Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Aila confirmed to head DHHL, first person in Hawaii is quarantined in coronavirus prevention, bill would prohibit Red Hill fuel tanks, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Coffee beans on drying floor in Ka'u ©2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii Lawmakers Are Showing A Little Love For Kona Coffee. A bill that would require coffee labeled with a Hawaiian name contain at least 50% Hawaii-grown beans has so far faced no opposition. Civil Beat.

Aila confirmed as head of DHHL. William Aila won confirmation as chairman of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands on Monday by a 21-3 vote of the state Senate. He will serve through Dec. 21, 2022. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii panel backs Native Hawaiian reconciliation commission. A panel of Hawaii lawmakers Monday passed a resolution calling for the governor to convene a Native Hawaiian reconciliation commission, a step that comes after protests blocking the construction of one of the world’s largest telescopes. Associated Press.

A Proposed Native Hawaiian Commission Is Already Getting Pushback. Critics say Native Hawaiians, not the governor, should pick the members and the issues it considers. Civil Beat.

Mauna Kea Spurs Hawaiian Reconciliation Commission Proposal. A State House committee held a hearing Monday on resolution requesting the convening of a blue ribbon commission to examine and formulate a reconciliation with Native Hawaiians. Big Island Video News.


Why Hawaii Isn’t Competitive In Recruiting Teachers. A recent study found Hawaii teacher salaries don’t go as far when compared to other school districts in high-price areas. Civil Beat.

Early Education To Expand But Lawmakers Grapple With What That Means. State lawmakers have recognized the need for affordable child care in the state, so much so that they’ve made it a part of a joint-legislative package negotiated by the governor and House and Senate leaders. Hawaii Public Radio.

Bill would require public high schools to start no earlier than 8:30. A bill making its way through the state legislature is one that would push back the morning school bell at Hawaii's public high schools. KITV4.

Hawaii House Defers Bill Expanding Police Firearms Searches. The Hawaii House of Representatives has deferred action on a bill that would have expanded police powers to search for firearms without obtaining a warrant. Associated Press.

Decision-Making Hearing Scheduled For Housing Bill. Senate Bill 3104 relates to land development. It authorizes the Hawaiʻi Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC) to lease real property for a period not to exceed 99 years for the development of certain projects that include affordable housing. Maui Now.

Keiki screen time targeted: Legislation aims to encourage parents to set limits. In order to increase awareness of the problem, a bill currently in the state Legislature calls for public education to encourage parents to set limits on how much screen time to allow their children. Tribune-Herald.

State Senator proposes new vehicle tax to fund car recycling program and curb abandoned vehicles. Kurt Fevella wants an audit on the current highway beautification fee in registration, but a stopgap solution is needed now to help communities. KITV4.

Hawaii attorney general’s office hires nationally-known ethics expert. Hui Chen, an anti-fraud expert who made national news when she resigned from her U.S. Department of Justice job in the wake of the firing of FBI Director James Comey, has been hired by the Hawaii attorney general’s office. Star-Advertiser.

State labor supervisor investigated for other allegations. A supervisor with the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations who was recently fined $1,000 by the Hawaii State Ethics Commission also was investigated for accusations that he repeatedly touched a female business owner who was fined $9,400 in 2016 and said he could “fix” the fine if the woman went to dinner with him. Star-Advertiser.


One Hawaii Resident In Mandatory Coronavirus Quarantine. The man who traveled to Hubei Province in China has not shown any symptoms, but his health will be monitored in quarantine. Civil Beat.

First Person Sent to Coronavirus Quarantine in Hawai‘i. Health officials on Monday ushered the first person into Hawai‘i’s Coronavirus quarantine system at Pearl Harbor. Big Island Now.

Hawaii resident who was in Hubei province is quarantined. The Centers for Disease Control has notified state health officials that a Hawaii resident who visited Hubei Province in China has returned home, and will be quarantined for 14 days at Pearl Harbor. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii resident placed in mandatory quarantine after returning from epicenter of outbreak. A Hawaii resident who recently returned from the Chinese province that’s been identified as the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak has been placed in a mandatory 14-day quarantine at Pearl Harbor after returning to the islands, officials said. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii resident who recently traveled to Hubei province quarantined at facility at Pearl Harbor. Hawaii has its first mandatory quarantine case tied to the Coronavirus. KHON2.

Officials are monitoring 27 people for coronavirus. State health officials are monitoring 27 individuals for the deadly new coronavirus, including a Hawaii resident who returned to the islands Monday after a recent trip to China’s Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii couple among thousands quarantined after Coronavirus outbreak on cruise ship. "We work it out together and continue to uplift each other. KITV4.


Company fined for ocean pollution. A federal judge in Hawaii has ordered a Singapore-based shipping company to pay $1.75 million in fines for allegedly dumping bilge waste directly into the ocean. Garden Island.


HART Board Member Most Critical Of Rail’s Handling Resigns. John Henry Felix has repeatedly called to pause rail construction at Middle Street. Civil Beat.


Bill would prohibit Red Hill fuel tanks in 2028. The Navy would no longer be able to operate its massive underground fuel tanks at Red Hill after January 2028 under a bill that moved out of a Senate committee Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Senate bill looks to protect Honolulu’s primary aquifer from Navy fuel spills. Senate Bill 2774 would relocate the Red Hill Underground Storage Facility away from the Moanalua-Waimalu aquifer, which sits just 100 feet below. KHON2.


Businesses at Dillingham Airfield hold out hope for a flying future. Dillingham Airfield tenants — including skydiving, glider and ultralight operators — are hoping a white knight will step forward to prevent the North Shore airport from shutting down civilian operations June 30. Star-Advertiser.

Walkway access to beach parks restored. The Leahi fence and a matching barrier put up at the makai boundary of Makalei Beach Park were erected by the city Department of Parks and Recreation due to public safety concerns, and after settlement of a lawsuit by a Honolulu resident who claimed she was injured while stepping between Leahi Beach Park and the walkway. Star-Advertiser.


City opens affordable rental complex in McCully. The city Monday held a blessing for a 30-unit affordable rental project at what had been a dormitory in McCully for international students. Star-Advertiser.

City converts McCully building to affordable rentals for single-parent families. The city held a blessing Monday for a new affordable housing complex for single-parent families in McCully. Hawaii News Now.

Affordable housing for single parents opens on Oahu. A blessing ceremony was held Monday to celebrate the completion of a new affordable housing project. KHON2.


Some in Waikiki are relieved a key source of parking won’t be restricted overnight. The proposed overnight closure of a valuable Waikiki parking lot won’t be happening anytime soon, leaving some relieved — but the city is still exploring their options. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

High court vacates conviction in Kamehameha statue vandalism. The Hawaii Supreme Court has vacated the conviction of a man accused of vandalizing the statue of King Kamehameha the Great on the Hilo Bayfront during the Labor Day 2015 weekend. Tribune-Herald.


Work to begin on dune restoration at Kamaole I.  Vehicular and pedestrian traffic will be temporarily impacted this week as work begins on sand dune restoration at the southern end of Kamaole Beach Park I in Kihei. Maui News.

Crews to Remove Hazardous Trees in Makawao, Waihou. About a dozen pine and eucalyptus trees as tall as 70 feet in the Makawao State Forest Reserve will be assessed and flagged for removal from Feb. 16 to Feb. 29. Maui Now.


Hanapepe: ‘This Is The Town That Keeps Refusing To Die’. The Kauai town has its flash points, but a shared sense of pride continues to hold this community together. Civil Beat.

Kaua‘i’s gas prices stable, high. While the average price of regular grade gasoline dropped 7 cents nationwide per gallon, Kaua’i is still 0.28 cents more than the average price in Hawaii and cost $1.46 more than the national average gasoline price. Garden Island.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Bill would allow exemptions from child vaccinations, Airbnb sends campaign cash, Honolulu prosecutor could be term-limited, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii corrections officer ©2020 All Hawaii News
Hawaii Prison Reformers Call For New Approach To Guard Training. An overhaul of the training program is competing with many other priorities. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers consider bill that would allow for ‘conscientious’ exemption for child vaccines. New state child vaccinations requirements are about to kick in. But some parents are calling on lawmakers to delay the new rules — or make it easier to exempt children. Hawaii News Now.

State Health Laboratory to begin testing for novel coronavirus. The State Department of Health said beginning next week Hawaii should be able to test for coronavirus at the State Laboratory in Pearl City. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii lawmakers explore controversial ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws. State Representative Sean Quinlan's proposal would allow people to defend themselves on their own property or at their business, without fear of criminal prosecution. Hawaii News Now.

Environmental groups contend in lawsuit that the EPA has not protected Hawaii’s shorelines. Environmental groups last week filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, saying plastic is undoubtedly a criterion and that the EPA has failed to protect 17 coastal water bodies around Hawaii from wide-scale plastic pollution under the federal Clean Water Act. Star-Advertiser.

Inouye pushes for stricter DUI law. A bill that would lower the blood-alcohol content for drivers to be considered legally intoxicated was passed unanimously Wednesday by the state Senate Transportation Committee. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii legislators advance bill to create LGBTQ commission. Hawaii state legislators have preliminarily approved a bill that would create a commission to address issues concerning the LGBTQ community. Associated Press.

Bills target dog-tethering. Improperly chaining dogs could become illegal later this year if a pair of animal cruelty bills passes the state Legislature. Tribune-Herald.

Bills would toughen penalties for assaulting, threatening sports officials. A pair of bills introduced this legislative session by state senators from Oahu seeks harsher penalties for parents, spectators and athletes who assault or terrorize sports officials such as referees, umpires and coaches. Tribune-Herald.

Survey Shows Extent of Sexual Harassment Among UH Students. The University of Hawaiʻi officially released its latest biennial student survey on sexual harassment and gender-based violence, issues that are prevalent among college students nationwide. Maui Now.

State could pay $1 million to settle lawsuits. Measures before the Legislature would appropriate more than $1 million to settle claims against the state — $650,000 of which would go toward a lawsuit over the 2014 death of a teenager who was riding a scooter on a Likelike Highway onramp. Star-Advertiser.

Tulsi Gabbard Bets Her Presidential Campaign On New Hampshire. The Hawaii congresswoman, who performed dismally in Iowa, has pretty much lived in the Granite State since December and hosted more than 100 events. Civil Beat.


All prosecutor candidates but 1 agree with 2-term limit. Oahu voters will be asked in November whether they want to stop future Honolulu city prosecutors from serving more than two consecutive terms. Star-Advertiser.

Thousands turn out to tour the nearly complete Halaulani city rail station. The general public got its first chance to visit a city rail station Saturday ahead of initial limited service projected to start 10 months from now. Star-Advertiser.


HART opens the doors to rail cars and platform for a community preview. Days after the mayor scrapped plans to renovate the Blaisdell Center over concerns of rail costs, the public had a chance to check out the already-completed rail facilities that have been years, and billions of dollars, in the making. Hawaii News Now.


Controversial Kahuku wind farm is built, what's next? All eight turbines in Na Pua Makani wind farm in Kahuku are built as construction and commissioning activities march forward. KITV4.

Emergency repairs begin on crumbling highway near Crouching Lion, snarling traffic. With high surf pounding shores across the state, erosion is continuing to cause problem for some, including an already troubled portion of highway on Oahu’s windward side. Hawaii News Now.

Owners at affordable condo to appeal after seeing their property taxes skyrocket. Nearly 50 owners of affordable condos at an Ala Moana area highrise are appealing their city property tax assessments. Hawaii News Now.

Aloha Tower restaurant Gordon Biersch closes after 26 years. After 26 years of business, Gordon Biersch at Aloha Tower has been closed for good. KHON2.

Oahu condo sales rise 16%, median price up by 7.5%. Condominium sales on Oahu increased by 16% in January as the median price rose 7.5%, compared to a year ago, while single-family home sales increased 8% as the median price remained flat, according to statistics from the Honolulu Board of Realtors. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Airbnb fattens four council campaign war chests. Four Hawaii County Council members each received a $500 contribution from Airbnb last year, although the source of their money wasn’t obvious. West Hawaii Today.

Puna Kai work continues. Despite the developer’s assurance last fall that many retailers in the Puna Kai shopping center would be open by Thanksgiving, work is still underway on the Pahoa project. Tribune-Herald.

Time is ticking for a bill to secure funding for an ambulance to be stationed at Makalei Fire Station, and it doesn’t look like it has a promising future. The closest ambulance-equipped fire station is 8 miles away in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

DHHL Takes On Abandoned Vehicles in Makuʻu. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands says it is working to address abandoned vehicles, trespassing and unpermitted structures in the Makuʻu homestead area. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii Island home sales get off to roaring start in 2020. Single-family home sales on Hawaii Island got off to a roaring start in January, with a 44% increase in sales and a 25% increase in the median price, compared to a year ago, while the median price of a condominium jumped 32%, according to statistics provided by Hawaii Information Service on behalf of Hawaii Island Realtors. Pacific Business News.


Top elections officials approved. County Council OKs Kaohu, Krueger for Clerk’s Office. Maui News.

Lab: Mahi Pono’s potato crop is free from chemical residuals. Amid questions over farming practices and the quality of its produce, third-party testing of Mahi Pono potatoes for 400 chemicals shows that they are free from pesticide residuals and safe for eating, the company said. Maui News.

ML&P sells 46 acres of Kapalua Resort for nearly $44M. Maui Land & Pineapple Co. reached an agreement to sell 46 acres at the center of its Kapalua Resort for nearly $44 million to Delaware limited-liability company KCRMD LLC, according to financial filings. Maui News.

Grand Wailea delay proves barriers to enter Maui’s hotel market. Expansion plans for the Grand Wailea Maui, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, recently hit another snag when the Maui Planning Commission granted a petition to intervene in the wake of community pushback against the $150 million project. Star-Advertiser.

Costs for Maui County seniors high. Maui County’s kupuna face some of the highest cost of living challenges in the nation, with some shelling out more than $5,000 annually for necessities compared to their Mainland counterparts, a recent study shows. Maui News.


Hanapepe bridges, other topics part of mayor’s talk story. The Hanapepe Economic Alliance is hosting a talk story session Wednesday, Feb. 12, beginning at 5:30 p.m., for Hanapepe and ‘Ele‘ele communities, to discuss the status of the four bridges in the Hanapepe area, led by Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i is good place to start a small business. A recent study from SmartAsset, a New York Financial company discovered that Kaua’i is one of the top islands in the state to start a small business. Maui comes in at first, with Kaua’i at second, Hawai‘i Island at third and Oahu in last. Garden Island.

Eradication unlikely. An invasive weed community members have been battling for years along the Kilauea River is creeping back along the banks, growing rapidly in a thick blanket of green that is known to take over the surface of lakes and slow-moving water. Garden Island.

Kauai single-family home prices jump 16%. The median price of a single-family home on Kauai rose 16% in January, compared to a year ago, and the median price of a condominium declined by 18% while sales of both categories dropped, according to statistics provided by Hawaii Information Service on behalf of the Kauai Board of Realtors. Pacific Business News.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Ige tied for nation's least popular governor, Honolulu rail delayed again, Obama memorabilia sought, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Gov. David Ige
Gov. David Ige tied for least popular governor in the nation, poll finds. Hawaii voters have been disillusioned with Gov. David Ige’s job performance for some time, but a new national survey suggests Ige’s public approval ratings have hit rock bottom. Star-Advertiser.


State to step away from Dillingham Airfield, transfer property back to U.S. Army. The state Department of Transportation plans to stop operating the Dillingham Airfield and will transfer control of the North Shore property back to the U.S. Army, state officials said late Thursday afternoon. Hawaii News Now.

State To Pull Out Of Dillingham Airfield, Leaving Businesses Up In The Air. Hundreds of employees who work at the airfield or indirectly depend on it could be affected by the state’s decision to walk away. Civil Beat.

Closure of Dillingham Airfield could affect hundreds of jobs. A state lawmaker expressed outrage that hundreds of jobs and a valuable North Shore recreational resource for skydiving, gliders and ultralights may be lost following the sudden decision by the state Department of Transportation to cease operations at Dillingham Airfield. Star-Advertiser.

FAA challenges DOT’s plan to vacate Dillingham Airfield this summer. The state’s attempt to get out early from its lease of Dillingham Airfield has raised alarm bells at the Federal Aviation Administration. KHON2.

What is the future of the Dillingham Airfield? The Hawaii Department of Transportation announced Thursday that it is terminating its lease of the Dillingham Airfield. KITV4.


Tangled Web Of Campaign Cash Connects Hawaii To Maine. Tens of thousands of dollars in contributions have flowed from a Hawaii defense contractor, his family and employees to a Maine Republican senator. Civil Beat.

Bill Forfeiting Worker Benefits In Felony Cases Advances. Hawaii is one of only a few states that has no such law for government employees. Civil Beat.

State proposal aims to repeal electric guns ban. There are many types of electric guns and under this measure, it includes stun guns and the type that shoot out electrical prongs. KHON2.

State lawmakers continue to push for stricter gun laws including banning ghost guns. According to the Bureau of Alchohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives these weapons are legal because what you're getting is not a complete firearm. KITV4.

New proposal to stop ID checks for people who look over 21. Under a new proposal in the Hawaii legislature, if a sales clerk believes a person is over 21 then the clerk won’t need to ask them for an ID check. KHON2.

State Lawmakers Are Weighing A Slate Of Bills That Affect Native Hawaiians. But DHHL reforms and measures that cover cultural practitioners have a long way to go this session. Civil Beat.

Obama memorabilia sought for presidential museum exhibits. Bishop Museum is looking for people with unique memorabilia or souvenirs tied to former President Barack Obama. The Obama Foundation is planning to display them at his future Presidential Center Museum in Chicago. Hawaii News Now.


Honolulu's rail project faces another delay. According to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, rail's first 11-mile segment will now open on December 20th, two months later than their most recent promise. KITV4.

City Council grills rail officials over delays through urban core. City Councilmembers grilled rail officials Thursday over the progress of the 20-mile project, raising concerns about delays through Kalihi and Downtown. Hawaii News Now.


Honolulu police chief offers plans to curb violence. Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard offered plans Thursday to address the increase in violent crime and use of firearms in crimes on Oahu, including purse snatchings, while the department is lacking a sufficient number of patrol officers. Star-Advertiser.

HPD details plans, ideas to fight recent rise in violent crimes. Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard is addressing a recent spike in violent crime, especially those with firearms. Hawaii News Now.

Lawmakers push to create new crisis center aimed at diverting the mentally ill from jail. A group of lawmakers is pushing to create a new crisis center on Oahu that would be designed to help those in mental health crisis. Instead of sending the mentally ill to jail for petty crimes, officers would have the option of taking them to the specialized clinic to have them checked out by a physician instead. Hawaii News Now.


Sherwood Forest resolutions draw community criticism. Two recently drafted city resolutions meant to be an agreement between opposing sides of the construction project at Sherwood Forest are drawing criticism from community members. Star-Advertiser.

Ala Moana plan for no-leash dog park removed. Plans for an off-leash dog park at Ala Moana Regional Park have been scrapped by the Caldwell administration, city Parks Director Michele Nekota told members of the City Council Budget Committee on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

UH Manoa wants to relocate parking stalls to create more pedestrian friendly spaces. The plan is to get rid of some driveways and replace them with walkways, benches and tables. KITV4.

New boss to lead Ward Village development in Kakaako. Ward Village has a new executive overseeing development of the growing high-rise community in Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Bid at water-bottling plant in comes up dry again. An attempt to resurrect a rejected proposal for a water-bottling plant in Hilo was quashed again Thursday by the Windward Planning Commission. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo Water Bottling Proposal Returns To Commission. The Piʻilani Partners, LLC application - remanded to the Windward Planning Commission by an order of the Third Circuit Court - was again denied by commissioners on Thursday. Big Island Video News.

Residents critical of AT&T cell tower proposal. A proposed AT&T cellphone tower to be built in Kurtistown generated public outcry Thursday after the telecommunications company apparently failed to provide proper notice to nearby residents. Tribune-Herald.


Utility pays solar projects $222K. Hawaiian Electric seeks to pass on cost of unused power to customers. Hawaiian Electric compensated two Maui solar farms a total of $222,000 for curtailing, or not accepting, 2 gigawatt hours of solar power in 2019, according to filings with the state Public Utilities Commission last month. Maui News.

CIP Funds Released for Lahaina Health Center. Representative Angus L.K. McKelvey (West Maui, Mā‘alaea, North Kīhei) today announced that Governor David Ige has released $506,000 in Capital Improvement Project funds, part of which will be used for the design and construction for renovations, repairs and improvements at the Lahaina Comprehensive Health Center on Maui. Maui Now.

Culture can’t be contained to classroom. Hawaiian immersion teachers work to teach culture and language in Western system. Maui News.


The agrichemical company Corteva Agriscience is phasing out production of the pesticide chlorpyrifos. Corteva grows corn and other crops on the Westside, and sells chlorpyrifos under the Lorsban brand. Garden Island.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Coronavirus could hamper Hawaii tourism, teacher pay hikes clear first hurdle, concerns over planned Dillingham closure, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Tour group visits Hawaii shoreline ©2020 All Hawaii News
Virus could hamper Hawaii tourism growth. Hawaii economists Wednesday forecast slower growth in the tourism market over the next few years, but cautioned that the outlook doesn’t factor in the impact of the coronavirus — even if no one here gets it. Star-Advertiser.

Coronavirus travel warnings, cancellations begin to take toll on Hawaii tour companies. With no end in sight to the coronavirus outbreak, the travel warnings and flight cancellations are starting to take a toll on some Hawaii companies. Hawaii News Now.

Fear Of The Coronavirus Probably Won’t Get You Asylum In The U.S.. Two Chinese people taken into federal custody at Honolulu’s airport were reported to be seeking asylum because of the virus. Civil Beat.

Virus fears spur workers to wear masks on the job. With the threat of the coronavirus outbreak seemingly growing daily, the largest union representing hotel workers in the state is asking resort executives across the islands to allow their employees to wear surgical masks while on the job. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii teacher pay hike passes first hurdle in Senate. After emotional pleas from classroom teachers, the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday approved putting $25 million toward boosting the pay of teachers in hard-to-staff positions and adjusting the salary schedule to reward experience. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Senate bill aims to bolster teachers’ pay. Legislation proposed in the state Senate would help better fund teacher compensation if approved. Tribune-Herald.


House Bill allowing farmers to grow hemp receives preliminary approval from the Agriculture Committee. House Bill 18-19 allowing farmers to grow hemp received preliminary approval from the Agriculture Committee on Wednesday. KITV4.

Lawmakers propose to outlaw shipping of vaping products. Hawaii lawmakers are considering several bills to put a stop to teen vaping, a proposed change would outlaw electronic cigarette products bought online from being shipped to the state. KHON2.

State lawmakers propose stricter gun laws to keep firearms out of criminals' hands. A public hearing is set for Thursday to discuss a range of gun control measures, including notifying police when a gun owner passes away and requiring permits for ammunition purchases. KITV4.

Streamlining plan will require 38,000 Neighbor Island patients to find new health insurance. HMSA and United Healthcare won the Neighbor Island contracts. Kaiser and AlohaCare were left out and AlohaCare has since filed a protest that has frozen the award. Hawaii News Now.


Trump’s Revamp Of Major Environmental Law ‘A Big Disaster For Hawaii’. Proposed changes to one of the country’s most influential environmental laws could mean less public scrutiny and oversight of big projects. Civil Beat.

Lawsuit: Feds Failing To Protect Hawaii Waters From Plastics. Environmental groups say the EPA should have declared the state’s coastal waters as “impaired” due to significant plastic waste. Civil Beat.

Environmental groups sue Trump administration. Several environmental groups are taking a different approach to preventing plastic pollution in the ocean by taking the matter to court under the Clean Water Act. Garden Island.

Lawsuit Alleges Failure to Protect Hawaiian Waters From Plastic Pollution. Environmental groups sued the Environmental Protection Agency today for allegedly failing to protect 17 coastal water bodies around Hawaiʻi from what they are calling “wide-scale plastic pollution". Maui Now.


Hawaii Taxpayers To Foot Bill For Student’s Near-Drowning, Teen’s Fatal Scooter Crash. The Ige administration is asking the Legislature to approve over $1 million worth of settlements. Civil Beat.

Ige Announces Environmental Quality Control Pick. Kathleen Ho will require Hawaii Senate approval for the director position. Civil Beat.

Ige Taps Kathleen Ho as Next OEQC Director. Kathleen S. Y. Ho is slated to become the next Director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control in the state Department of Health, Gov. David Ige announced Wednesday. Big Island Now.


Aviation businesses worry about Dillingham Airfield closure. U.S. Army Hawaii was notified Jan. 23 that the state intended to end the lease early and vacate Dillingham Airfield by June 30. Star-Advertiser.

Concerns take flight over the future of Dillingham Air Field. Businesses at the Dillingham Air Field on Oahu say they’ve been hearing that the state plans to shut down the small air field soon, but none of them have been officially informed. Hawaii News Now.

State wants to vacate Dillingham Airfield as soon as this Summer. The state DOT leased and ran Dillingham Airfield for nearly 50 years and has just recently told the feds they want out within months. KHON2.


North Shore community fights for a louder voice in planning of future projects. Eight newly installed wind turbines of the Na Pua Makani wind farm are now up in Kahuku. Hawaii News Now.

Fight Over Green Building Code Highlights Challenge Of Phasing Out Carbon. A proposal before the Honolulu City Council aims to reduce the long-term carbon footprint of Oahu’s buildings, but it has run into opposition from the island’s gas utility and construction industry. Hawaii Public Radio.


Second set of Hibiscus remains ID’d as suspected killer Hanel. The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office positively identified the second set of remains found in a Diamond Head house on Hibiscus Drive that burned on Jan. 19 as suspected killer Jerry J. “Jarda” Hanel, 69. Star-Advertiser.

Final Remains In Diamond Head Incident Identified. As was expected, they are of arson-and-shooting suspect Jerry Hanel. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Medical Examiner IDs 2nd Set Of Remains At Shooting/Fire. The Honolulu medical examiner has identified the second set of remains at the scene of the fatal Diamond Head-area shooting and fire as Jerry Hanel. Hawaii Public Radio.


Chinese firm seeks partners or buyer for Makaha project. A Chinese company with an ambitious Makaha Valley resort development plan is seeking investors or a buyer for the project, raising uncertainty over the plan it announced last year that includes golf superstar Tiger Woods designing one of two golf courses at the heart of the endeavor. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

State, Hawaii County Partner On Coronavirus Guide. Hawaii County and the state of Hawaii on Wednesday announced that they had collaborated to produce an informational brochure to inform folks about the 2019 novel coronavirus. Civil Beat.

Hawaii County, State Produce Coronavirus Brochure. The County and State of Hawaiʻi have collaborated to produce an informational brochure to inform the community about the 2019 novel coronavirus. Big Island Video News.

Council moves GET money for Puna bus depot. An administration plan to fast-track a bus depot for Puna by buying land from a politically connected property owner has been derailed by the discovery that the property doesn’t have the environmental clearances the county thought it had. West Hawaii Today.


Single-use plastics eyed for next Maui County ban. Proposal mulled in council committee. Utensils, straws and other single-use disposable plastics may be banned from Maui County if a proposed bill being considered in a County Council committee gains traction. Maui News.

Sugimura Continues as Chair of MPO Policy Board. Councilmember Yuki Lei Sugimura will continue to serve as chair for the policy board of the Maui Metropolitan Organization, an independent entity that facilitates state and county work on federally funded transportation projects. Maui Now.

Maui County to restore eroding sand dunes at a Kihei shoreline. A new effort to restore a Maui shoreline in Kihei is set to begin next week. Hawaii News Now.

Wailuku infrastructure work begins. Lane closures, traffic disruptions expected. Maui News.


Kipu Ranch Adventures receives enviromental award. Kipu Ranch Adventures recently received the Sustainable Tour Operator of the Year award for 2019 from the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawai‘i. Garden Island.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Legislative leaders introduce Native Hawaiian reconciliation measures, Chinese seek asylum from coronavirus, lawmakers want to tighten gun laws, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Native Hawaiian oli at Mauna Kea ©2020 All Hawaii News
Hawaii Lawmakers Want State To Reconcile With Native Hawaiians. Resolution would create a “blue ribbon commission” to establish a new relationship based on trust. Civil Beat.

Mauna Kea Ignited A New Wave Of Hawaiian Pride. Where Does It Go From Here? The protests are seen as part of a long push toward more self-determination for Native Hawaiians, but there is little consensus on how best to achieve that. Civil Beat.


Pearl Harbor coronavirus quarantine site is readied. Hawaii officials Tuesday toured a Pearl Harbor quarantine site provided by the Navy to monitor the dwindling number of U.S. citizens returning to the United States from Hubei province in China, which is the epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

Lt. Gov. Green visits coronavirus quarantine facility, tries to extinguish fears. The state set up a quarantine site on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for any US citizens traveling from Hubei province in China diverted to Honolulu. KHON2.


Asylum seekers from China being held in federal detention center at Honolulu airport. Two asylum seekers from China trying to flee from the deadly coronavirus were taken into custody at the airport by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after trying to enter Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Two People From China Seek Asylum in Hawaii Prior To Mandatory Coronavirus Quarantine. Two asylum seekers from China have been taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after arriving at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. Hawaii Public Radio.

2 Chinese nationals seeking asylum arrived in Hawaii before new restrictions took effect. The state Health Department is seeking to reassure the public following news that two asylum seekers from China are being held in Honolulu. Hawaii News Now.

Two asylum seekers from China held at Federal Detention Center. The state says two asylum seekers from China arrived in Honolulu over the weekend most likely before the travel ban went into effect. KHON2.

Two asylum seekers from China detained at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. Two people from China seeking asylum in the United States were detained at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport over the weekend. KITV4.


6 Hawaii residents on ship quarantined. An Ewa Beach couple is among at least six Hawaii residents who have been quarantined to their rooms on a cruise ship in Japan after 10 people aboard tested positive for the coronavirus. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii couple among those quarantined on cruise ship after passengers fall ill with coronavirus. An Ewa Beach couple is among thousands quarantined on a cruise ship off Japan after 10 people on the vessel tested positive for the deadly coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Airlines flight attendants ask again to be allowed to wear masks. Flight attendants from Hawaiian Airlines are again asking the company to allow them to wear masks while in flight especially from Asian destinations. KHON2.


Changes to laws on mental illness and guns are proposed. State lawmakers announced a package of proposals Tuesday afternoon designed to provide more help to people with mental illnesses, and to close loopholes in Hawaii’s firearm laws in the wake of the Jan. 19 shooting deaths of two Honolulu police officers. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Lawmakers Work To Keep The Mentally Ill Out Of Jail. Mental health advocates, state officials, police and lawmakers have been working together to come up with better ways to get treatment for non-violent offenders. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers aim to address gun violence, mental health. Hawaii lawmakers on Tuesday unveiled several measures to prevent gun violence and boost mental health care weeks after a Honolulu resident fatally shot two police officers, started a fire that burned down several homes, and killed his landlord and himself. Associated Press.

Lawmakers seek to boost mental health care, tighten gun laws with new bills. Hawaii lawmakers announced a legislative package Tuesday aimed at preventing gun violence in the state by filling the gaps in mental health care. Hawaii News Now.

Law enforcement and legislators call for stricter gun laws and mental health care expansion. Gun violence and mental health were big discussions at the capital as Hawaii state leaders bring these two issues to the forefront after last month’s tragedy at Diamond Head. KHON2.

State lawmakers propose stricter gun laws to keep firearms out of criminals' hands. A public hearing is set for Thursday to discuss a range of gun control measures, including notifying police when a gun owner passes away and requiring permits for ammunition purchases. KITV.


Measure could put early learning classes in Hawaii libraries. Hawaii libraries could accommodate early learning classrooms under a state legislative proposal to expand childcare services, officials have said. Hawaii News Now.

Bill Banning Moonlighting Mayors Moves Forward. But the Senate Judiciary Committee removed provisions prohibiting the governor from holding an outside job. Civil Beat.

Smoking in the crosshairs: Bill raising Hawaii’s legal tobacco age to 25 passes House committee. Nearly four years after the Aloha State banned the sale of such items to those under 21, expanding statewide a law passed in 2014 by the Hawaii County Council that did just that on the Big Island, Rep. Richard Creagan (D-Kona, Ka‘u) is looking to up the age again. West Hawaii Today.

Bills Relating to Flavored Tobacco Bans Up This Week. Here is a list of bills relating to tobacco bans and regulations that are scheduled for public hearing this week. Maui Now.

Lawmakers propose decriminalizing larger amounts of cannabis. In what may be another small step toward eventual legalization of cannabis here, a key state Senate committee Tuesday tentatively approved a bill to decriminalize possession of up to 10 grams in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers Look To Add Dental Coverage For Medicaid Recipients. The benefit was cut from Medicaid 10 years ago and local dentists say they can see the consequences. Civil Beat.

Isles won’t have Iowa’s caucus problem, says head of state party. Hawaii Democrats will use a new mail-in balloting process and a new ranked-choice voting system to poll party members on who they want to be the next president of the United States, but interim Hawaii Democratic Party Chairwoman Kate Stanley said she does not expect to see anything like the problems on Monday that threw the Iowa caucuses into turmoil. Star-Advertiser.


25% of sex trafficking victims led into it by family, study finds. The “Sex Trafficking in Hawaii 2019” report released Tuesday is the third segment of a multipart study on sex trafficking by the Arizona State University Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research and the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women. Star-Advertiser.

Sex trafficking study finds high percentage of Native Hawaiian victims. Nearly 65% of victims say they are full or part Native Hawaiians. KITV.

Study: Hawai‘i 3rd Most Expensive State for Kupuna Renters. More than half of Hawaiʻi’s kupuna living alone lack the financial resources to pay for basic needs, according to a new study. Maui Now.


‘Kauhale’ housing for homeless suffers setback. Lt. Gov. Josh Green’s dream of a statewide system of “kauhale” tiny homes to provide permanent housing for Hawaii’s homeless suffered a setback Tuesday when two House committees voted to study the concept rather than move out a bill that would have provided $20 million for a one-year pilot program. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu group sends thousands of masks, protective clothing to China to aid in coronavirus outbreak. The Hawaii Fujian Business Association has sent 100,000 masks and 2,500 pieces of protective clothing to Fuzhou to assist in the containment of the coronavirus from China that has spread across the globe. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Council panel nixes herbicide resolution. A nonbinding resolution urging Mayor Harry Kim and his administration to reduce herbicide use was withdrawn by its sponsors Tuesday when it became clear the measure was about to be voted down. West Hawaii Today.

Public Outraged Over Herbicide Bill Veto, Override Fail. Testifiers criticized Hawaii County officials over the failure of a bill that proposed to end county herbicide use at parks and roads. Big Island Video News.

County Council Squashes Herbicide Resolution. A short-lived resolution to reduce Hawai‘i County’s use of herbicides on government-managed lands met its end Tuesday in committee. Big Island Now.


Federal notice includes $83M for county. Hawaii County can now take its next step to secure than $80 million in federal money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to aid in recovery from the 2018 eruption of Kilauea volcano. Tribune-Herald.

Transfer station waste limits likely to be delayed. A series of new limits to how much waste can be disposed of at the county’s transfer stations will likely be rolling out later than expected. Tribune-Herald.

Council members briefed on status of closed beach parks. One long-closed beach park on the Hamakua coast could reopen by March, while another will remain closed indefinitely. Tribune-Herald.

Hawai'i County Offering New Heart Attack Help on Big Island. Hawai’i County has started to use a new strategy to respond faster to a particular kind of medical emergency. It’s a way to get qualified people to help with cases of sudden cardiac arrest. Hawaii Public Radio.

Big Island police captain elected head of international homicide investigators group. Hawaii County Police Department’s Capt. Gregory Esteban was elected as president of the 2,600-member International Homicide Investigators Association, the department announced this week. Star-Advertiser.


Lawmakers propose that state buy Maui watershed area. County has tried for years to purchase Wailuku Water Co. land. Calling it “a rare opportunity” to preserve an ecosystem of native plants, endangered species and a key source of drinking water, lawmakers are looking to have the state purchase a nearly 9,000-acre watershed in the West Maui Mountains. Maui News.

County to Repair Coastal Dune in Kihei. A project to provide targeted sand dune restoration at the southern end of Kamaole I Beach Park is slated to begin next week and last up to three weeks, the county announced on Tuesday. Maui Now.

Ram Dass services set for Monday at the Castle Theater. A celebration of life for counterculture icon Ram Dass will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday at the Castle Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului. Maui News.


Safari pilot had licensed revoked. The pilot of the helicopter that went down near Koke‘e a month ago had his license revoked by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2010 for drug use but was issued new certifications a year later and rehired after completing a substance abuse treatment program. Garden Island.

Peaceful demonstration at Lihue Airport. On the first day of negotiations between Hawaiian Airlines flight attendants and the board of directors, a handful of flight attendants held a peaceful demonstration at Lihue Airport. Garden Island.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Hawaii unprepared to be coronavirus hub, Caldwell shelves $772M Blaisdell reno amid rising rail costs, Tupola running for City Council, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Photo by Ani Kolleshi on Unsplash
Coronavirus likely to appear in Hawaii ‘sooner or later,’ state official says. The state has identified a quarantine site at a military base at Pearl Harbor for any travelers who have been to Hubei province within 14 days or are considered high-risk, whether or not they show symptoms of the deadly coronavirus. Star-Advertiser.

Any Future Coronavirus Patients Will Be Quarantined At Pearl Harbor. Hawaii officials believe the likelihood of using the facility remains low, since many Chinese cities are on lockdown and most air travel is on hold. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Says It Can't Be Hub For Treating New Virus. Hawaii has only a modest healthcare system and can’t be a hub for accommodating people potentially exposed to the rapidly spreading new virus that emerged in China in recent months, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said Monday. Hawaii Public Radio.

Officials discuss response to virus: State lawmakers hold briefing on outbreak. The state House Committee on Health on Monday heard updates from the state Department of Health, the state Department of Transportation and the Healthcare Association of Hawaii in regards to an ongoing outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus — caused by a previously unidentified coronavirus first detected in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, on Dec. 31. Tribune-Herald.

Coronavirus in Hawai‘i, ‘Only a Matter of Time’. No cases of coronavirus have been confirmed, or are even suspected, in Hawai‘i. However, state officials said Monday it’s all but an inevitability the deadly illness is on its way. Big Island Now.

State pushed back on plan to house U.S. citizens who left China in Waikiki. The state’s health director told lawmakers Monday that he blocked a federal plan to put hundreds of U.S. citizens who are leaving China in Waikiki hotels. Hawaii News Now.

State officials discuss coronavirus threat to Hawaii. There are still no cases in Hawaii, and state health officials said the risk remains low but it is possible Hawaii could get a case. KHON2.

More help for Hawaii, to prepare for Coronavirus. The Coronovirus is expected to make its way to Hawaii, which is waiting for more resources and personnel to prevent the outbreak from spreading across the islands. KITV4.


Hawaii Medicaid Contract Award Stalled Amid Protest From Insurer. Hawaii’s Medicaid division has to temporarily suspend its insurance contract awards until a dispute is resolved. Civil Beat.

Bill that would ban tour buses and helicopters on Sundays dies in committee. A bill banning all helicopter and bus tours on Sundays was killed in the state legislature on Monday. KITV4.

Hawaii’s Push For Renewable Energy Could Stall Over Public Opposition To Facilities. Hawaiian Electric says it sees growing issues concerning land use and where to site projects. Civil Beat.


Sixty-seven island police officers — including 37 from the Honolulu Police Department — were disciplined last year, along with 15 officers who were fired across the state. HPD terminated six of its disciplined officers. Star-Advertiser.

New Police Misconduct Reports Show A Range Of Bad Behavior. But the annual reports to the Legislature are lacking in the level of detail needed for meaningful public scrutiny. Civil Beat.

HPD report: 37 officers disciplined last year, 6 were fired. A report from HPD is detailing the number of disciplinary actions taken against officers last year. Hawaii News Now.

HPD incident report released: 13 officers disciplined, 6 fired. More than a handful of Honolulu Police officers were disciplined or fired for driving drunk in their police cars. KITV4.


Andria Tupola to run for Honolulu City Council but still has eyes on governor’s seat. Former state Rep. Andria Tupola announced Monday she is running this year for the Honolulu City Council District 1 seat representing West Oahu — and still may run for governor in 2022 as she previously indicated. Star-Advertiser.

Republican Andria Tupola launches run for City Council while eyeing governor’s seat. Former state lawmaker Andria Tupola is running for City Council, but her sights are set on a higher office. Hawaii News Now.


Blaisdell restoration halted due to cost of rail. Citing the ongoing woes with the city’s rail project as his biggest concern, Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Monday announced he is nixing plans for a major renovation that was to begin later this year. Star-Advertiser.

City Stops Planned $700 Million Blaisdell Renovation. Caldwell concedes the city should focus solely on rail instead with so much uncertainty still hanging over the transit project. Civil Beat.

Mayor: Blaisdell Renovation Suspended, Cites Rail Uncertainty and Election. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is suspending the Neal S. Blaisdell Center renovation project, citing the uncertainty over the financing and timing of the elevated rail project and the coming switch in city administrations. Hawaii Public Radio.

After spending $17M, city shelves pricey renovation plans for Blaisdell Center. In a surprising move Monday, the city announced that it will abandon a long-awaited, $772 million project to renovate Neal Blaisdell Center. Hawaii News Now.

City to put Blaisdell renovation project on hold due to unknown construction cost of rail system. Plans to tear down and reconstruct the Blaisdell's 22 acre campus would have cost an estimated $772 million. KITV4.


New proposal to make Honolulu prosecuting attorney appointed by mayor. Honolulu City Council Member Tommy Waters introduced a new resolution to allow people to vote in this year’s ballot on whether or not they want the prosecuting attorney to become an appointed position by the mayor, instead of being voted in by the public, as it is now. KHON2.

Augie T officially files candidacy papers to run for City Council. Comedian Augie Tulba is running for City Council representing District Nine which spans from Waikele to Ewa Beach. KITV4.

Elderly homeless man testified against alleged carjacker. Then, he was confusingly arrested. His story is sparking concern and outrage over an apparent new policy from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Hawaii News Now.

Aloha Stadium seeks $7.7M or it might have to close sections. The warning comes as the state asks legislators for $7.7 million this session to help bridge the period between the 2020 football season and the projected fall 2023 opening of the new $350 million facility on adjacent land as an anchor of the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District. Star-Advertiser.


Ala Moana park lights to be converted to LEDs to save energy. City officials announced Monday that the exterior lights at Ala Moana Regional Park are being replaced by more energy-efficient light-emitting diode — or LED — lights. Star-Advertiser.

City replaces Ala Moana Beach Park lights with LEDs. Ala Moana Beach Park might look a little different in the coming months. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Candidates are off and running: Filing period begins for state, local and federal races. Candidates for local, state and federal office streamed into county elections offices Monday morning, the opening day for candidates to pull nomination papers to begin the filing process. West Hawaii Today.

Contract awarded for second Puna roundabout. A $4.5 million contract has been awarded to a Honolulu-based contractor to install a roundabout at a Puna intersection. Tribune-Herald.

Kilauea’s Lower East Rift Zone Heating Up In Areas. During a recent After Dark at the Park talk, a USGS geologist explained why some residents living near the inactive fissures of 2018 are experiencing an increase in heat and steam. Big Island Video News.


Asbestos abatement almost finished. 15 units at Lahaina property left to be cleared; bids invited for 12 2-bed units. Maui News.

County Breaks Ground on Wailuku Town Improvements Project. A groundbreaking ceremony was held today for the County of Maui’s Wailuku Town Improvement Project. Road improvements will begin this week on Church Street as part of Phase 1A of the project. Maui Now.


Firefighters call for transparency. The Kauai Fire Department’s union representatives called for greater transparency in the long-delayed process of selecting a new chief and said the county Fire Commission may have overstepped its bounds by hiring former KFD Chief Robert Westerman on an 89-day contract to fill the role he left vacant after retiring a year ago. Garden Island.

FAA Abruptly Stopped Enforcement Action Against Hawaii Helicopter Tours. The Federal Aviation Administration disclosed Monday that in 2010 it revoked the license of the pilot of the ill-fated Safari Helicopters tour that crashed on Kauai on Dec. 26, killing all seven people onboard, after he tested positive for drugs. Civil Beat.

New permit requirements for commercial refuge tours. Beginning in 2020, commercial tour operators will be required to apply for and hold a Special Use Permit for operating commercial activities within the Kaua‘i National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Garden Island.

Pitted parking at Black Pot. It’s been six months since Black Pot Beach Park reopened its beach to residents and visitors. Garden Island.

Notable mistakes by county employees. Four times a year, county officials issue a report on claims filed by Kauai residents whose property was damaged by government employees. Garden Island.

Monday, February 3, 2020

House Health Committee calls briefing today on coronavirus as airport clamps down on travelers, Caldwell outpaces others in fundraising for 2022 gubernatorial race, Amemiya raises most for Honolulu mayor, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii Capitol ©2020 All Hawaii News
Health Committee to Hold Briefing on Coronavirus. Rep. John M. Mizuno, Chair of the House Health Committee, will hold an informational briefing on the 2019 Coronavirus outbreak in China and the measures being taken by the State of Hawaiʻi at 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3. Maui Now.

New entry restrictions begin at 11 US airports, including Honolulu, amid growing coronavirus fears. New entry restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the deadly coronavirus begin Sunday across the US, including at Honolulu’s airport — which has been designated as one of just 11 facilities in the country that will accept travelers from China. Hawaii News Now.

Flights from China to Honolulu suspended. Direct flights from China to Hawaii have been suspended as federal and state officials ramp up their response to preventing an outbreak of the coronavirus in the isles. Star-Advertiser.

“We’re concerned about our own health,” Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant says that they can’t wear masks. The new quarantine procedures the airport concern not only have travelers but also its workers. We’re told that flight attendants have voiced concerns about not being able to wear masks on Asia flights. KHON2.


Bill that would establish camera enforcement at traffic lights moves forward. A proposal to have camera-enforcement at traffic lights moved forward at the state Capitol on Friday. The cameras would record vehicles that run red lights in urban Honolulu. Hawaii News Now.

Red-light-camera bill advances in Legislature. Hawaii counties would be authorized to establish three-year programs to test out a new photo enforcement system for ticketing people who run red lights under a bill that won preliminary approval last week from the House Transportation Committee. Star-Advertiser.

New bill would limit ‘revolving door’ for lobbyists. A bill that would limit the ability of state lawmakers and top state officials to leave their government jobs and then quickly go to work lobbying the state Legislature is advancing in the state Senate. Star-Advertiser.

Gun rights advocates rally at the state Capitol. Opponents of new and more restrictive firearm laws for Hawaii rallied at the state Capitol last week to protest a wave of proposed gun-related legislation. Star-Advertiser.

Firearms incidents decline on Hawaii’s public school campuses. The number of students caught carrying any kind of “firearm,” including paintball guns, or even slingshots, has dropped to its lowest level in 10 years at Hawaii’s public school campuses. Star-Advertiser.

Legislation seeks to continue flying isle homeless back home. Since 2014, private and public Hawaii funds have paid for half of the airfare to send 744 homeless people back to their families on the mainland and to the Federates States of Micronesia — without any obligation from Hawaii of prearranged jobs or housing support. Star-Advertiser.

Raise Hawaii’s Smoking Age From 21 To 25. The proposed legislation would apply to electronic cigarettes as well as tobacco. Civil Beat.

State gets mixed grades on tobacco control. The American Lung Association recently released its annual “State of Tobacco Control” report, giving Hawai‘i various grades for five categories and calling for proven tobacco-control policies in light of the worsening youth-vaping epidemic in 2019. Garden Island.

Caldwell Raises Nearly $300K For 2022 Governor’s Race. The Honolulu mayor has far outpaced others who have lined up this far in advance. Civil Beat.

Multiple jobs. Doubling up. Hawaii adults say they’re doing it all and still struggling. Seven in 10 Hawaii adults are struggling with their financial health and more than half say their spending equals or exceeds their income, according to a new survey that underscores just how broadly the state’s high cost of living is affecting families. Hawaii News Now.

State employee fined for pushing workers to buy cars from friend. The Occupational Health Branch manager for the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division has been ordered to pay a $1,000 penalty for driving two probationary employees on separate occasions to a used car dealership owned by a friend to buy vehicles they were not required to have as part of their jobs. Star-Advertiser.

Scientists Say Many Rat Lungworm Cases In Hawaii May Go Unreported. Costly and strict diagnostic protocols mean a long wait to find out if someone has the disease. Civil Beat.


Amemiya Raises Most Campaign Cash In Honolulu Mayor’s Race. Hawaii’s business elites are lining up behind one of their own, giving him an edge on Councilwoman Pine and former Congresswoman Hanabusa. Civil Beat.

Defense Attorney Kau Leads Honolulu Prosecutor’s Race In Campaign Cash. Political newcomer Megan Kau brought in more money than a well-known former judge. Civil Beat.

State lawmaker wants to help HPD recruit and retain officers with surcharge bill. What to do about the on-going police shortage on Oahu. KITV4.

City: We want to expand appointment-only bulky item pickup islandwide. The city is extending appointment-only bulky item pickup for urban Honolulu “indefinitely," and said it’s working to expand the system islandwide. Hawaii News Now.

North Shore farmland being carved up for crop, housing use. Some North Shore community leaders complain that David Taogoshi is driving up the price of farmland by acquiring 30-acre to 300-acre tracts of former sugar cane and pineapple plantation fields for relatively little money and dividing them into mainly 2-acre and 5-acre pieces for sale as attractive home sites. Star-Advertiser.

Kobayashi Group to develop 400 affordable rentals in West Oahu. The Honolulu City Council on Wednesday approved a resolution authorizing Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration to enter into a development agreement with Kobayashi Group entity KG Kapolei Parkway LLC for the project. Pacific Business News.

Saint Francis School campus in Honolulu to go on the market for sale in Q1. The campus is sandwiched between the University of Hawaii Manoa campus and Manoa Hillside Estates, a gated community of 62 homes, in an affluent neighborhood where many homes sell for $1 million or more. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Vacation rental denials appealed. Appeals are pouring in from vacation rental owners who were denied permits, with the county Board of Appeals agenda including 25 contested cases for its Feb. 14 meeting in Kona. West Hawaii Today.

League of Women Voters seeks smooth transition to mailed ballots. Although Hawaii Island, along with the rest of the state, has been voluntarily transitioning from walk-in voting to mail-in ballots over the past 20 years, the local chapter of the League of Women Voters is concerned some voters may be left behind in an election offering only two locations for on-site voting. West Hawaii Today.

Clarification of herbicide policy sought. After a ban on the use of herbicides by county workers was definitively quashed last month, two Hawaii County Council members are introducing a resolution that will clarify the county’s position on herbicide use. Tribune-Herald.

Puna meeting to focus on broadband access, telehealth. Discussion will turn to health and technology later this month at a town hall meeting about telehealth and broadband service in Puna. Tribune-Herald.

Council to discuss status of closed beach parks. Two North Hilo beach parks long closed to the public will be the subject of an hourlong presentation next week by the county Department of Parks and Recreation. Tribune-Herald.

Jensen named West Hawaii Today editor. Chelsea Jensen has been promoted to editor of West Hawaii Today. West Hawaii Today.


Maui visitors break 3 million mark for first time. Report also shows record spending. Maui News.

Oyster Pilot Project Launched on Maui to Improve Water Quality. An innovative pilot project that uses oysters to improve water quality at Maui’s Maʻalaea Harbor was launched on Friday by the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council. Maui Now.

Whale researchers present factors to fewer sightings. Three humpback whale researchers will be presenting information on a collaborative study on factors contributing to the decline in observed sighting rates of humpback whales in Hawaii and Alaska from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Maui Ocean Center.  Maui News.


Farmers Fight To Keep Irrigation System Running. The state has announced its intent to shut down key reservoirs if the Legislature and a water cooperative don’t find a solution. Garden Island.

The Garden Island newspaper lands new editor. he Garden Island has named reporter Jessica Else as the new editor-in-chief. Garden Island.