Showing posts with label marijuana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label marijuana. Show all posts

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Bill allowing HECO to charge customers for wildfire mitigation advances in House, marijuana decriminalization bill remains alive, Big Island committee nixes council term extensions, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Key House Committee Approves Bill To Charge HECO Customers To Mitigate Wildfire Risk. Hawaiian Electric Co. executives want an extra fee of up to 5% added to electric bills to develop and implement a wildfire prevention plan. Civil Beat.

HECO now faces 131 legal complaints related to Maui fires. The August wildfires have now spawned 131 legal complaints against Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) and its subsidiary, Maui Electric Company (MECO).  KITV4.

Marijuana decriminalization bill runs into opposition, remains alive. While the push to legalize recreational marijuana again appears dead at the state Legislature, a bill remains alive that one lawmaker said would “essentially” have the same effect by allowing a citation and fine of only $25 for having up to 2 ounces of cannabis — or 100 to 120 joints. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Hawaiʻi Allows Pre-rolled Cannabis Flower Products Under New Rule. Pre-rolled cannabis flower products, also known as “pre-rolls,” can be now produced and dispensed through licensed medical cannabis dispensaries in Hawaiʻi starting on April 5. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.

Potential heirs of DHHL beneficiaries still learning they could get share of landmark settlement. The clock is ticking to find the relatives of more than 1,200 Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiaries who died while on the waitlist for a home or farmland. Hawaii News Now.

Early College Can Be ‘Game-Changing’ But Many Students In Hawaii Are Missing Out. Opportunities for high schoolers to earn college credit have been growing in popularity, but Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students are participating at lower rates. Civil Beat.

Drug-use linked to crime, homelessness in the islands. Fentanyl continues to plague communities. Local law enforcement continue making bust after bust but it barely makes a dent. KHON2.

Ship named after renowned veteran. The crest of the newly inaugurated U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Melvin Bell bears a motto — “Signal of Hope” — that encapsulates the legacy of its Hawaii-born namesake who transmitted the first alarms following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Star-Advertiser.


City still seeks more time to find Oahu landfill alternative. The Honolulu Planning Commission on Wednesday continued its months-long hearing over the city’s request for a two-year extension to find an alternate site for the 34-year-old Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill in Kapolei. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Federal judge unseals fraud complaint against Red Hill contractors over fuel leak. A federal judge has partially unsealed a fraud complaint filed against defense contractors working at the Red Hill fuel facility. But the U.S. Justice Department has opted not to pursue the case. Hawaii Public Radio.

ACLU hopes Supreme Court homeless win helps Honolulu case. The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii hopes its victory before the Hawaii Supreme Court over Maui County homeless sweeps will bolster its case against Honolulu when its lawsuit over Oahu’s homeless policies goes to trial in October. Star-Advertiser.

Former Meadow Gold Dairies property in Honolulu is back up for sale. Meadow Gold closed its facility about four years ago and put its nearly two-acre property – located along Elm and Sheridan Streets near the Walmart store on Keeaumoku Street – up for sale. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Longer council terms rejected following robust criticism. A proposal to extend Hawaii County Council members’ terms in office will not be on the ballot this year after it was roundly rejected Tuesday during a council committee hearing. Tribune-Herald.


Questions swirl over whether wildfire relief aid will pay tab for Maui mayor’s enhanced security. Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen’s enhanced security detail cost approximately $115,000 for a six-week period after the devastating wildfires and  federal relief aid designated for victims could be used to pay for the protection. Hawaii News Now.

Officials reconvene in Lahaina to discuss progress on recovery. Wednesday evening saw the renewal of weekly disaster recovery meetings at the Lahaina Civic Center after a two week break. About 100 residents and 70 online viewers tuned in via the county’s Facebook page, to partake in the near two hour meeting to hear updates on recovery efforts in Lahaina town.  Maui Now.

Wildfire recovery milestone: 500th residential property in Lahaina cleared of debris, hazardous materials. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has cleared the 500th residential property of debris and hazardous materials. Hawaii News Now.

Maui Council Considers More Funding To Fight Invasive Beetles As Part Of Ag Department Budget.
The voter-created department officially launched in mid-2022 to increase food production across the county. Star-Advertiser.

2 Hawaii air carriers compete for subsidized Lanai service. Scott Faulk of the U.S. Department of Transportation EAS & domestic analysis division issued a request for community comments Wednesday, while confirming receipt of proposals from Southern Airways Express LLC, doing business as Mokulele Airlines, and from Pacific Air Charters Inc. Star-Advertiser.


Discrimination Suit Against Kauai Police Chief Dismissed, Captain Forced To Retire. Chief Todd Raybuck was suspended for creating a hostile work environment but an investigation found his hiring practices had been fair. Civil Beat.

Delta flight grounded after bird strike. A Delta Airlines Airbus was grounded in late March after a bird made contact with the aircraft during its arrival in Lihu‘e. Garden Island.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Federal court upholds Hawaii's open carry gun limits, state won't extend income tax deadline or exempt unemployment, Ige may veto marijuana decriminalization bill, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Photo by Andy Montes de Oca on Unsplash
Photo by Andy Montes de Oca on Unsplash

Ruling upholds Hawaii’s limits on carrying guns in public. Hawaii’s strict limit on openly carrying firearms is lawful, a panel of federal appeals court judges ruled today in a lawsuit by a man who tried unsuccessfully several times to obtain a license to carry a loaded gun in public. Associated Press.

Hawaii saw record number of firearm permit applications in 2020. A record high total of 26,122 personal/private firearm permit applications were processed statewide during 2020, marking a 62.3 percent increase from 16,098 applications processed in 2019. Maui Now. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.


Despite federal extension, state says it won’t budge on its tax filing deadline. The state Department of Taxation said Tuesday that the filing deadline for 2020 remains April 20. Hawaii News Now.

Bill exempting jobless benefits from state taxes hits a snag. Senate Bill 614 would exempt unemployment compensation, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, received by Hawaii residents between March 1, 2020, and Dec. 31 when the coronavirus ravaged the local economy. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Ige has ‘big concerns’ about marijuana bill. A bill that would legalize the personal use of marijuana in Hawaii is still alive, but Gov. David Ige suggested Wednesday that he intends to veto it. Tribune-Herald.

DUI threshold bill stalls: House committee defers measure to lower legal blood alcohol limit. A House committee Tuesday deferred a measure that would have made Hawaii the second state in nation to lower its blood-alcohol threshold for drunken driving to 0.05. West Hawaii Today.

Lawmakers Advance Bail Reform To Fix A ‘Broken’ System. Both the House and Senate seem open to the idea of releasing more minor offenders without bail. Civil Beat.

Affordable teacher housing bill moves forward. A Senate bill that would authorize the state to provide affordable rental housing units for teachers has moved one step closer to being passed. West Hawaii Today.


Hawaii vacation rental outlook brightens, sees dramatic increase in tourism industry. The outlook is getting brighter for short-term vacation rentals, which put more heads on beds at available units in February and held onto rates better than their hotel counterparts. Star-Advertiser.

Government officials, UH remain silent on return of fans to sports. Big West Conference schools can now decide if they want to allow fans at games. KHON2.

Hawaii’s Antiquated 211 Phone Line Gets A Much Needed Upgrade.
As the pandemic escalated last year, soaring call volumes crashed the system. Hawaii Data Collaborative is helping overhaul it. Civil Beat.

Coronavirus vaccinations: Hawaii to miss President Joe Biden’s goal. Hawaii will come to close to meeting President Joe Biden’s nationwide goal of having all adults eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations by May 1, but the islands likely will be a week or two behind schedule. Star-Advertiser.

Concerns over coronavirus travel passport verification process. State officials are working on a travel passport that would allow fully vaccinated travelers to bypass testing and quarantine. KHON2.

Rather than targeting high-risk conditions, state uses age as ‘a guide’ for vaccine rollout. Hawaii remains on track to open vaccinations to every adult in early May, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said, but many are still anxious to know when it will be their turn. Hawaii News Now.

March 24, 2021 COVID-19 Update:
The state Department of Health reports that there were 58 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Wednesday, including 24 on O‘ahu, 22 on Maui, seven on Hawai‘i Island, one on Moloka‘i, one on Kaua‘i, and three in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed outside of the state. Maui Now.


University Of Hawaii Report Finds ‘Discriminatory Policing’ In Honolulu Schools. Researchers said Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and Black students were disproportionately cited for offenses like running away from home or truancy. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Blangiardi Nominates Former HPD Officer For Police Commission. The Police Commission conducts oversight of HPD and has the power to hire and fire the chief. Civil Beat.

Oahu Customers May See Their Electric Bills Rise Next Year As Power Plant Converts. But Hawaiian Electric says its Kapolei Energy Storage project will save customers money over the life of the project. Civil Beat.

Kaiser Permanente partners with Consolidated Theatres to open vaccination site in Kapolei. The health care provider said it will be able to vaccinate up to 2,000 people per day at the theater, located at 890 Kamokila Blvd. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Sen. Hirono, Rep. Kahele help secure approval for outpatient clinic for Leeward Oahu veterans. Congress has approved the construction of an outpatient clinic for Leeward Oahu veterans. Star-Advertiser.

Koko Crater summit to close 3 weeks for repairs. Koko Crater summit area atop the Koko Crater tramway trail is scheduled to be closed to the public daily through April 19 for work to mitigate safety issues. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Conflict of interest? Kern signs off on approval of project he represented as a planning consultant. Zendo Kern represented clients as a consultant before the Leeward Planning Commission on a rezoning application, and then as planning director, signed off on a plat map for the same project, records show. West Hawaii Today.

State House to Restore Funding to Hilo Youth Challenge Academy. House Bill 200 House Draft 1 restores more than $600,000 in general funds and $2.3 million in federal funds to the program and retains over 40 full-time positions that would otherwise have been cut. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

Kona’s Mask-Making Company Faces Setbacks Due to Damaged Shipment. Kona Mask Co. was founded by retired United Airlines pilot Nick Garcia and is based in Kailua-Kona. Big Island Now.


$1.6B affordable housing plan unveiled. Called “bold” and “dramatic,” a $1.6 billion draft plan unveiled Tuesday to bring 5,000 affordable units online in Central, South and West Maui calls for major overhauls to the County of Maui’s affordable housing approach. Maui News.

Permit granted for six-story 170-room hotel expansion. The Maui Coast Hotel received approval for a permit to build a six-story, 170-room expansion that drew hours of public testimony from some residents who touted the new jobs and others who worried about overtourism and traffic. Maui News.

$18M Ferry Pier Improvement at Lahaina Small Boat Harbor to Start April 5. Construction is set to start April 5 on a new concrete ferry pier at the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation’s Lahaina Small Boat Harbor. Maui Now.


County passes Ag use bill. While there remained slight reservations, a bill allowing various money-generating uses to agriculturally zoned land passed through the Kaua‘i County Council on Wednesday. Garden Island.

Readying for in-person learning April 5. Kaua‘i’s public secondary schools are making preparations to bring all students back to their campus for daily in-person learning, starting on Apr. 5 to April 9. Garden Island.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

House Speaker Saiki resurrects state property tax bill, groups sue DLNR over aquarium collectors, coronavirus hits Hawaii tourism, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News
School of fish in Hawaii ©2020 All Hawaii News
State agency has not protected reef fish, lawsuit says. Earthjustice filed suit Monday against a state agency it says is sidestepping the law when it comes to the regulation of tropical fish taken from Hawaii’s reefs for the commercial aquarium pet trade. Star-Advertiser.

DLNR draws lawsuit. The State’s Department of Land and Natural Resources is drawing a lawsuit from the environmental law firm Earthjustice, claiming the agency has created loopholes for the aquarium fishing industry to continue unregulated. Garden Island.


Saiki Proposes Tax Funding Measure To Raise Teacher Pay. Under the House Speaker’s plan, voters could approve a constitutional amendment giving the Hawaii Board of Education power to increase property taxes. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers seek to add new property tax to fund teacher pay. The bill comes a little more than a year after the Hawaii Supreme Court struck down a similar ballot question less than three weeks before the 2018 general election. Pacific Business News.

Bill introduced to better pay Hawaii's teachers. Speaker of the House Scott Saiki introduced the bill that would allow the public to vote on whether or not the Board of Education should be able to raise property taxes to fund teacher salaries. KITV4.


Bill: Don’t Let State Workers Access Online Porn. Government facilities that provide free WiFi would also require blocking filters. Civil Beat.

A bevy of marijuana bills: Full legalization, dispensary improvements among proposed measures. After 2019 brought several changes to marijuana management at both the state and county level, dozens of new marijuana-related bills have been proposed in 2020. Tribune-Herald.

OHA Submits Package of Proposed Bills. As part of its mandate to advocate for Native Hawaiians, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs submits a package of proposed bills to the Hawai`i State Legislature each year. Maui Now.


Agencies scramble as trips to and from China are scrubbed amid the coronavirus outbreak. The outbreak of the 2019 coronavirus is hitting travelers between Hawaii and China as well as Hawaii companies that rely on their business. Star-Advertiser.

Report: Two-Thirds of Hawaii Residents Struggle Financially. Residents cope by working multiple jobs, living with relatives and tapping savings, a new study shows. Civil Beat.

Major Decrease In Hawaii’s Cost Of Living Unlikely, But A Little May Be Enough. According to Peter Fulekey, an economist with the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, the price of goods and services in Hawaii are 18.5 percent higher than the national average. Hawaii Public Radio.

Midwives prepare for licensing. Midwives in Hawaii are gearing up for new licensing requirements that will go into effect this summer. Tribune-Herald.

New suitor comes forward to buy Hawaiian Telcom’s parent company. An unsolicited potential acquirer has upped the ante for Hawaiian Telcom’s parent company, and investors are speculating that the offer may have fueled a bidding war. Star-Advertiser.

Bank of Hawaii posts 7.8% earnings increase and announces 4 new branches. Bank of Hawaii Corp. reported today that its net income rose 7.8% in the fourth quarter amid solid loan and deposit growth. Star-Advertiser.


Kalama vigil tonight, Enriquez funeral Thursday. A candlelight vigil will be held tonight at Sandy Beach to honor the memory of Honolulu police officer Kaulike Kalama, whom friends and family have described as a “quiet hero,” whose calm presence made him the “rock” that others looked to as a source of strength. Star-Advertiser.

City considers creating a new utility (and fee) for tackling storm water. The city is considering a new utility ― and a fee for residents ― in order to better manage storm water runoff. Hawaii News Now.

Renewed calls for law enforcement on central O'ahu ag-land. Hawaii State Senator Donovan Dela Cruz (D) is calling for a security presence on state agricultural lands in Wahiawa. KITV4.

Kakaako tower facing extraordinary maintenance fee hike. Living in Kakaako was supposed to be pretty affordable for several hundred moderate-income Hawaii residents who bought into a condominium tower via lottery last year at Ward Village. Star-Advertiser.

Nearly one year after fatal Kakaako crash, new plans to improve safety at intersections. Tuesday, Jan. 28 will mark one year since the deadly Kakaako crash that injured six people and killed three pedestrians, local doctor, Travis Lau, Reino Ikeda from Japan and Casimir Pokorny from Pennsylvania. KHON2.

Major make-over for Ewa Beach park set to begin. Nightly closure signs have gone up at One'ula Beach Park, just the start of major multi-million dollars improvements. KITV4.

How These Makaha Neighbors Saved A County Park From Crime And Weeds. When police and social services agencies couldn’t help, this small band of neighbors took matters into their own hands. And it worked. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Construction ongoing: Kona prosecutor’s office delayed, completion now set for March. Hawaii County prosecutors will have to wait a couple more months before they can move into their new home at the West Hawaii Civic Center. West Hawaii Today.

Stinky problem points to need for sewer solution. A sewer system for Naalehu has been talked about for decades, but it can come none too soon, as a stinky problem last week demonstrated. West Hawaii Today.

County begins Alii Drive sinkhole repair work. Work is underway to repair damage to Alii Drive caused by a sinkhole that opened late last year fronting Coconut Grove Marketplace. West Hawaii Today.

Aliʻi Drive Sinkhole Repair Project Begins. The county says traffic on Ali‘i Drive fronting Coconut Grove Marketplace will be reduced to one lane during daylight hours as crews work to repair damage caused by sinkhole. Big Island Video News.

National Park Works To Reopen Popular Lava Tube. The unpaved Escape Road will close while repairs continue at Nāhuku, also known as Thurston Lava Tube, damaged during the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea. Big Island Video News.

Escape Road at HVNP to Close Temporarily. An unpaved emergency route between Highway 11 and the comfort station at Nahuku (Thurston Lava Tube) will be closed to the public starting Tuesday, Jan. 28 while repairs to a faulty electrical line are made. Big Island Now.


Kaiser Permanente No Longer Has Contract For Med-QUEST Coverage On Maui. Med-QUEST, the state’s health and medical coverage for low-income individuals, has awarded healthcare providers HMSA, United Healthcare, AlohaCare and Ohana Health Plan contracts that take effect in July. Hawaii Public Radio.

Stubbs Named Kihei Charter Head of School. Stubbs replaces former Head of School John Colson, who has been with the school for several years and will now serve as an educational consultant. Maui Now.

Fewer turtles found stranded in 2019 than in year previous. Fishing gear – mainly nets – continues to be the greatest cause of marine entanglements. Maui News.

Pro-life marchers take to the streets in Kahului. A sign-waving crowd of about 190 people makes its way along Puunene Avenue in Kahului Saturday morning while taking part in the annual Maui March for Life. Maui News.


Kauai United Way funding being considered. Nonprofit organizations that provide human services to the people of Kauai can now apply for Kauai United Way funding covering the period from July 2020 through June, 2021. Garden Island.

Small group rallies against abortion on Kauai. Garden Island.

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.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Police misconduct reports may include names, feds indict police accused of making man lick urinal, Big Island may have special election, water rights bill resurfaces, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2019 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii police on parade ©2019 All Hawaii News
Public disclosure of the names of officers discharged or suspended from a county police department could come as early as 2021. A bill, if enacted into law, would require Hawaii’s four county police chiefs to disclose in annual reports to the state Legislature the identity of an officer upon an officer’s suspension or discharge from a county police department. West Hawaii Today.

Water Rights Bill May Have New Life. There is talk that the Hawaii state Senate will vote on the controversial legislation as early as Tuesday. Civil Beat.

A legislative panel has passed a bill that would reduce penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana. The measure adopted by the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Friday says possession of 3 grams or less of marijuana would be a petty misdemeanor punishable by a $30 fine. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lawmakers tout ‘Hawaii Saves’ program despite pushback from some. State legislators are expected to vote this week on “Hawaii Saves," a measure which would create a state retirement savings program for local businesses. Hawaii News Now.

Bill expands authority to eradicate invasive species on private property. The Hawaii Legislature is close to passing a measure that will provide invasive species committees another weapon in the fight against biological intruders. West Hawaii Today.

Following Lawsuit, DOE Revives Its Gender Equity Committee. After a long absence, Hawaii’s education department is bringing back a committee to advise top leaders on how schools can comply with Title IX. Civil Beat.

Ige Appoints Kamehameha Schools Official To Board of Education. Damien Barcarse of the Big Island would bring Hawaiian language fluency and cultural knowledge to the position. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Attorney General Defends SNAP Benefits. Attorney General Clare E. Connors joined a coalition of 21 states and territories in opposing the Trump administration’s effort to end Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. Maui Now.


Feds Indict Two Honolulu Cops For Making Man Lick Urinal. They are accused of violating the victim’s civil rights. Four officers were initially disciplined after the January incident. Civil Beat.

Officers who allegedly forced man to lick urinal indicted on civil rights offenses. Two Honolulu officers who allegedly forced a homeless man to lick a urinal in a public restroom were charged Friday with civil rights offenses, federal authorities said. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Police Officers Allegedly Forced Man To Lick Urinal. Two Honolulu police officers arrested Friday are innocent of allegations they forced a man to lick a urinal, a defense attorney said. Hawaii Public Radio.


Impeachment proceedings for Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney hit a snag over signatures. Organizers switch websites to help the state verify signatures. Hawaii News Now.

Judge OKs recorded testimony from 99-year old key witness in Kealoha case. A key witness in the case against the Kealohas will be deposed ahead of the May trial because the 99-year-old is in failing health. Hawaii News Now.

Proposed ‘food hub’ would foster small-scale diversified farming. Star-Advertiser.

Vacation rentals in Waikiki rival largest hotels. New research from AllTheRooms, a New York-based search engine, shows there are about 3,300 vacation rental units in Waikiki. Star-Advertiser.

Kahana Valley living park concept ‘broken’. About a half a century ago the state paid $5 million to acquire a prized 5,000-acre Windward Oahu parcel, stretching from the mountains to the sea, and subsequently adopted a unique approach to protect the rural area from development. Star-Advertiser.

One of Hawaii’s first state-licensed pot growers shows off its operation. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

The Charter Commission will consider holding a special election later this year, rather than adding charter amendments to a 2020 general election ballot already crowded with candidates for president, Congress, county mayor, prosecutor and County Council. West Hawaii Today.

Charter Commission wraps up six-town roadshow. A sparse audience Thursday evening capped off six public hearings as the county Charter Commission wrapped up its roadshow giving residents all over the island a chance to weigh in on proposed changes to the county’s fundamental governing document. Star-Advertiser.

Lawsuit filed in toddler death: Family of child who died in foster care seeks justice, awareness and change. West Hawaii Today.

The state Land Board will consider Friday renaming Mauna Kea Recreation area after the late-Sen. Gil Kahele. Tribune-Herald.

Revitalizing Banyan: Bill to create agency on its way to final vote. The peninsula consists of mostly state land and is home to Hilo’s large hotels, including the Hilo Hawaiian and Grand Naniloa Hotel, and the shuttered Uncle Billy’s Hilo Bay Hotel, along Banyan Drive. Tribune-Herald.

The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan is looking for additional partners to help fund the Subaru Telescope. Michitoshi Yoshida, Subaru director, said Japan would remain the owner and main source of funding for the 8.2-meter telescope, located on Maunakea. Tribune-Herald.

The former vice chairman of the state Real Estate Commission was sentenced Friday to 10 years of court supervision, including six months in jail, for embezzling more than $200,000 from Hilo clients. Tribune-Herald.

A county employee says abrupt transfer station closures like those experienced last week could pop up again in the future unless the Hawaii County Department of Environmental Management adds to its solid waste division workforce. West Hawaii Today.


Preliminary injunction issued over handling of Hawaiian burials. Meeting planned for next week to mull specifics for Maui Lani project. Maui News.

Report on isle coral resiliency a mixed bag of good, bad news. Some reefs surviving better but all areas at risk with climate change, land-based sediment, toxic runoff. Maui News.


An emphasis on renewable energy. The world is getting closer to matching Kauai’s renewable energy profile, according to recent statistics, but Kauai is still strides ahead in renewable energy generation. Garden Island.


Making it right with Kahoolawe. Restoration of Kahoolawe is a multigenerational endeavor after all. Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission’s ocean resources manager said the restoration work they are doing won’t be completed in his generation but “might be done in my children’s generation.” Maui News.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Public slams Ala Wai flood plan, Senate shoots down prison purchase, marijuana decriminalization advances, another federal agency probing rail, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2019 All Hawaii News all rights reseerved
Along the Ala Wai ©2019 All Hawaii News
Flood control plan for Ala Wai strongly opposed at meeting. Controversy over a $345 million project to lessen flood risks at the Ala Wai Canal by building a wall around the canal and huge flood control structures in the upper reaches of the watershed drew hundreds to a Tuesday town hall meeting in Manoa. Star-Advertiser.

Hundreds attended a community meeting in Manoa Tuesday to hear from various city, state and federal agencies about a controversial flood risk management project proposed for the Ala Wai. Hawaii News Now.

Community members gather for input on Ala Wai Flood Management Project. The City and County of Honolulu has big plans to prevent a major flooding incident in Waikiki through the Ala Wai Flood Risk Management Project. KHON2.

Residents of Makiki, Palolo, and Manoa voice concerns over controversial Ala Wai flood mitigation plan. Plans to prevent catastrophic flooding of the Ala Wai Canal are met with protests. KITV.


Senate Shoots Down Proposal To Buy Underused Federal Prison. A House bill sought to save money and lessen overcrowding in state facilities by pushing to acquire the Federal Detention Center. Civil Beat.

One idea to reduce overcrowding in the state’s jails was shot down Tuesday by the state Senate. The state House proposed buying the 1,200 bed Federal Detention Center near the Honolulu airport. Hawaii News Now.

A bill to decriminalize marijuana is one step closer to becoming law. Senate lawmakers Tuesday voted to ease the penalties for people caught with small amounts of recreational marijuana. Hawaii News Now.

A measure to decriminalize possession of marijuana in small amounts is moving forward at the State Legislature. House Bill 1383 would make possessing three grams or less of cannabis a misdemeanor. It would also establish a fine, and expunge prior convictions for possession of three grams or less from criminal records. Hawaii Public Radio.

Anti-plastic proposals face hearings today. Senate Bill 522, which would ban the sale, use or distribution of plastic utensils, beverage bottles, straws, polystyrene food containers and more successfully passed through its first committees in the state House after crossing over from the Senate. Another bill, Senate Bill 367, would prohibit just the sale of polystyrene food containers statewide, and has been similarly successful. Tribune-Herald.

Water diversion bill now with Senate. Several grassroots groups on Kauai and throughout the state are targeting Kauai legislators, asking them to kill a bill that would extend temporary water diversion permits for large corporations. Garden Island.

Outdated Technology Hampers Investigations Into Hawaii Professionals. The state agency charged with overseeing thousands of licensees is finally switching to an updated complaints management system. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines urged to return outsourced call-center jobs to isles. The state House Labor Committee unanimously approved a draft resolution Tuesday urging Hawaiian Airlines to return 200-plus call center jobs it has outsourced to the Philippines. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers to Hawaiian Airlines: Move your call center back to the islands. The House Labor Committee Tuesday unanimously approved a draft resolution admonishing the carrier and calling on it to return those 200-plus jobs to the islands. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Supreme Court: Giant Law Firm OK To Set Up Shop Here. In a ruling based on the court’s own rules, the justices said multistate law firms can operate in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

A sea of orange flooded the Capitol with a message: Help feed Hawaii’s kupuna.  Hundreds participated in the 17th Annual March for Meals at the State Capitol Tuesday morning. Hawaii News Now.

A march Tuesday called on the State to set aside more money for senior services.  "Kupuna Care" is a state-funded program providing meals and services for seniors who cannot leave their homes. KITV.

The online forum Stolen Stuff Hawaii will attempt to flex its political muscles next month with a rally at the state Capitol. Star-Advertiser.

Tours and transportation company Roberts Hawaii has announced that President and Chief Operating Officer Percy Higashi will retire in June and executive vice president Roy Pfund will step into the role. Pacific Business News.


Bill curbing Waikiki parades and block parties advances. A bill to restrict parades and block parties in Waikiki won initial approval Tuesday from the City Council Transportation Committee. Star-Advertiser.

Another HART subpoena, targeting overpayments to move out of rail's way. HART has received a second subpoena, this time from the federal Department of Transportation OIG, collecting documents for a grand jury looking into relocation payments and real estate acquisition management, for people and companies that had to move out of rail's right of way. KHON2.

U.S. DOT Inspector General looking into rail concerns. The Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Transportation is inquiring about claims by a former quality manager for a Honolulu rail contractor who alleges he was fired last year after he complained about flaws in construction of columns and shafts that support the airport segment of the rail line. Star-Advertiser.

City Council Advances Short-Term Rental Regulations. Members of the Honolulu City Council’s Planning Committee advanced two measures that would represent a sweeping change to the way short-term rentals are regulated on Oahu. Hawaii Public Radio.

Short-term vacation rentals on Oahu could soon be regulated. A City Council committee moved a bill forward Monday that would cap the amount of residents allowed to rent out rooms on their properties to 4,000 units on Oahu. KITV.

1-year later, Kauhale Kamaile offers stability, hope for homeless families in Waianae. Tuesday marked the first anniversary of the opening of the city’s 16-unit Kauhale Kamaile project along Farrington Highway, across from Waianae High School. Star-Advertiser.

Solar permits issued on Oahu continued their downward trend and plunged 20 percent in February. There were 156 solar permits issued by the City and County of Honolulu compared with 194 in the year-earlier period. Star-Advertiser.

Kaneohe home sales outpace Windward Oahu neighbor Kailua. Sales of single-family homes in Kaneohe jumped by 75 percent last month, compared to February 2018, as prices remained unchanged, while sales in the adjacent Windward Oahu market of Kailua-Waimanalo declined by 14 percent. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Puna Geothermal Venture will host a community meeting Friday to address status of restarting the power plant and access through its “pioneer road.” Tribune-Herald.

Roundabout projects on Hwy 130 could be ‘shovel ready’ by August. The state Department of Transportation started the consultation process for future improvements to Highway 130. Tribune-Herald.

Local officials, businesses celebrate Southwest Airlines’ arrival to Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.


Maui Mayor Michael Victorino today announced his appointment of Lori Tsuhako as Director of the Department of Housing and Human Concerns and Linda Munsell as Deputy Director. Maui Now.

Closing arguments heard in Maui Lani ancestral site case. Complaint by Maui resident argues that project has disturbed about 180 burials. Maui News.

Work progresses on senior rental housing project. Work continues on the the $34 million, 165-unit Kahului Lani senior affordable rental housing development in Kahului. Maui News.

Public Safety Director Travels to Maui to Survey Riot Damage at MCCC. Maui Now.

Inmate: Broken phones a starter for ‘riot’ at jail. Smoke-filled modules, locked cells, flames to the ceiling at MCCC. Maui News.


Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami reflects on plans. He had announced an operating budget of $242 million and a capital budget of $36 million — a precipitous one-year uptick until the realization that the new half-percent increase in the general excise tax — which is expected to produce $24 million in new revenue — will be earmarked for roads and transportation. Garden Island.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Hawaii infrastructure gets low marks, Kaneshiro takes paid leave amid federal probe, House passes pot decriminalization, entangled whale freed off Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2019 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Walking along Diamond Head Road ©2019 All Hawaii News
Hawaii’s infrastructure gets D+ in yearly report from engineers society. Most of the Aloha State’s infrastructure systems are in poor to fair condition. The report card recommends the state Legislature increase the state gas tax and support “innovative funding mechanisms” to pay for a backlog of repairs. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's infrastructure received its first report card today and more than half of grades were below passing. The 2019 Report Card covers 11 infrastructure categories.  And of those categories, 5 are in mediocre condition and six are in poor condition or already at risk. Hawaii Public Radio.

Report: Majority of Hawaii’s infrastructure operating ‘beyond its useful life’. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii's infrastructure given D+ grade from civil engineers. Poor to fair, that's what the American Society of Civil Engineers Hawaii section ranked most of Hawaii's infrastructure on Thursday, giving an overall grade of “D+.” KHON2.

Most of Hawaii’s infrastructure systems, including those for roads, schools, drinking water and stormwater, are in such poor condition that the local chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers has given the state an overall grade of “D-plus” on an inaugural report card. Pacific Business News.


House Votes To Decriminalize Possessing Small Amounts Of Pot. The measure that now goes to the Senate would apply to having 3 grams of marijuana or less, which still could result in a $200 fine. Civil Beat.

The state House of Representatives passed a bill today that would decriminalize the adult use of marijuana, which is currently illegal under federal law. Star-Advertiser.

A bill that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis passed the state House of Representatives and will now go before the state Senate. Tribune-Herald.


Unanimous vote in State Senate clarifies rules on how to use crosswalk signals. There was a unanimous vote in the State Senate Thursday clarifying rules on how to use crosswalk signals with countdown timers. KITV.

Hawaiian Airlines said Thursday it would award $31 million in profit- sharing and performance bonuses to employees following what was an “exceptional” 2018. Star-Advertiser.

Local Dairies Could Solve Future Milk Shortages, But It's An Expensive Venture. Hawaii Public Radio.


Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro said Thursday he would take a voluntary paid leave effective immediately. He was notified last year that he was a target of a federal investigation into government corruption, and has faced pressure from Attorney General Clare Connors and Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard to step down. Star-Advertiser.

Embattled Honolulu Prosecutor Takes Immediate Leave Of Absence. Keith Kaneshiro is a target in a wide-ranging corruption investigation. His removal was sought by the state attorney general. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro announced Thursday he is taking a leave of absence from his office. His action follows reports that he is a target in an ongoing federal corruption investigation and subsequent calls for him to step down. Hawaii Public Radio.

After refusing to step aside for months, embattled city prosecutor takes leave amid federal probe. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu's prosecutor is taking a leave of absence from his office, a month after confirming he received a target letter in connection with a federal investigation. KHON2.

Kaneshiro takes a leave of absence amid federal investigation. Dwight Nadamoto will serve as Acting Prosecuting Attorney. KITV.


City Poised To Pay $550,000 To Cop Who Claimed HPD Doctored Test Scores. A lawsuit alleges Police Chief Susan Ballard, while commander of the police academy in 2008, took part in making it easier for recruits to pass. Civil Beat.

Pali Highway fix expected to be done in August. It’s going to be a long road ahead — another five months at least — before Pali Highway is fixed and reopened following last month’s rockslide. Star-Advertiser.

$15 milion price tag to repair the Pali Highway. Heavy rains last month triggered multiple landslides along the Pali Highway. KITV.

Kakaako intersection may turn into roundabout to accommodate Rail. "HART" is planning to put a rail column in the middle of the road on Queen and Waimanu streets, along with a roundabout. This is the area next to South Shore Market and TJ Maxx. KHON2.

A year in, mobile hygiene center demonstrates the incredible power of a shower. The mobile hygiene center travels to different communities across Oahu up to five days a week. Hawaii News Now.

Homeless man accused of West Oahu wildfires had been arrested 30 times before. Hawaii News Now.

Council Member Wants Audit of Hawaiian Humane Society. Ann Kobayashi said she was stunned by how many key employees had left the Humane Society under its current CEO. Civil Beat.

The abrupt shutdown scheduled today for Argosy University- Hawaii will leave about 800 graduate and under­graduate students in the lurch, midway through the semester. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Salary Commission approves new rules to slow down raise-setting process. Slow and steady is the name of the game for the county Salary Commission, which on Thursday revised its rules and received updates on collective bargaining agreements, private sector pay scales and county finances, but took no action on salaries for top management. West Hawaii Today.

Proposal for water-bottling plant killed. A proposal for a new water-bottling plant near Wailoa State Recreation Area was resurrected briefly before being definitively killed again at Thursday’s meeting of the Windward Planning Commission. Tribune-Herald.

A permit to allow the construction of a water bottling facility in Hilo was denied by the Windward Planning Commission on Thursday. Big Island Video News.

Kona pool down 6 to 7 months. After almost being shut down for a full week, Hawaii County officials expect Kona Community Aquatics Center to remain closed for six to seven months until a new filter system can be installed. West Hawaii Today.


Two tourism reports for January indicate a softening of the Maui market with visitor spending down nearly 14 percent from last January and hotel revenue and average daily rates off across the board. Maui News.

A new study from financial technology company, SmartAsset, ranks the Waihee-Waiehu area of Maui as the most affordable place to live in Hawaii. Maui Now.

70 Waikapu affordable housing units offered. Waiale Elua applications due by March 29. Maui News.

Team cuts 500 feet of fishing gear from emaciated juvenile whale off Maui.  NOAA says five entangled whales have been spotted in Hawaii in the past week. Four of them were off Maui. Hawaii News Now.

Entangled Humpback Whale Freed of Gear Off Maui. An estimated 500 feet of heavy gauge line was removed from an entangled humpback whale off Maui. Maui Now.


Nearly a year after April floods triggered a sinkhole and washed out a portion of Kahiliholo Road, residents are celebrating its reopening. But they’re also wondering what took so long. Garden Island.

Esaki’s Produce doesn’t usually fly their shipments to Kauai, normally relying on Matson to transport them via boat in deliveries that are made twice a week — Tuesdays and Fridays. But, for the past two weeks, Esaki’s has been shipping its wares in through Hawaiian Airlines to combat about a month of delayed shipping at sea. Garden Island.