Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Hawaii's high cost of living major focus of Ige's state of the state speech, attorney general seeks TMT protest group bank records, University of Hawaii gets new football coach, Honolulu honors fallen police officers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

captured from video 2020
Gov. Ige address the 2020 Legislature PC:Capitol TV screen capture
Governor Calls For Major Housing, Cost-Of-Living Initiatives In State Of The State Speech. Gov. David Ige delivered his sixth State of the State address Tuesday, laying out details about efforts worked out with legislative leaders that aim to address Hawaii's high cost of living in areas that include housing and child care. Hawaii Public Radio.

Governor promotes proposals for working families. Gov. David Ige on Tuesday outlined a plan to boost preschool education, housing and tax relief for families as he delivered his annual state of the state address. Associated Press.

Ige Delivers 2020 State of State Address. State and county leaders and community members gathered in the House Chambers at the State Capitol as Gov. David Ige delivered the 2020 State of the State Address Tuesday morning. Big Island Now.

Governor avoids talk of crime, mental health in State of the State. In his State of the State address Tuesday, Gov. David Ige paid tribute to the two officers killed in an ambush in Diamond Head on Sunday. But beyond that, he didn’t talk about crime or mental health in his speech. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige's 2020 State of the State Address. Full text here.

Senate President Ron Kouchi’s address on opening day of the Hawai‘i State Legislature Jan. 15. Here.

House Speaker Scott Saiki's opening day remarks. Here.


Sunday Shooting Overshadows Hawaii Governor’s State Of The State. The public can expect a more concerted effort to close gun loopholes but proposals to address Native Hawaiian issues remain uncertain. Civil Beat.

Gov. Ige hails slain officers in his State of the State address. Gov. David Ige began his annual State of the State address Tuesday with a moment of silence for slain Honolulu Police officers Tiffany Enriquez and Kaulike Kalama, describing them both as heroes. Star-Advertiser.

State of the State: Ige still believes TMT can be resolved peacefully. At his State of the State address this morning, Gov. David Ige reiterated his belief that the conflict surrounding the Thirty Meter Telescope can still be resolved peacefully. Tribune-Herald.

Governor Remarks On TMT Situation During State Address. Governor David Ige made some brief remarks on the Thirty Meter Telescope during his State of the State address on Tuesday, in a bid to bring together both sides of the controversial project planned for Maunakea. Big Island Video News.


Lawmakers consider ban on lending of guns. State lawmakers said Tuesday that they were considering changes to Hawaii gun laws this session even before Sunday’s shooting deaths of two Honolulu police officers at a Diamond Head home presumably at the hands of a man who had no permit to own any guns. Star-Advertiser.

For 5th Year Running, Lawmakers Consider Giving Airports More Autonomy. After years of failing to address infrastructure problems at state airports, lawmakers will once again consider making a change this session. Hawaii Public Radio.

Creating More Treatment Options in Hawaii’s Fractured Mental Health System. A key feature of the proposed reforms includes diverting the mentally ill from ERs into outpatient and residential programs more tailored to their needs. Civil Beat.

Interagency task force provides update on fight to eradicate invasive species. Lawmakers have been updated on a 10-year inter-agency plan launched two years ago to help manage biosecurity risks. KITV4.

Hawai‘i Health Officials Offer Guidance on Novel Coronavirus Outbreak in China. Hawai‘i Department of Health is providing guidance to healthcare providers in the state for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak in China, which has already includes more than 300 confirmed infections and several deaths in China. Maui Now.


Former ASU football coach Todd Graham hired as head coach at Hawaii. Former Arizona State University head football coach Todd Graham will be introduced Wednesday as the next head coach of the University of Hawaii football program, school officials announced Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Todd Graham picked to lead University of Hawaii football team. In a move that was surprising in its quickness and choice, Todd Graham was selected as the Hawaii football team’s head coach. Star-Advertiser.

Former Arizona State coach Todd Graham to become new Hawaii head coach. Former Arizona State head coach Todd Graham will become the 24th head coach in program history, per a UH release. KHON2.

Todd Graham set to take over as UH head football coach. Announced around 6pm on Tuesday that Todd Graham will become the 24th head coach in UH football program history. KITV4.


Police Chief: State’s handling of mentally ill who pose threat should include ‘tough love’. The suspect in Sunday’s deadly rampage at Diamond Head showed signs of mental illness for years. Now Honolulu's police chief is demanding more tools for her officers to use in cases where mental health is involved. Hawaii News Now.

HPD Chief says more needs to be done to track the mentally ill. After Sunday’s shooting, HPD Chief Susan Ballard says more needs to be done to track the mentally ill. KHON2.

Diamond Head landlord was ‘closest to family’ the attacker had. The suspect and victim, presumed to have died in or before the fire at the house the blaze started, had a trusting friendship for more than a decade prior to the Sunday attack, shootings and fire. KHON2.

Police confirm second set of human remains found on Hibiscus Drive. Honolulu police have confirmed that a second set of human remains was located at the site of 3015 Hibiscus Drive this afternoon. Star-Advertiser.

2 sets of human remains found in ashes of Diamond Head property. Police cadaver dogs have led investigators to two sets of human remains in the ashes of a Diamond Head home where the suspect in Sunday’s violent rampage and his landlord are believed to have died, sources confirmed to Hawaii News Now. Hawaii News Now.

Suspect may have used his landlord’s gun collection to ambush officers. The suspect who fatally shot two police officers in the Diamond Head area Sunday shouldn’t have had access to guns. Hawaii News Now.

Mourners gather to remember officer. Hundreds turned out Tuesday for a candlelight vigil for fallen Honolulu police officer Tiffany Enriquez, bringing an emotional end to a day that was as much about celebrating lives as it was confirming losses. Star-Advertiser.

Candles and memories shine bright at a vigil honoring HPD’s 2 fallen officers. Family and friends of Honolulu Police Officer Tiffany Enriquez, who was killed in the line of duty in Diamond Head on Sunday, organized a candlelight vigil in Waikiki on Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Officer Kaulike Kalama remembered: ‘A good friend to all who knew him’. Officer Kaulika Kalama, affectionately known as “KK,” was a nine-year veteran of the Honolulu Police Department when he was fatally shot. Hawaii News Now.

Communities gather to mourn fallen HPD officers. A vigil was held in Waikiki to celebrate the life of Officer Enriquez, while a statement from the family of Officer Kalama was released. KHON2.


U.S. seeks forfeiture of 2 more properties connected with illegal gaming. The U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Hawaii announced Tuesday it is seeking forfeiture of two more properties involved in an illegal gambling operation. Star-Advertiser.

Plastics Ban: What’s Next. O‘ahu’s new law restricting single-use plastics has business owners scrambling to comply with the impending bans – just as happened on the Neighbor Islands after similar bans were imposed. Hawaii Business.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii AG Is Seeking Bank Records Of Mauna Kea Protest Group. The AG argues the Native Hawaiian nonprofit is illegally using donations to fund civil disobedience; the organization says the request is intimidation. Civil Beat.

India Wary Of TMT Construction On Mauna Kea. India’s Department of Science and Technology is part of the Thirty Meter Telescope consortium. Civil Beat.

Testifiers at public hearing urge recycling. The Solid Waste Advisory Committee, convened every 10 years, took the 10,000-foot view of the island’s trash issues. But many of the two dozen or so people attending a public hearing in Hilo Tuesday evening had very specific concerns. West Hawaii Today.

Fears of Invasive Beetle Spreading to West Hawai‘i. An invasive beetle caught the attention of Big Island farmers in the Spring of 2018 because of its assault on fruit trees in East Hawai‘i. Big Island Now.


Catching drunken drivers. 5 vehicles towed under new law; Friday was first day of enforcement. Maui News.

Weekend DUI Enforcement Nets 8 Arrests, 5 Vehicles Towed on Maui. Maui police arrested eight individuals for driving under the influence of an intoxicant and towed a total of five vehicles during a weekend enforcement effort in which police utilized Maui’s new DUI Tow law. Maui Now.

County Seeks Housing Project Ideas. The request through the Housing Division of the Department of Housing and Human Concerns would use the Experimental and Demonstration Housing Projects Fund for the provision, protection and expansion of experimental and demonstration housing projects, including the rehabilitation of existing structures, land purchase or other acquisition of land or property entitlements, planning, design and construction. Maui Now.


Land developer sues county. A North Shore property owner is suing the Kauai County Planning Commission over its refusal to allow him to develop 134 acres of agricultural land in Moloa‘a. Garden Island.

Learn history on Historic Hapa Road. Koloa ohanas can now use the Historic Hapa Trail to get to the beach thanks to four men who have continued the legacy of caretaking the trail. Garden Island.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Full Text: Hawaii Gov. David Ige's State of the State address, plus excerpts, links from Senate and House leaders

Gov. David Ige
State of the State Address
Governor David Y. Ige
To the thirtieth State Legislature
Meeting in Joint Session Jan. 21, 2020

Mr. Speaker, President Kouchi, former governors, distinguished justices of the courts, representatives of our congressional delegation, members of the Hawaiʻi State Legislature, elected officials, military leaders, honored guests, and all of you who took the time to be with us this morning.

[Before I begin… Our first responders—whether they are police officers, firefighters, or lifeguards—take great pride in their professionalism and great satisfaction in knowing they are serving others and their community. If you ask them, they will tell you to a man and woman that they are just doing their job, even when they step into harm’s way.  But, in truth, they do so much more, especially when the need for them arises. On Sunday, a desperate need did arise, and two heroes stepped up.

I would like us to take a moment of silence for officers Tiffany Enriquez and Kaulike Kalama.

Chief Ballard – Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with the HPD ʻohana and with the families of these two brave officers.]

On January 1, we welcomed the dawn of not only a new year, but a new decade. 

For those under 30, that may not seem like a big deal.

But for those who grew up without the internet — when The Lord of the Rings was a book you read and not a movie you watched — time has a way of sneaking up on us. 

Could any of us have imagined the changes and discoveries that have already taken place in this century?

Smart phones,

3-D printers, Facebook, and

Self-driving cars.

And it seems that each year, change happens faster and faster.

How do you keep up with it all? If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit, we can’t. We go along with the flow and hang on for dear life.

But the issues that concern our families haven’t changed for as long as I can remember:

Finding a job that pays the bills,

Dealing with Hawaiʻi’s high cost of living, and

Taking care of our family.

A study sponsored by the Aloha United Way reported that a family of four in Hawaiʻi needs a combined annual income of $77,000 just to survive…to pay for food, housing, health care, childcare and, yes, taxes.

If you asked working families in Hawaiʻi whether they make $77,000 a year, many would answer, “no.” If you asked families who made $77,000 whether that was enough, I suspect the answer would still be, “no.”

At various times, we’ve taken stabs at different aspects of the overall problem. We’ve taken bites out of the housing shortage. We’ve increased the minimum wage. We’ve started childcare and preschool programs. And we’ve provided tax relief for working families.

As a state senator, I remember supporting many bills to help ease Hawaiʻi’s high cost of living. And I recall many others trying to do the same.

Hundreds of bills were introduced, many requested by the community, all competing to improve the quality of life in Hawaiʻi. The House selected their priorities, and the Senate did the same. Advocates successfully moved their priorities from committee to committee. In the end, we agreed on a budget and hundreds of bills that made life a little better.

We went along with the flow and hung on for dear life. Still, the elephant in the room—the cost of living—got a little larger and harder to deal with each year.

Too many in our community, simply gave up and moved away.

And so, at the start of this new decade, it is appropriate to ask ourselves: Does it make any sense to continue to do business as usual? 

That’s why House and Senate leadership, community leaders and my administration got together to look for a better way of helping working families. We challenged each other to identify ways to take on reducing the cost of living for working families. We committed to a package of bills that was outlined last week in our joint press conference. We committed to shaping these bills and ushering them through the legislative process.  And we made a promise to make life better for our working families.

Moreover, we had an army to assist us. I would like to recognize House Speaker Scott Saiki, Senate President Ron Kouchi, their members, key department directors, and many business and non-profit leaders who participated in this historic collaboration. Whether you are up in the gallery or down here on the chamber floor, please stand to be recognized.


The first thing we agreed to do was to put more money into pockets of working people.

But how do you increase wages without increasing the cost of living? The two are joined at the hip. Clearly, increasing the minimum wage alone would not do it.  

But a modest increase phased over time, combined with targeted tax relief, could result in an annual cash benefit of $4,400 to each worker. We believe we have hit the sweet spot that will make a difference for our working families.

Still, some say, that is not enough. And that’s why our package also includes initiatives to reduce the cost of childcare and housing, two of the biggest expenses in a family’s budget.


The proposed bill on expanding affordable childcare complements the proposal we made last year to create a universal public preschool system for four-year-olds. To reach that goal, I noted we would need more than 300 pre-K classrooms.

At the time, I had no illusion about the cost or difficulty of attaining that goal. And so we embarked on a phased process, a way of taking small but steady steps forward.

But this new bill on childcare will allow us to do much more than that.

Today, half of our toddlers, about 20,000 statewide, have no access to childcare or preschool programs. By the end of this decade, we want to eliminate that gap, whether it’s through our pre-K classrooms, private preschools, or the proposed Learning to Grow centers. By the end of this decade, we want every three- and four-year-old in Hawaiʻi to have the opportunity to attend a childcare or preschool program.

Business as usual is NOT acceptable. We want to make an aggressive start now.

Instead of asking working parents to bring their toddlers to us, let’s bring these services to them, whether it’s in community centers, in condominium buildings, or suburban shopping malls.
nstead of waiting three years or more to construct new classrooms, let’s look at all the empty classrooms and underutilized facilities statewide to see if we can make better use of them.

Instead of trying to do all of this with just taxpayer dollars, why not leverage those funds through partnerships with private and nonprofit groups?

We are committed to go the distance because we know our children’s future is at risk.

Education is the foundation of our economy and our quality of life. Everything, including our future, begins with how well we educate our children. And that is significantly affected by the kind of beginnings we provide for them.

We cannot let them down.


In Hawaiʻi, the biggest expense for working families by far is housing, whether it’s rent or mortgage payments.

Young families in Hawaiʻi just cannot afford to buy that first home without help.

The spiraling cost of homes in Hawaiʻi is driven by two forces: The first is the high cost of land. The second is real estate speculation.

And so in our joint package, we propose to build 17,000 affordable homes over the next decade on state-owned land in partnership with private developers. The homes would be sold as leasehold, effectively removing the biggest cost for developers: land. That, in turn, will dramatically bring down the price of the homes they build.

Moreover, as the landlord, the state will be able to keep these homes affordable while allowing leaseholders to reasonably share in the equity when they are ready to sell. In other words, we hope to take some of the wind out of speculators’ sails. In this way, we can also ensure that the leasehold property stays affordable forever.

As part of our joint package on housing, we are proposing to invest $200 million for roads and infrastructure to stimulate interest in the University of Hawaiʻi’s housing development plans for its West Oʻahu campus.

With 4,000 units already planned, we are very excited about the new energy these initiatives will inject into the project.

We are also proposing to provide $75 million for affordable housing on the Neighbor Islands.

In addition, we want to streamline the permit process to generate additional interest from developers.

This joint package works hand-in-hand with the progress we made together to make low- and middle-income rental units available to our working families. This not only provides for their immediate housing needs but helps them save for the day when they can buy a home of their own.

But the real story lies with the families that we—you and I—have been able to help. 

About six years ago, Krysyan and Jonathan Durrett were living on the mainland when he was offered an internship in Hawaiʻi. The couple, who were born and raised in Hawaiʻi, returned to the islands with their three children and moved in with his parents. When Jonathan’s internship turned into a full-time job, they knew that their living arrangement would no longer work.

The cost of living was overwhelming and finding a place to rent seemed impossible. They were faced with the tough choice of staying near family or moving back to the mainland where the price of everything was lower.

Fortunately, they were able to qualify for an affordable rental in Ewa Beach in a development built by Mutual Housing Association of Hawaiʻi with state assistance.

That allowed the Durretts to not only stay in Hawaiʻi, but, more importantly, save for the future. And after six years, they were able to save enough money for a down payment for a home of their own. Krysyan credits living in the affordable rental community as the primary reason they were able to save and purchase a home in Hawaiʻi.   

Krysyan and Jonathan are here with us this morning. Would you stand and be recognized?

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention private developments like Waiawa, Hoʻopili and Koa Ridge. Clearly, it will take the private and public sectors working in concert to meet all of our families’ housing needs.

Building homes is not just about building houses, but also about nurturing communities. 

And the importance we give to eliminating homelessness says as much about us as a community as any new development. 

From the start of this administration, working with the legislature and the private sector, we have made reducing homelessness a priority. At the time, Hawaiʻi had the highest per capita rate of homelessness in the country.

Between 2016 and 2019, we increased the number of homeless people moving into permanent housing by 73 percent. On average, we have moved over six hundred homeless individuals into permanent housing each month. Those are the statistics. 

When it comes to homelessness, progress is really measured one person and one family at a time. For those individuals, their stories are no longer about shuffling between the streets and temporary housing.

Kalani Lautele is a single father with three children. He works in construction, and in 2016 his rent was suddenly doubled, and he found himself and his children homeless and desperate. He was referred to the family assessment center in Kakaʻako where they stayed while waiting for affordable or public housing. Fortunately, Catholic Charities Hawaiʻi was able to find his family permanent housing. 

But that’s not the end of his story. Kalani needed a way to “pay forward” the help he was given. After settling in a home in Kalihi, Kalani continued to visit the center. And he brought with him his children and the entire youth football team he coached, to help with outreach events. They also brought donations for the families there, such as toiletries, food and bedding.

I would like Kalani (and his family) to stand and be recognized for their strength of character and for the example they have set for others.

I would also like to take a moment to recognize Lt. Gov. Josh Green for his work on the H4 initiative. The initiative provides medical services for homeless individuals through Joint Outreach Centers in Chinatown and Kāneʻohe. As you know, the Lt. Gov. has focused on the health concerns of the homeless and is also working on other projects, like the Kauhale Village concept, and addressing a broad range of community needs.

On behalf of everyone involved in these efforts, I would like the Lt. Gov. to stand and be recognized.


While the joint package has been the focus of our attention, we are also continuing to work on other important areas as well. 

Great things do not happen overnight. To paraphrase Robert Kennedy, they begin with a vision to see things, not as they are, but as they might be.

The transformation of agriculture in Hawaiʻi from large plantations that exported sugar and pineapple to smaller more diversified farms that grow food for local consumption is such a vision. But it has taken a while.

The transition of our visitor industry from a sector that focuses on growth to one that embraces sustainability is just beginning. It, too, will take time.

In fact, the shift to sustainability in many of the things we pursue—including energy, economic development and the environment—will continue long after we are gone. That is why we cannot lose sight of those broader goals, no matter the obstacles, changes in administration, or how long the process.


Perhaps the longest transition we have experienced recently has been the transformation of our agricultural industry from large-scale farming to more diversified farms.

But there is one important difference in today’s efforts from yesterday’s: And that’s technology. As in other fields, we have seen the rise of technology change the face of everything in society. In agriculture, it too has been a game changer. It has enabled farmers to produce higher yields in the field and more precise targeting strategies in the marketplace. Consequently, we are seeing a greater willingness to invest in local agricultural endeavors. 

Over the last several weeks, we have seen a number of news articles on agricultural start-ups.

Mahi Pono, which bought 41,000 acres of former sugar cane land, is raising potatoes in central Maui. And they want to plant another 120 acres of citrus trees and 20 acres of non-GMO papayas. Their plans also include growing avocados, bell peppers, guava, lilikoi, oranges, lemons and limes.

Sensei Farms is transforming agriculture on Lanaʻi by using a mix of proven and innovative technology to power its hydroponic greenhouses on former pineapple fields. This mix of traditional farming and new technology is the wave of the future for agriculture throughout the state.

Mr. En Young of Sensei Farms is here with us today. Would you stand and be recognized?

More than at any other time in our history, local farmers have it within their grasp to make a difference in our drive toward self-sufficiency.

At this time, I would also like to acknowledge State senators Donovan Dela Cruz and Mike Gabbard and representatives Richard Onishi and Richard Creagan, who have long been strong advocates for agriculture in Hawaiʻi.


You know, we can initiate a host of activities to encourage local food production, stimulate our economy, and protect our environment. But the key has always been whether we are able to keep those initiatives going. And so “sustainability” has been an integral part of our efforts.

How do we sustain our economy, our lifestyle and our natural environment? We do it first by developing clean energy sources.

With a flurry of commercial solar projects in the pipeline and local homeowners’ enthusiasm for residential solar power, we will meet our 2020 energy goal of attaining 30 percent of our energy needs from renewable sources.   

The significance of this initial pivot to clean and renewable energy cannot be overstated.

We have become a leader in this effort, and our actions have inspired other states to follow. Since we set a goal to become carbon negative by 2045, four other states have followed our lead. So far, we have successfully reduced our greenhouse gas emissions and will meet our goal for 2020. And our utilities are meeting our clean electricity goals faster and at record low prices.

Today, 37 percent of Oʻahu’s single-family residences have rooftop solar. On certain days, Kauaʻi is already achieving 100 percent of electricity from clean energy sources, decades ahead of when we thought this would be possible.

We will continue to aggressively engage in actions that will continue to de-carbonize our economy and make our environment whole.

In commerce, sustaining our economy has replaced the old mantra of growing the economy. And in fact, we are already seeing a shift in focus in our biggest industry.

In 2019, the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority shifted its priorities from increasing visitor arrivals to improving the visitor experience, while supporting the quality of life for residents. Through HTA’s Aloha ʻĀina program, 28 nonprofit and government agencies were given funding for programs to help protect Hawaiʻi’s natural resources.

For example, the authority is working to repair and improve hiking trails like those at Mānoa Falls. Through its Kūkula Ola program, the authority has funded 28 programs this year and committed to fund 43 more programs in 2020 that perpetuate Hawaiian culture. The beneficiaries are programs and groups like the Lānaʻi Culture & Heritage Center, Hula Halau O Molokai, Hana Arts, the Edith K. Kanakaʻole Foundation, the Kalihi-Palama Culture & Arts Society, and so many more.

And while we are on the subject of Native Hawaiian culture, let me digress for just a moment and speak on the Thirty Meter Telescope and Mauna Kea.

Emotions have run high on both sides. The arguments are strong on both sides, and that’s what makes the situation so difficult. There is no easy answer or quick solution. We will have to work hard if we want to resolve this conflict. But I truly believe it can be resolved, if we put our heads and our hearts together.

There are some who have encouraged me to take strong measures against those who are protesting on Mauna Kea. That would have been the easier course. But it is not just the authority of the law that is at stake. It is much more than that.

What is also at risk is the glue that has always bound us together: our sense of aloha. It is the thing that underpins our laws and gives them meaning and an ethical foundation. That trust in each other is also sacred. And I will not break that bond, no matter how convenient or easy.

At the heart of our dilemma is both the history of wayfinding and discovery and the future of wayfinding and discovery. If we have lost our way, we must find our way back. 

To do this, we must be open hearted, as well as open minded. We must listen, as well as speak with conviction, and we must have aloha for each other, in spite of our differences.

I am of that mind, and I ask all to join me in continuing to look for a way forward. I stand ready to work with any and everyone who refuses to let this issue divide us. Let us together find a way forward.


Like our host culture, we sustain our environment by protecting it.

Stewardship of the ʻāina has always been a central part of public policy here in Hawaiʻi. It is embedded in our state motto and in the awareness of our children from an early age. The life of our lands has always depended on right thinking and a love of this place we call home.

But there is a new danger threatening the ʻāina, and it comes from climate change. No one need tell us how global warming is directly impacting our lives or the lives of:

Families who live along the North Shore of Oʻahu, or

Those who suffered from recent historic storms on Kauaʻi, or

The people of West Maui, who were affected by unprecedented high tides, or

Those affected by devastating wildfires on The Valley Isle.

Recently, Time Magazine named Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg its Person of the Year for 2019. She is a passionate and compelling youngster who believes we all have a part to play in preventing climate change. She sets an example for all of us. 

I would like to challenge our own young students to think about Greta’s message to us. The adults in this room often talk about sustainability and the future. But for those under 21, it is more about your future than ours. It is never too early to take ownership of it.

Because it’s as much about everyday activities as it is about large or sweeping public policy. We can work with the Legislature to permanently set aside 10,000 acres in conservation under the State’s Legacy Land program, as we have over the last year and a half. We can mandate 100-percent clean energy usage by 2045. But without your involvement, public policy is just that: a policy written on a piece of paper. It is your support and daily participation that transforms those policies into meaningful actions.

And if you don’t believe me, just ask the graduates of KUPU, a nonprofit youth organization dedicated to making a difference in their communities. Ask Aziz Agis, a KUPU alumni who maintained and restored hiking trails on Oʻahu; or Sean McDonough, who spent his days assisting in the preservation of natural area reserves throughout Oʻahu.

Also with us today is John Leong, Director of KUPU.

I would like all of them to stand and be recognized for their contributions to making a difference in Hawaiʻi.

They are only a few years older than those of you who are still in school. The future will be here faster than you think. But you don’t have to wait for that day to come. These young folks have shown how you can make a difference right now.


As the saying goes, time waits for no man or woman—no matter how young or old.

We have much on our plate. Those on this floor know better than most, how arduous the journey is in laying the groundwork for a thriving community and a better life.

We also know that no one individual has all the answers. Government cannot do it alone. But what we cannot accomplish alone, we can with the help of others.

Here in Hawaiʻi, we intimately understand that truth. Throughout our history, we have tested it over and over again. During the plantation era, communities banded together to provide for each other when others would not. In the early 1900s, workers came together to fight for higher pay and better working conditions. Their efforts resulted in improving the work environment for all.

Today, at the start of a new decade, we have it within our power to change the lives of our working families. We have it within our power to change the trajectory of Hawaiʻi’s future. That is the underlying belief of this joint package by the House, the Senate, my administration, and the community.

There are cynics out there who will dismiss the notion of government working together. But working together: That’s what Hawaiʻi has always been about.

ʻOhana is not a cliché. It is about a whole body of values centered around family, in the largest sense of the word.

Our working families have taken it on the chin for far too long. They are the backbone of our workforce and the heart of our communities.

While some have opted to leave the islands, many have not: Because Hawaiʻi is not just a place to build a house. It is our home.

We all deserve a chance to earn a decent day’s wage for a decent day’s work.

We all deserve an opportunity to own a home of our own.

We deserve the best education for our children…

And, someday, the opportunity to see our grandchildren playing on our beaches.

More importantly, we, in government, owe it to every working family to give this our best shot.

Earlier, I recognized those who played a part in putting this joint package together. They took a chance and stood up for change. They delivered a package that’s aggressive and bold.

We must be just as aggressive and bold in making it happen. Half measures will only add up to half a loaf. It will not nurture our families.

I believe we can overcome the challenges facing us as a state and work together to create a better life for all of us.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to stand up and be counted. It is time for us to put some skin in the game.

I believe in Hawaiʻi, and I believe in all of you. Let’s get to work.

Mahalo and aloha.

Opening Day speeches from Senate President and House Speaker, Jan. 15, 2020

"I am incredibly proud that, at a time when we look in Washington, D.C. and [see] the divisiveness in our nation's capital and the gridlock, when I see the news reports about State Houses across the nation that are unable to work, that we have been able to come together, talk to the House, talk to the Governor and his administration."
Senate President Kouchi’s address on opening day of the Hawai‘i State Legislature. Here.

"The House will continue a progressive course in a pace that is appropriate and best for all of Hawaiʻi's people. ... Be confident. Stay focused. Take risks. And then you will effect profound change for our entire state."
Find House Speaker Scott Saiki's opening day remarks. Here.

Few guns at Hawaii airports, Honolulu investigators continue search for victim, suspect in fatal police shootings and fire, Ige to give state of the state speech today, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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TSA at Honolulu International Airport ©2020 All Hawaii News
3 firearms intercepted at Hawaii airports in 2019, TSA says. Three of the more than 4,000 firearms that Transportation Security Administration officers caught at checkpoints nationwide in 2019 were from Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

In State of the State, Ige to focus on proposals aimed at easing Hawaii’s high cost of living. The governor will deliver his annual State of the State address on Tuesday morning. His speech is set to begin at 10 a.m. in the state House chambers. Hawaii News Now.

UH Releases Pay Levels For Hundreds Of Graduate Assistants, Lecturers. Most of them are at the Manoa campus, working up to 20 hours per week and also receiving tuition waivers. Civil Beat.

Ruderman: State lacks commitment to ag industry. The vice chairman of the state Senate Committee on Agriculture and Environment said Monday the state “is lacking in a genuine commitment in supporting agriculture.” Tribune-Herald.

Creating More Treatment Options in Hawaii’s Fractured Mental Health System. A key feature of the proposed reforms includes diverting the mentally ill from ERs into outpatient and residential programs more tailored to their needs. Civil Beat.

Aircraft carrier named for Pearl Harbor hero Doris Miller. The Navy on Martin Luther King Jr. Day named an aircraft carrier for the first time for an African American, and for the first time for an enlisted sailor, in bestowing the honor on Ship’s Cook 3rd Class Doris Miller, who overcame segregated roles and seized the initiative to became a hero when he fired back at attacking Japanese planes on Dec. 7, 1941. Star-Advertiser.

Kai Kahele: ‘We Have A Moral Obligation To Humanity’. The state senator who’s now running for Congress is no stranger to war. But he wants to restrict the president’s ability to take military action without the approval of Congress. Civil Beat.


Police and fire departments continue shooting, arson investigation. The investigation into Sunday’s fatal shooting of two Honolulu police officers and massive fire continued Monday as shellshocked residents tried to pick up the pieces of their lives in a Diamond Head neighborhood that looked like a bomb had been dropped on it. Star-Advertiser.

Still More Questions Than Answers Surround Honolulu Police Officers’ Deaths. As smoke settled in the fire-ravaged neighborhood Monday, neighbors recalled the terror they’d felt a day earlier. Civil Beat.

Shooting Suspect Believed Dead In Fire Following Killing Of 2 Honolulu Officers. Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard says it may take several days to process the Diamond Head area crime scene where two Honolulu police officers were shot and killed Sunday morning. Hawaii Public Radio.

Suspect’s landlord remains unaccounted for following violent rampage in Diamond Head. One of two women who was unaccounted for following Sunday’s shooting and fires in the Diamond Head area has been found and is safe, police said. But authorities say another woman ― Lois Cain ― is still missing. Hawaii News Now.

HPD locate one woman who was unaccounted for in Diamond Head shooting. Honolulu Police have located one of the two women who were 'unaccounted for' in Sunday's deadly Diamond Head shooting and the massive house fires that followed. KITV4.

1 of 2 missing women in Hibiscus Drive fire has been located alive and well. Two women who intervened in the Diamond Head attack before the shooting started said today that they heard terrible screams for help from inside 3015 Hibiscus Drive Sunday morning and found suspect Jerry “Jarda” Hanel beating another tenant of the house with a three-pronged garden hoe. Star-Advertiser.

Suspect waged six-year TRO battle with neighbor, accused of making bogus 911 calls. The suspect in the deadly rampage was engaged in lengthy legal battles with his neighbors and was being investigated for filing bogus 911 reports against them. Hawaii News Now.

Jerry Hanel's attorney believes his client planned the Diamond Head attack. Jonathan Burge represented Hanel on multiple cases since 2015 and is still trying to process the tragedy that happened on Hibiscus Drive. KITV4.

Landlords should keep distance after eviction, says man who served notice to Diamond Head suspect. The suspect in Sunday’s attack and fire, Jerry Hanel, was in the process of being evicted. KHON2.

2 women who intervened in attack describe chaos before Hibiscus Drive shooting and fire. Two women who intervened in the Diamond Head attack before the shooting started said today that they heard terrible screams for help from inside 3015 Hibiscus Drive Sunday morning and found suspect Jerry “Jarda” Hanel beating another tenant of the house with a three-pronged garden hoe. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Orders Flags to Fly at Half-Staff. Gov. David Ige has ordered that the United States flag and the Hawai‘i state flag be flown at half-staff at the Hawai‘i State Capitol and upon all state offices and agencies as well as the Hawai‘i National Guard in the State of Hawai‘i, immediately until sunset on Friday, Jan. 24. Big Island Now.

A legacy of service: 2 officers killed in Diamond Head shooting remembered. Never take a moment for granted. That’s the message a teenager is sharing as she mourns the loss of her mother, one of two Honolulu police officers killed Sunday in a violent rampage in the Diamond Head area. Hawaii News Now.

Total of HPD officers killed on duty now at 50. The deaths by gunfire Sunday of Honolulu police officers Tiffany Enriquez and Kaulike Kalama brought the department’s fallen-heroes count to 50 and increased the percentage of those shot to more than a third of the group. Star-Advertiser.


Realignment Of Kam Highway At Laniakea Could Be In The Works. Hawaii transportation officials say they finally have the money to fix that North Shore stretch of the highway, a notorious traffic choke point that is eroding from sea level rise. Civil Beat.

EPA Begins Clearing Lead Soil in Kalihi After Years Of Delay. The long-awaited removal of soil with high lead levels on Factory Street in Kalihi is scheduled to start on Monday. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Paddlers say homeless ruining bays. Graffiti, drug use, defecation and other illegal activities have reached a point where the Big Island’s paddling community is pushing back. West Hawaii Today.

Volunteers clear Maunakea protest site. About 15 volunteers gathered at the Maunakea Access Road last weekend to clean detritus left behind from the temporarily halted anti-Thirty Meter Telescope demonstrations. Tribune-Herald.

Real estate outlook: Slow and steady in ‘20? The Big Island’s real estate market ended 2019 not far from where it ended 2018, but that doesn’t mean nothing has changed. Tribune-Herald.

Officials keeping eye on Hawaiian monk seal RA20 as pupping season nears. Hawaiian monk seal RA20 has been making her presence in Big Island waters known as of recent, hauling out at a variety of spots in West Hawaii, including in the heart of Kailua Village. West Hawaii Today.

Rapid ʻOhiʻa Death Seed Banking Gets A Boost. A project that will collect and preserve seeds from the native ʻohiʻa trees for future reforestation is getting a big boost from Hawaiʻi’s utility company. Big Island Video News.


EV charging proposals at county sites sought. Maui County has released a request for proposals to upgrade and expand public electric vehicle charging stations at county properties. Maui County has released a request for proposals to upgrade and expand public electric vehicle charging stations at county properties. Maui News.

Regulators Approve EV Charging Network Plan. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has approved Hawaiian Electric’s plan to own and operate four potential EVohana sites on Maui that will offer lower charging rates incentivizing EV drivers to plug in during the day when solar energy is abundant. Maui Now.


Hospital gets $2.75M gift for trauma upgrades. Husband and wife Peter Stengaard and Jennifer Gross recently donated $2.75 million toward Wilcox Medical Center’s emergency department and trauma fundraising campaign. Garden Island.

Resident unhappy with county tax refund. A Kapaa resident recently found out she had overpaid on her property taxes by thousands of dollars over the past seven years due to a clerical error at the county finance department, whose officials have admitted they made a mistake but declined to refund about half of the money. Garden Island.

Kauaʻi Composting Serves As Model For Food Waste Diversion. More than 26 percent of the food in Hawaiʻi goes uneaten each year – that’s nearly one billion dollars’ worth of food likely ending up in the landfill. Hawaii Public Radio.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Investigation ongoing after two police officers killed, landlord stabbed, 7 homes burned down near Waikiki, disgruntled tenant missing; plus more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Downed police officers Tiffany Enriquez and Kaulike Kalama PC: Honolulu Police Department.
First responders still on scene at Diamond Head after man fatally shoots 2 HPD officers before raging fire destroys 7 homes. First responders remain at the scene of Diamond Head on Monday morning, a day after a “tragic unfolding of events” that started with a stabbing and ended with the shooting deaths of two Honolulu police officers and a raging fire that destroyed seven homes. Hawaii News Now.

Body camera footage shows 2019 encounter between suspect, officer killed in line of duty. At least one of the Honolulu police officers who was shot and killed in the line of duty Sunday had previously been dispatched to the suspect’s home in response to emergency calls, according to video obtained by Hawaii News Now. Hawaii News Now.

2 officers killed, homes destroyed in standoff. The Honolulu Police Department on Sunday mourned the loss of two police officers who were shot and killed while responding to an apparent tenant-landlord dispute that blew up into a multihome fire near Diamond Head and left three others missing, including the shooter, who was presumed dead. The Honolulu Police Department on Sunday mourned the loss of two police officers who were shot and killed while responding to an apparent tenant-landlord dispute that blew up into a multihome fire near Diamond Head and left three others missing, including the shooter, who was presumed dead. Star-Advertiser.

Man facing eviction fatally shoots 2 Honolulu police officers before blaze destroys 7 homes in Diamond Head neighborhood. In a shocking series of events Sunday, a 69-year-old man facing eviction is accused of fatally shooting two Honolulu police officers who were responding to the scene of a stabbing and then apparently setting a raging fire that destroyed seven homes in Diamond Head. Hawaii News Now.

Man Facing Eviction Allegedly Killed 2 HPD Officers, Stabbed Landlord. The shooting suspect is believed to have also started a fire in the neighborhood that destroyed at least seven houses. Civil Beat.

7 Homes Burn After Shooter Kills 2 Honolulu Officers. Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard says it may take several days to process the Diamond Head area crime scene where two Honolulu police officers were shot and killed Sunday morning. Hawaii Public Radio.

Homes burn after shooter kills 2 Honolulu officers. A man shot and killed two police officers Sunday as they responded to a home in a leafy neighborhood beneath the rim of a famed volcanic crater near Waikiki Beach, authorities said. Associated Press.

HPD gives details on "senseless, selfish act". Suspect Jerry Hanel is accused of killing Officers Tiffany Enriquez and Kaulike Kalama, then setting a fire. KITV4.

Mayor on officers that were shot and killed: They ‘put on their uniforms this morning and didn’t get home’. Police Chief Susan Ballard confirmed Jerry Hanel to be the suspect in the shooting that killed two officers on Sunday, Jan. 19. Chief Ballard said that officers responded to the scene after a report of a stabbing. KHON2.

Suspect suffered from mental health problems. The Honolulu Police Department believes the man suspected of shooting and killing two patrol officers, stabbing his landlady and destroying by fire seven homes in an exclusive Diamond Head neighborhood Sunday perished in the Hibiscus Drive house where he lived. Star-Advertiser.

Shooting suspect had history of mental instability but not extreme violence. The 69-year-old suspect in the Diamond Head shooting Sunday that left two Honolulu police officers dead had a history of mental instability and disagreements with neighbors, his attorney told Hawaii News Now. Hawaii News Now.

Neighbors, witnesses give more insight on suspect Jerry Hanel. Early Sunday morning, many woke up to panic and chaos as first responders rushed to Hibiscus Drive where two officers were shot and homes burned. KHON2.

2 slain Honolulu police officers were parents. Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard identified the two Honolulu police officers as Tiffany Enriquez and Kaulike Kalama. Star-Advertiser.


Ige pledged to end homelessness in Hawaii by 2020. What happened? "In hindsight maybe it was too aggressive, too aspirational.” Hawaii News Now.

Legislature launches environmental caucus. To encourage legislative action on pressing environmental issues, the state Legislature has formed an Environmental Legislative Caucus. Garden Island.

State: Tax collections up. Total state tax collections were up almost 5% in Fiscal Year 2019, which ended June 30. Tribune-Herald.

Attorney general seeks funds to fight corruption. State Attorney General Clare Connors is requesting an extra $1 million a year for pay increases to be distributed among the 200 lawyers that work in her office, and is seeking 10 additional staffers for a new unit designed to pursue complex cases including public corruption and theft from state programs. Star-Advertiser.


Solar generation up 21% in 2019, Hawaiian Electric says. Hawaiian Electric announced Friday that it experienced a 21% jump in solar generation capacity last year, its largest-ever annual increase for the five isles it has served since 2005. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric: Solar Capacity Surged in 2019. The completion of large grid-scale projects and thousands of residential solar systems boosted the largest-ever annual increase in solar capacity on Hawaiian Electric’s five island systems, the company announced Friday. Maui Now.


Using a new law, Honolulu goes after scofflaws and drafts rules for 1,700 new B&Bs. Over the next year, Kathy Sokugawa, acting director of the city Department of Planning and Permitting, faces the mammoth task of rooting out illegal vacation rentals that have proliferated on Oahu, in defiance of a three-decades-old ban. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s top civil attorney Donna Leong is in limbo. Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced a year ago that City Corporation Counsel Donna Leong was granted paid administrative leave from her post after receiving a target letter from the U.S. Department of Justice. Star-Advertiser.

Law enforcement hopes capture of crime ring players will help bring crime under control. City and federal law enforcement officers are pursuing two crime rings that they suspect are responsible for a portion of the recent wave of property and violent crimes that has put Oahu on edge. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office has noted that about a dozen high-profile violent crime cases referred to their office since 2015 have been committed by current and former HOPE probationers. In six of these, police shot the suspect, and in three of the cases killed him. HOPE stands for Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation With Enforcement. Launched by 1st Circuit Court Judge Steven Alm in 2004, the high-intensity supervision program assigns sanctions — typically several days in jail — every time a participant violates probation terms like using drugs or missing appointments with a probation officer. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Bus system ‘meltdown’ leaves schoolchildren, working poor stranded. After a week of even fewer buses than usual, Mayor Harry Kim on Friday called an emergency meeting and together, top officials came up with an interim plan that will draw on buses and vans from the public and private sector, in addition to those of current bus contractors Roberts Hawaii and Polynesian Adventure Tours Inc. West Hawaii Today.

Judge hands down maximum sentence to Waiki accomplice Malia Lajala. A fifth accomplice was sentenced Friday to six years in jail for her role in assisting Justin Waiki after the July 2018 murder of Hawaii County Police Officer Bronson Kaliloa. West Hawaii Today.

Aloha, Southwest! Airline opens interisland service to Hilo. More than 100 passengers were greeted with cheers and songs Sunday morning after disembarking Southwest Airlines’ first flight from Honolulu to Hilo. Tribune-Herald.


Mayor to deliver State of County Feb. 11. Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino will be delivering his 2020 State of the County address on Feb. 11 at the newly opened South Maui Community Park Gymnasium. Maui News.

Maui police tow two cars under new DUI law. DUI arrestees will have their car towed rather than stay in place. KITV4.

EVohana charger transfer conditionally OK’d by PUC. The state Public Utilities Commission has approved Hawaiian Electric’s plan to own and potentially operate four EVohana sites on Maui that uses pricing to entice electric vehicle drivers to plug in during the day when solar power is plentiful. Maui News.

Saving Materials and More in Maui County. Since its launch in 2018, Hawai’i Materials Recycling says it has saved Maui County taxpayers millions of dollars. Maui Now.


National CAP commander visits Kauai. A briefing on the communications capabilities of the Kauai Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Operating Center concluded the vist of Civil Air Patrol National Commander Maj. Gen. Mark Smith and his entourage, Thursday at the EOC. Garden Island.

Friday, January 17, 2020

How to pay for teacher raises? Plus, Honolulu paid indicted police chief $250k to leave and now it's suing for its money back. Lots more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii Department of Education
Hawaii classroom PC:Hawaii Department of Education
DOE Faces More Tough Questions Over How It Will Pay For Teacher Raises. Education officials began providing $10 million in incentives for special ed and rural teachers without a guarantee the Hawaii Legislature will fund the pay increases in the future. Civil Beat.

Veteran public school teachers could get a big one-time salary increase. Public school teachers with more than 10 years of experience could get a one-time salary boost in the coming school year — if the state comes up with the money. Hawaii News Now.


A new measure introduced in the Hawaii State House of Representatives could put an end to HI-5 recycling. Rep. Roy Takumi, who introduced the measure, created it after hearing from older constituents about the difficulties of transporting recyclables. KHON2.

Visitor drownings are up, bill aims to aid prevention. A new proposal is hoping to save lives by requiring stricter regulations and more training for crews on tour boats. KHON2.

New Prison Oversight Commission Has A Full Plate. Off to a slow start, the new commissioners say they want to take a wide-ranging look at the entire criminal justice system. Civil Beat.

Now that the conflict at Mauna Kea is in a temporary truce, Native Hawaiians are turning their attention to politics. Opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope say they want more Hawaiians voting and in office. Hawaii News Now.

As climate change takes hold, the tropics will get warmer faster. Global warming is often thought of as, well, a global phenomenon. But the world is actually warming at different rates ― and new research from a University of Hawaii professor is helping shed light on why. Hawaii News Now.


City sues former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha for severance pay. City attorneys this week filed a lawsuit against former Police Chief Louis Kealoha seeking return of $250,000 in taxpayer money that he received as a severance payment when he retired from the Honolulu Police Department in March 2017. Star-Advertiser.

City sues disgraced ex-police chief in bid to recoup $250,000 payout. In January 2017, taxpayers paid the $250,000 for him to retire while under investigation by the FBI for public corruption. Hawaii News Now.


127 Homeless People Died On Oahu Last Year, Up From 2018. The figure is also a 46% increase from just two years ago. Civil Beat.

Deaths of homeless people continue to climb on Oahu. Some 127 homeless people on Oahu died last year, seven more than in 2018, the city announced today. Star-Advertiser.

Oʻahu Homeless Deaths Increasing, Up 46% In Two Years. Honolulu's acting chief medical examiner says 127 people considered homeless died on Oʻahu in 2019, up from two years ago. Hawaii Public Radio.

City: Those who died on Oahu streets last year ranged in age from 19 to 88. Some 127 homeless people died on Oahu streets last year, according to a new analysis from the city Medical Examiner. Hawaii News Now.


In face of opposition, BOE shelves plans to move Kaahumanu Elementary. The state Board of Education Thursday rejected a proposal to move the school from Kinau Street to new facilities that would be built on the 46-acre campus of nearby McKinley High School. Hawaii News Now.

Board of Education nixes moving Ka‘ahumanu School, advances Kaimuki High redevelopment plan. A proposal to redevelop Kaimuki High School’s campus is advancing, but the Board of Education on Thursday torpedoed the idea of moving Queen Ka‘ahumanu School to free up that campus for development. Star-Advertiser.


Rediscovery of WWII bomber off Oahu raises hopes for recovery of remains. Crystal clear video shows new images of a World War II aircraft sitting on the ocean floor about three miles off Oahu’s Kaneohe coast. Hawaii News Now.

Society of Professional Journalists in Hawaii looking for summer interns. Selected applicants will be placed in a print, online or broadcast media organization in Honolulu, where they will work full-time for 10 weeks during the summer. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

County fast-track land buy raises questions. A fast-tracked bill to buy land owned by a distant relative of Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz is raising questions after her relationship was disclosed when the County Council was asked to approve a $1.45 million appropriation for the purchase and construction of a bus depot there. West Hawaii Today.

An over-the-counter medicine may be able to prevent rat lungworm disease. The typical rainy weather in Hilo becomes a hot spot for slugs and snails, a carrier of rat lungworm disease, a parasite that affects the brain and spinal cord in humans. KITV.

After Rat Lungworm Conference, HMC Updates Treatment Protocol. Hilo Medical Center is announcing an update on early treatment protocol for Rat Lungworm following the international conference held in last week. Big Island Video News.

Holei Sea Arch Closed After Cracks Observed. The short trail from the end of Chain of Craters Road to the sea arch overlook is closed and roped off, officials say. Big Island Video News.

Cracks shutter Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park’s Holei Sea Arch overlook. Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park this afternoon announced the closure of the Holei Sea Arch overlook until further notice due to new cracks and instability observed on the coastal cliffs. Star-Advertiser.


Maui Mayor, Seeking GET Tax Surcharge, Apologizes For Missed Deadline. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino is asking the state Legislature to extend a deadline that will allow the county to impose a general excise tax surcharge on business activities such as sales of products. Hawaii Public Radio.

Community Meeting on Wailuku Town Improvements, Jan. 29. Wailuku Town Improvements will be the subject of a community meeting hosted by the County of Maui Department of Management, schedule to take place on Wednesday, Jan. 29, from 5 to 6 p.m. at ʻĪao Theater. Maui Now.

Chick-fil-A coming to Maui. Early plans point to Kahului location. The Chick-fil-A franchise is flocking to the Aloha State, with plans in the works for a future Maui location, its second in Hawaii. Maui News.

Chick-fil-A is Coming to Hawai‘i, Eyes Kahului Location. Chick-fil-A is coming to Hawaiʻi with a potential site at the Puʻunēnē Shopping Center in Kahului on Maui. Maui Now.


Tax hike proposed for part-time TVRs. A bill that would increase the property taxes of Kauai residents who rent out their homes for part of the year was met with opposition from some Kauai community members on Thursday. Garden Island.

Kauaʻi Recycling Buffeted By Global Market Prices, Solutions Won't Be Easy. Allison Fraley, Kauaʻi County’s solid waste program coordinator, said the island is not alone in dealing with an overseas market where prices are falling and buyers are choosy. Hawaii Public Radio.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

2020 Hawaii Legislature opens with speeches, rallies; mayors seek congestion pricing, vehicle registration increase; Honolulu councilwoman seeks 4-day workweek; Big Island parks to get corporate sponsors, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy of Hawaii House majority
2020 opening day for Hawaii House PC:House Majority
Lawmakers open 2020 session with big plans for taxes, preschool, housing. Hawaii lawmakers thumped the gavels to open the 2020 session of the state Legislature Wednesday with an unusually detailed plan for the laws they plan to pass this year, and with a large demonstration by Hawaiian activists rumbling in the background. Star-Advertiser.

Can Hawaii’s Elected Leaders Save The State From ‘Drowning?’. Legislators kicked off their 2020 session united with the governor to tackle the cost of living. The question is whether their bold ideas will become reality. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers vow to address high cost of living. Lawmakers opened a new session of the Hawaii Legislature on Wednesday with vows to address the state’s punishingly high cost of living so families don’t have to abandon the islands for cheaper places. Associated Press.

Optimism Abounds Going into the 2020 Legislative Session. Lawmakers and Gov. David Ige entered the first day of the 2020 legislative session with optimism and big goals. Big Island Now.


Transportation issues top priorities of Council of Mayors. A $25 increase in vehicle registration fees to pay for removing abandoned vehicles, a charge to drive on certain roads during peak hours and a surcharge on ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are three of a largely transportation-related package the Hawaii Council of Mayors presented Wednesday to legislative money committees. West Hawaii Today.

‘Congestion pricing,’ fee for abandoned cars dominate mayors’ requests to Legislature. Hawaii’s four county mayors made their annual appearance before the money committees of the state house and senate, seeking ways to relieve traffic congestion and to fund ways to clear away abandoned vehicles. Hawaii News Now.

Mayors Want State Action On Traffic, E-Scooters, Rideshare . Hawaii’s four mayors have transportation initiatives on the brain in 2020, their latest requests to state lawmakers show. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell proposes study of traffic congestion pricing. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell wants state lawmakers to begin studying the idea of charging motorists a fee for driving on key roads during peak traffic hours, a concept known as congestion pricing that’s been in effect in London and other cities and was recently approved by New York state. Star-Advertiser.

All four County Mayors in Hawaii addressed the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday afternoon. The Mayors were making their financial requests to the State Legislature and one topic they all agreed on was the need for funding to remove abandoned vehicles. KITV4.


Hundreds with the Hawaii Rising movement gathered at the State Capitol. Hundreds with the Hawaii Rising movement gathered at the State Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 15, for the opening of the Legislature. KHON2.

Hawaiian protests move to state Capitol on opening day of business. Months of frustration on the part of Native Hawaiian activists at Mauna Kea, Kahuku and Waimanalo coalesced in a passionate rally at the state Capitol on Wednesday for the opening day of the 2020 Legislature, but key lawmakers said they were unclear about the rally’s message. Star-Advertiser.

Movement aimed to change political landscape to a future rooted in Aloha Aina. Thousands showed up for Hawaii Rising, a movement to change the political landscape to a new future rooted in Aloha Aina. KITV4.

Maunakea Unrest Discussed At Legislature Opening Day. Big Island Video News.


Over 100 rally at state Capitol to support fight against human trafficking. Over 100 people attended the Ho‘ola Na Pua Walk and Fair at the state Capitol this afternoon to recognize January as National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Star-Advertiser.

Could ‘pop-up preschools’ help solve Hawaii’s child care woes? Legislators think so. An increase to the minimum wage, tax credits, affordable housing and universal preschool. Lawmakers say those are their priorities this legislative session. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii’s Office of Elections to send postcard reminders of vote-by-mail transition. The state Office of Elections will be mailing over 658,000 postcards to active registered voters in Hawaii to raise awareness of its transition to by-mail voting in the 2020 elections. Star-Advertiser.

Elections Officials Announce Voting by Mail. The Office of Elections will be sending out over 658,000 notification postcards to active registered voters in Hawai‘i. Big Island Now.

Check your mail for important information on voting in 2020. The election is quickly approaching, and election officials want to make sure the transition to mail-in voting is a smooth one. Hawaii News Now.


Fewer criminal cases taken to court statewide. In every county statewide, a suspect busted on the street is increasingly less likely to come before a judge and jury. KHON2.

Staffing And Facility Upgrades Among Top Priorities For Public Safety Department. State Department of Public Safety administrators outlined the department's budget priorities to lawmakers Tuesday at the state Capitol, including a request for $8.4 million over two years for staff on Mauna Kea. Hawaii Public Radio.

Three Hawaii Correctional Facilities Ban Contact Visits Despite Potential Benefits. Studies suggest non-contact visits can be harmful for families, especially children. Civil Beat.


A 4-day work week ... every week? A city councilwoman toys with the idea. Some city workers could be getting four-day weekends every week, if a new resolution catches on. Hawaii News Now.

City councilmember introduces resolution that could give some City workers a four-day work week. Honolulu City Councilmember and Mayoral candidate Kymberly Pine introduced a resolution on Wednesday urging the administration to consider giving certain City and County of Honolulu workers a four-day, 40-hour work week. KITV4.

1,700 gallons of wastewater spills at Pearl Harbor. U.S. Navy personnel responded to a wastewater spill resulting from three overflowing manholes at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam this morning. Star-Advertiser.

Former KITV sportscaster Rick Quan returns to station as news anchor. KITV4 Island News announced today the return to the station and to Hawaii of veteran broadcast journalist Rick Quan. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

County mulling business sponsorships for parks. County parks may soon be “brought to you by” local businesses and other sponsors thanks to a proposed new county rule. Tribune-Herald.

Lawsuit: Slug Found In Sandwich Exposed Family To Rat Lungworm Disease. Two Hilo parents are suing the health food store that served them an avocado and lettuce sandwich that contained a two-and-a-half-inch long slug that they fear has exposed them and their infant to rat lungworm disease. Civil Beat.

Millions Requested For Future Maunakea Enforcement Operations. The Department of the Attorney General and the Department of Land and Natural Resources are both asking for a total of $8.7 million over the next two fiscal years for "Public Safety Operational Requirements". Big Island Video News.

Tents, other items remain on mauna. Anti-Thirty Meter Telescope protesters intend to remove abandoned property left behind following the months-long occupation of the Maunakea Access Road within the coming days. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Council Chair Delivers Legislative Package of 15 Bills. The Maui package includes 15 bills covering a wide range of issues, including the taxation authority and revenue, roadway safety, the regulation of hosting platforms for unpermitted vacation rentals and environmental issues like invasive species and sea-level rise. Maui Now.

Chairwoman to deliver bill package to legislators. 2020 Maui County Legislative Package includes 15 bills covering a wide range of issues, including taxation authority and revenue, roadway safety, the regulation of hosting platforms for unpermitted vacation rentals and environmental issues like invasive species and sea-level rise. Maui News.

West Maui Hui Sues Condo Over Blocked Shoreline Access. West Maui community groups Nā Papaʻi Wawae ʻUlaʻula and the West Maui Preservation Association filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Mahinahina condominium Kuleana II alleging blocked shoreline access. Maui Now.

$8M Alloted to Maintain Kahului, Kaunakakai Harbors. The US Army Corps of Engineers in Hawaiʻi received more than $8 million in federal funding to maintain the Kahului Deep Draft Harbor and the kaunakakai Deep Draft Harbor. Maui Now.

Leath named interim publisher of The Maui News. Bart Leath has been appointed interim publisher of The Maui News. Longtime Editor and Publisher Joe Bradley retired last month. Maui News.


Copter crash Report: Visibility low. Safari Helicopters pilot Paul Matero flew the route of the fatal Dec. 26 tour flight successfully seven times the day of the crash that killed all passengers aboard the Airbus AS350 B2 chopper. Garden Island.

NTSB Report: Visibility Low When Kauai Tourist Helicopter Crashed. The preliminary report also said that the helicopter’s pilot was on his eighth and final scheduled 50-minute tour flight of the day. Associated Press.

NTSB says adverse weather conditions was a factor in the Kauai helicopter crash that killed 7. A witness hiking along a nearby trail reported heavy rain and fog at the time a tour helicopter crashed into a cliff face on Kauai in December, killing all seven people aboard, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board. Star-Advertiser.

NTSB releases preliminary report on Kauai tour helicopter crash. The pilot of a Kauai tour helicopter that crashed Dec. 26 was on his eighth and final flight of the day, according to a preliminary NTSB report on the incident. Hawaii News Now.

NTSB releases preliminary report of fatal Kaua'i helicopter crash detailing eyewitness account. The National Transportation Safety Board released their preliminary report on what led up to that fatal helicopter crash on Kaua'i in December, killing all seven people on board. KITV4.

NTSB Preliminary Report Released into Kaua‘i Tour Helicopter Crash. A preliminary accident report released by the National Transportation Safety Board was released today, detailing initial findings involving a fatal tour helicopter crash on Kauaʻi that claimed the lives of seven on board last month. Maui Now.

Hearing set on Young Brothers rate hike request. The state Public Utilities Commission has scheduled public meetings relating to its review of Young Brothers LLC’s request for approval of a general rate increase of approximately 34% over revenue at present rates. Garden Island.