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Political Donor Gets Contracts

Hawaii political donor Milton J. Choy received almost $6 million in contracts.

Views expressed in this Hawaii State News summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.

Accessed on 11 February 2022, 2035 UTC.

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Hawai‘i political donor received almost $6 million in contracts
Milton J. Choy, the wastewater treatment and industrial machinery executive at the center of a federal public corruption probe, has donated $160,150 to state and county lawmakers since 2014 and received nearly $6 million in government contracts. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Former Hawai‘i lawmakers accused of taking bribes scheduled to enter guilty pleas
Former state Rep. Ty J.K. Cullen will be arraigned and enter a guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway at 11 a.m. Feb. 15. Retired Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English is scheduled to be arraigned and enter a guilty plea as part of his arrangement with the justice department before Mollway on Feb. 15 at 10 a.m. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers push to make sports part of school curriculum, how it could change how things are played
A push to elevate athletics within the Hawai‘i Department of Education system is moving through the state legislature. The purpose of the new bill is to transform existing sports from extracurricular to become part of the school curriculum. KHON2.

Lt. Gov. Josh formally announces his bid for Hawai‘i governor
He joins business executive Vicky Cayetano, Hawai‘i’s former first lady, who already has announced her candidacy. They are likely to be joined in the Aug. 13 Democratic primary by former Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4. Tribune-Herald.

Kalani Ka‘anā‘anā at the Kailua Boat Harbor, where he learned to paddle as a child. Ka‘anā‘anā was born in Kailua, and his family has been in the Kailua/Ka‘ōhao area for seven generations. | Photo: Aaron Yoshino
20 for the Next 20: Kalani Ka‘anā‘anā, Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority
As the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s chief brand officer, Ka‘anā‘anā oversees a sweeping strategic plan that supports natural resources, Hawaiian culture and community while enhancing Hawai‘i’s brand… read more.
River of Life Mission to relocate Chinatown food distribution program, but timeline for move is unclear
River of Life Mission has agreed to move its free-meal program away from its Chinatown location after 35 years of operation. The Christian mission serves about 1,000 meals a day to those in need but has often clashed with Chinatown residents and business owners who say it attracts homeless people to the area. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Critics question liquor commission on ‘improper conduct’ that could shut down establishments
The Honolulu Liquor Commission is looking at a major overhaul of its rules regarding liquor licenses. One of the new proposals include one that would give liquor inspectors the power to shut down a business if they see what’s only defined as “improper conduct.” Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Marine Corps discharged high levels of fecal bacteria into Kailua Bay
It’s not the first time the Marines Corps has released wastewater into Kailua Bay in violation of its permit. The Marine Corps has identified “ongoing maintenance activity in the plant polishing pond” as the cause of the mishap. Civil Beat.

Police union demands Honolulu Police Department address officer shortage
The state police union is demanding that Honolulu’s short-staffed Police Department do more to fill empty police beats around the island. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

‘Alarming’ Honolulu inflation hit 6.0% in January
Honolulu’s rising inflation follows a similar trend nationally where U.S. prices jumped 7.5% over the past year for its largest 12-month increase since February 1982, according to a report issued Thursday from the U.S. Department of Labor. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Photo: Getty Images

Hawai‘i Realtors Say “Yes in My Back Yard” to Affordable Housing

The statewide Hawaiʻi Realtors association is backing a measure in this year’s legislative session that seeks to combat the kind of NIMBY-ism that blocks the development of more affordable housing. The organization is advocating for Yes In My Back Yard, a movement… read more.

County to offer free bus fares
The Hawai‘i County Council on Wednesday approved the second and final reading of Bill 105, which temporarily suspends fares for all fixed bus routes and paratransit services offered by Hele-On until Dec. 31, 2023. Big Island Now.

Council Planning Committee postpones Waikoloa timeshare project
Supportive testimony by a wide swath of individuals from resort operators to labor unions and tourism promoters to front-line workers who sleep in their cars because of a lack of housing wasn’t enough to win approval Tuesday from a County Council panel on a plan to convert half of a Waikoloa Beach Resort golf course to timeshare units. West Hawaii Today.

Lawmakers advance legislation to relieve traffic congestion in rapidly growing Puna on Big Island
House Bill 1403 would require the state Department of Transportation to work with Hawaiʻi County to survey potential locations for an alternate route to Highway 130. Hawaii Public Radio.

Photo: courtesy of Kira Santos
My Job: A Life in Music

Kira Santos of the band Close the Distance says being a professional musician requires a tough skin “because you’re going to get knocked down 100 times in this industry.” Santos and her younger sister, Ezri, met their original bandmates when they were students at Hawaii more.
Proposal to increase police chief salary is raising concerns
At a special meeting Feb. 2, the commission unanimously voted to recommend a pay raise to $205,000 a year for Pelletier, who was sworn in Dec. 17 at a salary of $158,851. Maui News. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor seeks public-private partnership to boost workforce housing in Waikapū
Mayor Michael Victorino is asking the Maui County Council to support his proposal to enter into a public-private partnership agreement between the County of Maui and the developers of Waikapū Country Town. Maui Now.

Community invited to town hall on affordable apartments in Lahaina, Feb. 22
Discussion will include comprehensive information regarding the application, lottery and lease process, and construction updates for Kaiāulu o Kupuohi and Kaiāulu o Kūku‘ia apartment projects developed by Ikaika ʻOhana. Maui Now.

Current, hopeful KIUC directors seek ratepayers’ votes in March election
Incumbents are touting advancements toward a 100% renewable-energy portfolio, while a rival calls for increased electric-vehicle infrastructure in the run-up to the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative Board of Directors election. Garden Island.

Groups put county, state on notice for Westside ditch draining
Environmental watchdog groups have put the County of Kaua‘i on notice for seemingly violating federal permit requirements when it comes to discharging stormwater containing pollutants into Westside waters. Garden Island.

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Dive into some of our latest features!
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Many Hawai‘i Defense Jobs Are Not Going to Locals. Advocates Want to Change That.
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