulu across from the Hawaii Convention Center and near Ala Moana Center, the developer told Pacific Business News.

In his State of the City speech Tuesday, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he wants to tackle that negative perception of the island's parks by pumping $2 million for park refurbishments into the 2016 budget he will submit to the Hono­lulu City Council on Monday. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii Athletics Department is dealing with a projected $3.5 million deficit. But the department received a big donation from an unknown angel. An anonymous donor has given the athletics department $1.2 million. KHON2.


Some landscape companies are crying foul over a new county policy requiring them to truck their green waste to the Puuanahulu or Hilo landfills and pay a tipping fee to dispose of it. The requirements and tipping fee have been on the books since 2005, but Mayor Billy Kenoi’s administration delayed implementing them during the recession. The law is slated to go into effect Monday. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s chief scientist will step aside next month to focus on research. Associated Press.

Naalehu will lose its only grocery store today after Island Market shuts its doors. Tribune-Herald.


A monthlong debate among Maui County Council members over whether to confirm the appointment of Maui County Prosecuting Attorney John D. Kim may come to a head at a special council meeting scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday. Maui News.

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. has grown sugar cane in Central Maui for more than a century, but a company official said Wednesday that the last sugar plantation in Hawaii is now looking to move into biofuel production. Maui News.

Hawaii’s last sugar cane plantation wants to transition to growing plants for energy. But it hasn’t found another crop that grows as well as sugar cane in a variety of soils or one that can stand up to Maui’s strong winds. Associated Press.

Hawaii's last remaining sugar plantation might not stay a sugar plantation for long. An official with Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company says it has been looking into diversifying its crop, possibly moving more toward biofuel. Hawaii Public Radio.

The infestation of little fire ants in Nahiku is unlike any other in the state - and that may mean that eradicating one of the world's worst invasive species is hopeless if it's not dealt with quickly, an international ant expert said. Maui News.


Kauai County Auditor Ernesto Pasion has reached a settlement in his retaliation and whistleblowers complaint against the county. Garden Island.

Kukui Grove Center installed a combination recycle and trash solar-powered system Wednesday in the food court area fronting the Starbucks Coffee and Jamba Juice  — making the shopping center the first in Hawaii to make the transition to such high-tech waste reducing bins. Garden Island.

The Garden Isle saw the biggest increase in visitor arrivals in January while overall traffic to the state was down slightly compared to the year before, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Garden Island.