Showing posts with label tax credits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tax credits. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Hawaii House updates sexual harassment policy, expired tax credit costs millions, audit says DLNR mismanaged land fund, security cameras for Waikiki, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy Hawaii House majority
Press conference on House sexual  harassment policy PC:House Majority
Hawaii’s House of Representatives has revamped its sexual harassment policy following pressure brought on by the #MeToo movement and resignation of former Rep. Joe Souki last year amid complaints by several women that he had made unwanted advances toward them, including sexual comments, touching and kissing. Star-Advertiser.

Why Critics Say New House Sexual Harassment Policy Doesn’t Go Far Enough. They say the policy is a  “good first step” that meets many national best practices, but it lacks an appeals process and requires secrecy even after cases are resolved. Civil Beat.

State House Unveils Workplace Harassment Policy. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii House of Representatives updates workplace harassment policy. KHON2.

House lawmakers proposing changes to harassment policy. State House lawmakers are vying to significantly revamp harassment policies at the Capitol. KITV.

House harassment policy can be found here.

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This Long-Expired High-Tech Tax Credit Is Still Costing Hawaii Millions. The state awarded $289.1 million in tax credits in 2016, including $16.3 million for a program that no longer exists. Civil Beat.

A multimillion-dollar state fund to acquire private land for conservation purposes has been poorly managed by the Department of Land and Natural Resources, hampering its effectiveness, accountability and transparency, according to a state audit. Star-Advertiser.

The state Board of Education last month voted behind closed doors to extend Superintendent Christina Kishimoto’s contract by one year, but a question has arisen about whether the action was proper. Star-Advertiser.

The State Department of Agriculture briefed members of the Senate today on some of its budget priorities. Hawaii Public Radio.

Filmmaker Settles Lawsuit After Hawaii Grants Him Tax Credits. Tim Chey had charged the state film office discriminated against him because it didn’t like his Christian-themed historical drama. Civil Beat.

By Land And Sea, The Shutdown Takes Its Toll On Hawaii. A recent study finds the latest federal budget impasse is hitting the islands especially hard. Civil Beat.

With the partial government shutdown now in its third week, federal employees in Hawaii are feeling the impacts. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Fifty new security cameras will be installed in Waikiki, to the delight of the Waikiki Neighborhood Board. KHON2.

A vintage military fighter jet that was ditched at sea off Kewalo Basin on Dec. 12 with the pilot ejecting seconds before has been located in pieces in about 300 feet of water, the Coast Guard said. Star-Advertiser.

Pearl Harbor Tour company owner says, "we're struggling" as government shutdown continues. KHON2.

After 94 years of educating Hawaii’s youth, Saint Francis School will close its middle and high schools at the end of the academic year in May, its board announced Monday, citing loss of financial assistance. Star-Advertiser.

Saint Francis to lay off dozens of teachers, do away with upper grades. Hawaii News Now.

St. Francis School closing grades 7 through 12. The 87th, and final graduation ceremony will be held on May 25th. KITV.

Home sales on Oahu dropped by 28 percent last month, compared to December 2017, even as the median price of single-family homes rose 5 percent to $788,000. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Big Island prosecutors dealt with what they consider an alarming number of domestic strangulation cases last year — more than 50. Tribune-Herald.

Community volunteers maintain, monitor deserted national park. It was 18 days ago a partial government shutdown took effect, closing and de-staffing places like Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park in South Kona and leaving them unguarded from public whim. West Hawaii Today.

As the partial government shutdown enters its third week – reportedly with no end in sight – the signs of a federal funding lapse are becoming apparent at Puuhonua o Honaunau. Big Island Video News.

The Department of Public Safety reports that the old Hilo County Jail (built in the 1890s) is set for demolition soon. Big Island Now.

Home sales slowed on Big Island last year, but Kilauea fails to stop prices from rising. Home sales on Hawaii’s Big Island declined by 7 percent in 2018, compared to the year before, but the eruption of Kilauea volcano failed to stop prices, buoyed by double-digit gains in December, from rising. Pacific Business News.

Maui

Some 1.2 acres of land in Kapalua, Maui will be preserved as open space along the Kapalua Coastal Trail due to a donation from the Sue D. Cooley Trust, the Hawaiian Island Land Trust announced today. Star-Advertiser.

Hemp growers see hope on horizon after change in federal law. Cannabis growers looking for the next big thing after CBD craze. Maui News.

Kauai

As Hawaii looks at ways to become more self-sufficient in food production, people on Kauai are planting seeds that will feed the community decades down the road. Garden Island.

The National Tropical Botanical Garden and Kauai Community College present their first collaborative event of 2019 in the ongoing Earth Matters public lecture series at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday with a panel discussion, “Building Resilience in the Face of Climate Change.” Garden Island.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Audit questions big film industry tax breaks, Health Department mulls food handler certification, other rules, water tank vandalism closes Molokai schools, Big Island faces electricity hikes, more ado about University of Hawaii politicking, House picks leaders, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hwaii Film Office
Hawaii Five-O promo, courtesy Hawaii Film Office
The tax breaks the state of Hawaii offers to lure Hollywood productions to the islands are probably sweeter than they should be under state law, according to a report released Tuesday by the state auditor. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's film tax credit may not be helping the state as much as its film office claims. Civil Beat.

Read the entire film tax credit audit here.

The Hawaii State Department of Health said Tuesday that it will introduce amendments and updates to the state's food safety code, including a new education requirement, that will affect restaurants and other food service operations in the Islands. Pacific Business News.

More about the food safety rule changes and public hearings here.

The leadership of the state House of Representatives announced Tuesday who will head 20 committees that will oversee everything from tourism and transportation to the environment and education when the 2017 legislative session gets underway in January. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii House unveils lineup of committee chairs. Civil Beat.

See the entire House lineup at All Hawaii News.

A federal judge's nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the implementation of the Department of Labor’s overtime rule could be good news for employers in Hawaii, according to Ryan Sanada, director of legal and government affairs for the Hawaii Employers Council. Pacific Business News.

Communities such as Hawaii that continue to see their homeless populations rise “tell us that something is broken” and changes need to be made, the regional coordinator for the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness told the Hono­lulu Star-Advertiser on Tuesday.

Oahu

A donor has pulled funds supporting art students at the University of Hawaii after the art department’s chairwoman organized a sign-painting party on Facebook to protest President-elect Donald Trump. Associated Press.

Why Keith Kaneshiro Is Standing Behind Katherine Kealoha. Honolulu’s top prosecutor has been a harsh critic of a Justice Department investigation into Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his prosecutor wife. Civil Beat.

One of the largest food pantries on Oahu is preparing to close next month if a new location is not found.  Civil Beat.

State investigates water pollution complaint at Keehi Marine Center. KITV4.

Kahumana Community, a 50-acre nonprofit organic farm and community in Leeward Oahu, has been waiting for more than two years to get a solar energy project approved by Hawaiian Electric Co., delaying plans to house several dozen homeless individuals, businesses involved in the project confirmed to Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

The public soon will have a chance to weigh in on two scenarios posed by Hawaii Electric Light Co. that could raise typical residential electric rates by $9.31 a month in one case or possibly provide savings in another. West Hawaii Today.

The House of Representatives Majority named its 2017 Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs during a caucus meeting today. Kona-Ka’u representative Richard Creagan has been declared the new chair of the House Committee on Agriculture. Big Island Video News.

KTA Super Stores dives deeper into the digital age this week with the introduction of “virtual clinics of the future.” Shoppers in need of medical checks for scrapes, respiratory ailments, urinary infections, colds, sunburns or prescription refills can connect through iPad telemedicine. Tribune-Herald.

A guide sign that was misdirecting South Kona drivers through a new intersection came down in recent days and new, correct signs are expected to go up in its place. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui County Council Land Use Committee members recommended approval of A&B Properties’ Waiale South project Monday, while continuing to wrestle with questions about the developer’s vetting of prospective homebuyers for its 600-home Kamalani project in north Kihei. Maui News.

The Department of Water Supply is advising customers in the Honokōhau area to boil water before consumption due to possible E. coli contamination. Maui Now.

The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua has been sold for the second time in about two years to a partnership that includes Trinity Investments and Area Property Partners, which also are part of a consortium that owns the shuttered Makena Beach & Golf Resort. Maui News.

Melon Headed Whale Stranding Off Sugar Beach, Maui. Maui Now.

Kauai

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect involved in vandalizing the utility’s hydroelectric power infrastructure. Garden Island.

Molokai
The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is urging the public on Molokai to avoid using water from two storage tanks in Hoolehua after they were damaged by vandals. Star-Advertiser.

Several schools on Molokai are closed Wednesday due to water quality concerns after vandals damaged two 3.5-million-gallon storage tanks, officials said. Hawaii News Now.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Hawaii counties count legislative blessings, IBEW taken over by parent as probe into nepotism widens, tax credits for organic farmers, 75th Pearl Harbor anniversary planned, University of Hawaii money has strings attached, no funding for UH Cancer Center, solar company cutbacks after incentive plan cut, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii elder hula © 2016 All Hawaii News
Hawaii ranks seventh among the 50 states in which to grow old, according to a new Caring.com report. The report looked at several factors affecting people age 55 and up. The ratings incorporated data on quality of life, health care, long-term care, support for seniors and family caregivers, affordability of senior care and more than 100,000 ratings of senior care providers. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii would become the first state to pass a plan that would set up tax breaks for farmers to offset the cost of becoming certified as organic. Under the plan farmers could get up to $50,000 in tax credits for qualifying expenses. The state Legislature approved the proposal this year. Associated Press.

New Political Parties Get Their Shot On Hawaii Ballots This Year. The Hawaii Constitution Party, the Hawaii Independent Party and the American Shopping Party have qualified. Civil Beat.

The state’s newly selected medical marijuana dispensary operators could be permitted to grow under natural sunlight, and advanced practice registered nurses might be allowed to certify new patients. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii’s solar industry continues to struggle after the state ended a popular solar incentive program in October. The Hawaii Solar Energy Association, a solar advocacy group, said Monday a survey of 11 member companies showed 73 percent have decreased staff since the incentive program ended. Star-Advertiser.

The takeover of one of Hawaii's largest unions by its international parent comes amid longtime complaints of nepotism in the office. A Hawaii News Now review of the IBEW Local 1260's filings with the U.S. Labor Department shows that the union employed at least four people related to business manager Brian Ahakuelo. Hawaii News Now.

Only half of Hawaii’s public high schools with football teams have access to the top-rated helmets, and even at the campuses with the best helmets available, your child may still be handed a lower-rated piece of equipment. KHON2.

Oahu

The Legislature passed 275 bills and appropriated more than 7 billion dollars in state general funds before it adjourned last week. But the UH Cancer Center did not receive a single cent of what it asked for. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lawmakers are trying to prohibit the University of Hawaii from spending any of the nearly $50 million the Legislature has budgeted for the university’s repair and maintenance backlog on the College of Education at UH Manoa — unless the college is relocated. Star-Advertiser.

Kakaako Waterfront Park has a reputation as a giant, uninviting grassy mound with crumbly walking paths and shade pavilions popular with the homeless. But the state’s biggest park in urban Honolulu would become a grand public recreation destination under a new master plan. Star-Advertiser.

Planners of the 75th anniversary of the Dec. 7, 1941, attacks on Oahu are optimistic that either an aircraft carrier or “big deck” amphibious assault ship and vintage aircraft will participate in the milestone commemoration, which likely will be the last major hurrah for a rapidly dwindling number of Pearl Harbor survivors. Star-Advertiser.

The ordinance that bans sitting and lying on public sidewalks has been a handy tool for Honolulu Police Department officers to clear the homeless and other sidewalk dwellers off of busy sidewalks in Waikiki and the downtown/Chinatown areas over the past two years. But in the 15 neighborhoods from Waimanalo to Wahiawa that were added to the sit-lie law by City Council members, the law does not appear to have been used. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Kona International Airport improvements and an expansion of the Hawaii Community Correctional Center are among the big ticket items lawmakers approved for the Big Island this session. In total, the state Legislature approved $389 million in capital projects for the island during the session that ended last week. Tribune-Herald.

State lawmakers are touting the $389 million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding secured for Hawaii Island under the state budget (biennium of Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017 ) passed by the Legislature last week. The Big Island’s elected officials were also able to secure $8.5 million in Grants-In-Aid CIP for Hawaii Island nonprofit organizations. Big Island Video News.

Travel to and from Kahakai Elementary School will soon become smoother, and Principal Jim Denight hopes substantially safer after the State Legislature allocated $355,000 to improve safety conditions on Kahakai Access Road. West Hawaii Today.

Government and nonprofit groups are pitching in to keep the vision of botanist Amy Beatrice Holdsworth Greenwell alive. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Dozens gather in solidarity with Maui lifeguards fighting for better pay. KITV4.

In a follow-up to our March 6th MAUIWatch interview with Kai Pelayo, the new Monsanto Maui community affairs director, Pelayo forwarded a 32-page update to the company’s Memorandum of Understanding with the County of Maui for the year 2015.

The Department of Natural Resources was called to investigate the discovery of an unidentified object/device that washed ashore overnight at the beach in Spreckelsville off of Stable Road. Authorities say the item appeared to be some type of Naval sonar equipment, but the DLNR Maui Boating District Manager is looking into the case to assess what it is and how to get it removed. Maui Now.

Hana and Lanai high and elementary schools are among 23 schools statewide being added next school year to a U.S. Department of Agriculture free meal program, the state Department of Education announced Thursday. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauai representatives secured over $141 million in Capital Improvement Project funding for fiscal years 2016 and 2017. Garden Island.

The Kauai Community Correctional Center will be receiving $15 million for new housing and support offices after Kauai lawmakers secured more than $140 million in Capital Improvement Project funding this week. Garden Island.

Senate President Ronald Kouchi frequently drives on Puhi Road, which means he knows about its condition firsthand. Garden Island.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Legislature mulls tax credits and hikes, pesticide buffer zone killed, state fights aquarium fishing rules, Oahu prison riot, planned Oahu jail can't skip environmental reviews, Hawaii Council split on 'Styrofoam' ban, Takai to run for reelection despite cancer, Kahele's son named to state Senate, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Mai tais are served in Kona bar © 2016 All Hawaii News
A tax credit that would help low-wage working families squeezed by rising rents and other costs is up for decision-making by the Senate Ways and Means Committee today. Star-Advertiser.

A measure that calls for an increase in Hawaii’s general excise tax to help residents take care of elderly and sick family members cleared another committee Tuesday. Senate Bill 2478 passed Senate Human Services on a 5-2 vote. Civil Beat.

Hawaii House lawmakers have deferred indefinitely a bill that would have created vegetative buffer zones around five schools as part of a pilot project to protect against inadvertent exposure to pesticides sprayed at nearby farm fields. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Fights Against Regulating The Catching Of Reef Fish. State officials seek in court to avoid limiting the collection of fish and other reef creatures for aquariums. Civil Beat.

Homelessness was cited by legislative leaders as the most pressing issue this session.  There are more than 130 bills relating to homelessness and affordable housing. Hawaii Public Radio.

Pro surfer Kohl Christensen wants an administrative hearing after he said technical problems with the state Department of Health’s website prevented him from applying for a license to grow and sell medical marijuana in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Finding qualified special education teachers is not the only staffing challenge facing Hawaii schools. As of Feb. 1, one out of every three school psychologist positions within the Department of Education was vacant. Only 56 percent of high-level occupational therapist positions are filled. And the DOE is also trying to recruit 484 educational assistants — employees of varying skills and education levels who work with special education students. Civil Beat.

Rooftop solar, utility-scale solar and wind, with some offshore wind, as well as geothermal, biomass and biofuels are the types of renewable energy sources that are part of Hawaiian Electric Co.’s interim status report to state regulators on its new energy plan. Pacific Business News.

If you’ve ever gotten stuck behind a slow driver in the far left lane of a highway or a freeway, you know how frustrating it can be. A new bill in Hawaii looks to tackle the issue of vehicular “lollygagging.” KHON2.

Hawaii lawmakers are considering a bill cracking down on slow drivers in the fast lane. Associated Press.

In 1779 the ruling chief of Hawaii island greeted a visitor from a distant land named Capt. James Cook at Kealakekua Bay and offered him a lavish gift of his own feathered cloak and helmet. Now, after 237 years away from Hawaii, the ahu ula (feathered cloak) and mahiole (feathered helmet) of Chief Kalaniopuu will be returning to the islands for display at the Bishop Museum starting March 19. Star-Advertiser.

With a salary of $550,008, head football coach Norm Chow was the highest-paid employee of the University of Hawaii system when the current fiscal year began last July. That’s hardly surprising. Across much of America, the head football coach of the biggest public university is the state’s highest-paid public employee, period. Civil Beat.

Oahu

House and Senate committees Tuesday scrapped Gov. David Ige’s proposal to exempt the construction of a new Oahu jail from the state’s environmental review process amid mounting opposition from environmentalists and advocates for criminal justice reform. Star-Advertiser.


State Pulls Request For Prison Environmental Studies Exemption. Lawmakers advance bills to fast track relocation of the Oahu Community Correctional Center but decide environmental studies are a must. Civil Beat.

A riot broke out at Oahu Community Correctional Center – the state’s largest jail -- last week and one of the alleged instigators has caused trouble there before. Officials described the incident as the worst disturbance at OCCC in 30 years. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu Police Department said Tuesday it is looking into a possible violation of department standards by a high-ranking officer after a controversy surfaced about his promotion. Star-Advertiser.

The mayor has met with Honolulu Police Department Chief Louis Kealoha over a controversial assistant chief pick. Hawaii News Now.

Top Hawaii unions plan to protest a talk by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is in Honolulu this week. Walker is to deliver the keynote address for the Lincoln Day Dinner, sponsored by the Hawaii Republican Party. Civil Beat.

U.S. Rep. Mark Takai will officially announce today he is running for re-election to a second term despite his bout with pancreatic cancer, saying he is excited about the future and his doctors have cleared him to campaign. Star-Advertiser.

As traffic gridlock along the H1 freeway worsens, one city councilmember is calling for drastic measures. A new bill introduced by Councilmember Carol Fukunaga calls for a temporary ban on construction of major projects between Aiea, Salt Lake, Moanalua and Red Hill. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Electric Co. backed out of its contract with SunEdison Inc. for three utility-scale solar facilities on Oahu that were approved by state regulators in July. Star-Advertiser.

Instead of ramping up at a 47-megwatt solar farm in Wapio, work crews are ramping down. Employees got the bad news Tuesday morning, including a dozen who reported for what was to be their first day on the job.  Another 44 people recently hired at a job fair can’t begin work. KITV4.

Hawaii
Gov. David Ige on Tuesday appointed Hilo resident Kai Kahele to fill the District 1 Senate seat vacated by his father, the late Sen. Gil Kahele, who died unexpectedly last month at age 73. Kahele’s original term was to expire Nov. 6, 2018. Kai Kahele will represent Hilo until the primary and general elections are held later this year to elect someone to fill the remainder of the term. Tribune-Herald.

Gov. David Ige has appointed Kaiali‘i Kahele to the 1st district state senate seat that was held by his late father at the time of his passing. Big Island Video News.

Stalled on Styrofoam: Divided council sends foam food container ban out for more input. West Hawaii Today.

Door-to-door dengue education outreach begins today in Kailua-Kona, the lone Hawaii Island area identified as a high-risk area for potential dengue transmission. West Hawaii Today.

West Hawaii animal rescue groups and some community members are continuing a battle to force the Hawaii Island Humane Society to lower its euthanasia rates. West Hawaii Today.

A Captain Cook man accused of driving without proper materials during “Freedom Ride 2016” — and whose car was at one point suspected of having an explosive device on it before it was cleared — made his initial court appearance Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

W.H. Shipman wants to add traffic lights on Highway 11 to aid motorists driving into its business park, and is seeking a $2.75 million appropriation to get the project done. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui County real estate sales were down slightly while median prices were up by single digits in January compared with January 2015, according to Realtors Association of Maui's monthly statistics. Maui News.

Kauai

While there is no immediate threat for mosquito-borne viruses to strike Kauai, officials are asking residents to help make sure it stays that way. Garden Island.

Numbers gathered for the draft of the infrastructure assessment prepared by Honolulu-based SSFM International showed that by 2035, Kauai is going to be low on water, wastewater treatment capacity and in solid waste treatment capacity if trends continue as predicted. Garden Island.

SolarCity has selected Tesla Energy to supply the batteries for a first-of-its-kind solar array and energy storage system to be built for Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. Garden Island.

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative is working to provide affordable solar power all day and all night. The company SolarCity chose Tesla Energy to provide a “first-of-its-kind solar array and energy storage system” on Kauai, according to the statement from the co-op. Civil Beat.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Counties must define dancing, Hawaii-based military warns about South China Sea claims, humpback whales arrive early, whistle-blower lawsuit in Honolulu rail work, unions settle state hiring grievance, Maui mulls mayor-less government, enterprise zones advance, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Dancing at a Kona hotel pool party © 2015 All Hawaii News
What is dancing? That’s the question that the four county liquor commissions in Hawaii are asking now that the state has forced them to define dancing if they want to continue regulating it in bars, restaurants, clubs and hotels. Civil Beat.

Another Hawaii-based military leader has stepped up the rhetoric against China’s island-building and territorial claims in the South China Sea, this time ahead of what could be a bolder U.S. military demonstration of air and sea navigation rights through the area. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige is traveling to Japan and China to promote educational partnerships, energy cooperation and investment in Hawaii. Associated Press.

The state is phasing out the use of private contractors for highway landscaping and other maintenance work, costing taxpayers more money and settling two long-time class-action grievances filed by one of the state's most powerful unions, the United Public Workers. Hawaii News Now.

A couple of humpback whales have arrived early to the Hawaiian Islands this humpback whale season, which generally runs November through May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said today. Star-Advertiser.

The number of Hawaii residents attempting to use fake urine to trick workplace drug tests is at its highest point since 2012, according to recent drug test data from Diagnostic Laboratory Services, Inc. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gas’ parent will invest $6 million in two solar energy projects in the state in a deal that is expected to close before the end of October, a company spokesman confirmed to Pacific Business News.

Opinion: Implementing a high-tech tax credit more than a decade ago was well-meaning and helped jumpstart the technology sector in Hawaii, but there was little thought put into measuring its costs and benefits. It will likely become a costly lesson for state lawmakers. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: Native Hawaiian Election Throws Out All the Rules. None of the customary election laws apply to the high-stakes selection of delegates to a constitutional convention regarding a new government. Civil Beat.

Oahu

John McCaughey quit as the head of Ansaldo Honolulu's construction safety program in July because he thought the company was jeopardizing workers' safety. In a lawsuit filed last week, McCaughey said the company -- which is being paid $1.4 billion to build the trains and operate them -- cut corners by not hiring the required safety experts. Hawaii News Now.

The completion this month of steel framing for the International Market Place puts the redevelopment on track to reopen in August, creating jobs for an anticipated 2,500 employees and contract workers. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Congressman Mark Takai took to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu and its renaming in honor of the late Sen. Daniel Inouye. Civil Beat.

The Trump International Waikiki in Hawaii is one of seven in the The Trump Hotel Collection where guests may have been affected by payment system hacks that lasted nearly a year. Pacific Business News.

Residents at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe who are suing a developer over a possible connection between health problems and pesticide contamination got a big boost from the state Health Department last month. The state wants the developer to test for soil contamination in anticipation of turning the matter over to the federal agency that assesses toxic waste sites. Star-Advertiser.

State land officials are touting their latest efforts to shield Oahu residents and their homes from potential rockfalls, with a new protective fence going up on the hillside below the popular Lanikai pillbox trail. Star-Advertiser.

Good news from the Hawaii Department of Transportation Tuesday. Work on the Wilson Tunnel won’t take as long as initially expected. KHON2.

Inside University of Hawaii's College of Education are Hawaii's future elementary school teachers.  Students conducted experiments Monday while the building where they learn crumbled around them. Hawaii News Now.

Fourteen Honolulu homes purchased for more than $2 million apiece last month helped Hawaii’s main housing market break another record. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Opposition from some County Council members has resulted in a scaled-back enterprise zone plan that doesn’t swallow up large conservation areas in West Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County on Tuesday took a step toward purchasing land in Ka‘u that once hosted Makahiki events. County Council members, meeting as the Finance Committee, advanced a resolution that would authorize negotiations to acquire the 13 acres assessed at $179,000. Tribune-Herald.

A Hualalai Road condominium project for middle-income families could break ground in two months and have its first units ready within three years, following a favorable vote Tuesday by the County Council Planning Committee. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Electric Light Co., the Big Island subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Co., which is involved in a $4.3 billion sale with NextEra Energy Inc., is valued at just over $700 million, the head of the state’s Division of Consumer Advocacy confirmed to Pacific Business News Tuesday.

Construction has been completed on a mobile slaughterhouse geared specifically to the island’s smaller producers. The unit contained in a 36-foot trailer is in Tacoma, Wash., waiting to be shipped, said Mike Amado, president of the Hawaii Island Meat Cooperative. West Hawaii Today.

On Monday, a small group of cultural practitioners, government officials, and project contractors gathered by the edge of the hardened lava flow on Cemetery Road to take part in a Hawaiian blessing. Following the ceremony performed by Kahu Moses Kaho’okele Crabbe and Pi’ilani Ka’awaloa, Ludwig Construction crews began removing the lava, which burned across the road almost an entire year ago. Big Island Video News.

Maui

A Maui County Council committee has been assigned the task of establishing a special committee on county governance to consist of community and government officials, who would consider different forms of government, including an already proposed council-hired county manager system without a mayor. Maui News.

The Mayor’s Maui Homeless Initiative, a task force put together to address solutions to homelessness and affordable housing in Maui County, held its first meeting today. Maui Now.

Maui County Liquor Control Director Frank Silva retiring after 22 years. MauiTime.
More Upcountry residents may be getting their long-awaited water meters as the Maui County Council passed a bill Tuesday that offers exemptions from expensive street and fire protection improvements for some on the waiting list. Maui News.

The Maui Demolition & Construction Landfill is seeking a solid waste management renewal permit from the state Department of Health for its ongoing operations in Maalaea. Maui News.

Kauai

The turbine is back together, but it will still be another six to eight weeks until Green Energy Team’s $90 million biomass-to-energy facility in Koloa starts producing steam. Garden Island.

The median price of a condominium unit on Kauai rose by 62 percent year-over-year last month to reach $390,000, while actual sales only saw a slight uptick in activity, according a monthly report compiled by Hawaii Information Service on behalf of the Kauai Board of Realtors. Pacific Business News.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Prominent people seek marijuana licenses, lawmakers block biotech correspondence, $1.7B tech tax credits run amok, teachers' ethics compromise planned, Big Island biotech to fuel power-hungry Oahu, $10M donated for Punahou scholarships, federal funds for false killer whale study, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

used with permission under Wiki Commons
Discount Medical Marijuana cannabis shop in Denver, courtesy O'Dea
Big-name entrepreneurs, high-profile attorneys and former politicians are positioning themselves to compete for one of the eight licenses the state will issue next year to begin selling medical marijuana legally in Hawaii for the first time. Nearly 30 new business registrations include “marijuana,” “cannabis,” “pakalolo” and “weed” in their names, many of them filed with the state since the enactment of the law authorizing the establishment of pot dispensaries. Many are associated with well-known business personalities. Star-Advertiser.

Two Hawaii lawmakers have rejected a request from a nonprofit organization seeking correspondence between the legislators and biotech companies or groups representing their interests. The Hawaii Center for Food Safety asked five lawmakers to share all their communications with seed companies such as Monsanto — as well as organizations representing them — regarding genetically engineered crops and bills related to buffer zones and pesticide use. Civil Beat.

Special state tax credits lawmakers approved almost 15 years ago to spur growth in Hawaii’s technology sector could eventually cost the state up to $1.7 billion in lost tax collections, or more than twice the amount the state previously estimated, according to the Hawaii state auditor. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Co. CEO and President Alan Oshima would like to puncture a dream once and for all: This state shouldn’t expect cheap electricity. It could become less expensive, eventually, but it won’t be cheap. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gas’ $300 million plan to ship in liquefied natural gas in bulk amounts to the Islands could save the state in excess of $2 billion over a 15-year period from the beginning of 2019 through the end of 2033, according to public documents. Pacific Business News.

A Board of Education committee has come up with a possible solution to the ethical dilemma posed by public school teachers traveling free as chaperones on field trips they organize with tour companies. Star-Advertiser.

Bruce Anderson, a well-known Hawaii leader in environmental protection, has been selected to be administrator of the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources. West Hawaii Today.

A new federal funding source for false killer whale research will allow researchers to dive deeper into their understanding of the elusive marine species. Last week, the Department of Land and Natural Resources, in partnership with Hawaii Pacific University and the Olympia, Wash.-based Cascadia Research Collective, received nearly $1.2 million in grant funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association fisheries division to support further conservation and research relating to the whales. Tribune-Herald.

Oahu

The biggest construction and renovation projects at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific since 1966 have the Department of Veterans Affairs warning visitors to Punchbowl that things will be bumpy — and noisy and somewhat unsightly — for some time at the usually serene cemetery. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Planning Commission voted last week to recommend approval of a city proposal to rezone about 282 acres in Waipahu to make way for mixed-use communities around the area’s two rail stations. Star-Advertiser.

Here’s What Homeless People Have to Do to Get Their Property Back. When belongings are confiscated instead of trashed, Honolulu’s retrieval process is too expensive and cumbersome for many. Civil Beat.

The Sierra Club of Hawaii has expressed “extreme disappointment” in Governor Ige, the U.S. Navy, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for agreeing to a settlement that the nonprofit says does not do nearly enough to protect Oahu’s drinking water from the massive, “historically leaky” fuel storage tanks beneath Red Hill. Hawaii Independent.

Punahou School announced Sunday that it has received a $10 million gift from an anonymous donor and alumnus that will have a multiplier effect on its student financial aid program. The gift represents one of the most significant philanthropic contributions in the school’s history, and by far the largest ever made outside of a capital campaign. KHON2.

An unprecedented $10 million gift to Punahou School is expected to help 150 more families over the next five years afford an education at the state’s largest single-campus private school, and advance Punahou’s long-standing goal to increase access for qualified students. Star-Advertiser

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has plans to install protective fencing on a hillside just below the popular Lanikai 'Pillbox' trail. KITV4.

Hawaii

New liquor license fees to be considered Tuesday by the Hawaii County Council Finance Committee will usher in new opportunities for county businesses, officials say. West Hawaii Today.

Work will begin Monday to restore Cemetery Road in Pahoa, a large portion of which less than a year ago was covered by lava. Tribune-Herald.

A renewable energy project in South Kohala is catching its second wind with a new operator. Lalamilo Wind Co. LLC is building five wind turbines at the former Lalamilo Wind Farm near Puako, which Hawaii Electric Light Co. decommissioned in 2010 after operating for 25 years. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has approved a contract between Hawaiian Electric Co. and Pacific Biodiesel Technologies to supply biodiesel for Oahu power generators. West Hawaii Today.

VIDEO PRESENTATION: Ka’u Coffee Economic & Risk Analysis. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Maui is down to only a handful of agricultural inspectors a day - the frontline defense against new invasive species arrivals such as the little fire ant and coqui frogs - and there does not appear to be any relief in sight with a deadly fungus rapidly killing Big Island ohia trees. Maui News.

Former Maui Film Commissioner Harry Donenfeld's termination from his job nearly two years ago went unexplained publicly at the time, but in a recent interview Mayor Alan Arakawa disclosed that Donenfeld was fired because "he wasn't coming to work, period." Maui News.

Road work begins today, Monday, Oct. 5, in the Summit District of Haleakalā National Park. Maui Now.

The mayor's South Maui budget meeting that was canceled due to a tsunami advisory Sept. 16 has been rescheduled for 5:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Kihei Community Center. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauai’s Hilo Hattie store isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Even though the company is downsizing and relocating its flagship store on Oahu, company officials say the original Kauai branch will stay right where it is. Garden Island.

The newest store in the Longs chain on Kauai was blessed and dedicated Sunday morning before a handful of customers. Garden Island.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hawaii government conflicted over same-sex marriage, state short 600 doctors, Dalai Lama brings message of peace through aloha, bridge fixed for stranded Maui residents, aerospace district coming to Hilo, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu gay rights rally (c) 2012 All Hawaii News

Gov. Neil Abercrombie opposes participation by a Christian group in a court case to defend state marriage laws that restrict marriage to a man and a woman. But Loretta Fuddy, his director of the Department of Health, says the Hawaii Family Forum should be included in one of the nation's most important cases. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye
A spokesman for Sen. Daniel Inouye said there’s no truth to an anonymously-sourced KHON report that the senator was hospitalized in Hawaii this weekend. Civil Beat.

Senator Daniel Inouye's office says he returns to Washington, D.C. today and is perfectly healthy. KHON2.

Hawaii's doctor shortage has long been a problem. But there is now hard data that show just how severe the shortfall is.  According to the report findings from the 2012 Hawaii Physician Workforce Assessment project, the shortage is predicted to only get worse. KITV4.


The Dalai Lama offered his self-deprecating humor and infectious laughter to 9,000 people at the Stan Sheriff Center on Sunday and revealed that, in fact, he does not smile all the time. Star-Advertiser.


The Dalai Lama received the gift of a koa paddle not once but twice on Sunday, but in very different arenas. Civil Beat.

Hawaii residents will have a chance to safely dispose of expired or unused prescription medications at locations statewide. Star-Advertiser.


The U.S. Pacific Command and anyone worried about North Korean missiles pointed at Hawaii were no doubt breathing a sigh of relief Friday after that country’s latest attempt to fire off a rocket or test a missile fizzled. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii was ranked 46th best - or 4th worst - state in a report entitled Rich States, Poor States, released this week by the American Legislative Exchange Council. Hawaii Reporter.

State roundup for April 15. Associated Press.

Oahu

Honolulu Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi
If Oahu's larger credit unions are unwilling to share compensation data, they could lose all or a portion of their property tax exemption, according to Ann Koba­ya­shi, budget chairwoman of the City Council, which next month will consider whether to overhaul the city's exemption system. Star-Advertiser.

190 Kea‘au houseless residents are petitioning Governor Abercrombie to grant an extension on tonight’s planned ‘sweep.’ Hawaii Independent.

Consultants hired by the state warned that there are more boulders above Kalihi Valley homes that could come crashing down. Meanwhile, residents in about 9 homes are being told to stay away or enter at their own risk. Hawaii News Now.

Loans from OHA help Hawaiian firms thrive. Star-Advertiser.

The state is granting permission to continue the Haliewa Farmers Market through the end of the month. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii

The state Senate last week unanimously passed a bill that would establish a special district in the city for companies wanting to advance space exploration and even settlement of other planets. Tribune-Herald.

The community is getting its first glimpse at three possible alignments for the Saddle Road extension. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui County workers have completed rebuilding the Hanawana Land Bridge, enabling vehicular travel for some 40 stranded residents. Star-Advertiser.

Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald has appointed Adrianne N. Heely as judge of the District Family Court of the Second Circuit for the County of Maui. Maui Now.


Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. is offering new options for Maui residents to learn - in advance - where and when sugar cane harvesting will happen. Maui News.


The state Department of Health Clean Air Branch has officially extended its ban on backyard burning of yard and household trash from Oahu only to all the islands. Maui News.


Kauai
Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.
A series of Kaua‘i County Council budget review briefings is generally in line with what Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. wants in his proposed $161.2 million operational budget for fiscal year 2013, the mayor said. Garden Island.

More than 650 people crowded into a fundraiser and dinner Saturday night to benefit a plan 35 years in the making to build a Kaua‘i Philippine Cultural Center. Garden Island.

The Sheraton Kaua‘i Resort has announced the completion of its 15-month revitalization project totaling more than $16 million in additions and renovations. A grand opening is scheduled in June. Garden Island.

Molokai

This fall, Molokai High and Middle School students who ride the bus daily may need to figure out another way to get to school. Molokai Dispatch.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Gas hits $5/gal on Kauai, green energy tax cuts face reduction, dengue-carrying mosquito breeding on Oahu, audit says Honolulu not collecting enough taxes, Hearing officer pressured over Maui telescope, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Solar panels installed in Honolulu, courtesy photo
High electricity bills, sunny weather and improved technology have made solar power an increasingly popular option in Hawaii. But tax credit for renewable energy faces reductions, curtailed caps.  Star-Advertiser.

A Honolulu federal judge confirmed Friday that the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission cannot limit contributions to political committees that solely make "independent" expenditures. Civil Beat.

As protestors demonstrated at the federal building against the Affordable Care Act, state legislators wrestled with Hawaii’s plans to implement the law, which mandates universal health insurance coverage for all Americans. Hawaii Reporter.

The last two years at Hawaii's Department of Education were marked by leadership turnover and pay cuts, even as the overall budget and student enrollment grew. Civil Beat.

There are growing calls to address chronic absenteeism in Hawaii schools in the state’s education reform agenda, with proponents pointing out that better instruction and longer school days won’t do much for kids who don’t attend regularly. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Lawmakers Revive Vacation Rental Bill. Civil Beat.


Touted as a possible model for streamlining the state’s procurement process, the University of Hawaii’s new system for awarding multimillion-dollar construction contracts already is producing benefits. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

The city needs to be more aggressive in collecting delinquent real property taxes and consider actions such as fines or denial of city services to compel payments from those who continually skirt their taxes, according to a city auditor’s report. Star-Advertiser.

The Department of Veterans Affairs wants to build a $125 million, 125,000-square-foot medical center with 1,000 parking spaces in the Ewa area that would take some pressure off Tripler Army Medical Center and provide outpatient primary care and mental health services for veterans as well as treatment for active-duty Army, Navy and Coast Guard and their families. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to the power of the National Labor Relations Board's general counsel over a labor dispute at the Pacific Beach Hotel in Waikiki. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii state Department of Health is urging the public to exercise caution after the disease-carrying mosquito, Aedes aegypti, laid eggs at one of four traps at the Honolulu International Airport. KITV4.

They've been warned, arrested and had their belongings confiscated five times since members of Occupy Honolulu moved into — and later around — Thomas Square in October, but Hawaii's history with protests suggests that the end of Occupy Honolulu might not come quickly. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Taggart Nakamoto, a 12-year-old sixth-grader at Konawaena Middle School on Hawaii island, will represent Hawaii at the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee after becoming the Hawaii State Spelling Bee Champion Saturday night. Star-Advertiser.

A study aimed at defining the interconnectivity between Kona’s high-level and coastal groundwater systems and the possible impacts a connection could have on the area’s hydrologic resources is slated to get under way in May. West Hawaii Today.

A planned pavilion to house community, cultural, educational and recreational activities at Hookena Beach Park is now up for public review. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

A hearings officer reviewing a contested case petition and a permit for the proposed $300 million Advanced Technology Solar Telescope atop Haleakala is reporting that he came under "considerable" outside pressure "to simply spit out a recommended decision quickly" and get the matter before the state Board of Land and Natural Resources. Maui News.

The Days Inn-flagged Maui Oceanfront Inn is for sale as part of a bankruptcy by its owner, Western Apartments Supply & Maintenance Co. Star-Advertiser.

Maui’s Cane Burning – How Dangerous Is It? Maui Now.

Kauai

While the rest of the country was bemoaning the distant possibility of $5 a gallon gasoline, drivers on the North Shore of Kaua‘i on Sunday were  paying $5.05 a gallon for regular at the local Chevron station. Garden Island.

The state Department of Health has confirmed a third and fourth case of flesh-eating bacteria on Kauai. KITV4.

The Kaua‘i Fire Department’s headquarters will move to a new location at   the Lihu‘e Civic Center at 4444 Rice St. in Lihu‘e. Garden Island.


Molokai

As the Molokai community continues to determine its future and where tourism fits into the economical equation, the Aha Kiole, a resource management group, has compiled the results from a series of community meetings and surveys. The document outlines guidelines for tour companies arriving to the island by boat, including American Safari Cruises (ASC), which has been making controversial stops to Molokai since October 2011. Molokai Dispatch.

Despite heavy rains three weeks ago, Molokai farmers are concerned that the summer may bring continued drought and adverse effects for agriculture. That concern motivated Molokai Irrigation System (MIS) board members to vote in favor of an emergency drought declaration for Maui County, which could bring government assistance. Molokai Dispatch.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Honolulu councilman's chief of staff fired for web smears, rules eased for elder homes, new Hawaii tax targets military, federal contractors, new Native Hawaiian governance group sought, more Hawaii news of the day for the web and your smartphone

Hawaii today (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
It is that time of year when the Hawaiian Islands experience the astronomical phenomenon known as "Lahaina Noon." KITV4.

Having agreed on the wording of the definition of a "qualified Native Hawaiian" under the state recognition law, officials are now trying to figure out exactly what those words mean. Tribune-Herald.

Ancient Hawaiians relied on oral traditions to perpetuate their culture and history from generation to generation. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii hopes to generate about $35 million a year by lifting the tax exemption and imposing a 4 percent general excise tax on vendors who sell as much as $1 billion worth of products to federal outposts from military commissaries and office buildings to the shipyard. Star-Advertiser.

At a time when Hawaii's senior population is surging, the state has watered down the main qualification for secondary caregivers at hundreds of adult foster homes, senior advocates say. Star-Advertiser.

A new group reviewing management of Hawaii's charter schools is meeting for the first time this week.Associated Press.

For more than two decades, the limited law-enforcement arm of Hawaii's state government has sought a respected place and function. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council member Tom Berg fired his chief of staff after he escalated a World Wide Web war of words by creating a website accusing a state lawmaker of being a crook. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Rapid Transit Authority has formally notified the City Council that it will begin acquiring public and private real estate along the 20-mile route of the fixed-rail guideway. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaiian Electric Co., Energy Industries, RevoluSun, Hawaii Energy, EAH Housing and the Department of Housing and Urban Development are the sponsoring organizations for the inaugural month-long Kanu Hawaii Energy Challenge. Pacific Business News.

Kapiolani Park was filled with the sound of an instrument that's linked to Hawaii.Hawaii News Now.

A wave of change is rolling into Wahiawa. KHON2.

“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” That was the message Molokai residents gave members of the Maui Charter Commission last week, when more than a dozen community members testified against proposed changes to the Maui County Charter. Molokai Dispatch.

Mayor Alan Arakawa and Maui County Council Chairman Danny Mateo went to South Korea, not sure what they might find across the international dateline in the "Land of the Morning Calm." Maui News.

Seven years later and the county has yet to issue a single permit for the campsites it built for residents and visitors at Lydgate Park. Garden Island.

The Subaru Telescope on Mauna Kea remains out of commission, weeks after an estimated 185 gallons of coolant leaked onto two mirrors and two instruments. Tribune-Herald.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hawaii media tracks Obama family visit, rain and fireworks in the forecast, Obama vacation home gets big tax breaks, Maui bodyboarder hit by shark , military to beef up Big Island facility, Hawaii mayors control credit cards, ethics boards, more news from the islands

President Barack Obama, his family and friends went to church at Marine Corps Base Hawaii on the day after Christmas. Star-Advertiser.

After spending most of the day quietly at their rented compound in Kailua, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greeted service men and women at their annual Christmas dinner at Kaneohe Marine Corps Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

President Barack Obama and his daughters have spent time together on Christmas Eve at a beach popular for bodysurfing. Associated Press.

The absentee owner of a multimillion-dollar home being used by President Barack Obama's visiting entourage gets one of the biggest residential property tax breaks on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

The National Weather Service expects numerous showers and isolated thunderstorms today through tomorrow morning, giving way to scattered showers tomorrow afternoon. Star-Advertiser.

Heavy rain that was soaking Hawaii was expected to last through at least Tuesday, and forecasters warned Sunday of possible flooding. Associated Press.

Heavy rains early Sunday morning on Maui caused flooding and prompted evacuations. KITV4.

Heavy rain soaked an already saturated Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau on Sunday as forecasters issued a flash flood warning for the county through Tuesday afternoon. Garden Island.

The Kmart in Iwilei opened their doors at 6am Sunday to a frenzy of fireworks shoppers. KHON2.

Sales are expected to continue rising after a new city law banning everything from sparklers to fountains takes effect Jan. 2, 2011. KITV4.

As people gear up for New Year's, one ritual for many families is stocking up on fireworks. Tribune-Herald.

Kaua‘i fireworks store owner Erika Kleinfeld said last week that she is anticipating a brisk sale of fireworks and firecrackers for New Year’s celebrations this year. Garden Island.

The Army has given notice that it will seek to modernize facilities and build new ones at its Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island. Associated Press.

Part of Kahului Harbor on Maui is closed after a teenage bodyboarder was bitten by what appears to be a shark. KHON2.

Gov. Abercrombie has assembled the members of his administration and among them are several Filipinos. Filipino Chronicle.

Hawaii's mayors may be the only ones in the nation with the power to appoint every member of their ethics commissions. Civil Beat.

Top officials in Mayor Billy Kenoi's administration have racked up $222,083.28 in credit card charges over the past 22 months. West Hawaii Today.

Costco plans to expand its Kahului store and build a gas station next door as part of A&B Properties' first part of Maui Business Park Phase II. Maui News.

Mayor-elect Alan Arakawa has appointed Douglas "Doug" McLeod as the county's energy commissioner after the new administration takes office Jan. 2. Maui News.

Maui County Mayor-elect Alan Arakawa announced last week his appointment of County Councilwoman Jo Anne Johnson as the incoming transportation director of the County of Maui. Lahaina News.