April 2017

April 23, 2017

Honolulu March For Science Draws Nearly 1,000 Protestors Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Honolulu March For Science Draws Nearly 1,000 Protestors

As part of protests across the country, the crowd marched from the University of Hawaii to Moiliili Park Saturday in opposition to Trump administration policies.

Tom Yamachika: Hospital Severance Plan Imperils Retirement System Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Tom Yamachika: Hospital Severance Plan Imperils Retirement System

The IRS says the governor was right: A bill to help workers at hospitals getting privatized could affect all ERS beneficiaries.

April 22, 2017

Attack By North Korea Unlikely, Hanabusa Tells Town Hall Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Attack By North Korea Unlikely, Hanabusa Tells Town Hall

At another in a series of town halls held by congressional delegates visiting Hawaii, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa disputed Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s account of risk to Hawaii from North Korea.

April 21, 2017

Committee Rejects Governor’s Choice For Utilities Commission Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Committee Rejects Governor’s Choice For Utilities Commission

UPDATED But the full Senate will ultimately decide whether Tom Gorak’s appointment to the PUC will be confirmed.

Cayetano To Trump: Cut Honolulu Rail Funds Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Cayetano To Trump: Cut Honolulu Rail Funds

UPDATE: The former Hawaii governor is asking the president to withhold $800 million in federal money for the rail project.

Health Beat: Why We All Need Health Savings Accounts Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Health Beat: Why We All Need Health Savings Accounts

The Hawaii Legislature wants to make the accounts available to those who buy catastrophic insurance coverage. Why not expand them?

Hirono Has $1 Million On Hand For Likely Senate Re-election Bid John Hook/Civil Beat

Hirono Has $1 Million On Hand For Likely Senate Re-election Bid

Sen. Brian Schatz, whose term is not up until 2022, has $2.2 million in campaign cash, according to Federal Election Commission records.

April 20, 2017

Judge Blocks Access To AG Investigation Of Hawaii Auditor Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Judge Blocks Access To AG Investigation Of Hawaii Auditor

Civil Beat had sued to get access to the records, but a state judge ruled Thursday that they’re confidential.

5 Reasons Jeff Sessions Might Be Right About Hawaii Cory Lum/Civil Beat

5 Reasons Jeff Sessions Might Be Right About Hawaii

What could anyone “sitting on an island in the Pacific” possibly know about being an American?

Hawaii Senate To Propose 10-Year Extension On Rail Tax Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Senate To Propose 10-Year Extension On Rail Tax

But Honolulu would receive a smaller share of the surcharge while some money goes to the state highway fund. Will the House go for it?

Attorney General Sessions’ Criticism Of Hawaii Judge Draws Fire Flickr: Gage Skidmore

Attorney General Sessions’ Criticism Of Hawaii Judge Draws Fire

Hirono, Schatz are among those denouncing the attorney general’s remarks about “a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific.”

Tad Bartimus: Museum Exhibit Honors Renowned Maui Poet And Gardener Courtesy of Cicala Filmworks

Tad Bartimus: Museum Exhibit Honors Renowned Maui Poet And Gardener

Prolific author William Merwin transformed a scrub pineapple field into a world-famous palm garden near Haiku.

Police Commission May Be Short-Changing Cops In Need Of Attorneys Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Police Commission May Be Short-Changing Cops In Need Of Attorneys

One Honolulu police commissioner thinks some officers should have had taxpayer-funded lawyers but didn’t.

Competing Airbnb Bills Set Off Lobbying Battle Screenshot

Competing Airbnb Bills Set Off Lobbying Battle

A  bill letting online brokers serve as tax collectors is likely to pass, but lawmakers are still debating giving local governments more enforcement power.

Coast Guard Budget Cuts Could Mean Fewer Rescues In Hawaii Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Coast Guard Budget Cuts Could Mean Fewer Rescues In Hawaii

The service’s District 14 is a lifeline for the islands. All coastal states are concerned, but Hawaii would be hit the hardest.

April 19, 2017

Six New Rat Lungworm Cases Reported In Hawaii Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Six New Rat Lungworm Cases Reported In Hawaii

As many as six people on the Big Island may have contracted the parasitic infection after drinking a homemade kava brew.

Honolulu Closer To Outfitting Officers With Body Cameras Flickr: West Midlands Police

Honolulu Closer To Outfitting Officers With Body Cameras

Acting Chief Cary Okimoto told the Police Commission that 20 officers will begin using the technology before the end of the year.

Hawaii Legislators Make Headway On State Budget Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Legislators Make Headway On State Budget

But differences in funding priorities remain, as do hot-button bills on paying for rail and education.

Ian Lind: Union Says Suspensions Shouldn’t Stop Prison Guard Promotions Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Ian Lind: Union Says Suspensions Shouldn’t Stop Prison Guard Promotions

The United Public Workers has fought a state promotion policy for years, and now the case is going to the Hawaii Supreme Court.

Waimanalo Gym Closure Leaves A Town Feeling Sidelined Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Waimanalo Gym Closure Leaves A Town Feeling Sidelined

Residents are frustrated by the long wait to start a $3.12 million repair job on the damaged gym, which was a “safe haven” for kids.

Homelessness: A Lot Of Talk But No ‘Game-Changer’ At The Legislature Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Homelessness: A Lot Of Talk But No ‘Game-Changer’ At The Legislature

Some bills are still alive, with their fate to be decided in conference committees.

April 18, 2017

New Federal Law Enhances Tsunami Detection Measures Chad Blair/Civil Beat

New Federal Law Enhances Tsunami Detection Measures

Sweeping weather legislation sponsored by Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz is signed into law by President Trump.

Deal Reached In Dispute Over Waimea River Water Diversion Courtesy: John Rusk/Flickr

Deal Reached In Dispute Over Waimea River Water Diversion

A 4-year-old case ends in an agreement to restore water for Hawaiians, renewable energy, agriculture and the environment.

Leave Papahanaumokuakea Protections In Place Caleb Hartsfield/Civil Beat

Leave Papahanaumokuakea Protections In Place

The marine monument is more important as an environmental preserve than it is as a commercial fishing ground.

Campaign Cash Flowing To Hawaii’s Congresswomen Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Campaign Cash Flowing To Hawaii’s Congresswomen

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has amassed $2 million, while Rep. Colleen Hanabusa has about an eighth of that.

Denby Fawcett: How Hawaii’s Lei Sellers Helped The War Effort Courtesy of Sarah Razee

Denby Fawcett: How Hawaii’s Lei Sellers Helped The War Effort

They toiled alongside fish net weavers and artists to make camouflage products in a Kalihi factory. Now they’re the subject of a museum exhibit.

Hawaii Police Agencies Struggle To Equip Officers With Body Cameras Nick Grube/Civil Beat

Hawaii Police Agencies Struggle To Equip Officers With Body Cameras

Only one department — the smallest — has had any luck with implementing the technology. So what’s taking so long everywhere else?

April 17, 2017

Schatz Optimistic About Resistance To Trump Agenda In DC Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Schatz Optimistic About Resistance To Trump Agenda In DC

The senator’s Honolulu town hall drew about 400 people, signaling what he said was growing political activism since Trump’s election.

The Fight Over Papahanaumokuakea Just Escalated Courtesy: Wespac

The Fight Over Papahanaumokuakea Just Escalated

It’s not just Wespac that’s lobbying President Trump to undo marine monument protections in the Pacific.

Should Hawaii Defy Trump On Immigration Enforcement? Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Should Hawaii Defy Trump On Immigration Enforcement?

Lawmakers are debating whether Hawaii should join communities balking at cooperating with the crackdown on criminal immigrants.

What Your Lawmakers Are Getting Away With Cory Lum/Civil Beat

What Your Lawmakers Are Getting Away With

There are even more tax increases than usual making their way through the Hawaii Legislature.

VIDEO: The Creepy Collaboration That Creates Rat Lungworm Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

VIDEO: The Creepy Collaboration That Creates Rat Lungworm

A UH professor describes how the trouble starts with rats and snails or slugs, but he also tells you how to avoid the parasitic worms.

Reader Rep: Why Hawaii Media Need To Better Serve The Visually Impaired Anita Hofschneider/Civil Beat

Reader Rep: Why Hawaii Media Need To Better Serve The Visually Impaired

The technology exists to make our coverage more accessible to all. This isn’t about special treatment, it’s about equality.

April 16, 2017

Gabbard Focuses On North Korea Amid Questions About Syria Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Gabbard Focuses On North Korea Amid Questions About Syria

At her most contentious of three town hall meetings so far, the congresswoman tells her Kailua audience that Hawaii is in the “crosshairs.”

Tom Yamachika: Carnival Just One Of The Casualties When Harbor Fees Rise Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Tom Yamachika: Carnival Just One Of The Casualties When Harbor Fees Rise

Wharfage fees charged by the state have gone up dramatically, with more increases planned. This raises costs for everyone.

April 14, 2017

How The Peer Review Report On Rail Helps HART Cory Lum/Civil Beat

How The Peer Review Report On Rail Helps HART

Honolulu rail’s executive director explains how the work of experts who reviewed the project will help resolve some of the concerns that have been raised.

How Workers – Not Companies – Bear The Growing Burden Of Government Fotalia

How Workers – Not Companies – Bear The Growing Burden Of Government

Republicans are pushing to decrease corporate taxes, but they already represent a decreasing share of federal revenue.

Da Best Musubi

Da Best Musubi

There are many variables of this Hawaiian food, but there’s really no improving on the basic.

April 13, 2017

Gabbard Draws Cordial But Subdued Crowd On Lanai Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Gabbard Draws Cordial But Subdued Crowd On Lanai

The Hawaii congresswoman’s town hall tour of the islands continued Thursday night.

100,000 Pounds Of Debris Hauled Out Of Papahanaumokuakea Courtesy: NOAA

100,000 Pounds Of Debris Hauled Out Of Papahanaumokuakea

The marine junk from the reefs and shores of Midway and Kure atolls was brought to Honolulu, where it will be incinerated.

Why Tom Gorak’s Appointment To The PUC May Be In Trouble Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Why Tom Gorak’s Appointment To The PUC May Be In Trouble

As the legislative session nears its end, a committee hearing has not been scheduled on the nomination.

Kauai Police Chief Says He’s Applied For Honolulu Chief Job Nick Grube/Civil Beat

Kauai Police Chief Says He’s Applied For Honolulu Chief Job

Darryl Perry, who worked at HPD for 30 years, applied for the job to be Honolulu’s next chief of police. His says his first priority is restoring community trust in the department.

Will Popular Big Island Trail Someday Get Toilets? Flikr.com/Forest and Kim Starr

Will Popular Big Island Trail Someday Get Toilets?

Big Island activists have for years unsuccessfully prodded officials to install toilets on the ancient Kaawaloa trail to the Captain Cook Monument.

Stripping Lifeguards Of Immunity Would Be A Perilous Mistake

Stripping Lifeguards Of Immunity Would Be A Perilous Mistake

The Hawaii Senate passed a bill to extend liability protection, but that was before a lawyers’ organization got ahold of it.

San Francisco Uses Conservative Playbook To Sue Over ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Paul Hohmenn/Flickr.com

San Francisco Uses Conservative Playbook To Sue Over ‘Sanctuary Cities’

When a Democrat was president, a Montana sheriff successfully sued to avoid having to enforce federal gun laws.

Hawaii Film About Transgender Woman Is At Center Of Federal Debate "Kumu Hina" (2014)

Hawaii Film About Transgender Woman Is At Center Of Federal Debate

Trump wants to eliminate money for public broadcasting, and support for “Kumu Hina” is cited as one reason for the budget cut.

Is Anyone Paying Attention To The Blaisdell Center Makeover? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Is Anyone Paying Attention To The Blaisdell Center Makeover?

The citizens who own the Blaisdell center need to step up and make their voices heard.

April 12, 2017

Counties Pressure State To Protect Lifeguards From Lawsuits Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Counties Pressure State To Protect Lifeguards From Lawsuits

Hawaii’s four mayors and county council members say the latest draft of a liability bill still puts lifeguards and beachgoers at risk.

Hawaii Set To Roll Back Nation’s Toughest Drug Paraphernalia Laws Steven Depolo/Flickr.com

Hawaii Set To Roll Back Nation’s Toughest Drug Paraphernalia Laws

A bill decriminalizing the possession or sale of pipes, bongs and other drug paraphernalia is cruising through the Legislature, despite strong opposition from prosecutors.

Ian Lind: Why Condo Associations Are Sweating After A Judge’s Ruling Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Ian Lind: Why Condo Associations Are Sweating After A Judge’s Ruling

Improper foreclosure procedures were sometimes used, a federal judge found, and the stakes could be staggeringly high.

VIDEO: For This Waitress, A $400 Tip Was Just The Beginning Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

VIDEO: For This Waitress, A $400 Tip Was Just The Beginning

A couple from Australia took a liking to a Waikiki food server who waited on them. Now they say they’ll pay her college tuition.

Protecting Ka Iwi And The Future Of Maunalua Courtesy Greg Knudsen

Protecting Ka Iwi And The Future Of Maunalua

Celebrating a years-long effort that finally came true.

April 11, 2017

Under Fire In DC, Gabbard Is Still A Hit On The Big Island Kirstin Downey/Civil Beat

Under Fire In DC, Gabbard Is Still A Hit On The Big Island

About 400 people turn out for the congresswoman’s town hall, and seem unconcerned about her controversial stands on Syria.

Honolulu Climate Change Office Hasn’t Opened, But It’s Already Shrinking Natanya Freidheim/Civil Beat

Honolulu Climate Change Office Hasn’t Opened, But It’s Already Shrinking

Budget Committee looks for spending cuts as Mayor Caldwell broaches possibility of raising property taxes for rail construction.

House Legislators Clash Over Bill To Trim Judges’ Pensions Cory Lum/Civil Beat

House Legislators Clash Over Bill To Trim Judges’ Pensions

Meanwhile, bills advanced to fund Honolulu rail, clarify control over roads and make it easier to treat mentally ill patients against their will.

Lawmakers May Put Brakes On Hawaii’s Aquarium Fish Industry FromSandToGlass/Flickr

Lawmakers May Put Brakes On Hawaii’s Aquarium Fish Industry

A bill nixing all new permits for aquarium fishing and requiring the state to establish sustainable collection practices and limits is being considered by legislators.

Working To Save The Ka Iwi Coastline Kendrick Chang

Working To Save The Ka Iwi Coastline

Ka Iwi preservation perpetuates a community’s legacy for its next environmental stewards.

 

Honolulu Police Should Work With The Press, Not Hide From It Caleb Hartsfield/Civil Beat

Honolulu Police Should Work With The Press, Not Hide From It

HPD doesn’t need a public relations consultant. It just needs to develop a better relationship with the local media.

Ridding Lehua Island Of Rats Is A Potentially Dangerous Challenge Department of Land and Natural Resources

Ridding Lehua Island Of Rats Is A Potentially Dangerous Challenge

The seabird sanctuary near Niihau is home to rats that officials would like to eradicate — if they can do it safely.

AG: Hawaii Senate Improperly Withheld Testimony From Public Cory Lum/Civil Beat

AG: Hawaii Senate Improperly Withheld Testimony From Public

An attorney general opinion says legislators cannot censor public testimony about proposed bills. But they did just that.

Hawaii Congressional Delegation: Let’s Talk Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Congressional Delegation: Let’s Talk

Make plans to attend one of the town halls scheduled in the islands over the next two weeks.

Denby Fawcett: Eye In The Sky Tracks Diamond Head Homeless Encampments Courtesy of Department of Land and Natural Resources

Denby Fawcett: Eye In The Sky Tracks Diamond Head Homeless Encampments

The state is using a new drone and GPS mapping to thwart people who return to camp illegally after a three-day sweep last month.

April 10, 2017

Meet Civil Beat’s New Managing Editor Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Meet Civil Beat’s New Managing Editor

Jim Simon is an award-winning veteran journalist who is joining us after a successful career at The Seattle Times.

Counties Threaten To Pull Lifeguards Over Fear Of Lawsuits Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

Counties Threaten To Pull Lifeguards Over Fear Of Lawsuits

The Legislature is debating whether to extend limited liability protections for lifeguards over the objections of a group of personal injury lawyers.

Should Honolulu’s New Police Chief Be An Insider Or An Outsider? Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

Should Honolulu’s New Police Chief Be An Insider Or An Outsider?

The police union leader is pushing for someone already in the ranks. But others, including law enforcement experts, say new blood might be the best.

Tad Bartimus: Rat Lungworm Disease Threatens Tiny Hana Dean Wariner

Tad Bartimus: Rat Lungworm Disease Threatens Tiny Hana

Many of the town’s residents spent hours at a public meeting last week to learn how obscure garden slugs are posing a major health hazard.

Reader Rep: Hawaii Journalists Could Learn From This Kansas High School Class Screen shot

Reader Rep: Hawaii Journalists Could Learn From This Kansas High School Class

These high school reporters unmasked their principal by digging deep. Local reporters too often take the easy way, including copying others work.

Why Did Trump Decide To Bomb Syria? Getty Images

Why Did Trump Decide To Bomb Syria?

Was it a calculated political distraction, the act of a schoolyard bully or something else entirely?

Pod Squad: Meet The New Leader Of Oahu Republicans Chad Blair/Civil Beat

Pod Squad: Meet The New Leader Of Oahu Republicans

Brett Kulbis talks about revitalizing Hawaii’s minority party and the recent defection of Rep. Beth Fukumoto to the Democrats.

April 09, 2017

Tom Yamachika: Sorting Out Tax Exemptions, Deductions And Credits www.LendingMemo.com

Tom Yamachika: Sorting Out Tax Exemptions, Deductions And Credits

You might want to review the differences before you put the finishing touches on your tax returns.