March 2017

March 24, 2017

Virginia Judge Sides With Trump On Travel Ban Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Virginia Judge Sides With Trump On Travel Ban

Still, key parts of the order remain on hold by rulings issued in Hawaii and Maryland.

Hawaii Dems Take Victory Lap Over Demise Of ‘TrumpCare’ Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Hawaii Dems Take Victory Lap Over Demise Of ‘TrumpCare’

“This victory is proof that TrumpCare was never on the level,” said Sen. Brian Schatz.

Will This Be The Year For Tax Breaks For The Poor? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Will This Be The Year For Tax Breaks For The Poor?

Bills that have sailed through the Legislature so far would boost taxes on the wealthy to pay for tax breaks for low-income families.

Hawaii Teacher: Stalled Contract Talks Are Prompting Whispers Of A Strike Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Teacher: Stalled Contract Talks Are Prompting Whispers Of A Strike

The current teacher contract negotiations invoke memories of 2001, the last time teachers went on strike.

 

Tad Bartimus: The Hana Highway Has Become A Vehicle Dumping Ground Courtesy: Maui County

Tad Bartimus: The Hana Highway Has Become A Vehicle Dumping Ground

The number of abandoned vehicles on Maui has tripled in the last four years. You can see a number of them along the road to Hana.

March 23, 2017

New Trump ‘Extreme Vetting’ Directive Aimed At Those Seeking Visas Cory Lum/Civil Beat

New Trump ‘Extreme Vetting’ Directive Aimed At Those Seeking Visas

It’s unclear how the new screening policy, which includes a social media check, will affect foreign tourists and others coming to the islands.

Maui Energy Conference: ‘What Type Of Place Are We Trying To Create?’ Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

Maui Energy Conference: ‘What Type Of Place Are We Trying To Create?’

Experts discussed Hawaii’s move away from fossil fuels amid buzz about another potential buyer for Hawaiian Electric.

House Committee Kills ‘Aid In Dying’ Measure Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

House Committee Kills ‘Aid In Dying’ Measure

After several failures in previous years, another bill to establish medical aid is effectively dead.

Lawmaker Kills Bill To Limit Payday Loan Interest Rates Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Lawmaker Kills Bill To Limit Payday Loan Interest Rates

Hawaii payday lenders will continue to be able to charge an annual interest rate of 459 percent.

Did Honolulu Cops Issue Fake Tickets Or Did The Honolulu Prosecutor Make Up The Story? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Did Honolulu Cops Issue Fake Tickets Or Did The Honolulu Prosecutor Make Up The Story?

The mysterious case of “ghost” traffic tickets is getting more curious as several defense attorneys push the Honolulu prosecutor’s office to turn over the evidence.

Bret Yager: Scientists Say There’s Hope For Dying Ohia Trees Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Bret Yager: Scientists Say There’s Hope For Dying Ohia Trees

The deadly fungus is continuing to sweep through the forest but new containment practices are promising.

Tad Bartimus: The Road To Hana Is Sometimes Paved With Bad Intentions Courtesy: Maui County

Tad Bartimus: The Road To Hana Is Sometimes Paved With Bad Intentions

Some vehicles left behind by motorists with car trouble are vandalized. To make matters worse, emergency call boxes frequently don’t work.

March 22, 2017

Why Hawaii Must Become More Energy Resilient Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

Why Hawaii Must Become More Energy Resilient

Speakers at the Maui Energy Conference posed questions about what type of life the state wants to create for its citizens as it adapts.

Council OK’s Bill Eliminating Cap On Rail Money Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Council OK’s Bill Eliminating Cap On Rail Money

City council members say the measure will help satisfy federal officials concerns over a spending cap.

House Restores Honolulu Rail Tax — For Now Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

House Restores Honolulu Rail Tax — For Now

But Senate Bill 1183 faces a high hurdle in making it past the House Finance Committee.

Denby Fawcett: State Sweeps Diamond Head Homeless Denby Fawcett/Civil Beat

Denby Fawcett: State Sweeps Diamond Head Homeless

Seven illegal campers were cited and tons of trash was hauled off the Hawaii landmark.

Hawaii Republican Quits Party After Criticizing Trump Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Hawaii Republican Quits Party After Criticizing Trump

State Rep. Beth Fukumoto will seek to join Democrats because she says she no longer has much in common with the GOP.

Denby Fawcett: The Disappointing Prosecution Of The Albatross Killers Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Denby Fawcett: The Disappointing Prosecution Of The Albatross Killers

Despite the particularly cruel circumstances surrounding the case, it looks like the alleged bird killers will get off easy.

Illegal Care Homes Are A Growing Problem In Hawaii Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Illegal Care Homes Are A Growing Problem In Hawaii

The operators of residential care facilities want lawmakers to crack down on what’s being called a growing consumer protection issue.

A Better Way To Meet Hawaii’s Needs: Invest In Nature Cory Lum/Civil Beat

A Better Way To Meet Hawaii’s Needs: Invest In Nature

Nature is essential to our well-being, and it offers solutions to some of the greatest economic and security challenges we face.

Civil Beat Wins Award For Series On Tourist Deaths Marina Riker/Civil Beat

Civil Beat Wins Award For Series On Tourist Deaths

The “Dying For Vacation” series continues to spin off into other stories that are having big impact in the islands.

March 21, 2017

Search For New Schools’ Chief Continues To Raise Concerns Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Search For New Schools’ Chief Continues To Raise Concerns

Most people testifying at an education board meeting Tuesday questioned the process.

Pedestrian Death Could Cost Honolulu Taxpayers $900K Department of Environmental Services

Pedestrian Death Could Cost Honolulu Taxpayers $900K

An elderly woman was hit by a garbage truck, and the lawsuit contends the city fails to train and supervise its refuse truck drivers.

Hawaii Asks Judge To Double Down Against Trump’s Travel Ban Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Hawaii Asks Judge To Double Down Against Trump’s Travel Ban

Attorneys for the state say the temporary restraining order should now be a longer-term stay that lasts until the case is fully decided.

Lawmaker Blows Smoke At Teen Lobbyists Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Lawmaker Blows Smoke At Teen Lobbyists

Supporters, including many teens, are upset that a key lawmaker won’t even meet with them to talk about the legislation.

Gabbard: Decriminalize Marijuana At The Federal Level C-SPAN

Gabbard: Decriminalize Marijuana At The Federal Level

The Hawaii congresswoman says “outdated policies on marijuana are having devastating ripple effects on individuals and communities across the country.”

Health Beat: How To Cut The High Cost Of Medicine Flickr: Sharyn Morrow

Health Beat: How To Cut The High Cost Of Medicine

Amid the furor over repealing and replacing Obamacare, why is no one talking about the ridiculous prices of prescriptions?

Sunshine Week: The Aloha State Still Struggles With Transparency Screenshot

Sunshine Week: The Aloha State Still Struggles With Transparency

When the government won’t talk to you, the documents will. Eventually.

Why All Those Tourists Are Actually Good For Hawaii Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Why All Those Tourists Are Actually Good For Hawaii

Hawaiian Airlines’ top executive Mark Dunkerley believes visitor spending is what’s going to make up for federal budget cuts.

March 20, 2017

Hawaii Rep Creagan Revives Pesticide Disclosure Bill Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Rep Creagan Revives Pesticide Disclosure Bill

The representative from the Big Island also wants to fund a study of the impact of chlorpyrifos on pregnant women in Hawaii.

Report: Rail Could Save Big With Private Financing Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Report: Rail Could Save Big With Private Financing

The report, commissioned by the Ulupono Initiative, suggests a new kind of contracting for finishing the troubled project

Hirono: Gorsuch Has Pattern Of Ignoring ‘The Little Guy’ U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono

Hirono: Gorsuch Has Pattern Of Ignoring ‘The Little Guy’

The Hawaii senator told the Supreme Court nominee, “For me, this hearing is about the people in this country who are getting screwed every single second, minute, and hour of the day.”

Reader Rep: Journalists Rely Too Much On Canned Statements Civil Beat

Reader Rep: Journalists Rely Too Much On Canned Statements

How sources respond in writing should be the starting point for reporters, not the end product.

Aid-In-Dying: It’s About Defining Choice Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Aid-In-Dying: It’s About Defining Choice

We must at least allow our loved ones the opportunity to think for themselves.

Hawaii Learned Its Lesson On Discrimination 75 Years Ago Caleb Hartsfield/Civil Beat

Hawaii Learned Its Lesson On Discrimination 75 Years Ago

Our history with Japanese internment camps makes support for the travel ban all the more insulting.

Will Tiny Homes Help Big Island Farmers? Courtesy of One Island Sustainable Living

Will Tiny Homes Help Big Island Farmers?

Providing housing for farm workers is one way to attract employees.

Money Saving Measures That Make Sense Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Money Saving Measures That Make Sense

Two bills addressing pensions and retire health care can save hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

The 5 Stages of Opening the Rear Door On The Bus

The 5 Stages of Opening the Rear Door On The Bus

Regular bus riders will get this one right away.

Denby Fawcett: Emotional Support Chickens Are Ruffling Feathers National Service Animal Registry

Denby Fawcett: Emotional Support Chickens Are Ruffling Feathers

A rise in questionable emotional support animals is concerning to condo associations and businesses that must accommodate them.

Why It’s So Hard To Eat Healthy In Hawaii If You’re Poor Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Why It’s So Hard To Eat Healthy In Hawaii If You’re Poor

Making local produce more available can feed the stomachs and nurture the cultures of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.

March 19, 2017

Hawaii Judge Refuses To Narrow His Ruling Against Travel Ban Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Hawaii Judge Refuses To Narrow His Ruling Against Travel Ban

Federal judge Derrick Watson issued a short decision Sunday saying his original order was perfectly clear.

March 17, 2017

VIDEO: Meet The Man Taking On Donald Trump Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

VIDEO: Meet The Man Taking On Donald Trump

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin is making national headlines as the guy who — so far — has stopped the president’s travel ban before it even got started.

Honolulu To Pay $100K For Sewage Spill That Closed Waikiki Beach Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Honolulu To Pay $100K For Sewage Spill That Closed Waikiki Beach

Honolulu says it will upgrade its procedures for handling storm water discharges two years after massive sewage overflows made national headlines.

Waianae Contra-Flow Lane Was A Terrible Idea Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Waianae Contra-Flow Lane Was A Terrible Idea

The commute to the Leeward Coast from virtually anywhere else on the island was against traffic — until now.

Derrick Watson: An Apolitical Judge Caught In A Partisan Firestorm U.S. District Court

Derrick Watson: An Apolitical Judge Caught In A Partisan Firestorm

Acquaintances call the federal judge from Honolulu reserved and unemotional. But he’s under attack from the president and his supporters.

In Search of Hawaii’s Mysterious False Killer Whales Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

In Search of Hawaii’s Mysterious False Killer Whales

A team of researchers sets sail to learn more about the plight of rare dolphins who have been known to share their food with humans.

March 16, 2017

Trump’s Initial Budget Proposal Is Meeting Resistance From Both Parties Wikimedia Commons

Trump’s Initial Budget Proposal Is Meeting Resistance From Both Parties

Hawaii’s delegation says the budget as it stands now is bad for Hawaii.

Low-Income Tenants Ask State To Keep Their Housing Affordable Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Low-Income Tenants Ask State To Keep Their Housing Affordable

The case of a Maui apartment complex raises the question: What happens when an affordable housing requirement expires?

Man Takes Plea Deal In Kaena Point Albatross Killings Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Man Takes Plea Deal In Kaena Point Albatross Killings

Christian Gutierrez pleaded no contest Thursday to five criminal counts, but 14 others were dropped.

Trump Supporters Want To #BoycottHawaii

Trump Supporters Want To #BoycottHawaii

After a Hawaii judge blocked the president’s revised travel ban, the internet is having a field day.

How To Save Money And Salvage The Rail Cory Lum/Civil Beat

How To Save Money And Salvage The Rail

Running street level rail from Middle Street through downtown can be done with the $6.8 billion in existing funding.

Neal Milner: How Hawaii Lawmakers Magically Make Bills Disappear Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Neal Milner: How Hawaii Lawmakers Magically Make Bills Disappear

When it comes down to crunch time, the Legislature works in more darkness than a coal miner with a busted headlamp.

Aloha Spirit Alive And Well In Hilo Denise Laitinen

Aloha Spirit Alive And Well In Hilo

Here on the Big Island, we really do have aloha spirit.

Counties To Track Equipment Used In Snorkeling Deaths Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Counties To Track Equipment Used In Snorkeling Deaths

A woman’s drowning spurs officials to consider the possible hidden dangers of full-face snorkeling masks.

March 15, 2017

GOP Could Reverse Protection Of Papahanaumokuakea Courtesy: NOAA

GOP Could Reverse Protection Of Papahanaumokuakea

Some Republican House members want Trump to reopen marine monuments to commercial fishing.

Hawaii House Sends ‘Prudent’ State Budget To Senate Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii House Sends ‘Prudent’ State Budget To Senate

A flat revenue stream means lawmakers had to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the governor’s initial proposal.

Hawaii Judge Halts Trump’s Travel Ban Nationwide Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Judge Halts Trump’s Travel Ban Nationwide

UPDATED: Judge Derrick Watson ruled “the executive order was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion.”

Ian Lind: Hawaiian Activist Was Right All Along, Supreme Court Rules PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Ian Lind: Hawaiian Activist Was Right All Along, Supreme Court Rules

Laulani Teale persisted in proclaiming her innocence for nearly five years after her arrest for approaching the Honolulu mayor.

What Senators Should Ask Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Sen. Claire McCaskill's office

What Senators Should Ask Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee

Here are three timely and vital questions that Neil Gorsuch needs to answer before his confirmation vote.

Why Federal Budget Cuts Are Likely To Hit Hawaii Hard Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Why Federal Budget Cuts Are Likely To Hit Hawaii Hard

Impacts are expected in education, consumer protection, environmental initiatives, science research and health care.

Will House Allow Payday Lenders To Keep Charging 459 Percent Interest? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Will House Allow Payday Lenders To Keep Charging 459 Percent Interest?

The Senate passed a bill to reduce the interest rates of payday loan companies, but House leaders aren’t saying what they’ll do.

March 14, 2017

Travel Ban Challenged In 3 Cities Wednesday — Including Honolulu Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Travel Ban Challenged In 3 Cities Wednesday — Including Honolulu

A local hearing is scheduled to begin six hours after one in Maryland and 90 minutes before another in Seattle.

Help Wanted: Panels On Ethics, Campaigns Need Volunteers Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Help Wanted: Panels On Ethics, Campaigns Need Volunteers

Hawaii’s Judicial Council has extended for a second time this year the deadline to apply to be a board commissioner.

Hawaii Delegates: ‘Trumpcare’ A Bad Deal For Americans U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz

Hawaii Delegates: ‘Trumpcare’ A Bad Deal For Americans

Sen. Schatz calls the proposed GOP replacement for Obamacare “one of the worst pieces of legislation I’ve seen in decades.”

Why Bitcoin Access Has Been Shut Down In Hawaii Getty Images

Why Bitcoin Access Has Been Shut Down In Hawaii

The regulatory environment for new technology signals that doing business in Hawaii comes with unnecessary hassles and risks.

Democratic Attorneys General Are Banding Together Against Trump Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Democratic Attorneys General Are Banding Together Against Trump

It’s not uncommon for the top state lawyers to push back against whichever opposing political party holds the White House.

Denby Fawcett: Park Bench Donations Are Surprisingly Controversial Denby Fawcett/Civil Beat

Denby Fawcett: Park Bench Donations Are Surprisingly Controversial

There are a lot of donated benches in Honolulu parks, but not everyone thinks that’s a good idea.

March 13, 2017

Battle Lines Drawn In Hawaii’s Case Against Trump Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Battle Lines Drawn In Hawaii’s Case Against Trump

Responding to the state’s challenge of the new travel ban, the administration argues it has the authority and Hawaii can prove no harm.

School Chief Search Resumes After Candidate Withdraws Cory Lum/Civil Beat

School Chief Search Resumes After Candidate Withdraws

The Board of Education says grant money to help pay for the search is also back on track after Darrel Galera backed out.