Capitol Watch — Hawaii Politics and Government { Stay up-to-date with Civil Beat's live blog about Hawaii politics and government.

Airlines Vie for Kalaupapa Service

civilbeat:

From The Molokai Dispatch:

The competition is becoming fierce between two airlines for the opportunity to serve the Kalaupapa community under a federal contract.

Makani Kai and Mokulele airlines are two of the four companies that applied for subsidies to provide regular flights into the small, isolated settlement. In a show of hands last week, 77 out of 78 Kalaupapa residents attending presentations by both airlines voted in strong support of Makani Kai, which has been serving the peninsula for the past two years.

Community members say they appreciate the personalized service that Makani Kai and its owner Richard Schuman provides. Read more.

And here’s the latest in other neighbor isle gov’t, biz, culture and politics:

Waipio group rejects bill

Accused con man considers run for Maui mayor

Kauai Fire Department proposes more overtime

Scott ex-boyfriend arrested in unrelated case

Bill would require Waikakuu Ranch project site inspection

Judge grants intervention in GMO lawsuit

Kahu Minnie Ka‘awaloa dead at 91

Maui Humane Society ad to arm public with ‘accurate information’

JROTC instructor has taken hundreds of students under his wing

Big Isle students organize drive for Typhoon Haiyan relief

2014 Molokai Earth Day

Connections fights for new campus

Richard’s Market on Lanai stops selling cigarettes, tobacco

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Photo: Screen shot, April 15, 2014. (Makani Kai)

—Chad Blair

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Will Hawaii Become 23rd State to Enact Pro-Hemp Legislation?

civilbeat:

The state Legislature has passed Senate Bill 2175, also known as the “Hemp Bill.”

It authorizes the dean of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at UH Manoa to conduct a two-year industrial hemp phytoremediation and biofuels research program.

According to a press release from the House, twenty-two states have already passed pro-hemp legislation and, should the governor allow SB 2175 to become law, Hawaii will become 23rd state.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Mike Gabbard and championed by Rep. Cynthia Thielen.

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Photo: Rep. Cynthia Thielen. (PF Bentley/Civil Beat)

—Chad Blair

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On Tap at the Hawaii Legislature: April 15

civilbeat:

A selective list of bills, resolutions, hearings, briefings and events for Tuesday at the state Capitol. Click here for more.

Hearings:

Conferences:

Briefings:

  • Senate Ways and Means will hear about the educational facilities improvement special fund and requests. (9:15 a.m., Room 211)
  • Senate Transportation and Ways and Means will hear from the DOT on CIP requests and federal funding. (10 a.m., Room 211)

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Photo: Hawaii state Capitol. (Civil Beat)

—Chad Blair

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Controversial Bill Allowing Businesses to Scan ID’s Heads to Governor

civilbeat:

House Bill 2666, which would make permanent a law that allows businesses to scan a driver’s license or identification card to verify age “when providing age-restricted goods or services,” moved out of the Hawaii Legislature today.

The liquor commissions for Honolulu, Kauai and Maui testified in support of HB 2666, along with the Hawaii Food Industry Association and 7-Eleven Hawaii.

The state Office of Consumer Protection of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the city’s Department of Customer Services and the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii opposed the measure.

Some opponents raised the concern of potential identity theft “with lasting negative repercussions for individual victims,” as the DCCA stated in written testimony. However, DCCA told Civil Beat Tuesday, “This legislation is a definite step forward, and the Office of Consumer Protection will continue to take an active role in advancing protections for consumers in this area.”

Businesses like 7-Eleven testified that the bill will permit a business to scan ID’s of buyers of cigarettes or alcohol “if there is a reasonable doubt that the purchaser has reached the minimum age required for purchasing the age-restricted goods.”

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Photo: Convenience. (Mike Mozart)

—Chad Blair

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Ban on Peeing, Pooping In Public Downtown May Be Extended

civilbeat:

The state House of Representatives today voted to extend the sunset date on a law that prohibits urinating and defecating in public in downtown Honolulu.

The law was set to expire Dec. 31 of this year but now faces a Dec. 31, 2016 deadline.

Six reps voted “no” on Karl Rhoads bill, which was amended by the Senate and now heads to the governor for consideration.

The bill has been praised by those who say the downtown area is rife with puddles of urine and piles of feces and opposed by those who say the law criminalizes homelessness.

A related measure, which would prohibit obstruction of paved public sidewalks, also passed.

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Photo: Homeless at the Capitol. (PF Bentley/Civil Beat)

—Chad Blair

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Rep. Saiki’s Bill to ‘Reboot’ HCDA Heads to Governor’s Desk

civilbeat:

The state House of Representatives today passed an omnibus bill that “seeks to improve management, legislative oversight and public participation” of the Hawaii Community Development Authority.

The House voted to accept the Senate’s amendments to the bill; 17 representatives, including Calvin Say, Sharon Har, Richard Fale and Bob McDermott, voted “no.”

HB1866 will allow us to ‘reboot’ HCDA and allow it to refocus on its mission, provide greater transparency in its operation and decision making, and allow the public to have greater input in its deliberations,” said Rep. Scott Saiki, who introduced the bill.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has the option of signing the bill into law, vetoing it or, or allowing it to become law without his signature.

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Photo: Rep. Scott Saiki.

—Chad Blair

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Rep. Fale To Announce Bid for Sen. Hee’s Seat

civilbeat:

State Rep. Richard Fale, a Republican, will announce his candidacy for state Senate District 23 at 10 a.m. today at the Eternal Flame Monument across from the Capitol.

The seat, which represents Laie, Hauula, Punaluu, Kaaawa, Waikane, Waialua, Waiahole, Haleiwa, Pupukea, Kahuku and Sunset Beach, is currently held by Democrat Sen. Clayton Hee.

Fale cites “growing concern from the community with the direction Hawaii is going as well as the way the community has been represented, particularly during the 2013 special session, as one of the main reasons for entering the race,” according to a press release.

The special session approved same-sex marriage legislation, which is now law.

Another Republican, former legislator Colleen Meyer, has pulled papers but not yet filed for the race.

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Photo: Rep. Richard Fale. (PF Bentley/Civil Beat)

—Chad Blair 

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On Tap at the Hawaii Legislature: April 14

civilbeat:

A selective list of bills, resolutions, hearings, briefings and events for Monday at the state Capitol. Click here for more.

Hearings:

  • Senate Resolution 8 Urging the U.S. to support the Republic of China’s (Taiwan) participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. (3:01 p.m., Room 225)
  • Senate Concurrent Resolution 88 Approving the selection of Danny Kaleikini to be inducted into the Aloha Order of Merit. (11:45 a.m., Room 312)

Confirmations:

  • Nominations to theIsland Burial Council, Islands of Maui and Lanai, and to the Hawaiian Homes Commission. (12:30 p.m., Room 312)
  • Nomination of Stan Roehrig and Thomas Oi to the Land Board, Edmund Aczon and Aaron Mahi to the LUC, and other appointments. (1:15 p.m., Room 225)

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Photo: Hawaii state Capitol. (Civil Beat)

—Chad Blair

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Maui Electric Bills Could Go Up If PUC Approves Rate Proposal

civilbeat:

From The Maui News:

Maui Electric Co. is asking the Public Utilities Commission to approve a proposed change in what consumers are charged for the utility’s “Revenue Balancing Account.” Read more.

And here’s the latest in other neighbor isle gov’t, biz, culture and politics:

Kauai Council split on Bynum settlement

Solving strandings in Hanakapiai

Police warn about cybercrime; Hilo burglaries rise

Audit casts ‘doubt’ over the ability to continue for iconic ML&P

Student leads graffiti cleanup in Hilo

Kauai County: Dairy farm up to par

Special Olympians compete in Keaau

Sacred Hearts student discusses voyaging values at TEDx event

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Photo: Lahaina. (Alan Light)

—Chad Blair

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TAT Bill Gains Senate Backing, Governor Weighs In

civilbeat:

From Maui Now:

The Hawaiʻi State Senate advanced a list of more than 170 bills ahead of the legislative second crossover deadline, including a measure that would remove the cap on the transient accommodations tax revenues to be distributed to the counties.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa and Council leaders on Maui have been advocating for a restoration in the TAT revenues, with the council passing a resolution last week urging support of House Bill 1671.

According to council members, House Bill 1671 would return 44.8% of TAT revenues to the counties, which translates to approximately $165 million in annual TAT revenue to the counties. Read more.

Maui candidates trickle in; deadline approaches

Council signs off on $290k Bynum settlement

Residents keep watch on slow-moving lava flow

Artist, architect receives grant to create artwork for Kalama school

Kauai kupuna to be honored

Monsanto facing fine for claims in Maui air pollution case

Is property of homeless a nuisance?

Collaborative efforts shed light on sex assault on Garden Island

Accreditation assessment team invites comment on Maui cops

Witness describes wild Kona shooting

Police address cyber crime, gun issues

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Photo: Kapalua sunset. (Charles Starrett)

—Chad Blair

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Pohakuloa Training Area Drone Proposal Detailed

civilbeat:

From the Hawaii Tribune-Herald:

Pohakuloa Training Area would host drone training flights for up to 12 weeks a year under a proposal to relocate a squadron of the unmanned aircraft from California to Hawaii.

The reconnaissance drones would be based at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay on Oahu but also utilize training areas on Kauai and PTA on the Big Island, according to an environmental assessment completed last month.

The transfer of Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron Three, based in Twentynine Palms, Calif., involves 12 Shadow and 45 Blackjack drones. Read more.

And here’s the latest in other neighbor isle gov’t, biz, culture and politics:

Group sours on Mahaulepu dairy

Palamanui campus construction ‘on track’

Repeated West Maui brown water incidents raise questions

Kauai County may redirect nearly $1 million from open space

Police officer helps wife deliver daughter on side of road

Mayor rejected Maui Lani option for service center

Parker Ranch hopes to become major power supplier for Waimea

Kauai Council approves a county employee proposal

Molokai robotics team headed to world, international competitions

New stop added to UH Hilo bus service

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Photo: Pohakuloa Training Area. (2nd Stryker Brigade)

—Chad Blair

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Itchy Inmates Complain of Bed Bugs Inside Hawaii’s Largest Jail

civilbeat:

It might not be as gross as maggots in your breakfast, but another Hawaii jail has a troubling infestation problem.

KHON reports that the Oahu Community Correctional Center, the state’s largest jail, is crawling with bed bugs.

As one inmate told the television station: “I got bit all over my body, my legs, my chest, my back my arms … I’m constantly scratching because the cream that they gave me is not working.”

The state says it’s using pesticides to cure the problem, and that the infestation has been confined to one section of the jail that houses 120 inmates.

Some inmates have already contacted attorneys, who are considering legal action.

Check out the full story here.

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Photo: Bed bugs feasting on human flesh (Via Flickr courtesy of Medill DC).

—Nick Grube

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On Tap at the Hawaii Legislature: April 11

civilbeat:

A selective list of bills, resolutions, hearings, briefings and events for Friday at the state Capitol. Click here for more.

Confirmations:

Briefings:

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Photo: Hawaii state Capitol. (Civil Beat)

—Chad Blair

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Reps. Mizuno, Hashem Hold Fundraisers During Session

civilbeat:

State Rep. John Mizuno, the House vice speaker, is holding a campaign fundraiser tonight at Mandaly. The suggested donation is $50.

State Rep. Mark Hashem, a fellow Democrat, is also holding a campaign fundraiser tonight at Mandalay for $50 a head.

As previously reported, two other House Dems are at Mandalay tonight for the same reason. Chow down on the wontons and write those checks!

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Photo: Cash call. (Tax Credits)

—Chad Blair

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Big Island Elections Official May Keep Job While Running for Office

civilbeat:

From the Hawaii Tribune-Herald:

Maile David can keep her position as deputy county clerk while running for County Council, the Board of Ethics voted Wednesday after hearing about certain “shields” put in place to protect the integrity of the election.

David has pulled papers for Council District 6, currently represented by the term-limited Brenda Ford. The district covers South Kona and Ka‘u. David, who ran unsuccessfully for council in 2010 and 2012 before she became deputy clerk, is joined in the race so far by potential candidates Fred Fogel and Richard Eugene Abbett. Read more.

And here’s the latest in other neighbor isle gov’t, biz, culture and politics:

Hardy Street reconstruction plan set

Contents of bills gutted, replaced

Kauai helicopter business owner dies in crash

Bill would provide construction financing for West Maui Hospital

Pflueger sentencing delayed — again

Whale tales: Students set sail for biology class research

DLNR responds to Keauhou lawsuit

Bail at $400,000 for Maui man charged in child sexual assault

Flight program bill advances

Ordnance prompts Kahului evacuation and road closure

Kauai Historical Society series: The Home of Hula

DLNR chairman says Big Island projects ongoing

Anaergia in negotiations with MECO on Mahinahina project

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Photo: Heading toward South Kona. (Blake Handley)

—Chad Blair

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