Showing posts with label sine die. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sine die. Show all posts

Friday, May 6, 2022

Hawaii Legislature adjourns 'breakthrough' session, Blangiardi tackles rising crime against tourists, monk seal population rebounds to milestone, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii House Majority
Hawaii Legislature sine die 2022 PC:Hawaii House Majority
State Legislature ends ‘breakthrough’ session. Hawaii’s 31st Legislature was marked by gobs of extra spending in areas dominated by Native Hawaiian causes and affordable housing, made possible by roughly $2 billion in projected extra tax revenue collections that weren’t forecast when the session began Jan. 19. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii legislative bill removing cash bail for nonviolent crimes draws opposition. Hawaii law enforcement officials are urging Gov. David Ige to veto a bill passed Tuesday by the state Legislature that eliminates the requirement that defendants accused of nonviolent crimes post cash bail, allowing them to be released on their own recognizance to await their court dates. Star-Advertiser.

Native Hawaiians set to receive $600 million for housing after decades of neglect.
The Hawaii Legislature on Thursday unanimously passed landmark legislation appropriating $600 million for the state’s Native Hawaiian homesteading program, a chronically underfunded initiative that has long fallen short of its promise to return Native people to their ancestral land. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Retirement savings bill heads to Ige. The state Legislature voted this week to pass a proposal for a state-run retirement fund program. Tribune-Herald.

Monk seal population hits milestone, surpassing 1,500. The endangered Hawaiian monk seal population has reached a milestone, surpassing 1,500 for the first time in more than 20 years. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press.

Lettuce Joins Short List Of Local Ingredients Served In Public Schools. Student meals will include locally grown leafy greens and less cheese as the DOE modifies menus to meet food sustainability and nutritional goals. Civil Beat.

Testimony against indoor masking rule fills contentious Board of Education meeting. Dozens of testifiers called for an end to the COVID-19 indoor masking rule for Hawaii’s public schools during an unusually contentious meeting of the state Board of Education on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

With 71 COVID hospitalizations, Healthcare Association calls number a ‘surge’. This surge still pales in comparison to the Delta and Omicron surges, where roughly 30% of all hospital patients had COVID. Right now, that number stands at about 3%. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Tupola’s City Council Term Limit Proposal Raises Ethics Concerns. The councilwoman hasn’t disclosed that she is getting paid by a candidate who would benefit from her legislation. Civil Beat.

Mayor Blangiardi met with officials to address rising crime, homelessness, and public safety issues.
Mayor Blangiardi was joined by Honolulu Prosecutor Steve Alm, Acting Chief of Police Rade Vanic, and Honolulu Emergency Services Department Director Dr. Jim Ireland in a briefing on public safety with leaders from Waikiki and the Hawaii visitor industry at the Hawaii Convention Center. KITV4.

Red Hill Water Contamination Sickened Some 2,000 People, Survey Finds
. Seventeen people were hospitalized, children experienced seizures and pets died, federal health officials found. Civil Beat.

Amid spike in crime, prosecutor seeks stricter rules for probation violators. City Prosecutor Steve Alm called the issue disturbing, and said a big part of the problem is there is oftentimes no consequences for people who violate their probation. Hawaii News Now.

Oʻahu parks named one of the most improved systems in the country. When it comes to park systems, Oʻahu is one of the most improved cities in the country, according to the Trust for Public Land's annual ParkScore Index. Locally, Honolulu jumped 14 places since 2021, ranking 43rd. About 71% of residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park, according to the report. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Roth recommends rate rollback: Proposed $779.7 million budget is a 27.8% increase. Mayor Mitch Roth’s administration is recommending a rollback in property tax rates for almost all property classes, following updated assessments showing an additional $23 million on top of the $45.4 million increase estimated in March. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now.

Mauna Kea management bill finds acceptance, opposition. The University of Hawaii on Thursday raised the white flag on its opposition to a bill that seeks to boot it from its role as manager of the Mauna Kea summit and its observatories. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

First Hydrogen Bus In Hawaiʻi Prepares For Service. The Hele-On service is transitioning its entire fleet to zero emissions by 2035 through the use of hydrogen and battery-electric technology. Big Island Video News.

No deal: Waimea nurses reject Queen’s proposed contract. The union said Thursday approximately 90% of its members in Waimea voted between Sunday and Wednesday, with a majority of them tendering votes against ratifying the contract offered by The Queen’s Health Systems. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui home prices break record at $1.2 million; inventory hits new low. As the third month this year to set a record for Maui County single-family home median sales price, April marked a new all-time high at more than $1.2 million. Maui Now. Maui News.

A Maui County law is providing relief to longtime families grappling with high property taxes. Maui County began offering tax relief to longtime families fighting to hold onto their ancestral lands — properties that have been passed down for at least three generations.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Staycations no more? Maui hotel room rates remain high so residents look elsewhere. A two-night stay for two adults next weekend on Maui ranges from $300 per night to $1,300 per night. Maui Now.

Lawsuit claims Molokai health center administered expired vaccines to children. The health center was under fire back in 2019 when it shut down for several days due to staff shortages. Since then, residents held protests and demanded a change in leadership. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

Prosecutor continues to de-emphasize marijuana prosecutions. A Kaua‘i Police Department “Green Harvest” cannabis suppression program is poised to continue this year. Garden Island.

Kaua’i monitoring clusters, rising case counts. The state Department of Health’s Kaua‘i District Health Office is monitoring a number of COVID-19 clusters, two weeks into a rise in local case counts. Garden Island.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Schools release pandemic reopening plans, candidates report campaign war chests, churches get millions in federal PPP grants, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC: Wheeler Elementary School
Social distancing at a Hawaii school PC:Wheeler Elementary School
Most Hawaii public schools will blend in-person and distance learning when classes resume. Principals selected different learning models in consultation with their staff and communities, campus by campus, for the new academic year. Star-Advertiser.

‘Learning models’ selected: Big Island schools choose plans for handling instruction when classes resume. With less than a month before students return to class, Hawaii’s public schools have made decisions about how to deliver instruction amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii COVID-19 Forecast Tool Launched. A new online tool gives a 14-day prediction about how many cases, hospitalizations and fatalities Hawaii is facing. A new forecasting tool estimates Hawaii could see between 248 and 285 new COVID-19 cases confirmed within the next two weeks. Civil Beat.

Shuttered Churches, Temples Got Millions From Feds. A federal program designed to help small businesses also helped bail out hundreds of churches and other religious organizations that were largely shut down amidst stay-at-home orders. Civil Beat.

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Hawaii Lawmakers Close Legislative Session Upended By Virus. Hawaii lawmakers on Friday wrapped up a legislative session upended by the coronavirus pandemic that forced weekslong breaks in proceedings, the state Capitol building to close and some meetings to be held via teleconference. Associated Press.

Hawaii Lawmakers Salvage Bills Despite Pandemic. Some priority measures to protect the environment and expand access to preschool advanced but others to regulate Uber and Lyft and reform gun laws died at the last minute. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers Pass Bill That Phases Out Coal-Powered Energy in State. Lawmakers passed a bill that will phase out the use of coal in Hawai‘i by the end of 2022. Big Island Now.

Bill that would’ve expanded evidence against alleged domestic abusers is deferred. A measure aimed at protecting survivors of Domestic Violence was deferred at the Capitol Friday. House Bill 2610 would have allowed prosecutors to use some of the victim’s statements to first responders against alleged abusers. Hawaii News Now.

Incumbents Maintain Money Advantage In Hawaii Legislative Races. Several seats have opened up though as some lawmakers decide to seek other elected posts or leave public office. Civil Beat.

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There’s good news for besieged ohia trees. Researchers for the first time have shown that ohia seedlings can survive for at least a year in forests afflicted by rapid ohia death — a glimmer of hope for a beleaguered species that has lost more than a million individuals since the disease was discovered in Hawaii a decade ago. Star-Advertiser.

Forest Restoration After Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death May Be Possible, Study Shows. Scientists have found that native ʻōhiʻa seedlings can survive for at least a year in areas that have active mortality from Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death. Big Island Video News.

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Hawaii Updates: 21 New Cases After Record-Setting Day. Hawaii saw 21 new reported COVID-19 cases today after yesterday's record-setting 42 infections. Hawaii Public Radio.

VIRUS TRACKER — JULY 12: 21 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Once again, most of the new cases were on Oahu. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Amemiya, Alm Lead Campaign Money Races For Mayor, Prosecutor. Primary election voting by mail starts in just over a week. Civil Beat.

Colleen Hanabusa: ‘You Don’t Need Someone Who Needs Training Wheels’. The former congresswoman has two decades of political experience and government service behind her. Now she wants to be Honolulu’s mayor. Civil Beat.

Voting machines tested for accuracy ahead of this year’s primary election.  In just over a week, the state will begin mailing out the ballots for this year’s primary election. Ahead of that, state election officials on Saturday tested the voting machines for accuracy. Hawaii News Now.

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Many maskless people enjoy ‘Open Street Kalakaua’ in Waikiki while COVID-19 continues to spread. Hundreds of people — many without masks — flooded onto Waikiki’s shuttered Kalakaua Avenue on foot, bicycles, skateboards and roller skates to enjoy a traffic-free Sunday while worries of contracting COVID-19 lingered in the backdrop. Star-Advertiser.

Despite hesitance from some, city holds a ‘Dine in Chinatown’ event. An effort to boost business in Chinatown went took place this past weekend, despite criticism from some. Hawaii News Now.

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6 COVID-19 cases tied to a cluster at the Pearl City Nursing Home. A total of six cases have now been reported at the Pearl City Nursing Home. Officials say the cluster began when a staff member found out they tested positive on Thursday and immediately notified the facility. Hawaii News Now.

Four residents, two workers test positive for COVID-19 at Pearl City Nursing Home. Dr. Scott Miscovich of Premier Medical Group Hawaii said his team was brought in to Pearl City Nursing Home to test about 100 residents and 200 workers on Friday and Saturday. Four residents and two staff members tested positive for COVID-19. KITV4.

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Proposed Ewa Beach sea wall raises concerns. An August 2019 environmental assessment by MCBH said the proposed 10-foot-high, 1,500-foot-wide steel wall would have no significant impact on the human or natural environment. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Roth leads the pack: Mayoral candidates report campaign contributions. Mayoral candidate Mitch Roth charged ahead of the pack raising money in the race for the county’s top spot, collecting more than $148,000, primarily from big-money donors. West Hawaii Today.

Pro-business donors step up for County Council challengers: Incumbents Villegas and Kanealii-Kleinfelder outspent. Two freshman County Council members face formidable opposition in the campaign fundraising department, with pro-business challengers to both Kona Councilwoman Rebecca Villegas and Puna Councilman Matt Kanealii-Kleinfelder raising twice as much as the incumbents. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island Mayor’s Race Could Hinge On Winning The Leeward Vote. More than a dozen candidates are vying to unseat Mayor Harry Kim and lead the county through the economic crisis. Civil Beat.

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Sewage Discharge Enters Kailua Bay, Closes Aliʻi Drive. 20,000 gallons of sewage entered Kailua Bay due to a broken sewer line, health officials reported on Saturday. Big Island Video News.

Sewage spill closes Kailua Bay. It was unknown how much sewage entered Kailua Bay, but swimmers were told to get out of the water and signs were immediately posted warning of contaminated water. West Hawaii Today.

County Pools Reopen Monday, With New Rules. The County of Hawaiʻi will be posting COVID-19 Modified Pool Rules at each facility, which will operate on modified schedules with interim rules in place. Big Island Video News.

Maui
Mayor: ‘We are looking at a later date’. Victorino addresses Aug. 1 easing of travel rulesDespite the state’s recent announcement that it will relax requirements to enter Hawaii come Aug. 1, Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said Friday that the reopening may be delayed due to rising COVID-19 cases on Oahu and the U.S. Mainland. Maui News.

Maui Trans-Pacific Flights Increase to Four on Saturday. On Saturday, 2,296 people arrived in Hawaiʻi, including 600 visitors and 635 returning residents, according to new data compiled by the state Department of Transportation and released by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority. Maui Now.

Stricter term limits, Agriculture Department pass its first test. Dividing up Department of Housing and Human Concerns fails. Maui News.

Maui County starts economic recovery task force. The Mayor's Economic Resiliency Task Force aims to provide help and hope to struggling County merchants. KITV4.

Wildberger, Couch in rematch for South Maui district seat. Incumbent state lawmaker defends seat against former council member. Maui News.

Kauai

2020 Primary Election ballots to go out to Kauai voters on July 14. Ballots for the 2020 Primary Election will be mailed out on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, to Kauai voters. KHON2.

Path easement moving forward. For a portion of the Ke Ala Hele Makalae coastal pedestrian and bicycle path, the county is seeking to use eminent domain on a piece of property an owner wants to sell for over 10 times the appraised value. Garden Island.

‘Innovative’ dusk. The drive-in format marked the reopening of the Coconut Marketplace’s free family movie night program following a period of closure due to COVID-19 guidelines and rules. Garden Island.

Volunteers net tons of nets. With a depleted group of volunteers because of COVID-19, the Surfrider Foundation continues to conduct giant Net Patrols every Wednesday. Garden Island.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Sine die for Hawaii Legislature, Ige's top aide Fuchigami resigns, schoolteachers average $57,866, Kilauea anniversary marked, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC: Hawaii House Democratic Majority
Hawaii House members sing 'Hawaii Aloha' at session end PC:Hawaii House Majority
Hawaii legislative session ends on a divisive note. The state Legislature on Thursday adjourned for the year without its traditional display of unity, when House and Senate members clasp hands and sing “Hawaii Aloha.” Star-Advertiser.

Senate Closes The 2019 Session With Some Sharp Divisions. The state House adjourned while highlighting its successes. The Senate, meanwhile, is left reflecting on its compromises and splits. Civil Beat.

Legislature Adjourns, Attention Shifts To Governor's Intent On Key Bills. Hawaii lawmakers wrapped up their 2019 legislative session Thursday with an olive branch extended to Gov. David Ige. Hawaii Public Radio.

Fate of bills now in governor’s hands as legislative session comes to a close. The 2019 legislature came to a close Thursday, and proposals that made it through the House and Senate now have one more hurdle before becoming law: Gov. David Ige. Hawaii News Now.

The 2019 Legislative session has officially ended. "Today I'm just going to be honest, this has been incredibly difficult," Senate President Ron Kouchi said.  A difficult session that ignited results, all the way to the very end. KITV.

Lawmakers wrap up 2019 legislative session. State lawmakers wrapped up their 2019 legislative session Thursday after several months of work at the state Capitol debating and passing bills, including measures reducing penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana and establishing all-mail elections. Associated Press.

Despite Legislative Setbacks, Ige Sees ‘Progress’ For His Agenda. In the 2019 session many administration bills died, programs got less funding than sought and nominees faced tough grilling. Civil Beat.

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Ford Fuchigami leaving post as Gov. David Ige’s administrative director. It’s not clear why Fuchigami is stepping down. Star-Advertiser.

Ford Fuchigami To Leave Ige Administration. The top aide to the Hawaii governor will step down at the end of May. Civil Beat.

Vacation Rental Bill: Where Lawmakers Live Determined How They Voted. Legislators from beachfront communities largely opposed the vacation rental bill, while support came from lawmakers who haven’t seen a proliferation of the properties. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s average public school teacher salary in 2017-18 was $57,866, a 2% increase from the year before that ranks its pay 18th highest among the states, but falls below the U.S. average, according to a new analysis released by the National Education Association. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Executive Conference announced a partnership with Landed, a down payment assistance and homebuyer education program aimed at helping teachers and school employees afford to buy homes, to bring new homeownership options to K-12 educators across the state. Maui Now.

State Lawmakers Asking FAA To Take Action On Tour Helicopter Operations In State. State lawmakers are asking federal officials to either ground all tour helicopters in the islands or ban flights over residential neighborhoods. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

Army manager got antique car, other bribes in exchange for contracting info. A former Schofield Barracks range operations manager pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring to accept bribes in exchange for disclosing sensitive Army procurement details. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu mayor signs high-rise fire safety bill. A measure making it easier for owners of older high-rise condominiums to meet stricter fire safety regulations was signed into law Thursday by Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell signs Bill 96 relating to fire safety into law. Bill 96 gives condominium associations the power to decide whether or not to retrofit high-rises with sprinklers or complete a life safety evaluation. KITV.

Final State Audit On Rail Finds Overpayments To Contractors, Billing Issues. The audit relied on a small sample of invoices so it’s not clear whether those billing problems within HART extend to other rail contracts, the state auditor said. Civil Beat.

Union announces layoffs imminent at The Modern Honolulu hotel. Diamond Resorts has notified 78 workers at The Modern Honolulu that their positions are to be eliminated in the next 30 days, according to Unite Here Local 5, the labor union representing the workers. Star-Advertiser.

There have been 21 dog attacks at this Kakaako park in the last 3 years. State taxpayers could end up paying big after another dog attack near a Kakaako homeless camp. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Kilauea, One Year Later: Volcanic Hazards Remain A Threat. This Friday makes a year since Kilauea erupted, sending lava into residential communities on Hawaii Island. Hawaii Public Radio.

USGS
KILAUEA ERUPTION — ONE YEAR LATER: Displaced farmers face 'a long road ahead'. Tribune-Herald.

ONE YEAR AGO: Volcano Watch Details Eruption Start. Hawaii Public Radio.

One year anniversary - Kilauea: Reshaping the Aina. KHON2.

KILAUEA ERUPTION — ONE YEAR LATER: Midwife, husband vow to return to Leilani despite losing homes in two eruptions. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County residents continue to file for building permits in riskiest zones. Since the eruption subsided in August, county officials say, 127 people have pulled permits to build or rebuild in Lava Zone 1, which includes areas experiencing recent flows. Star-Advertiser.

Man who fell into Kilauea caldera in stable condition. A 32-year-old man airlifted to Hilo Medical Center on Wednesday evening after falling into the Kilauea caldera is a solider stationed at Pohakuloa Training Area. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The Pools of Oheo in Haleakala National Park’s Kipahulu District have reopened after issues with the stream monitoring system caused a closure three weeks ago. Maui News.

Community looks to crack down on illegal fireworks; meeting held Wednesday. Lack of evidence, authority make it tough to prosecute, search cargo. Maui News.

Maui staying vigilant in fight against rapid ohia death disease. Regular aerial surveys, sampling aim to keep island free of fungus deadly to tree. Maui News.

Kauai

‘Fruitful’ session, says Nakamura. State Rep. Nadine Nakamura said she thought it was an especially fruitful session for Kauai. Garden Island.


Robust reefs, fewer floods. Kauai’s coral reefs protect the island from about $11 million worth of damages every year, according to a new study released by the U.S. Geological Survey, The Nature Conservancy and the University of California Santa Cruz. Garden Island.

For the seventh time in history, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has declared glyphosate unlikely to cause cancer in humans. On Kauai, glyphosate has been found in roughly one third of tested beehives, according to a 2018 study, with concentrations as high as 179 parts per billion. Garden Island.

Friday, May 4, 2018

National Guard activated as lava fountains continue on Big Island, sine die for state Legislature, Caldwell signs fire sprinkler bill, judge dismissed Coco Palms title lawsuit, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


 

Ige activates National Guard, Red Cross opens 2 shelters as lava flows in lower Puna. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige has signed an emergency proclamation after an eruption of lava forced the evacuation of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens. Tribune-Herald.

The mayor of Hawaii County, as well as the governor of the State of Hawaii, have signed emergency proclamations due to the new volcanic eruption that began in Leilani Estates subdivision. Big Island Video News.
New eruptions in Kilauea's east rift zone early Friday sent lava soaring more than 100 feet into the air, and Big Island fire officials say two structures have already been damaged from lava creeping through the Puna's Leilani Estates subdivision. Hawaii News Now.

Nearly 1,500 residents were ordered to evacuate from their volcano-side homes after the Big Island’s Kilauea volcano erupted, sending molten lava to chew its way through forest land and bubble up on paved streets. Associated Press.

Just hours after residents in Puna's Leilani Estates subdivision fled with little more than the clothes on their backs Thursday night after an eruption in Kilauea's east rift zone, yet another eruption sent lava soaring into the air early Friday morning. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory confirms the volcanic eruption continues in Leilani Subdivision in the Puna District. KITV.

Active fountaining of the eruption in Leilani Estates has been confirmed, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense. Star-Advertiser.

If they got any sleep at all, the people chased from their homes Thursday by a surprise burst of Kilauea lava expected to wake this morning to a future they could not control. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii residents began evacuating from subdivisions in the east rift zone of Kilauea volcano Thursday afternoon as an eruption began spewing lava along a break in a residential area, hours after an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.0 south of the Puu Oo crater caused a possible additional collapse into the crater, sending a red plume of ash into the air. Pacific Business News.

An emergency proclamation is now in effect at both the county and state levels as Hawaii County Civil Defense responds to a volcanic eruption in the lower Puna area. KHON2.

A volcanic eruption forced the evacuation of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens in Puna on Thursday after fountains of lava burst through cracks in the middle of a residential street. Tribune-Herald.

Thursday's sudden volcanic eruption in Leilani Estates led to an emergency shutdown of independent power producer Puna Geothermal Venture. Big Island Video News.

LIST: Lava threat forces evacuations, school closures. Hawaii News Now.

After eruption, residents fled with little — and didn't know what they'd return home to. Hawaii News Now.

When You Live In A Volcano’s Shadow, You Go With The Flow. Just hours before a new eruption threatened a subdivision, residents and visitors were buzzing with excitement. Civil Beat.

PHOTOS: Lava spews to the surface on Hawaii Island. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii County Civil Defense updates on the lava emergency can be found here.

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The state Legislature wrapped up for the year Thursday as lawmakers called the 60-day session one of the most collaborative and productive in recent memory. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers proud of their work, chilly toward Ige. With Hawaii’s top legislative leaders lined up against him in this year’s Democratic primary, Gov. David Ige must have figured he would be the target of a few snarky comments this week. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige today withdrew his nomination to reappoint prominent Honolulu attorney Rick Fried as Hawaii Tourism Authority board chairman. Star-Advertiser.

The chairman of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, prominent personal injury attorney Rick Fried, suddenly withdrew his bid for a second term on the board Thursday ahead of a potentially contentious debate over his confirmation in the state Senate. Hawaii News Now.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is set to release a report tomorrow on the health of Native Hawaiian women. Hawaii Public Radio.

The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization forecasts in a report being released today that real personal income will grow by 2 percent in the state this year. Star-Advertiser.

Shares for Hawaiian Airlines were down 6.5 percent at close on Thursday following Southwest Airlines’ announcement that it would offer interisland service. Pacific Business News.

Oahu
 
At the site of a July 14 condo tower blaze that killed four, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed Bill 69 into law Thursday, giving incentives to condo associations if they install fire sprinklers. Star-Advertiser.

It's been almost a year since the Marco Polo fire killed four people and caused more than 100 million dollars in damage. On Thursday, the city took a big step forward in preventing another tragedy. KHON2.

Mayor Caldwell signs bill to encourage fire sprinklers in high rise buildings. KITV.

A federal judge ruled this afternoon that former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his deputy prosecutor wife Katherine Kealoha will have one trial by themselves and a second one with four former members of the Honolulu Police Department’s elite Criminal Intelligence Unit. Star-Advertiser.

Are Waikiki’s Public Pavilions Hopelessly Crime-Ridden? “Demolish them,” says Councilman Trevor Ozawa, but the Kalakaua Avenue shelters also offer tourists a respite from the sun or the rain. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Company will invest close to $150 million in two new energy storage projects on Oahu. Pacific Business News.

According to real estate firm Locations, Oahu single-family median home prices reached a new high at $795,000 up 10 percent. KHON2.

The median price of a single-family home on Oahu jumped 10 percent in April to $795,000, the largest percentage increase for any month in four years, according to a new report by Honolulu real estate firm Locations. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Cash handling at the county Mass Transit Agency was so lax, the legislative auditor can’t tell if any money is missing, much less how much. West Hawaii Today.

Despite objections from a handful of testifiers, the Windward Planning Commission went forward on Thursday with the adoption of a proposed “Second Supplemental Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Decision and Order of the Commission” in the matter of Hu Honua. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Maui researchers share pollution solutions at international marine debris gathering. Maui News.

It’s hard to miss the vibrant sunflower fields that have been growing in Waikapu since last year. So where do all the flowers go, after their time in the sun? Maui Now. 

Kauai

A motion to dismiss a quiet title case filed against Coco Palms Hui LLC, was granted during civil proceedings Thursday in Fifth Circuit Court, but that’s not the end of the Coco Palms legal battle according to those involved. Garden Island.

A single lane route on Kuhio Highway from Waikoko to Wainiha, is opening to local traffic only, beginning today. Garden Island.

A single-lane route on a two-mile stretch of Kuhio Highway, from Waikoko to Wainiha, will open to local traffic starting Friday, state and Kauai county officials said today. Star-Advertiser.

Public Utility Gets Creative With Plan To Recirculate Reservoir Water. The Garden Island already uses renewable energy sources for 43 percent of its electricity, with more solar and hydropower on the way. Civil Beat.

County dedicates 11th lifeguard tower. A small crowd of dignitaries, including Kauai Ocean Safety Bureau chief Kalani Vierra, Kauai Fire Chief Robert Westerman, former mayor Maryanne Kusaka, several Kauai County Council members, and curious beach goers watched the county blessed and dedicated the newest lifeguard tower at Nukumoi Point at the Poipu Beach Park. Garden Island.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Legislative session ends, Saiki takes over as House speaker, no deal reached on rail, state schools superintendent finalists meet public, economy to grow more slowly, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Capitol, courtesy Henry Curtis, Ililani Media
The Hawaii Legislature concluded with a sudden change in leadership in the state House of Representatives, ending a session marked by a failure to pass a major bill to fund Honolulu’s troubled rail transit project and the death of many other significant proposals. Associated Press.

A divided state Legislature closed out the turbulent 2017 session and headed home Thursday without approving any bill to provide more funding for rail, but Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he plans to press lawmakers for a new rail funding agreement that could be ratified in a special session later this year. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers Adjourn Without Deal To Pay For Rail. Civil Beat.

With nerves raw and no clear timeline for future talks, state lawmakers wrapped up the legislative session Thursday without reaching a deal on funding for Honolulu's beleaguered rail project. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Legislature adjourned Thursday after passing a total of 233 bills this session, including a state budget of $14.1 billion for fiscal year 2018 and $14.3 billion for fiscal year 2019. Pacific Business News.

House Speaker Joe Souki has officially resigned from that post effective immediately in the aftermath of Wednesday night’s House leadership reorganization. Star-Advertiser.

State Rep. Joseph Souki has resigned as speaker of the Hawaii House of Representatives. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii House Speaker Joe Souki resigned from his leadership post on Thursday, the final day of the Hawaii legislative session, citing “disappointments” during the session that included a failure to reach a deal with the Senate over funding for Honolulu’s rail transit project. Pacific Business News.

The highest-ranking elected Republican in Hawaii also wants to lead the state party. State Rep. Andria Tupola said Wednesday that she was officially running to be chairwoman of the Hawaii Republican Party. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s economy is expected to keep growing at a slower pace even as tourist arrivals head for a sixth straight record year and the construction industry remains busy. Star-Advertiser.

In their first public remarks in Hawaii on Thursday, the two candidates vying to be the next superintendent of public schools emphasized a commitment to ensuring equitable access to a high-quality education. Star-Advertiser.

The two finalists for Hawaii schools superintendent made statements and fielded questions from reporters Thursday, and one of the two could be offered the job next week. Civil Beat.

The two women vying to become Hawaii public schools' next superintendent have made their first public remarks. The candidates are 48-year-old Christina Kishimoto and 46-year-old Linda Chen. Kishimoto and Chen have been selected from an initial candidate pool of 92 applicants. Associated Press.

Linda Lingle to join panel of ex-governors at Harvard. Associated Press.

State regulators approved a 0.12 percent increase in Young Brothers Ltd.’s interisland shipping rates, denying the company’s request for a 4.36 percent increase. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

With legislative session over, councilwoman demands tough rail decisions be made at city level. KHON2.

If the rail project continues, taxpayers may be left to pick-up the tab, and that's not likely to go over well. KITV.

Affordable-housing advocates maintain that a city proposal for interim housing requirements for projects with zoning exemptions in transit-oriented development areas does not go far enough to meet Oahu’s housing shortage. Star-Advertiser.

Immigrant Investor Project Gets Rocky Reception From City Council/ A developer is using a federal cash-for-greencards investment program designed for economically distressed areas to finance a condominium project near Ala Moana Center. Civil Beat.

Inmates become farmers at the Waiawa Correctional Facility. KITV.

The wife of “Dog the Bounty Hunter” reality TV star Duane “Dog” Chapman should have a role in helping select the next chief of the Honolulu Police Department, the Police Commission’s chairman said. Associated Press.

Police Commissioner Cites Another ‘Failed Investigation’ Of Possible Abuse. Civil Beat.

There's more turnover at the top of the Honolulu Police Department as another high-ranking officer is leaving. Deputy Chief Jerry Inouye announced his retirement after 30 years with the force. Hawaii News Now.

A rehabilitation project by the Hawaii Department of Transportation Highways Division will close Kipapa Stream Bridge (Roosevelt) over the weekend. KHON2.

Alexander &Baldwin Inc., one of Hawaii’s largest landowners, reported net income Thursday of $7 million, or 14 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter, compared to a loss of $7 million for the same quarter last year. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Astronomers say the best place on earth to practice their science is on Hawai‘i Island: Mauna Kea. The mountain is also important to cultural practitioners, hunters, hikers and sightseers. The mayor of Hawai'i County has been sharing his vision for the mountain. Hawaii Public Radio.

Three Big Island airports are slated for lighting improvements, the state Department of Transportation announced this week. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaiian Ethos — one of the two medical marijuana-licensed entities permitted on Hawaii Island — hopes to have its cultivation site up and running later this year. West Hawaii Today.

About 45 Volcano residents met Wednesday at Cooper Center with Puna police commanders and community policing officers to express concern about a spike in crime, especially burglaries. Tribune-Herald.

The old Keauhou Beach Hotel is coming down. West Hawaii Today.

It took only five minutes for nearly the entire delta to disappear into the sea on May 3, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist Matt Patrick said. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Environmental and cultural preservation groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to invalidate the Maui Planning Commission’s approval of the proposed $354.5 million, mixed-used Makena Resort project. Maui News.

Maui County Councilmember Elle Cochran has coordinated a series of events that includes county, state and private property managers, in what is being called Maui’s first-ever large scale training series on alternatives to landscape pesticides. Maui Now.

The Honolulu-based concrete production company that has been moving sand from Central Maui to other places off-site, including Oahu, has stopped transporting sand, following a formal notice from Maui County regarding permit issues on Monday. Maui News.

There’s been a major breakthrough in the fight to stop sand shipments from Maui to Oahu. KHON2.

The Waiehu Golf Course driving range will be closed for repairs starting Monday, May 8, and will reopen again on Friday, May 19. Maui Now.

Kauai

Water flow will more than double in the Waimea River system once all of the diversions in the Kekaha and Koloa ditch systems are addressed, and some if it is already back in the watershed. Garden Island.

John Lydgate was a family man, a teacher and a historian who invested the last two decades of his life to building a park for the Kauai community. Garden Island.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Sine die for Hawaii Legislature, medical marijuana dispensaries bill passed, Honolulu police chief investigated on ethics, Thirty Meter Telescope protestors in court, feds to create first-ever Native Hawaiian land trust rules, hospitals court Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Wayne Yoshioka, Hawaii Public Radio
Hawaii House sine die 2015, courtesy Wayne Yoshioka, Hawaii Public Radio
The State Legislature adjourned today, the last day of the 2015 session. But first, both chambers voted on the medical marijuana dispensary bill. Hawaii Public Radio.

In its last major act of this year's session, the Legislature has sent Gov. David Ige a bill that would give thousands of medical marijuana patients access to dispensaries in Hawaii. The Senate voted unanimously and the House voted 36-13 to pass House Bill 321, which allows for 16 medical pot dispensaries across the state. Star-Advertiser.

Members of the Hawaii Legislature approved a bill Thursday that would establish a system of medical marijuana dispensaries statewide by next summer. Hawaii legalized medical marijuana 15 years ago, but has never provided a way to buy it legally. Patients must grow their own or have a caretaker grow it for them. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Legislature has approved a plan to create a system of medical marijuana dispensaries 15 years after the drug was legalized in the state. The House and Senate passed the bill Thursday sending it to Gov. David Ige. Associated Press.

With the long-awaited approval of medical marijuana dispensaries, the 2015 Hawaii Legislature wrapped up its work Thursday. Here's a visual recap of a session that supplied plenty of drama. Civil Beat.

On the last day of the 2015 regular session, the House passed on final reading HB321 CD1, which creates a statewide distribution system for medical marijuana and establishes the parameters for individuals and entities to apply to set up the dispensaries. KITV4.

Hawaii is on the verge of allowing medical marijuana to be bought and sold legally. It’s been 15 years since the state legalized marijuana for medical use, but patients were only allowed to grow it. KHON2.

A seed crop industry that uses an inordinate amount of pesticides on its genetically engineered field test sites is putting Hawaii's environment and people at risk, concludes a new report that drew swift rebuke. Star-Advertiser.

After nearly a century, the U.S. government for the first time is proposing administrative rules to clarify its oversight of the federally created land trust designed to benefit thousands of Native Hawaiians. Star-Advertiser.

The state auditor had found years ago that there was too much of a hands-off approach to pCards and the system has not changed since. KHON2.

Gov. David Ige has agreed to stop the practice of bringing wild animals for circus acts or other purely entertainment reasons. Whether such a ban would also include creatures that are imported and perform at Sea Life Park, the Hono­lulu Aquarium or other venues remains to be seen. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

The Honolulu Ethics Commission is investigating Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha to determine if he abused his power in a police investigation of his wife's uncle who was later charged with stealing a mailbox from the Kealoha home, sources told Hawaii News Now.

In their quest to revitalize Haleiwa town's retail area, Kamehameha School officials say they worked to ensure that the North Shore town on the island of Oahu doesn't lose its rural, country character. Pacific Business News.

A Honolulu police officer faces federal charges after he was caught on surveillance video assaulting two people in a Chinatown game room last September. Civil Beat.

Hawaii
It was round two in court Thursday for Thirty Meter Telescope protesters arrested April 2 on Mauna Kea. But unlike the earlier court proceedings last month in Hilo, numerous defendants came out swinging. Tribune-Herald.

Some opponents describe fighting the telescope as an "awakening," an issue Native Hawaiians can band together against. But their reasons vary, from preventing Mauna Kea's desecration to preserving culture to curbing development. For some, however, the telescope represents an opportunity to get Native Hawaiian children interested in science, technology, engineering and math — areas in which they have lagged behind. Associated Press.

A new cooperative venture, Hawaii Island Meat, or HIM, soon will be bringing the slaughter to the livestock, and not the other way around. A mobile unit capable of processing pigs, sheep, goats and cattle will begin operations servicing small livestock businesses in early 2016. Tribune-Herald.

A potentially strong El Nino developing in the Pacific didn’t keep portions of South Kona from having the wettest April in a decade. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Even before Gov. David Ige takes action on enabling legislation to privatize public hospitals in the Maui Region, Maui Memorial Medical Center is beginning to look like the popular kid at the prom, with suitors eagerly lining up to dance. Maui News.

While a bill to allow a public-private partnership at Maui Memorial Medical Center may have been the highlight for Maui County this legislative session, Maui lawmakers said the Legislature also passed laws dealing with practical and long-standing issues, such as assisting homeowners of old properties with cesspool conversion to more environmentally friendly septic systems, protecting consumers and aiding victims of domestic abuse. Maui News.

Two Maui state senators say that the ousting of Senate President Donna Mercado Kim of Oahu in favor of Ronald Kouchi of Kauai actually will be an asset for Maui County. Maui News.

The state Department of Education said Thursday it plans to begin site improvements for the long-awaited Kihei high school in September, but residents who have waited more than a decade for the school are "cautiously optimistic." Maui News.

Kauai

A heated exchange between an opponent of the humpback whale sanctuary expansion plan and a federal regulator who’s championing it illustrates just how raucous the public hearings on Kauai were this week. Garden Island.

Molokai

Nearly 150 years after the first of 8,000 Hansen's Disease patients were exiled to Kalaupapa, only 16 are left. Hawaii News Now.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Sine die for Hawaii Legislature, Turtle Bay protection approved, Cabanilla in trouble again, list narrowed for UH president, Hawaii council kills ethics bill, not enough oversight for $1B Honolulu rail contracts, Maui and Kauai battle budgets, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


The Legislature closed its 2014 session Thursday with long, if not particularly lively, floor sessions in the House and Senate. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers approved a historic land-preservation deal Thursday after a last-minute debate on the final day of the 2014 legislative session. Associated Press.

The state House, swallowing deep misgivings, voted Thursday to give final approval to a bill that would authorize $40 million in state bonds to help preserve 665 acres of bucolic Turtle Bay Resort from future development. Star-Advertiser.

The Legislature ended its 2014 session today.  But there was a critical last minute vote on a measure to preserve undeveloped North Shore land for future generations. Hawaii Public Radio.

State Rep. Rida Cabanilla
said Thursday that she hopes her close ties to a nonprofit that received a $100,000 grant from the state Legislature do not jeopardize the release of the money, which would be used for the upkeep of the Ewa Plantation Cemetery. Star-Advertiser.

House Majority floor leader Rida Cabanilla, D-Ewa, controls a non-profit that was awarded a $100,000 grant on April 25 from her peers in the Hawaii state legislature while the organization was out of compliance with the Internal Revenue Service. Hawaii Reporter.

Following a nearly yearlong search, the University of Hawaii has identified two finalists in the running to be the next president of the 10-campus system: the university's longtime information technology executive, who is serving as interim president, and the retired commanding general of the U.S. Army Pacific. Star-Advertiser.

As of this coming school year, all 5-year-olds will be required to attend kindergarten in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Thursday marked the deadline for people to register with the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission to participate in forming a sovereign governing entity for Native Hawaiians. And this time, it's final. More than 121,000 people of Native Hawaiian ancestry have signed up and been verified since the effort launched in the summer of 2012. The signature drive is called Kanaiolowalu, for the sound of people gathering. Associated Press.

The Hawaii Health Connector, the online marketplace responsible for implementing President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act in Hawaii, enrolled 9,800 residents as of Wednesday’s final deadline for its first year of providing coverage. Star-Advertiser.

Congressional contender Mark Takai has joined the political candidates vying for your attention during your favorite TV shows. Takai, who's running in the crowded race for Hawaii's 1st Congressional District seat, recently bought his first 10 TV spots at a cost of $3,250. Civil Beat.

State roundup for May 2. Associated Press.

Oahu

With the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation poised to dole out about $1 billion in contracts for the Honolulu rail project this year, the city Ethics Commission is worried that there isn't enough government oversight to ensure that private companies aren't given sweetheart deals. Civil Beat.

An Oahu business has shut down its Products Direct Sweepstakes machines after a federal judge ruled that use of the machines is gambling. Star-Advertiser.

Downtown Honolulu workers and residents are getting excited about the Walmart store that will open soon in the former Macy’s department store, especially since a couple of new signs have appeared on the building at the corner of King Street and Fort Street Mall. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

A County Council 4-4 deadlock Thursday killed an ethics bill that Mayor Billy Kenoi has pushed since taking office in 2008. West Hawaii Today.

The state budget approved by lawmakers provides $1 million toward extending Saddle Road to Queen Kaahumanu Highway. Tribune-Herald.

Two million dollars of state funds will go toward upgrading and renovating the Hawaii National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Academy at the Keaukaha Military Reserve Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Conservation Alliance this week launched conservationconnections.org, what organization leaders hope will become the comprehensive, go-to site to find volunteer opportunities and conservation projects across the state. West Hawaii Today.

An election held last week for positions in the University of Hawaii at Hilo student government has been nullified and will be redone, university officials confirmed today. Big Island Now.

Maui

With a battle brewing over how to handle the county's fiscal 2015 budget, only 11 individuals showed up to testify on property tax rates during a public hearing Wednesday night before the Maui County Council. Maui News.

To save their homes from bright lights, noisy ball games, congested traffic and decreasing property values, Maui Lani residents proposed Tuesday that the state consider developing its Central Maui Regional Sports Complex in another location, but state officials said that would delay the project another seven to 10 years. Maui News.

Michelle Del Rosario, chairwoman of the Hawaii Independent Party. The co-founder of Hawaii's newest political party hopes to attract independent thinkers. Star-Advertiser.

A 20-year-old Maui woman fell approximately 150-feet to her death during a zipline accident near the Piʻiholo Ranch this morning, fire officials said. Maui Now.

Kauai

Tough decisions, county officials say, lie ahead as they try to balance the county’s budget without an anticipated windfall from increased state tax revenues charged to visitor accommodations. Garden Island.

You could say that politics runs in Arryl Kaneshiro’s blood. His father, Daryl Kaneshiro, after all, served on the Kauai County Council for six terms between 1998 and 2010. Garden Island.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources will install a fence to protect Kauai forest from the Na Pali Coast up to the Alakai plateau. The project in the Hono O Na Pali Natural Area Reserve will control invasive weeds like Australian tree ferns and remove pigs and goats. Associated Press.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Hawaii Legislature adjourns sine die, Hanabusa announces U.S. Senate bid, Honolulu rail in the black, Hawaii Island mayor touts 10% tax hike, county employees charged with diesel theft, Maui resort blocks beach access, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

joinhands sing Hawaii Aloha
Hawaii Legislature sings Hawaii Aloha on closing day, photo courtesy Mileka Lincoln
Hawaii lawmakers touted the triumphs of this year’s legislative session as it came to a close Thursday at the Capitol. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers in the Hawaii Legislature say the 2013 session provided a smoother, more transparent legislative process than previous years, ensuring the success of key progressive legislation. Associated Press.

State lawmakers on the closing day of the 2013 legislative session revived two bills requiring greater disclosure from super PACs, although both appeared dead earlier in the week as a result of what legislators described as poor communication. Star-Advertiser.

The 2013 legislative session came to a close today, and leaders from both the House and Senate say this was one of the most cooperative and transparent sessions yet. Hawaii News Now.

The State Legislature adjourned its 60-day session today…following passage of a state budget and less than 10 percent of the bills that were originally introduced. Hawaii Public Radio.

On the last day of the 2013 legislative session, Democrats in charge of the Hawaii House of Representatives took the rare step of adding four more members to leadership posts. Civil Beat.

Although the Legislature failed to pass bills this session to fund the state's watershed protection initiatives by collecting a fee imposed on nonrecyclable bags or increasing taxes on expensive real estate transactions, the Department of Land and Natural Resources said it is satisfied with the level of funding lawmakers did choose to provide. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Legislature adjourned Thursday without taking further action on a bill that would have tweaked the law requiring police agencies to file annual summaries listing disciplinary actions taken against their officers. Civil Beat.

Before gaveling the session closed, House Speaker Joseph M. Souki acknowledged the work of everyone involved in the legislative process and summarized the session's accomplishments. Hawaii Reporter.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii says she plans to run against fellow Democrat and incumbent U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz in 2014, setting up a primary battle between two of the state’s four federal lawmakers. Associated Press.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa will emphasize leadership experience, and not the dying wish of the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Ino­uye, in her Demo­cratic primary challenge next year against U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa announced in a seven-paragraph letter on her web site that she'll run for the U.S. Senate next year, attaching her name to the Democratic primary that's sure to be a dogfight. Hawaii News Now.

On the day he died in December of 2012, Senator Daniel Inouye wrote a letter to Gov. Neil Abercrombie and reportedly asked that he appoint then-Congresswoman Elect Colleen Hanabusa to replace him in the U.S. Senate after his death. Hawaii News Now.

Civil Beat political reporter Chad Blair chats with U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in her Nuuanu home about her run for U.S. Senate against incumbent Sen. Brian Schatz. Will she give up her House seat to do it?

Hawaii Gas has withdrawn its application for approval to use liquefied natural gas in its utility gas system to allow both the Honolulu-based company and the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission to focus their resources on the review of feedstock supply agreements. Pacific Business News.

This year marks the 100th anniversary for film in Hawaii and with several major movies, such as “Jurassic Park 4” and “Godzilla,” planning to shoot scenes in Hawaii, the next 100 years is starting off with a bang. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

Honolulu rail officials reported a third-quarter turnaround Thursday on how much cash the massive project is collecting. They also offered a rosier forecast for how much its yearlong construction delay will cost. Star-Advertiser.

A campus that’s in disrepair. Students paying more. Even cuts in the classroom. So why is the University of Hawaii spending big bucks on recruiting for high-paid positions? And is it money well spent? KHON2.

Less than a week after Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed a new proposal aimed at going after owners of neglected city properties, Hawaii News Now found a city building with tall weeds and grass in front and lots of graffiti on it. Hawaii News Now.

A department store, cinema, hotel and 50 more retailers and restaurants have been added to plans for a first phase of the long-delayed Ka Makana Ali'i regional mall in East Kapolei. Star-Advertiser.

Up close and personal with the mayor. People went to Pearl City, to Mayor Kirk Caldwell's first town hall stop. KITV4.

Honolulu police explosives specialists responded to two more suspicious objects on different sides of the island Thursday, including what was determined to be "an incendiary device" near the Kahuku school complex. Star-Advertiser.

Native vegetation, which is being steadily killed off by invasives, now covers only 32 percent of Hawaii’s land. Our survival is at stake, as well. So how do we carefully take our next step? Honolulu Weekly.

Hawaii

Across-the-board property tax hikes of about 10 percent, along with increases in bus fares and vehicle registration and weight taxes, will fund a revised county budget proposed Thursday by Mayor Billy Kenoi. West Hawaii Today.

Two former Department of Environmental Management employees have been charged with felony theft for allegedly stealing diesel fuel from pumps at the Waimea baseyard. West Hawaii Today.

Thursday morning’s fire in Keaukaha helped to highlight a question that emergency responders are having trouble answering fully: Who exactly has a copy of the key to open the gates for the emergency evacuation route through Hilo International Airport? Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui County's finance director Wednesday passionately defended his request for six new Division of Motor Vehicle and Licensing positions, noting his current workers are burdened with new duties and that they need more help to service the public adequately. Maui News.

Gates restrict access to Honokeana Cove. About a month ago, Honokeana Cove Resort Condominiums put up gates that require an access code, which prevents nonguests from walking through private property. Maui News.

Three Maui historic preservation projects will receive Preservation Awards and two printed publications Preservation Media Awards from the Historic Hawai'i Foundation at the group's 30th annual Preservation Honor Awards ceremony May 31 on Oahu. Maui News.

Kauai

Since March 15, the Kauai County Council has been holding numerous sessions devoted to examining the requested departmental budget components. On or before May 8, the mayor may submit any modifications or changes he may seek in the budget, and by June 7, the council must enact the budget ordinance. Garden Island.

The Wailua portion of the Ke Ala Hele Makalae, or the path that goes by the coast, was supposed to be completed Tuesday — a month later than the original deadline. Garden Island.

Biotech seed company Syngenta will relocate about five employees to Kaua‘i from O‘ahu as part of a redistribution of research and development work, according to company spokesman Paul Minehart. Garden Island.