Showing posts with label lottery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lottery. Show all posts

Thursday, February 11, 2021

U.S. Attorney Kenji Price leaving post, Legislature tackles gambling, lottery bills, Sunshine Law under attack, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC: Wikipedia
U.S. Attorney Kenji Price PC:Wikipedia

Biden official asks Hawaii’s U.S. attorney Kenji Price to resign. Kenji Price, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii, has been asked to resign by the Biden administration, according to a spokeswoman. It is routine for U.S. attorneys to step down when a new president takes office. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. KITV4. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii gambling bills stall, lottery hopes pushed back. The odds of Hawaii allowing any form of legal gambling anytime soon grew longer on Wednesday when three more gaming bills stalled in the House, including one that would allow a casino atop the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Star-Advertiser.

State Lottery To Fund Public Education Moves Forward. Winning final passage may be a long shot, but the Senate Education Committee tentatively approved a plan Wednesday to create a commission to stand up a state lottery to help fund public education in Hawaii. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Senate Panel Moves To End Suspension Of Public Records Law. Hawaii lawmakers are a step closer to lifting Gov. David Ige’s nearly year-long suspension of laws meant to provide transparency to the government. Civil Beat.

Proposed bill would erode public’s ‘right to know’. A bill that would all-but-exempt county councils from the state’s open meetings law, also known as the “Sunshine Law,” is set to receive a hearing today. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii lawmakers again seek disclosure about inmate deaths. Hawaii lawmakers are once again trying to bring greater transparency to incidents of inmates dying in Hawaii’s jails and prisons after a past effort to force Hawaii’s Department of Public Safety to release such information largely failed. Star-Advertiser.

Bill: Don’t Card People If Old Enough To Buy Booze Or Smoke. Senate Bill 1398, which has a hearing Thursday, would prohibit a business that sells age-restricted goods from asking customers for the date of birth if it is clear that the individual has attained the age required to make a purchase. Civil Beat.

Bill to Require State Departments to Increase Purchase of Locally Grown Produce Advances. The bill requires all state departments to ensure that a certain percentage of the produce they purchase are locally grown, gradually increasing the annual percentage amount. Maui Now.


$2M made available through HECO assistance program runs dry after 31 hours. About 2,700 households were able to receive a portion of the nearly $2 million fund, which is now depleted. Hawaii News Now. Big Island Now. KHON2.

State figures: Thousands in Hawaii are overdue for second dose of vaccine. Statistics posted Wednesday show 153,000 people in Hawaii have gotten the first shot of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine since they were first available. Only 48,500 have received a second shot.  Hawaii News Now.

Survey finds majority of Hawaii residents plan to get COVID-19 vaccine.
Hawaii residents are becoming more accepting of the COVID-19 vaccine, with a recent survey indicating a shift in attitudes since mid-December. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

This is how the Health Department determines which essential workers get vaccinated. Organizations with frontline essential workers are urged to fill out a form on the state’s website to begin the process. Employers will be asked to identify those most at risk. Hawaii News Now.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Feb. 10: 56 New COVID-19 Cases And 5 Deaths. Hawaii health officials reported 56 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, including 42 on Oahu, nine on Maui, two on the Big Island and three residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


Land board to vet Waikiki sea wall and Ala Moana sand nourishment projects. Two projects proposed by the City and County of Honolulu Department of Design and Construction, aiming to mitigate shoreline erosion at Queen’s Surf in Waikiki and Ala Moana Regional Park, will be considered by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Homeless Program Failed After Prosecutors And Police Wouldn’t Play Ball. A state-funded program intended to steer homeless people from the criminal justice system and into housing, addiction treatment and mental health care failed to meet its core mission after a two-year pilot in Honolulu. Civil Beat.

Aloha Stadium officials say facility needs overdue repairs to host fans. Without a significant amount of investment in repair and maintenance, the operation of the current Aloha Stadium will be without fans in the stands, officials acknowledged to lawmakers on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The Construction Industry Is Still Going Strong In Hawaii. It May Get Even Stronger. Government projects and demand for housing have kept the construction industry going during the pandemic. Honolulu’s new planning department director hopes to give it an even bigger boost. Civil Beat.

Use of self-service DMV kiosks on Oahu skyrockets during COVID-19 shutdown. City officials say the use of its Hawaii DMV NOW self-service kiosks has grown nearly fourfold during the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Some employees at Alohilani Resort could lose their jobs come mid-April.
More than 80 employees at the Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach could lose their jobs come mid-April. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Mauna Kea management to be outlined before BLNR. With management of the Mauna Kea summit coming under mounting criticism, the Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday will hear the results of a report that gave the University of Hawaii mixed reviews for its oversight of the mountain. Star-Advertiser.

New canopy taking shape at farmers market. The foundation is in place, the framework is being erected, and a new produce market canopy at Hilo Farmers Market is taking shape. Tribune-Herald.

‘Great demand’ for vaccines: Older kupuna, essential workers continue to be priority. Big Island COVID-19 vaccination efforts remain focused on kupuna 75 and older — and likely will be for the next several weeks. Tribune-Herald.


Charter Commission nominees make first cut. A diverse slate of nine residents was recommended by a Maui County Council committee on Tuesday to sit on a commission tasked with updating Maui County’s main guiding document. Maui News.

The Nominated Nine. This year, the council will nominate nine members of the Charter Commission, while the mayor will nominate two. Maui News.

COVID-19 Cluster at Maui Jail Now Totals 12 Inmates. The number of COVID-19 positive cases at the Maui Community Correctional Center now stands at 12 after four more inmates tested positive as part of a mass testing effort being conducted by the state.  Maui Now.

All-time high for single-family homes set. Maui County single-family home median sales prices in January reached an all-time high of $980,000, according to Realtors Association of Maui data that goes back to 1993. Maui News.


COVID-19 vaccinations come to Longs Drugs. Beginning Thursday, CVS will begin accepting appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations for eligible populations at Longs Drugs locations, including the store in Kapa‘a. Garden Island.

400 families get USDA food boxes. Four hundred families on Kaua‘i received Farmers to Families food boxes through the efforts of a single-day distribution coordinated by the Liliuokalani Trust on Tuesday. Garden Island.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Coronavirus vaccine shortage hits Hawaii, lawmakers mull lottery, cigarette tax hike, $12 minimum wage, Oahu restaurant inspections suspended, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo
Lt. Gov. Josh Green administers coronavirus vaccine in this Dec. 29, 2020, courtesy photo

 Lack of supply slows coronavirus vaccinations in Hawaii. Hawaii’s mass COVID-19 immunization sites are putting the brakes on new appointments, at least for the next few weeks, as vaccine supplies remain limited across the country. Star-Advertiser.

Second vaccine shots for large group of seniors could limit distribution of first doses. Hawaii seniors 75 and older who got COVID vaccines at large distribution sites in Hawaii will soon get their second doses and that’s putting a squeeze on supplies. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige in no rush to grant vaccinated travelers easy entry.
Gov. David Ige said he’s cautious about loosening air travel restrictions for people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine, noting that the science is still unclear as to whether the vaccine hampers transmission of the virus. Star-Advertiser.


Stabilizing Or Stalling? State Officials Explain Why Hawaii’s Recovery Plan Will Take 2 Years. The governor’s economic development leaders say they want to carefully craft a plan that will hold up for the long term. But legislative leaders aren’t convinced. Civil Beat.

Outlook brightens for Hawaii economy. The prospect of more vaccinated tourists visiting the state, perhaps under a corona­virus vaccine passport program, could mean Hawaii visitor arrivals will bounce back to around half their record 2019 level, or more, by summer and continue rising in the second half of this year. Star-Advertiser.

Economists hope new federal funds will further boost Hawaii’s economic recovery. Any boost in funding from the federal government is likely to speed up Hawaii’s economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

A State Lottery For Hawaii? Lawmakers Are Thinking About It. A hearing is set this week on a bill that proposes using revenue for public education. Civil Beat.

Proposed Cigarette Tax Increase Advances At Legislature. Lawmakers consider a bill to increase the state tax from 16 cents per cigarette to 21 cents. Civil Beat.

Hawaii legislators could boost minimum wage to $12 next year. A bill to raise Hawaii’s minimum wage to $12 in July 2022 passed unanimously out of its first committee Monday, with more than 180 individuals and groups testifying in favor, most saying it should be much higher. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Senate Proposes $12 Minimum Wage By 2022. Hawaii lawmakers on Monday took a preliminary step toward increasing the minimum wage to $12 by July 2022. Civil Beat.


It Will Take 18 Months To Overhaul Hawaii’s Outdated Unemployment System. The state labor department made a deal to replace an antiquated mainframe but it won’t help with the current wave of claims. Civil Beat.

State Unemployment System Flounders As Thousands Await Late Payments. Although Congress extended jobless benefits in late December, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ out-of-date computer system has created delays in processing certain claims. As a result, thousands of Hawaii residents have gone more than a month without unemployment benefits. Hawaii Public Radio.


Should Hawaii governors pick their LG? Hawaii is one of only a few states where instead of the nominee for Governor picking their runningmate, both Governor and Lt. Governor are elected in separate primaries, and are then forced together on the same ticket in the November general election. State Rep. Patrick Branco (D-Kailua) has introduce legislation to change that. KITV4.

Hawaii Senate Advances Asset Forfeiture Reform Measure. Gov. David Ige vetoed a similar proposal in 2019 over worries that it would hinder law enforcement operations. Civil Beat.

FAA to install weather cameras in Hawaii to help guide pilots.
A project to install 23 weather cameras throughout Hawaii is underway. KHON2.

Hawaii Wants To Form A Defense Industry ‘Alliance’ For Local Businesses. Hawaii officials want to form a new organization to get more local businesses in on lucrative defense contracts — and to find ways to use military money to grow other sectors of the state’s economy. Civil Beat.

Feds Consider Paintballs And Sponge Grenades To Thwart Endangered Monk Seals. Federal officials are weighing whether fishers should be allowed to shoot paintballs and fire sponge grenades at critically endangered Hawaiian monk seals to stop them from damaging their fishing gear, stealing their catch or compromising safety. Civil Beat.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Feb. 8: 33 New COVID-19 Infections. Hawaii health officials reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on Monday including 21 on Oahu, three on the Big Island, seven on Maui, and two residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


Mayor Blangiardi happy with low case counts but warns residents to stay vigilant. The Hawai'i State Department of Health has reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the statewide total to 26,500. KITV4.

Gov. David Ige believes Aloha Stadium still usable. Gov. David Ige questioned the wisdom of spending $350 million for a successor to Aloha Stadium and suggested the state invest further in the repair and maintenance of the deteriorating facility to keep it usable for the University (of Hawaii) for many, many years to come. Star-Advertiser.

DOH Food Safety Branch suspends in-person inspections until staff is vaccinated. The Department of Health’s Food Safety Branch manager on Oahu decided to halt in-person food establishment inspections and complaints until his 21 staff members are vaccinated. KHON2.

Finances grim for Chinese developer who owns much of Makaha Valley. The Chinese developer that acquired the Makaha Valley Country Club and hundreds of acres of land in the valley nine years ago has filed for bankruptcy protection. Hawaii News Now.

Chinatown businesses see sales rise even as public Chinese New Year celebrations cancelled. Chinese New Year is on Friday, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, residents will be ushering in the year of the ox without many celebrations. However, even without the big parade or the street festival this year, Chinatown businesses are seeing some good fortune in the days leading up to Chinese New Year. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth returns to work after heart attack. Hawaii County’s newly elected mayor returned to work today after making a recovery from a Jan. 9 heart attack in Kona. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Kohala coastline tops PONC priority list. Seven of the top 10 priority land preservation purchases recommended by a county board are in North Kohala, according to a report the administration has submitted to the County Council. West Hawaii Today.

The president and CEO of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce took issue Monday with House Speaker Scott Saiki’s statement a week ago that the University of Hawaii should no longer manage Maunakea, and it should cease its work to extend the master lease. Tribune-Herald.

Rare turtles rescued in Ka‘u. A rare nest of olive ridley sea turtles was discovered last week in Ka‘u. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo Sears closing after 36 years in Hilo mall. Prince Kuhio Plaza might seek a new tenant after Sears, one of the mall’s oldest stores, closes later this year. Tribune-Herald.


Hawaii Officially Gets Its First Space Force Guardians. The six officers were sworn in during a ceremony last week on Maui. Civil Beat. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Senate Judiciary Votes to Recommend Consent to Two Maui Judicial Appointments. The Senate Judiciary Committee today voted to recommend that the Senate consent to the judicial appointments of Christopher Dunn to the District Court of the Second Circuit and James Rouse to the District Family Court of the Second Circuit. Maui Now.


Open Space Commission to discuss Menehune Fishpond. The county’s Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Fund Commission will meet for the first time in almost a year on Thursday to discuss the potential acquisition of the Alakoko “Menehune” Fishpond. Garden Island.

American AgCredit pledges $2 million to support GoFarm Hawai‘i.
The American AgCredit pledge of $2 million over a five-year period is good for Hawai‘i as a state, said Eric Hanson, the GoFarm Hawai‘i Kaua‘i program coordinator. Garden Island.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Hawaii Supreme Court rules clean environment is a property right in Maui case, Deedy heading back to trial, state sells $170M affordable rental portfolio, insurance snag could ground canoe clubs, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hilo canoe race © 2017 All Hawaii News
Insurance snag could keep canoe clubs statewide on land. Next year's regatta season for local canoe clubs may be in jeopardy because the parent association is having trouble finding an insurance company to cover them. Hawaii News Now.

Civil Beat Poll: Lottery Has Big Support In Hawaii. Most survey respondents say a lottery can bring much-needed cash to state government, but critics warn they mostly tax the poor. Civil Beat.

UH economists pump up projections for isle growth. With global conditions improving and the tourism industry continuing to set records, the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization said in its latest forecast due out today that the state’s economy will continue to grow even as the upward trajectory slows going out to 2020. Star-Advertiser.

State selling affordable rental portfolio for $170 million. The state today agreed to sell 1,221 affordable rental apartments at six properties mainly serving low-income residents to a Hawaii and California real estate development partnership for $170 million. Star-Advertiser.

State sells affordable rental portfolio for $170M to California-Hawaii joint venture. The Hawaii Housing and Finance Development Corp. board voted unanimously Thursday to sell 1,221 state-owned low-income rental housing units for $170 million in cash to a joint venture of Los Angeles-based Standard Communities and Honolulu-based Stanford Carr Development. Pacific Business News.

Dept. of Human Services Prepares for End of CHIP Funding. Congress has yet to renew funding for the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides healthcare to kids in low-income families. Hawaii Public Radio.

How Will Hawaii Fare Under Federal Tax Changes? Limits on deductions for mortgage interest and state and local tax payments could offset the benefits of temporary tax cuts for island residents. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers voice opposition to net neutrality repeal. Star-Advertiser.

The state Attorney General’s Office says it is “reviewing its options” following the Federal Communications Commission’s vote Thursday to repeal ‘net neutrality’ rules. Tribune-Herald.

Lesbian child support fight goes to state Supreme Court.The Hawaii Supreme Court is considering whether a woman who divorced her spouse in a same-sex marriage is the legal parent of the child her former spouse gave birth to during the marriage and is therefore obligated to pay child support. Star-Advertiser.

Senator Chang: Need a Youth Commission. Hawaii Public Radio.


State Department employee Christopher Deedy on Thursday appeared headed for a third trial in the shooting death of Kollin Elderts six years ago at a Waikiki McDonald’s, but it could take years of appeals before Deedy ends up in an Oahu courtroom facing manslaughter charges. Star-Advertiser.

The city prosecutor’s office plans to try State Department federal agent Christopher Deedy a third time in the shooting death of Kollin Elderts at a Waikiki McDonald’s following a Hawaii Supreme Court decision today that denied an appeal by Deedy. Star-Advertiser.

The city prosecutor says he'll seek a third trial against the State Department special agent who fatally shot a man inside a Waikiki McDonald's in 2011. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii State Supreme Court rules third Deedy trial can move forward. KHON2.


As rail heads downtown, land deals get tougher. With construction of the city’s rail project working its way from West Oahu into urban Honolulu, rail officials say they may need to condemn portions of more than two dozen private properties from Iwilei through Kakaako to make way for the elevated transit system. Star-Advertiser.

The two Kakaako Gateway Parks, which have seen a resurgence in daytime homeless activity, will close from Sunday until Jan. 8 for maintenance, the Hawaii Community Development Authority announced Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Rising tides are eating away at private property along North Shore.  Hawaii News Now.

Department of Transportation reports high impact traffic projects island-wide are nearly finished. Department of Transportation reports a number of traffic projects that could have a significant impact on drive-times on O'ahu are nearly finished. KITV.

Developer buys Kalaeloa water, wastewater systems. A private developer that acquired 540 acres of former military base land in Kalaeloa from the Navy in 2009 now owns the water and wastewater systems for the area. Star-Advertiser.

Shannon Alivado, director of government relations for the General Contractors Association of Hawaii, has been nominated to the Honolulu Police Commission by Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Star-Advertiser.

Lost WWII sub discovered off Oahu. A wreck-hunting organization announced that its search team has located the sunken World War II submarine USS S-28 in 8,700 feet of water off Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Federal agents raid home of death row exoneree on Schofield Barracks. A Schofield Barracks soldier and her husband, a death row exoneree, say they are being unfairly targeted because of his past. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Ready to respond: Haihai Fire Station completed, dedicated. After four years of preparation, the Haihai Fire Station construction project in Hilo concluded Thursday with a blessing ceremony as the building opened for business. Tribune-Herald.

The Hilo community joined Hawaii County officials and fire fighters for the official blessing of the new Haihai Fire Station. Big Island Video News.

Mayor Harry Kim is once again bringing his former executive director back into the fold to present county priorities before the state Legislature. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Department of Transportation Deputy Director for Highways Ed Sniffen provided an update on Dec. 14, on high-visibility, current and upcoming highways projects. Big Island Now.


Court: Hawaii residents can sue to defend their right to 'clean, healthful' environment. By a 3-to-2 vote, the court found that the Sierra Club should have been allowed a contested case hearing when the Public Utilities Commission reauthorized use of the Puunene sugar mills power plant. Hawaii News Now.

Arakawa hit with amended campaign spending complaint. Commission alleges mayor spent too much of campaign funds on charitable donations. Maui News.

The Maui Ocean Center hopes to have 20 percent of all its marine life on display acquired from aquaculture facilities — rather than the wild — by 2020, the center’s curator said last week. Maui News.

Lahaina Bypass From Olowalu to Keawe St Slated for March Completion. The project was highlighted during an update of DOT projects currently underway and on tap across the state. Maui Now.


DowDuPont to expand research activities, increase staffing. The agriculture division of DowDuPont has announced major changes in its Kauai operations under which it will expand its Hawaii research activities here, increasing staffing on island by as much as 50 percent. Garden Island.

KIUC election has five candidates. The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative Nominating Committee has selected five candidates for its Board of Directors election on March 10. Three of the nine director positions are up for election annually. Garden Island.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Hawaii tourism up, copter commander fired days before deadly crash, Maui jail plans scuttled for Oahu project, lawmakers have gambling fever, inter-island ferry bill floated, zika worries add to dengue scare, airport security bribery spurs lawmaker action, mayor's deputy seeks top Hawaii County job, EPA investigates Kauai pesticide poisoning, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Rainbow over Kauai © 2016 All Hawaii News
Hawaii’s tourism industry achieved its fourth consecutive year of records for visitor arrivals and visitor expenditures in 2015, with strong momentum expected to continue into 2016. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii hotel market is doing well, compared to its Asia Pacific counterparts, according to a new report by Hospitality Advisors and STR Inc. Pacific Business News.

The commanding officer of the Kaneohe Bay Marine squadron, which lost 12 aviators two weeks ago in a helicopter accident, was removed from his job three days prior to the tragedy because he had failed to keep the unit operating at acceptable standards, the Marine Corps Times reported Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Copter Commander Fired Days Before Crash. Twelve Marines were killed in the Jan. 14 crash of two helicopters off Oahu’s North Shore, just three days after the unit’s commanding officer was removed from his post. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers in Hawaii want to make an exception to the state’s gambling ban by legalizing fantasy sports contests. Hawaii is one of two states, along with Utah, with no legal gambling. The Aloha State has some of the strictest anti-gambling laws in the country, Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin said. Associated Press.

There’s Another Hawaii Lottery Bill. Rep. John Mizuno’s bill would direct proceeds to be used to address homelessness. Civil Beat.

Private Police Force At Hawaii Airports Draws Legislative Scrutiny Contract security guards at the state’s airports carry guns and have the authority to arrest people. But some lawmakers question whether they’re qualified to do so. Civil Beat.

Re-establishing an interisland ferry capable of carrying hundreds of passengers as well as vehicles and cargo should be a priority for Hawaii, giving residents an alternative to expensive air transportation, according to a bill introduced Wednesday by Big Island Sen. Lorraine Inouye. Maui News.

Lawmakers Debate A Lower Blood-Alcohol Limit For Drivers. The measure is deferred, but another making it illegal to smoke in a car containing minors is passed by the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee. Civil Beat.

Establishment of a law enforcement standards board is a priority for female lawmakers at the Hawaii Legislature this year. Another is that county police commissions have members experienced in women’s issues and civil rights. The 2016 Women’s Legislative Caucus package also targets domestic violence and sex trafficking. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Department of Health is looking for ways to beef up its staffing and expertise for responding to mosquito-borne viruses like dengue and Zika, following a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pointing out “critical deficiencies” at the agency. Civil Beat.

After months battling the dengue virus, Hawaii health officials now are wary of another mosquito-borne virus that is sweeping through the Americas and has been linked to brain damage in thousands of babies in Brazil. Tribune-Herald.

Compared to other states and regions, Hawaii’s labor market is tiny. However, its growth needs to be realistic and lofty goals are not the solution, according to a panel of experts. Hawaii faces an “uphill battle” to fix its labor market, said Jack Suyderhoud, a professor of business economics at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Shidler College of Business at a “jobs for Hawaii” panel hosted by ThinkTech Hawaii on Thursday. Pacific Business News.


Under new legislation introduced by Gov. David Ige, the price tag for building a new facility to replace the crumbling Oahu Community Correctional Center could reach nearly a half-billion dollars. Civil Beat.

A joint Senate and House committee was briefed yesterday on a proposal to move the O’ahu Community Correctional Center from Kalihi to Halawa. Hawaii Public Radio.

It’s been more than two years since building resumed on Honolulu’s rail transit system, but the project continues to cope with its earlier construction delays and those costs are proving more expensive than officials had anticipated. Star-Advertiser.

An Oahu grand jury has indicted four private security officers and traffic control officers for allegedly taking bribes from taxi and shuttle drivers at Honolulu Airport, state Attorney General Douglas Chin announced Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

An Oahu grand jury indicted four Securitas law enforcement and traffic control officers on Thursday for accepting bribes from taxi and shuttle drivers at the Honolulu International Airport, Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin announced. KITV4.

Airport bribery scheme sparks criticism over security at state facilities. KHON2.

Burglaries on Oahu dipped to a 30-year low last year, following local and national trends of declining crime. Star-Advertiser.

Folks unhappy with the city’s decision to allow alcohol in a roped-off section of the National Football League’s Pro Bowl Beach Stadium party at Queen’s Surf Beach today and Saturday are expected to voice their objections during the event. Star-Advertiser.

Police are investigating after a dozen schools received prank bomb threats Thursday afternoon. The threats were made between 2 and 3 p.m., police said, and officers were dispatched to each school. Hawaii News Now.

Several Honolulu schools were evacuated Thursday afternoon due to a series of bomb threats. Star-Advertiser.


Mayor Billy Kenoi’s top deputy quit his job Thursday and announced he’s running for mayor. West Hawaii Today.

Wally Lau announced his candidacy for Hawaii County Mayor on Thursday, resigning from his post as Hawaii County Managing Director. Big Island Video News.

A Department of Land and Natural Resources enforcement officer accused of raping a 16-year-old girl on a Hilo beach faces a possible 20 years in prison if he is convicted under terms requested by prosecutors. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County has identified revisions for a park project in Kukuihaele it hopes will better suit the community’s needs after residents expressed concern earlier this month. West Hawaii Today.

Two bills currently under review in the legislature call for $100,000 to study the impact of a small satellite launch facility on Hawaii Island. KHON2.

The number of visitors arriving by airline on Hawaii Island rose by 3.8 percent in 2015, according to preliminary data released Thursday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Meanwhile, cruise ship tourism foundered slightly, dropping 0.2 percent, with 225,707 visitors arriving on the Big Island by ship in 2015. Tribune-Herald.


Plans to relocate Maui’s overcrowded jail to a larger facility in Puunene have fallen by the wayside as Gov. David Ige aggressively moves forward on plans to relocate Oahu’s largest jail to the grounds of the existing Halawa Correctional Facility. Star-Advertiser.

To prevent vehicle overcrowding and safety hazards in a parking lot at 'Ahihi-Kina'u Natural Area Reserve, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources is proposing a concrete-paved, 31,000-square-foot parking lot. Maui News.


Two government agencies are coordinating an investigation after some Syngenta workers were hospitalized last week after they were exposed to the pesticide chlorpyrifos. Dean Higuchi, Environmental Protection Agency spokesman, said his regional office was working with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture to review the incident. Garden Island.

For 2015, Kauai saw 1.16 million visitors, up 4.3 percent from 1.11 million in 2014. Garden Island.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Ige seeks cool schools, affordable housing, new Oahu jail in State-of-the-State address; hotel tax a sticking point for mayors; bills mulled for lottery, birth control from pharmacists, lower blood-alcohol for DUI; more government news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy Sen. J. Kalani English
Gov. David Ige State-of-the-State address, courtesy Sen. J. Kalani English
Gov. David Ige used the words “long overdue” five times in his second State of the State address Monday. Speaking before a packed Hawaii House of Representatives chamber, the governor identified issues that he said had been neglected but could wait no longer for action. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige vowed in his second State-of the-State speech to install fixes that will cool 1,000 public school classrooms by the end of the year, and to launch an initiative to develop water, sewer and other infrastructure to make it easier to for companies to develop affordable housing. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige outlined the broad strokes of his policy agenda for the upcoming year, promising to focus on affordable housing, homelessness and conditions in public schools in a speech that paid homage to the state’s past while embracing the need for change. Associated Press.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige discussed several funding issued during his second State of the State address on Monday, including a proposal that the state fund $30 million over the next six years to support growth in the innovation sector. Pacific Business News.

The Governor delivered his second state of the state address to the legislature today. Hawaii Public Radio.

In his second State of the State address, Gov. David Ige made a big push for affordable housing units, a key to address the ongoing concern about homelessness. KHON2.

Lawmakers agree on Governor’s priorities but want to see details. KITV4.

County mayors say they were caught off guard during a budget briefing Monday when powerful members of the Legislature questioned a recent panel recommendation that state lawmakers significantly increase the counties’ share of the state hotel room tax, known as the transient accommodations tax. Star-Advertiser.

The mayors of Honolulu, Kauai, Maui and Hawaii counties told legislators Monday that the state should give them a bigger share of the 9.25 percent transient accommodations tax that it collects from visitors. The counties currently split $103 million of the hotel tax revenue, and the cap drops to $93 million next fiscal year, which starts July 1. Civil Beat.

The powerful chairs of the state House and Senate money committees on Monday dashed the hopes of the four county mayors that the counties would easily get a bigger share of money collected from hotel rooms and other short-term rentals. West Hawaii Today.

It doesn’t have a hearing scheduled yet, but there is a bill to allow lotteries in Hawaii. It was introduced last Friday by Joe Souki, the speaker of the House of Representatives, who said recently that a lottery for the state is a distinct possibility. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers introduced legislation that would make it easier for adult women in Hawaii to get birth control. Right now, women can only get certain contraceptives through a physician. If passed, the bill would allow women older than 18 to get hormonal contraceptives such as birth control pills, patches and rings directly from pharmacists without having to visit a doctor. Associated Press.

One Hawaii lawmaker wants to impose a DUI game-changer, lowering the limit below the .08 blood alcohol percentage used in all 50 states. KITV4.

Rep. Romy Cachola says the state should spend the money to turn the reflecting pool surrounding the State Capitol into dancing fountains with bright lights and music. KHON2.

Homeless outreach specialists and volunteers walked for hours all over the state on Monday counting the homeless for the annual Point-in-Time Count. Hawaii News Now.

High school students using e-cigarettes will likely graduate to tobacco, a two-year University of Hawaii Cancer Center study found after following 2,300 Hawaii teenagers. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.2 percent in December after the number was revised upward by one-tenth of a point for November.The last time the rate was this low was in January 2008, according to data released Monday by the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Star-Advertiser.


Property taxpayers can expect to see a 9 percent increase in rates to subsidize annual operational costs for the 20-mile rail system when it comes online in late 2021. Star-Advertiser.

The Oahu Board of Registration has concluded that Hawaii Sen. Brickwood Galuteria and his wife Abigail did in fact live in a one-bedroom apartment with the senator’s mother in Kakaako during the 2014 general election, despite a complaint brought by a political opponent. Civil Beat.

A new plan to stabilize a famous stretch of shoreline is moving forward. Funding for the Royal Hawaiian Groin Replacement project will be provided by the state and commercial property owners in Waikiki. Hawaii News Now.

Eight months after the University of Hawaii launched an internal investigation of UH Manoa’s chief academic officer over faculty and staff complaints of bullying and racist and sexist behavior, UH expects to hand the case over for an outside decision-maker. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Supreme Court has rejected Kamehameha Schools’ request to block a judge’s order to turn over evidence trust officials gathered in their own investigation of a former teacher charged with using a hidden camera to record students showering in his apartment. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii’s four county mayors went to the capitol on Monday to present their local needs to state lawmakers. Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi joined Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa, Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr., and the City and County of Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell for an informational briefing before the Senate Ways and Means and House Finance Committees. Big Island Video News.

East Hawaii administrators for Hawaii Health Systems Corp. say they are continuing to review changes to their long-term care services following a public grilling last week by state Rep. Richard Onishi, D-Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is requesting the state charge “sufficient” rent to observatories on Mauna Kea. Bills introduced on behalf of OHA in the state House and Senate would require University of Hawaii, which holds a master lease for the Mauna Kea Science Reserve, to account for environmental damage, impact to Native Hawaiians and administration of its management plan, among other factors, when assessing lease payments. Tribune-Herald.


A road repair project on Kahekili Highway is pending while officials decide how best to protect a nearby burial site thought to contain multiple human remains. Maui News.

The hearings officer in the East Maui watershed contested case is calling for the restoration of 18 million gallons of water a day to 10 streams currently being diverted mainly for Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. operations - but he did not take into consideration the impending closure of the plantation at the end of 2016. Maui News.

Maui Electric Co. has donated $30,000 to the University of Hawaii Maui College to establish an endowment fund for students enrolled in the school's sustainable science management program, according to an announcement. Maui News.

The Maui Humane Society has received a $258,000 grant from PetSmart Charities to expand the society's veterinary clinic, according to an announcement. Maui News.


The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whales National Marine Sanctuary expansion plan will be discussed at the sanctuary’s advisory council meeting today. But a Jan. 22 letter from Suzanne Case, chairperson for Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources, was a tell for how the meeting might shake out. Garden Island.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Board seeks bridge over Ala Wai, dengue closes Waipio Valley, state lawmakers mull homelessness, budget, lottery, Kasich added to GOP ballot, Maui could swap hemp for sugarcane, DLNR warned not to hire officer accused of rape, Kauai advances barking dog ordinance, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Along the Ala Wai © 2016 All Hawaii News
The Waikiki Neighborhood Board is urging the city and state to kick-start a plan to build a pedestrian and bicycle bridge that crosses the Ala Wai Canal linking Waikiki to the University of Hawaii at Manoa and nearby neighborhoods. Star-Advertiser.

Homelessness And Housing Top Legislative Agenda. Fiscal accountability is also a major concern for majority Democrats and minority Republicans as the opening of their 2016 session nears. Civil Beat.

The joint Senate and House money committees conducted another pre-session budget hearing today and lawmakers focused on homelessness -- one of the key issues in the state. Hawaii Public Radio.

Powerball mania nationally is reigniting discussions about bringing the lottery to Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is the third Republican presidential candidate to land on Hawaii’s caucus ballot. The March 8 vote already includes real estate mogul Donald Trump and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Civil Beat.

Growing issues with emergency sirens prompt state to take action. KHON2.

Is Hawaii Doing Enough To Oversee Commercial Tour Operators? It’s difficult for consumers to check up on tour companies, including their safety record or whether tour guides are qualified and trained. Civil Beat.


The U.S. Labor Department has found the Honolulu Board of Water Supply violated federal labor law by routinely denying its investigators lunch breaks for a two-year period in a case that could have implications for government and private sector employers across the state. Hawaii News Now.

The head of the City Council’s Committee of Public Works, Infrastructure and Sustainability demanded answers Wednesday from the Department of Environmental Services to questions raised in a scathing report that found HPOWER’s contracts and procurement practices appear to have violated city policies and state procurement rules. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council is closer to approving a five-year extension of a general excise tax surcharge to pay for cost increases on the municipal rail system, but there are still questions about just how much revenue will actually go to the project. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu City Council now has before it a new version of a bill that it hopes will satisfy federal funders to release needed money to pay rail contractors going forward. KITV4.

After a year of heightened debate over bike lanes in Honolulu, local transportation officials on Wednesday pitched to the public their latest plans to gradually make the city’s car-saturated urban core more bike-friendly. Star-Advertiser.

Staff at the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility in Kailua continues to rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime pay annually even though the number of inmates at the facility has dropped to just 23 youths, down from 80 to 90 several years ago. Star-Advertiser.

SunEdison Inc. is selling three of its major solar energy farms in Hawaii that are worth $350 million to a group that includes D.E. Shaw Group, Madison Dearborn Capital Partners IV LP and Northwestern University as part of a larger effort to get rid of $336 million of its debt. Pacific Business News.


Hawaii County Civil Defense announced Wednesday afternoon that it had shut down traffic access to Waipio Valley as a precaution in the ongoing fight against the dengue fever outbreak. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County Civil Defense shut down the Waipio Valley Access Road and valley area to all traffic effective 2:30 p.m. today, and a message from the agency says the access will be limited to valley residents only. Big Island Video News.

The Honolulu Police Department recommended that the state not hire an officer who had been fired by the police force in 2012, but the Department of Land and Natural Resources did so anyway, according to information released Wednesday in a sexual assault case. Ethan Ferguson, 39, of Hilo was arrested last week and charged with multiple criminal counts for allegedly sexually assaulting a female minor while on the job Jan. 1 at a Hawaii island beach park. Star-Advertiser.

Top Hawaii officials say they knew accused rapist Ethan Ferguson had been fired by the Honolulu Police Department before offering him a job in 2013 to be a law enforcement officer on the Big Island. They hired him anyway. Civil Beat.

West Hawaii lawmakers polled this week generally seem to support the idea of a lottery here — with certain conditions to minimize societal damage and maximize the social benefit of gambling profits. West Hawaii Today.

This Saturday, a hui made of telescope operators and the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center will host the first official tour of the Kama‘aina Observatory Experience, a new program established exclusively for Hawaii residents. Tribune-Herald.


Rep. Kaniela Ing (Kīhei, Wailea, Mākena) today announced via that he and “hemp warrior” Rep. Cynthia Thielen (R-Kailua) are putting forth a bipartisan proposal to “transition HC&S’s cornerstone crop from sugar to industrial hemp.” Maui Now.

Two legislators are crossing party lines and a generational gap to join hands in support of rapid action to enable the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company to transition to hemp production as it ceases sugar cane farming later this year. Civil Beat.


Barking dogs beware: the law could soon have some teeth when it comes to you, and your owners will be getting a notice from the Humane Society if you’re too noisy. Garden Island.