Showing posts with label retirement fund. Show all posts
Showing posts with label retirement fund. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Government employees lose retiree benefits lawsuit, property tax surcharge for education bill revived, Hawaii Democrats announce presidential primary candidates, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawai‘i AG prevails in class-action lawsuit involving state retiree health benefits. After nearly 18 years in court, the Hawai‘i Department of the Attorney General has prevailed in a class-action lawsuit in which retired government employees sought to recover hundreds of millions of dollars in claims relating to retiree health benefits provided by the Hawai‘i Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund.  Big Island Now.

AG swamped with hundreds more cases after city prosecutor’s ‘unilateral’ decision. Honolulu City Prosecutor Steve Alm has ended the practice of prosecuting cases from state law enforcement agencies — a decision made late last year that’s resulted in about 600 additional cases for the state Attorney General’s Office. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiʻi Democrats announce presidential primary candidates for March 6 ballot. President Joe Biden and four other candidates will be on the March 6 Democratic Party presidential primary election ballot, the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi announced. Maui Now.

Bipartisan Maui wildfire legislative package focuses on prevention and preparedness. After the last legislative session, House Speaker Scott Saiki created six working groups to evaluate topics related to the Maui wildfires. The bipartisan group issued a package of 10 bills and two resolutions that aim to prevent wildfires statewide and be more prepared. Hawaii Public Radio.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment Would Let Hawaii Use Property Taxes To Fund Schools. A measure that would have Hawaii voters decide on whether residential investment property valued at $3 million or more should be subject to a surcharge in order to increase funding for local public education passed out of the state House Education Committee on Tuesday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

House Majority introduces bill package for 2024 Hawaiʻi Legislative Session.
The majority caucus of the Hawaiʻi House of Representatives has introduced nine bills aimed at addressing several critical issues throughout the state as part of its bill package for the 2024 Hawaiʻi Legislative Session. Big Island Now.

Working Families Legislative Caucus sponsors several bills aimed at boosting economic justice.
A group of 14 state lawmakers focused on helping Hawai’i’s working families is sponsoring several bills during the 2024 legislative session intended to boost financial security for the state’s vulnerable residents. Big Island Now.

Republican bill would let only current, former residents buy Hawaii homes.
Only current and former residents would be allowed to purchase homes under a House Republican bill designed to lower prices and make Hawaii housing more affordable across the state. Star-Advertiser.

State Health Department determines awa, also known as kava, to be safe.
The traditional elixir is known as awa in Hawaii and was brought to the islands by the early Polynesian settlers. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.

Officials say Hawaiʻi needs more plant quarantine inspectors. Officials who oversee the inspection of goods coming to Hawaiʻi say they can’t do it properly because of a staffing shortage. Hawaii Public Radio.


Condemned Waikiki walk-up is eyed for affordable housing. Following nearly two years of condemnation proceedings, Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s administration said in a news release Tuesday that the city finally assumed ownership of the derelict, 9,454-square-foot property at 1615 Ala Wai Blvd. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Rolling Power Outages On Hawaiʻi Island As Generators Trip Offline. 30-minute rolling power outages were initiated across the Island of Hawaiʻi on Tuesday, due to the unexpected loss of several large generators. Big Island Video News.

Bills introduced for dangerous dogs, involuntary manslaughter. Big Island lawmakers have introduced a pair of bills in the state House that would make the owners of a dangerous dog or dogs that fatally maul a person subject to felony charges. Tribune-Herald.


Presentation on Permanent Disposal Site on agenda for Lahaina meeting, Jan. 31.
The community is encouraged to learn more about the status and process of selecting a Permanent Disposal Site for ash and debris from the Lahaina wildfire at the County of Maui Disaster Recovery Community Update meeting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, at the Lahaina Civic Center. Maui Now.

Maui’s Martin gets new post as Public Affairs Director;
Abraham to lead Communications and Government Affairs. Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen announced today that Mahina Martin, his Chief of Communications and Public Affairs, will take on a new role as Director of Public Affairs. He also appointed his legislative liaison and executive assistant, Laksmi Abraham, as Director of Communications and Government Affairs.  Maui Now.

FEMA Is Developing A ‘Last Resort’ Plan To House Maui Fire Survivors In Kaanapali. Hawaii Sen. Angus McKelvey said "dignified" modular housing should be installed in this area near Lahaina to keep the community together. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Bill To Speed Construction Of Ohana Houses On Maui Adopted.
The legislation will make it possible for homeowners to get paid to build accessory dwelling units on their properties. Civil Beat.

Grand Wailea spa shakes up amid court fight
. Counsel for spa workers who are part of an “upcoming mass layoff” of independent contractors at the Grand Wailea, a Waldorf-­Astoria Resort, said workers had until this morning to decide whether they would sign an arbitration agreement to keep their jobs, which are converting into W-2 positions. Star-Advertiser.

Maui Businesses Are Supposed To Have Priority For Wildfire Cleanup Jobs. Do They? The mainland contractor overseeing the work doesn't have to reveal who is getting hired even though it's a taxpayer-funded job. Civil Beat.

2 month road closure between Alelele and Lelekea Bridge in East Maui due to erosion. Motorists are advised that the highway in the Kīpahulu area of southeast Maui is closed near Mile 39 from Alelele Bridge to Lelekea Bridge due to erosion damage to the road caused by recent heavy rains.  Maui Now.


Kauai Residents Want Next County Budget To Address Housing, Disaster Preparedness, Environment. The public can weigh in on county spending priorities at six listening sessions scheduled islandwide through early March. Civil Beat. Kauai Now.

Monday, March 6, 2023

Green promises more transparent government, state pension plan faces $13.5B shortfall, noise detector cameras proposed for Honolulu, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Josh Green Says He’s Already Taking Steps To Make Hawaii Government More Open. Gov. Josh Green says he intends to use the power of his office to make state government more open to Hawaii citizens, including making changes at the state office that oversees public information if it continues to perform badly. Civil Beat.

Pension fund exec optimistic despite $13.5B shortfall. It’s been an uphill climb for the state Employees’ Retirement System pension fund, but its top administrator says beneficiaries have nothing to worry about even though the fund has a $13.5 billion shortfall. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers target personal gains from homestead sales. As the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands gears up to deliver a historic number of new homestead leases, some Hawaii lawmakers want to block existing or former lessees from acquiring more homesteads while long-unserved applicants languish on a waitlist. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers’ allowance spending reports moving online. How Hawaii lawmakers spend an annual allowance up to $15,952 for incidental work-related expenses will be easier for the general public to see. Star-Advertiser.

Shortage of truck drivers further threatens Hawaii’s supply chain. The situation was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit hiring across the economy as people lost their jobs or dropped out of the workforce and many moved away from the islands for cheaper living on the mainland. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers propose search and rescue reimbursements for illegal hikes. A proposal by Maui State Senator, Lynn DeCoite is moving in the legislature as a bill looking to fine people for their search and rescue, if they trespass illegal hikes or act dangerously on them. KHON2.

Pilot Cesspool Grant Program Announced For Hawaiʻi. Hawaiʻi has announced a pilot cesspool grant program to help qualified property owners convert their cesspools, or connect to an available sewage system. Big Island Video News. Maui News.

Statewide release of small wasp to battle damaging coffee borer beetle getting closer. The statewide release of a small wasp to battle the devastating coffee berry borer beetle — which causes millions in Hawai’i coffee crop damage — moved another step closer to taking flight.  Big Island Now. Kauai Now.


Honolulu mayor's $4.5B budget proposals include $300 homeowner tax credit.
Included in the overall package is a one-time $300 property tax credit for qualifying homeowners on Oʻahu. The city estimates it will help nearly 152,000 homeowners, amounting to about $45.5 million. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu Rehab With Lucrative Pay For Top Staff Stiffed Regular Workers, Federal Probe Finds. The agreement with the Department of Labor requires Sand Island Treatment Center to pay back wages of almost $452,000 by Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Excessive-noise detection cameras proposed for Oahu. Sen. Sharon Moriwaki (D, Kakaako-McCully-Waikiki) introduced Senate Bill 588, which would appropriate funds for the Department of Transportation to develop a pilot program to use noise detection traffic cameras to address excessive traffic noise in urban areas in counties with a population of more than 500,000. Star-Advertiser.

Amid high need, affordable housing project for seniors set to open in urban core. Hale Makana O Mo’ili’ili, a five-story affordable housing complex for seniors, is set to open this month and officials hope to quickly fill all available apartments given high need. Hawaii News Now.

Why A $16M Waianae Police Station Sits Largely Empty 7 Years After It Opened. Despite opening in 2016, the Waianae station is a ghost ship, with only one officer to receive walk-ins. One or two officers sometimes come in to file paperwork, but the station’s top floor is unfinished and has no air conditioning, walls or electrical outlets. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Bill aims to give some farmers a tax break. Hawaii County might give Big Island farmers a break on their taxes under a new bill to be considered this week. Tribune-Herald.

HCCC strives for improved facility conditions. Conditions at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center have improved over the last six months, but there’s still more to be done, state officials say. Tribune-Herald.

HVNP solicits feedback for preferred use of the ‘Great Crack’.  Nearly five years after acquiring it, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park will solicit public feedback this year about what it should do with the “Great Crack” in Ka‘u. Tribune-Herald.


Fate of affordable project to be decided pretty soon. The need for affordable housing and a Native Hawaiian family’s claims of land ownership are coming to a head as a Maui County Council committee has until next month to decide whether to approve a 100 percent affordable rental project in Waiehu. Maui News.

Luxury yacht finally freed from Maui near-shore reef only to sink in 800 feet of water. Nearly two weeks after a 120-ton, 94-foot luxury yacht grounded in Honolua Bay on Maui, a salvage ship and a tugboat from Honolulu finally freed the vessel named Nakoa from the rocky shoreline. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2. KITV4.


Hāʻena's community-based fishing area avoids alterations by the state. A controversial bill to repeal a community-based subsistence fishing area on Kauaʻi quietly died Thursday, after lawmakers failed to schedule a hearing on the bill by Wednesday’s deadline. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kauaʻi Humane Society receives $223,000 state grant for spay and neuter initiatives. The Kauaʻi Humane Society will use $223,000 from its first Grant-in-Aid from the State of Hawaiʻi for spay and neuter initiatives to help decrease the overpopulation crisis. Kauai Now. Garden Island.

Monday, September 20, 2021

TSA, airlines given more time to comply with vaccine requirements, librarians harassed, state employee pension fund sees record return, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

State gives Transportation Security Administration and airlines exemptions to Hawaii’s COVID emergency orders. Gov. David Ige’s order requiring that contractors and visitors at state facilities and property provide proof of their vaccination or testing status prior to entry has already been in effect for a week, but thousands of workers at state airports still aren’t in compliance. Star-Advertiser.

Name calling, property damage: Public librarians harassed over vaccine mandate enforcement.
Public libraries are finding it a challenge trying to balance enforcing the new requirements and providing services to their guests. Hawaii News Now.

The Pandemic Taught Us Broadband Is Essential. But Where Is It? Gaps in broadband service in Hawaii are screamingly obvious to the people who have to cope with them, but proving where the problems lie is another matter. Civil Beat.

‘Technical issue’ causes widespread Spectrum cable outage for Hawaii customers. Spectrum said it is working to restore cable to hundreds of customers across Hawaii following an outage Saturday morning. Hawaii News Now.

Study found tourists willing to pay more for Hawaii culture, sustainability, locally grown food. Visitors to the state of Hawaii are willing to pay more for Native Hawaiian cultural experiences, sustainability and locally grown food, according to findings from a new study conducted by the University of Hawaii  at Manoa and West Oahu. KHON2.

Employees’ Retirement System rockets to record 26.2% 1-year return. Hawaii’s largest public pension fund, which has been playing catch-up to dig out of a $14.6 billion shortfall, has achieved what is believed to be the best fiscal- year performance in its 95-year history. Star-Advertiser.

Former teachers union head, Corey Rosenlee, running for state Senate. Corey Rosenlee, the outspoken and assertive former leader of the Hawaii teachers union, has announced his bid to run for the state Senate for the seat currently held by Mike Gabbard, chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Environment Committee and father of former U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s lieutenant governor Josh Green seeks U.S. surgeon general’s support
in addressing pandemic. Lt. Gov. Josh Green texted the U.S. surgeon general over the weekend to encourage him to provide Hawaii and other states with more support to avoid rationing health care. Star-Advertiser.

He co-founded an anti-vax mandate group.
Then he caught COVID, and his views changed. Officials hope Chris Wikoff’s about-face will help undermine some of the protests and rallies against the vaccine mandates and other COVID restrictions. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii records 12 new coronavirus-related deaths, 474 additional infections. Today’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 297 new cases on Oahu, 36 on Maui, 77 on Hawaii island, 45 on Kauai, six on Molokai and 13 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


How An Arbitrator’s Decision Can Cause Problems For Police Agencies Years Later. Officers’ prior misconduct is often used against them — and ultimately the taxpayers — in civil lawsuits that arise from unrelated incidents that happen many years later. Civil Beat.

Lottery scheduled for moderate-price rental housing in downtown Honolulu. The owner of Bishop Place has made applications available for an Oct. 19 lottery to select tenants for more than an initial two phases of apartments reserved for households that meet requirements including largely moderate income limits. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Embattled Ag Agency Finally Moves Wahiawa Center Forward.
A new product development center is being heralded by supporters as evidence that the Agribusiness Development Corp. is making progress. Civil Beat.

The Miske Case: Former Kaneohe Biker Bar Operator Pleads Guilty. Prosecutors have now lined up at least nine people linked to alleged crime boss Mike Miske as cooperating witnesses. Civil Beat.

North Shore seasonal erosion becoming more severe. Scientists and experts have studied the trend for years. Powerful swells from the west or northwest hit the beach during winter. In the summer, small northeast trade wind swells push sand back west toward Waimea Bay. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Questions of chemical discharges surround decommissioned scopes atop Mauna Kea. The first two observatories of as many as five of the existing 13 that dominate the landscape atop Mauna Kea are expected to be decommissioned by late 2023.  Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Kolekole Bridge disruption: Emergency weight limit impacts emergency responders, truckers, mass transit. State Sen. Lorraine Inouye on Friday said the state Department of Transportation is declaring the area of Hawaii Belt Road near Kolekole Bridge a “traffic emergency zone.” Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Peeved in Puna: Residents frustrated by county’s decision regarding lava-damaged infrastructure.
Current and former Puna residents were dismayed to learn Hawaii County will not use federal funds to restore certain infrastructure destroyed by the 2018 Kilauea eruption. Tribune-Herald.


Small isle eateries cite big losses due to new mandates. Resident-based restaurants looking for financial relief to avoid cutbacks, closure. Maui News.

Amala Place Gate to Kanahā Beach Park to be Locked, Sept. 19-24 for Area Clean-up. County officials say the temporary closure is needed to safeguard public safety during the area’s planned clean-up that will require heavy equipment to remove derelict vehicles and solid waste from the area.  Maui Now.

Sears at Queen Ka‘ahumanu on Maui Officially Closing November 14. After nearly a half century, Sears department store, one of the original tenants of Queen Ka’ahumanu Center, is closing its doors. Maui Now.  Maui News.


‘Birds are dying’. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife will meet with property owners following ongoing reports of feral cats wiping out a wedge-tailed shearwater colony on Makahu‘ena Point in Po‘ipu. Garden Island.

Aid for the houseless community. Contrades-Pangan of Ho‘omana Thrift Store in Wailua collaborated with a host of community agencies and businesses to provide Na Wai Eha on Saturday afternoon at the thrift store near the northern bank of the Wailua River. Garden Island.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Economy slows, pension assets decline, bills would build condos on state land, turbulent hearing for Maui mayor appointees, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2019 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki shoppers ©2019 All Hawaii News
The state’s economy is expected to grow at a slower pace in the next few years, but a benchmark 10 million tourists could visit by the end of the year — and inflation-­adjusted visitor spending could surpass a peak that hasn’t been reached since 1989. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii automobile sales running out of gas. Hawaii consumers are putting the brakes on buying new automobiles. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s largest public pension fund is facing an uphill battle to reach its fiscal-year investment target after its assets declined more than $1 billion during the October to December quarter amid a market collapse. Star-Advertiser.

Despite emotional testimony from gun control advocates, House lawmakers put the brakes on a proposed “red flag” law for Hawaii that is intended to keep firearms away from people who may pose a danger to themselves or others. Star-Advertiser.

Bills call for building condos on state land. Hawaii lawmakers introduced at least eight bills at the Legislature this session, including two at the request of Gov. David Ige, offering variations on the leasehold condo idea. Star-Advertiser.

A court ruling in support of a state law requiring all new homes be built with solar water heaters has led to a temporary halt to exemptions allowing installation of gas water heaters instead. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: Squirreling Away Money At The DOT. The state agency wants to raise fees and taxes even as if fails to spend what it already has. Civil Beat.


HART Answers Questions About Federal Subpoena. The U.S. Department of Justice has subpoenaed more than 30,000 documents from the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. Hawaii Public Radio.

Rail Project Faces Grand Jury Probe Just As It Pushes For Federal Funds. News of a criminal investigation arrives as Honolulu looks to seal the deal on the release of $744 million from the Federal Transit Administration. Civil Beat.

Here's what is open and closed for Monday, Feb. 18, on Presidents Day. KITV.

Buyer offers $1.3M cash for Kealohas’ former home. The lender foreclosing on the home of retired Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his former deputy prosecutor wife, Katherine Kealoha, said the Realtor handling the sale has a $1.3 million cash offer and is asking the court to approve the sale. Star-Advertiser.

Kealohas’ Hawaii Kai House Gets $1.3 Million Cash Offer. With a buyer in hand, the lender wants a federal judge to approve the sale. Civil Beat.

For the second time in as many months, a developer failed to win community support for a predominantly affordable high-rise housing project planned for the area near Aloha Stadium. Star-Advertiser.

Waialae-Kahala master plan updates to be discussed. Changes in the Waialae - Kahala area, where a gas station and businesses had to close, buildings came down, and construction has begun. KHON2.

The transfer of the last privately owned piece of Waimea Valley to a nonprofit cultural conservation group was marked Saturday with a blessing and dedication ceremony. Star-Advertiser.

Safe driving advocates continue to plead lawmakers for stricter rules on drunk driving following tragic Kakaako incident. KITV.

The deadly crash that killed three pedestrians in Kakaako Jan. 28 continues to raise calls for personal and government action against drunken driving. Star-Advertiser.

Native oysters are returning to Pearl Harbor — but they aren’t for eating.Instead, their purpose is cleaning. Hawaii News Now.

Struggling grocery co-op Kokua Market devises rescue plan. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Public hearing set for general excise tax hike. An increase in the county’s surcharge on the state general excise tax has been endorsed by state legislative leaders, most of the County Council and Mayor Harry Kim. West Hawaii Today.

The island’s newest County Council members are finding the job takes more time than they expected, and the three freshmen have mostly put aside their former occupations to channel their energy into their government work. West Hawaii Today.

The Senate Committee on Ways and Means will consider a bill Tuesday morning that would authorize the issuance of up to $50 million in special-purpose revenue bonds to assist in the development of the Kona Jet Center at the south end of the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole. West Hawaii Today.

More trails open at HVNP. A bit more of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has become accessible. Tribune-Herald.

Work begins on Korean War memorial. An obelisk dedicated to the Big Island’s Korean War dead will stand in Wailoa Park after a decade of waiting. Tribune-Herald.


The Maui County Council on Friday heard from approximately 75 testifiers in a sometimes heated and emotional public hearing on the confirmations of 11 department director appointees of Mayor Michael Victorino. Maui News.

Maui County residents will have a chance to share their ideas on transportation projects at the Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization’s open house Saturday. Maui News.

More than 250 participants over four nights planned for West Maui’s future at community design workshops, held Feb. 4 to 7, 2019, according to county officials. Maui Now.

The Summit District of Haleakala National Park is reopened for visitors to enjoy the beauty of the area. Maui Now.

Single-family home sales drop on Maui. Single-family home sales on Maui dropped in January, compared to a year ago, while the median price rose 3.5 percent and condominium sales and prices both rose by single digits. Pacific Business News.


U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Thursday awarded $74 million to hundreds of public housing authorities across the country, including $567,460 to six public housing agencies in Hawaii and Guam. The Kauai County Housing Agency was slated to receive $132,000. Garden Island.

While the Wai Koa Loop Trail has been popular for years with residents and visitors alike, now it’s an official and ongoing fixture on the North Shore. Garden Island.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Ige to give State of the State address this morning as lawmakers criticize missile alert snafu, mayors seek taxing power, grim budgets as employee costs rise, Honolulu councilman seeks false missile alarm working group, federal employees face furloughs, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy Rep. Della Au Bellati
Gov. Ige addresses legislative committee PC: Rep. Della Au Bellati
Amid sharp critiques, Ige to deliver fourth State of the State. After a difficult week for his administration and amid mounting questions over his leadership, Gov. David Ige will address lawmakers and constituents on Monday in his fourth State of the State address. Hawaii News Now.

State public funds’ shortfall hits $25B. The two public funds designed to meet the future pension and health care needs of government employees and retirees are a combined $25 billion in the hole with a growing shortfall. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s transient accommodations tax collections jumped 14 percent in 2017. Hawaii’s transient accommodations tax collections increased 13.8 percent to $508.4 million in fiscal year 2017, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s annual report to the state Legislature. Pacific Business News.

County Mayors: We Want More Power To Tax. They also want a larger share of the state hotel tax revenues and immunity for lifeguards at state beaches. Civil Beat.


Governor took 15 minutes to announce missile alert was false. The Hawaii National Guard’s top commander said Friday he told Gov. David Ige that a missile alert was a false alarm two minutes after it went out statewide. But the governor didn’t tell the public until 15 minutes later. Associated Press.

Gov. David Ige was told last week’s missile alert was a false alarm just two minutes after the warning message was sent to cellphones across the state, the director of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency told lawmakers Friday. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Knew 2 Minutes After Missile Alert That It Was False. But it took his office 15 minutes to announce the news in a Twitter post, legislators were told Friday. Civil Beat.

Legislature Conducts Hearing on False Missile Alert. Governor David Ige told lawmakers Friday that safeguards are in place and there will be consequences for the 38 minute delay to end the false alarm. Hawaii Public Radio.

State lawmakers put Hawaii emergency officials, including Governor David Ige, under the spotlight during an informational briefing Friday, held to review the circumstances surrounding the erroneous release of a statewide emergency alert on Saturday, January 13. Big Island Video News.


Republicans Want Lower Taxes And Better Public Access To Legislature. Bills to expand public record laws and exempt food items from taxes are endorsed by the minority caucus. Civil Beat.

State Representative Andria Tupola confirms run for governor. KITV.

There’s an increasingly urgent need for more state-funded ambulance units across the state to deal with a surge in emergency calls, primarily by seniors and the homeless, emergency services chiefs told state lawmakers last week. Star-Advertiser.

State tracks bacteria at busy beaches but often cannot identify the source. Star-Advertiser.

The state of Hawaii’s plan for improving public education under the Every Student Succeeds Act was approved Friday by the federal government. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Education said it’s received federal approval of its plan to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act, the federal education law which replaces No Child Left Behind. Tribune-Herald.

Here’s What We Pay County Workers — Except For Cops. Our salary database has thousands of new entries, but a legal challenge is holding back Honolulu police officer information. Civil Beat.

Several thousand federal civilian employees in Hawaii will be furloughed today because of the government shutdown. Star-Advertiser.

What happens now? How Hawaii is affected by a federal government shutdown. KHON2.

2 Hawaii congresswomen decline pay for duration of government shutdown. Hawaii News Now.

Feds make more than $2M available to reduce fishing bycatch. Associated Press.

Dozens Of Hawaii’s Mentally Ill May Lose Their Homes. The state looks to stop subsidies to people who already have received them for much longer than the intended two years. Civil Beat.

A state-sponsored ferry service for Hawaii would be financially and commercially impractical, according to a new study conducted last year by the state Department of Transportation. Star-Advertiser.

"Our job is to be ready": USS Carl Vinson en route to Western Pacific. KITV.

Across the state, thousands turn out for women's marches, rallies. Hawaii News Now.


City Councilman Ernie Martin wants Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell to convene “a false missile alert working group” to assess how the city Department of Emergency Management and other city agencies responded to the Jan. 13 alert issued by mistake by state emergency officials. Star-Advertiser.

Mismanagement Could Cost Honolulu Another $10 Million. The city is scrambling to figure out how to make use of empty buildings in Waipahu and Chinatown. Civil Beat.

Private sponsors sought for programs at city zoo. Star-Advertiser.

Auction begins for Ryan’s Grill Honolulu as it closes after 34 years in business. Oahu Auctions will sell kitchen equipment and restaurant decorations from Ryan’s Grill Honolulu, which will serve dinner for the last time on Saturday, after more than 34 years in business. Pacific Business News.

Porn law’s loophole helped Oahu man avoid charges, critics say. Star-Advertiser.

Kapolei parcel sails back on the market, but this time not for sale. An affiliate of the James Campbell Co. has listed 14 acres of commercial land in Kapolei, but the parcel sandwiched between Farrington Highway and the H-1 freeway is being offered under long-term ground leases rather, as well as for sale.  Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

General excise tax hike mulled as county drains fund balance. Mayor Harry Kim on Friday sent the County Council a bill to raise the general excise tax by one-half percent to balance next year’s budget, while telling a state legislative panel the county exhausted its fund balance to pay for this year. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim traveled to the State Capitol Friday, joining the state’s other county mayors for an informational briefing before the Senate Ways and Means Committee and House Finance Committee. Big Island Video News.

Crawford returns as Finance Department deputy. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has closed portions of the park to the public as a result of the federal government shutdown. Tribune-Herald.

EnVision Maunakea’s process coming to a close; about 100 people participate. Tribune-Herald.


Three Lawsuits Filed on Maui Over Shoreline Access. Maui Now.

Mayor looking into perks given to affordable housing owner. An apartment building owner who received millions of dollars in benefits to create an affordable housing project in Lahaina is coming under county scrutiny in light of the owner’s plans to raise affordable rents to market rates in 2019. Maui News.

Low inventory, higher housing prices persist in Maui County. Year-end real estate sales remain hot. Maui News.

Federal Government Shutdown Results in Haleakala Sunrise Summit Closure. Maui Now.

Hawaiian Airlines reinstated daily nonstop service Friday between Portland, Ore., and Maui. Star-Advertiser.

East Maui drivers brace for closures due to highway repairs. Hawaii News Now.

A public presentation on a proposed renewable energy conversion and sludge processing project at the Wailuku-Kahului Wastewater Reclamation Facility will be held Wednesday. Maui News.


County leaders reflect on 2017 accomplishments. Garden Island.

Feral pig population holding steady. Garden Island.

One month without plastic. The average resident on Kauai produces around 1,300 pounds of waste per year, and county officials said that points to the potential impact of every individual’s choices. Garden Island.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Rail funding unresolved after 7-hour hearing, dog kills Kauai shearwaters, marijuana dispensaries plan reopening, employee retirement system rebounding, Kona well failure, no jail time for manager in deadly fireworks blast, Maui family sues Las Vegas police over deadly chokehold, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation
Rail construction June 15, 2017, PC: HART
With the special session on rail looming in two weeks, legislators still don’t have a deal. But leaders from both chambers appeared open to raising the state’s hotel room tax to help rescue the beleaguered transit project during a marathon hearing Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Lawmakers Not Sold On Rail Tax Extension. Legislators attending a briefing Monday appeared more favorable to tapping hotel tax money to help pay for the $10 billion rail line. Civil Beat.

Joint Legislative Hearing on Honolulu Rail Transit Project Conducted. Hawaii Public Radio.

With a funding plan due to the Federal Transit Administration in just about a month, state lawmakers held a marathon hearing Monday to consider different ways of paying for the Honolulu's controversial rail project. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii's tourism industry is finally getting a chance to sound off on a plan to raise the hotel room tax. It's one solution to generating money to complete the city's rail system to Ala Moana. KITV.

A special session on how to pay for the rest of Honolulu’s rail project may be in jeopardy. State lawmakers told us they were committed to holding one, but now things are up in the air. KHON2.

Neighbor Island rail taxes still on the table. West Hawaii Today.


The state Employees’ Retirement System, Hawaii’s largest public pension fund, chipping away at a $12 billion shortfall, nearly doubled the investment return targeted by its trustees and posted its best fiscal year performance since 2014. Star-Advertiser.

Marijuana dispensaries that ran out of product within days of opening are blaming the state Department of Health, which in turn is blaming the only marijuana testing lab, Steep Hill Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s only two medical marijuana dispensaries plan to reopen on Wednesday with more inventory. Civil Beat.

Roughly 900 people have drowned over the past 10 years in Hawaii, with the rate of visitor deaths continuing to far outpace that of local residents, according to the latest data from state and county officials. Civil Beat.


The Kahala Hotel &Resort is withdrawing its request to obtain a rare nonexclusive easement to use about an acre of public shoreline for commercial enterprises. Star-Advertiser.

Construction on the Airport Guideway and Stations segment of the Honolulu Rail Transit Project will begin Tuesday night near Aloha Stadium. Hawaii News Now.

Will Native Hawaiians Be The Victims In This Fight Over A Royal Fortune? The legacy of a Hawaiian princess who has spent her life supporting Hawaiian causes is at stake in a struggle over control of her $200 million estate. Civil Beat.

Six years after a deadly explosion at a Waikele bunker that killed 5 people, a company manager tied to operations at the site of the blast won't spend any time behind bars. Hawaii News Now.

The former project manager of a munitions storage and disposal company was sentenced Monday to probation and a fine of $250 for improperly storing explosive material. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu-based BAE Systems Hawaii on Monday received a $24 million modification to a previously awarded contract for scheduled maintenance on the USS Port Royal, the U.S. Department of Defense said. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii County Department of Water Supply has grappled with the question of why deepwell failure has been so widespread and simultaneous across North Kona over the last year, a development that has resulted in usage restrictions and sparked public fear and frustration. West Hawaii Today.

For the second time this year, water supply customers are under an emergency water restriction following the failure of the Honokohau Deepwell located in North Kona. It is the fifth off-line water well serving the Kona area. Big Island Video News.

Among the tenants at Hawaii Island's new homeless safe zone: The mayor's executive assistant. Hawaii News Now.


A stay that temporary blocks Maui Lani Partners from conducting sand mining and excavation work at its development in Central Maui, remains in place as a hearing resumes next week. Maui Now.

Hawaii family sues Las Vegas police department after fatal officer chokehold. Hawaii News Now.

Some suspended school bus routes in West Maui could be back in service as soon as Monday. KHON2.

Employment in the arts, entertainment and recreation segment in Maui County grew around 33 percent in the second quarter as compared to the same time last year, resulting in 700 more jobs, according to state figures. Maui News.

The Central Maui Landfill and Olowalu Recycling and Refuse Convenience Center were operating normally Monday, following a stubborn fire at Maui EKO Systems green waste and composting operations that began Friday. Maui News.

According to a recent housing report by the Realtors Association of Maui, year-to-date closed sales for condominiums on Maui are up 7.3 percent, with the median price up 10 percent, while single-family home sales inched up only 1.6 percent. Pacific Business News.


A stray dog killed 33 adult wedge-tailed shearwaters in a colony at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai’s Westside in early August. Garden Island.

Kauai Island Utility Cooperative said Monday it asked the state Public Utilities Commission to approve new ways to credit solar system owners on the island. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai’s Shifting Sands Offer Clues To Beach’s Future. A local scientist is trying to understand how development might affect Wailua beach near the Coco Palms resort site. Civil Beat.

Lihue Airport reported a temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit that broke the Aug. 12 record of 88 set in 2007. Garden Island.

Monday, May 15, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs challenge to open primaries, former state director writes tell-all Peter Boy book, Ostrov to head state GOP, Maui property tax hikes approved, homeless arrested on Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii kupuna at hula © 2017 All Hawaii News
Hawaii is the third healthiest state in the country for senior citizens, according to the 2017 America’s Health Rankings Senior Report released by United Health Foundation. Star-Advertiser.

The Supreme Court has turned away challenges to open primaries in Hawaii and Montana that allow voters to take part in party primary elections regardless of their political affiliations. Associated Press.

Campaign Cash Flowed To Hawaii Lawmakers As Hot Topics Debated. Lawmakers may not have settled the rail tax issue, but they did hold a lot of fundraisers during the session. Civil Beat.

The shake-up in state Senate leadership that began at the end of the legislative session with the ouster of Sen. Jill Tokuda as chair of the Ways and Means Committee continued Friday with the announcement of some new committee chairmanships. Civil Beat.

Central Maui state Sen. Gil Keith-Agaran has been named as vice chairman of the powerful Senate Ways and Means Committee, which works with the House Finance Committee and governor’s administration to handle the state’s purse strings. Maui News.

Shirlene Ostrov, a retired Air Force colonel and founder of a logistics consulting company, defeated state House Minority Leader Andria Tupola at the party’s state convention Saturday on Kauai to become the new chairwoman of the Hawaii Republican Party. Star-Advertiser.

A retired Air Force colonel was overwhelmingly selected as the chair of the Hawaii GOP at the party’s 2017 state convention. Garden Island.

Government's Affordable Housing Model Doesn't Work. Hawaii Public Radio.

Affordable Housing: Nothing Being Built on Neighbor Islands. Hawaii Public Radio.

Eight months after an extensive Associated Press investigation detailing poor labor conditions aboard Hawaii longline vessels, little appears to have changed when it comes to protecting the foreign fishermen who can’t stray from their American boats docked at Honolulu Harbor without risking deportation. Associated Press.

Why It’s Taking So Long To Open Hawaii’s Medical Marijuana Dispensaries. The state legalized the use of cannabis as medicine 17 years ago, but patients still have no place to legally buy it. Civil Beat.

Singapore budget-airline Scoot is planning to fly to Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian Airlines is trying to capture a bigger share of the Chinese market and has increased its marketing efforts in the country. Pacific Business News.


While the numbers show Oahu’s overall homeless population grew by just 19 people, the island saw a 9 percent increase in homeless veterans despite a nationwide push to house them. Star-Advertiser.

A developer with investors from China is accusing City Councilman Ikaika Anderson of trying to illegally oppose a planned condominium tower because some units are intended for sale in China. Star-Advertiser.

Opposition To Foreign Condo Sales Raises Legal Questions. Did a City Council member create legal risks by suggesting the council might deny a development permit if the condos were sold to Chinese buyers? Civil Beat.

The Honolulu City Council deferred action on a bill Wednesday that would require retailers to charge a fee for single-use checkout bags and ban so-called compostable plastic bags. Star-Advertiser.

St. Louis Drive-In voluntarily shut down after the state Department of Health reported seeing more than 200 live roaches and rat droppings during a recent inspection. Despite what was found, the restaurant was allowed to keep its green placard. KHON2.

Rental homes in a Kalaeloa neighborhood where residents were once hit with utility bills as high as $700 a month are set to get a solar system. Star-Advertiser.

Global Japanese supermarket chain Mitsuwa Marketplace will open its first Hawaii location next week at the International Market Place. Pacific Business News.

Chimp escapes enclosure at Honolulu Zoo, prompting evacuation. Hawaii News Now.

A chimpanzee scaled a wall and escaped from its exhibit Sunday at the Honolulu Zoo. Star-Advertiser.

Renowned surfer Kelly Slater has purchased a 6,610-square-foot property in Haleiwa for $7.8 million, according to property filings. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Peter Boy's siblings are shocked by publication of e-book, “Peter Boy, Hawaii’s Most Notorious Case of Child Abuse and Murder," by Lillian Koller, former director of the state Department of Human Services, which investigates child abuse cases. Star-Advertiser.

West Hawaii’s three council districts, home to a third of the island’s approximately 198,000 people, continues to be the county government’s cash cow, accounting for almost 70 percent of property tax revenues under rate hikes planned by Mayor Harry Kim. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Island representatives say they have secured more than $331 million in Capital Improvement Project funding for the biennium of fiscal years 2018 and 2019 for various projects across Hawaii County. Big Island Video News.

Mauna Lani Bay resort, which has been owned by a subsidiary of Japanese-based Tokyu Corp. for all of its more than 40-year-history, is getting a new owner — a change that will bring needed resort reinvestment and fuel upward repositioning for Hawaii island’s Kohala Coast. Star-Advertiser.

A leader of a group of opponents trying to stop a giant telescope from being built on a Hawaii mountain said she is concerned they are at a disadvantage because they can’t afford to pay for thousands of pages of transcripts. Associated Press.

Construction of the long-awaited Puna Kai marketplace in Pahoa is scheduled to begin June 1. The project has been in development since 2012. Tribune-Herald.

The Waimea Town Center development plan and a land exchange between Parker Ranch and the Hawaii Department of Education were central topics at a South Kohala Traffic Safety Committee meeting held in Waimea last week. West Hawaii Today.

Soldier killed, another injured in training accident on the Big Island. Hawaii News Now.

One person was killed and another injured when a military tractor trailer carrying a sky jack lost control and barreled through a guardrail and down the embankment causing the vehicle to roll over. West Hawaii Today.


The Maui County Council narrowly approved a property tax rate resolution on Friday for fiscal 2018, which begins July 1. Maui News.

Upward of 100 homeless people live around Baldwin Beach Park, according to the county, and social service agencies are trying to prepare them to leave their extended campsite. Maui News.

Solutions for pali traffic woes elusive. Maui News.

Administrators of Hawaii’s public-sector employee retirement fund have come up with a plan to get out of a sand trap of sorts pertaining to an unusual asset it owns: two golf courses at Kaanapali Resort on Maui. Star-Advertiser.

Teresa Shook of Hana has been honored by the Hawaii Legislature as a “Visionary for the 2017 Women’s March.” Maui News.


State law enforcement officers arrested 17 people in the Kalalau section of Napali Coast State Wilderness Park on Kauai in the past week for allegedly being in a closed area without a valid permit, the Department of Land and Natural Resources said today. Star-Advertiser.

Developers of a proposed industrial dairy on Kauai will need to jump through a few more hoops before construction can start, due to a final order from Hawaii’s Environmental Court. Garden Island.

Tropic Care Kauai returns to the island offering medical care at no cost between June 12 through 21 at three clinic sites. Garden Island.

Acquiring coastal lands and designating no parking zones are on tap for discussion when the Kauai County Council meets Wednesday. Garden Island.