February 2017

February 24, 2017

Bill Clamps Down On State’s Habit Of Segregating Inmates Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Bill Clamps Down On State’s Habit Of Segregating Inmates

A proposal to reduce the use of and length of inmate isolation is headed for a vote of the full Hawaii Senate.

Tad Bartimus: A Piece of Maui History Gets A Million-Dollar Makeover Tad Bartimus/Civil Beat

Tad Bartimus: A Piece of Maui History Gets A Million-Dollar Makeover

Along a remote stretch of the Piilani Highway, a small town comes together to restore a schoolhouse and teacher’s cottage.

No New Housing For Hawaiians Despite Millions In The Bank Cory Lum/Civil Beat

No New Housing For Hawaiians Despite Millions In The Bank

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands comes under fire for not providing any new housing units last fiscal year.

Anti-Trump Movement Urges Hawaii Politicians To Take A Stand Indivisible Hawaii

Anti-Trump Movement Urges Hawaii Politicians To Take A Stand

Members of a new hui called Indivisible Hawaii are letting the state’s congressional delegation know they are worried about the country.

Hawaii Must Protect Residents From Pesticide Drift Zeynel Cebeci/Wikimedia Commons

Hawaii Must Protect Residents From Pesticide Drift

County council members throughout the islands say it’s now the state’s kuleana to act after a federal appeals court rejected local regulation efforts.

The Projector: HPD’s New Recruits

The Projector: HPD’s New Recruits

After six months of training, 17 people graduate to begin their careers with the Honolulu Police Department.

February 23, 2017

Debate Hawaii: No More Money For Honolulu Rail Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Debate Hawaii: No More Money For Honolulu Rail

Why lawmakers should oppose raising or extending the GET to pay for the Honolulu rail project.

Bill Would Require Recounts In Close Hawaii Elections Eugene Tanner/Civil Beat

Bill Would Require Recounts In Close Hawaii Elections

The proposal would make recounts automatic if a race’s victory margin is less than 250 votes or less than 1 percent of votes cast.

To Be A Honolulu Police Commissioner, First Be A Political Insider Eugene Tanner/Civil Beat

To Be A Honolulu Police Commissioner, First Be A Political Insider

Two recent appointees have judicial experience, but they are the exceptions on a board charged with civilian oversight of a scandal-ridden police department.

Debate Hawaii: Honolulu Rail Is A Good Investment Anthony Quintano / Civil Beat

Debate Hawaii: Honolulu Rail Is A Good Investment

Extending or increasing the GET provides a measure of stability and ease.

Neal Milner: Don’t Kill The Messenger, Even If It’s Sean Spicer DonkeyHotey/Flickr.com

Neal Milner: Don’t Kill The Messenger, Even If It’s Sean Spicer

President Trump’s press secretary has it tougher than most, but spokespeople are only as good as their bosses want them to be.

February 22, 2017

More Sit-Lie Bans Advance In Honolulu City Council Cory Lum/Civil Beat

More Sit-Lie Bans Advance In Honolulu City Council

Councilman Brandon Elefante continues to oppose the idea of moving homeless people around by making it illegal to sit or lie down on some city streets.

Ex-Cop Hired By Hawaii DLNR Found Guilty Of Rape

Ex-Cop Hired By Hawaii DLNR Found Guilty Of Rape

Ethan Ferguson’s case highlighted flaws in Hawaii’s ability to keep tabs on problem police officers.

Combatting Cultures Of Youth Violence Noelle Fujii/Civil Beat

Combatting Cultures Of Youth Violence

In Hawaii, scores of youth advocates, adult mentors and community leaders work tirelessly to steer kids away from violence.

Hawaii Lawmaker Accepted Junket From Turkish Opposition Group Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Lawmaker Accepted Junket From Turkish Opposition Group

Sen. J. Kalani English is among 151 state legislators nationwide whose official travel has been tied to exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen.

How A Kakaako Mural Festival Took Hawaii’s Art Scene Global Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

How A Kakaako Mural Festival Took Hawaii’s Art Scene Global

It started in Hong Kong, but now Oahu hosts the flagship event for POW! WOW! festivals held in many cities.

Ian Lind: Count On Hawaii To Ignore Logical Prison Report Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Ian Lind: Count On Hawaii To Ignore Logical Prison Report

In the rush to build a new prison, the Legislature is likely to shunt aside the work of a task force it created just last year.

Congress: How Vulnerable Is Hawaii To Missile Attack? PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Congress: How Vulnerable Is Hawaii To Missile Attack?

One possibility is converting a test facility on Kauai into an “operational” intercept site in the face of a growing threat from North Korea.

With EPA Under Siege, Hawaii Must Protect Its Own Environment Caleb Hartsfield/Civil Beat

With EPA Under Siege, Hawaii Must Protect Its Own Environment

The federal agency often took a lead role in helping the islands deal with pollution. That’s unlikely to continue with Scott Pruitt in charge.

February 21, 2017

Ceiling Tiles Fall At Hawaii Capitol Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Ceiling Tiles Fall At Hawaii Capitol

Officials blame recent strong winds, but the tiles began to noticeably sag earlier this month.

Denby Fawcett: Protect Albatrosses Like We Protect Dogs And Cats Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Denby Fawcett: Protect Albatrosses Like We Protect Dogs And Cats

Lawmakers may stiffen the penalty for killing indigenous birds in response to the Kaena Point killings of albatrosses in 2015.

Lawmaker: Housing Bill Strikes A Blow For The Middle Class Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Lawmaker: Housing Bill Strikes A Blow For The Middle Class

Rep. Beth Fukumoto says the Legislature needs to act on housing issues to help low- and middle-income buyers.

State Needs To Step Up On Tax Reform Fotali

State Needs To Step Up On Tax Reform

Reducing taxes on low-income earners makes good tax and economic sense.

Reader Rep: Journalists Are Dropping The Ball On Some Stories sskennel/Flickr

Reader Rep: Journalists Are Dropping The Ball On Some Stories

It’s not enough to raise issues. Reporters need to keep tracking them until they are resolved.

How Hawaii Is Saving Whales From Fishermen And Tourists Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

How Hawaii Is Saving Whales From Fishermen And Tourists

A joint effort by government scientists and law enforcement officers helps whales coexist with humans in the islands.

Pod Squad: Debate Over Honolulu Rail Rolls Into Capitol Auditorium Chad Blair/Civil Beat

Pod Squad: Debate Over Honolulu Rail Rolls Into Capitol Auditorium

It’s time for some civil discourse about one of Hawaii’s key public issues. Find out what Friday’s event is all about.

February 20, 2017

Tom Yamachika: Honolulu Rail Bill Morphs Into A Monster PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Tom Yamachika: Honolulu Rail Bill Morphs Into A Monster

Bailing out the transportation project is one of innumerable proposals in the Legislature to raise taxes. Hold onto your wallet.

February 17, 2017

Bipartisan Support For VA Chief, But Can He Help Hawaii Vets? Department of Veterans Affairs

Bipartisan Support For VA Chief, But Can He Help Hawaii Vets?

Sen. Hirono addressed island veterans’ issues with David Shulkin during his confirmation hearing. The Senate approved him unanimously.

The Projector: Awash In Murals Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The Projector: Awash In Murals

Artists descend on Kakaako for the seventh POW! WOW! Hawaii street mural festival.

February 16, 2017

Caldwell Vows ‘Laser-Like’ Focus on Affordable Housing Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Caldwell Vows ‘Laser-Like’ Focus on Affordable Housing

The Honolulu mayor warns that Oahu could become a “de facto gated community.”

Hawaii Stands Ready To Challenge Trump’s Promised New Order Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Stands Ready To Challenge Trump’s Promised New Order

The president said he would rescind his earlier travel ban — now stalled in court — and instead issue another one.

Ian Lind: Tightening The Rules For Lobbyists Wikimedia Commons

Ian Lind: Tightening The Rules For Lobbyists

Lobbyists spent millions trying to influence lawmakers last year.

Donald Trump Is Not Dangerous — By Himself, That Is Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Donald Trump Is Not Dangerous — By Himself, That Is

The real danger is surrounding the president, whispering like Iago in the ear of this self-inflated reality-show blowhard.

Deedy Case: Time To Let Go Of A Case That’s Gone Nowhere

Deedy Case: Time To Let Go Of A Case That’s Gone Nowhere

The Hawaii Supreme Court should reject the prosecution’s efforts to try Christopher Deedy a third time.

February 15, 2017

Police Chief Orders Full Review Of Toddler Assault Case Courtesy of Chelsea Valiente

Police Chief Orders Full Review Of Toddler Assault Case

A criminal case may be reopened in the assault of Peyton Valiente at an Ewa Beach day care operated by a police officer’s wife.

As Two Tax Bills Advance, Honolulu Rail Has Legislators’ Attention Cory Lum/Civil Beat

As Two Tax Bills Advance, Honolulu Rail Has Legislators’ Attention

Almost all options for saving the over-budget project are still on the table as the House and Senate consider extending the GET surcharge.

Medical Aid In Dying Bill Stays Alive In Hawaii Senate Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Medical Aid In Dying Bill Stays Alive In Hawaii Senate

The proposal, which didn’t even receive a hearing last year, has cleared one committee and its prospects seem good in a second.

Will Hawaii Restrict Pesticides, Require More Disclosure From Big Ag? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Will Hawaii Restrict Pesticides, Require More Disclosure From Big Ag?

After a federal court shot down the efforts of individual counties, advocates of more regulation have only the Legislature to turn to.

Why I Support Tulsi Gabbard Going To Syria Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Why I Support Tulsi Gabbard Going To Syria

The congresswoman is a brave person willing to take the criticism for challenging U.S. policies that she believes are wrong.

US Senate Bill Calls For Better Monitoring of Volcanic Eruptions Michael Poland/USGS/HVO

US Senate Bill Calls For Better Monitoring of Volcanic Eruptions

Hawaii’s Hirono supports the measure. An expert says the lack of seismic monitoring coordination threatens public safety.

Health Beat: Remember When You Couldn’t Buy Insurance If You Were Sick? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Health Beat: Remember When You Couldn’t Buy Insurance If You Were Sick?

If insurance companies regain the power to disqualify you because of a pre-existing condition, would you be able to buy a policy?

February 14, 2017

Another Federal Injunction Issued Against Trump’s Travel Ban Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Another Federal Injunction Issued Against Trump’s Travel Ban

Meanwhile, a judge in Honolulu allows Hawaii to add another plaintiff in its suit against the Trump administration.

Minimum Wage Hike Clears Hawaii Senate Committee Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Minimum Wage Hike Clears Hawaii Senate Committee

Supporters call the current wage woefully inadequate in such an expensive state. Businesses argue $15 would be devastating.

Yes, We Can Build Our Way Out Of The Housing Shortage Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Yes, We Can Build Our Way Out Of The Housing Shortage

Only new vertical construction in urban Honolulu will relieve Oahu’s housing shortage.

Time To Legalize Pot iStock.com

Time To Legalize Pot

It’s the right thing to do and frankly we need the money.

 

Why Aren’t We Changing Waianae’s Culture Of Fistfights? Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Why Aren’t We Changing Waianae’s Culture Of Fistfights?

“Nobody seems to care,” says a man who lives near where schoolkids regularly congregate to watch two or more students duke it out.

Are Hawaii’s Wind Farms Killing Too Many Hoary Bats? Forest & Kim Starr

Are Hawaii’s Wind Farms Killing Too Many Hoary Bats?

Wind farm operators have agreed to pay for research into the impact of their facilities on Hawaii’s endangered hoary bat.

Denby Fawcett: The Donald Trump Diet Is One Way Of Coping Courtesy: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Denby Fawcett: The Donald Trump Diet Is One Way Of Coping

This columnist is making a personal sacrifice to resist the abnormal man in the White House.

February 13, 2017

Drivers May Face Higher Taxes, Fees To Maintain Highways Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Drivers May Face Higher Taxes, Fees To Maintain Highways

A bill to hike Hawaii’s fuel and vehicle weight taxes and registration fee stays afloat at the Legislature.

Measure To Stop Mayors From Moonlighting Shelved Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Measure To Stop Mayors From Moonlighting Shelved

But at least one former Honolulu mayor thinks holding a second job raises “substantive concerns about conflicts of interest.”

Big Changes In Store For Hawaii Public Radio

Big Changes In Store For Hawaii Public Radio

The National Public Radio affiliate plans a realignment of its news and music programming Tuesday.

Reader Rep: Don’t Let Trump Overshadow Local Issues Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Reader Rep: Don’t Let Trump Overshadow Local Issues

It’s easy to get caught up in the national media’s all-Trump-all-the-time coverage. But let’s keep at least one eye on Hawaii.

How Ige Plans To Cut $220 Million From His Budget Cory Lum/Civil Beat

How Ige Plans To Cut $220 Million From His Budget

Lower tax revenue means less money for state programs and services.

Why Are Hawaii Judicial Nominees Mostly Men? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Why Are Hawaii Judicial Nominees Mostly Men?

UPDATED: In part it’s because male attorneys outnumber female attorneys in the islands, and fewer women apply for judge jobs than men.

The Surprising State Of Military Unreadiness Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The Surprising State Of Military Unreadiness

“We need to tell the truth about how unready we are,” says U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The Projector: Protesters Wear What They Want Banned In ‘Trashion Show’ Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The Projector: Protesters Wear What They Want Banned In ‘Trashion Show’

Members of several environmental organizations strut their stuff as they target plastic bags and foam food containers.

The Impending Honolulu Rail Ridership Debacle Anthony Quintano / Civil Beat

The Impending Honolulu Rail Ridership Debacle

The city is no better at estimating ridership than it is at estimating costs.

Support Medical Aid In Dying Legislation Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Support Medical Aid In Dying Legislation

We need to expand compassionate choices at end of life.

February 11, 2017

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Anti-Immigrant Sentiment ‘Disheartening’ Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Anti-Immigrant Sentiment ‘Disheartening’

The U.S. Supreme Court Justice, in Honolulu for a UH law school program, spoke to high school students Saturday.

February 10, 2017

How Trump Is Working To Play Nice With Japan Cory Lum/Civil Beat

How Trump Is Working To Play Nice With Japan

Abe and his wife will visit the White House and then spend the weekend with Trump and his wife at the president’s Palm Beach golf resort.

What Do We Do With Our Elderly? Snowpeak/Flickr.com

What Do We Do With Our Elderly?

The Kupuna Caregivers Assistance Bill will give families some relief.

Mainland Students Could Be An ‘Economic Driver’ For Hawaii PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Mainland Students Could Be An ‘Economic Driver’ For Hawaii

Some lawmakers want the University of Hawaii to attract more out-of-state students who pay higher tuition as well as diversify the campuses.

Lights Out On Lanai Sally Kaye

Lights Out On Lanai

How a small island community made it through a total blackout that lasted days. And it wasn’t even a hurricane.

Hawaii Teacher: We’re Getting What We Asked For From HSTA Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Teacher: We’re Getting What We Asked For From HSTA

The unprecedented move of releasing the union’s negotiating positions — and the state’s pay offer — brings a new level of transparency.

Toddler Assault: Peyton Valiente Deserves Justice Caleb Hartsfield/Civil Beat

Toddler Assault: Peyton Valiente Deserves Justice

And the citizens of Honolulu deserve a police department that doesn’t allow special treatment for its own officers.

A Way We Can Help Hawaii’s Elders PF Bentley/Civil Beat

A Way We Can Help Hawaii’s Elders

We should teach the elderly how to use technology and media, the way we do with the younger generation.

February 09, 2017

Community Groups Urge Caldwell To Reconsider Housing Appointment Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

Community Groups Urge Caldwell To Reconsider Housing Appointment

The Caldwell administration defended the appointment of Marc Alexander, who settled a sexual abuse case last year brought by a minor.

Bills For Free UH Tuition Clear First House Committee Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Bills For Free UH Tuition Clear First House Committee

A set of bills aim to make the state pay UH tuition for needy students.

Hawaii Senate To Make Substantial Changes To Rail Tax Bill Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Senate To Make Substantial Changes To Rail Tax Bill

A measure to extend Oahu’s tax surcharge and return the state’s skim to Honolulu could morph into a much broader piece of legislation.