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Saturday, February 17, 2024
February 17, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:37 PM :: 1793 Views

Hawaii is State With the Least Disposable Income

Decision on advisory group for UH president’s search postponed

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted February 17, 2024

Rail: Another GE Tax Increase on the Agenda

CB: … The board had been scheduled to consider a dozen issues related to the $10 billion Honolulu rail project, including the annual performance assessment of HART Executive Director Lori Kahikina.

Also on the board agenda was a review of several proposals pending at the Legislature, including a bill to make permanent the controversial half-percent excise tax surcharge that provides most of the funding for the rail project.

The excise surcharge is scheduled to expire at the end of 2030, but House Bill 2781 would extend the surcharge indefinitely. That bill was introduced by House Finance Committee Chairman Kyle Yamashita, but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.

The excise surcharge now generates nearly $300 million per year for the Honolulu rail project, and the preamble of HB 2781 says the intent of the bill is to spend that money after 2030 on social services and public education, including universal preschool.

Rail supporters including former Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell have long advocated for making the excise surcharge permanent, but they have argued the surcharge revenue should be used to cover either the rail operating costs or the cost of extending the rail line to more locations in Honolulu….

The board of directors for the Honolulu rail authority canceled its regularly scheduled meeting Friday after the board was unable to muster a quorum….

Hanabusa said the board will try to move the agenda for the Friday meeting to Feb. 27, “but we would have to check everyone’s availability at that time.”…

HB2781: Text, Status

read … Honolulu Rail Board Cancels Monthly Meeting After Failing To Reach Quorum 

Prosecutors seek forfeiture of Buntenbah’s House

ILind: … A Valentine’s Day motion filed by federal prosecutors asks that Michael Buntenbah, also known as Michael Joseph Buntenbah Malone, forfeit his $250,000 bond, after his release on bond was revoked following an assault in a Waikiki bar last month. The bond is secured by a mortgage on his Kaneohe residence, which is now at risk….

Buntenbah had been released from custody on October 9, 2020, after providing a secured $500,000 mortgage on a Popoki Street residence in Kaneohe, currently valued for real property tax purposes at $1,703,400. Property records show Buntenbah has claimed an owner-occupant tax deduction since 2015.

The amount of the secured bond was later reduced to $250,000.

The mortgage, filed in the Bureau of Conveyances, explicitly authorizes the government to file a foreclosure action “if the terms and conditions” of the bond are not met….

HNN: Alleged crime boss used GPS trackers to monitor women he was dating, associate tells jury

read … Prosecutors seek forfeiture of Buntenbah’s bond

DHS: We do not inspects Guardian or Adoptive Homes Unless Credible Complaint is Made

HNN: … An audit is expected to be released soon….

The agency said by law, social workers can only visit homes involving adoptive parents or legal guardians based on a credible allegation. There was no such allegation made in the case of Geanna Bradley.

Last year, over 4,079 children received permanency payments, which are monthly stipends for legal guardians and adoptive parents. The funding starts at about $700 a month.

Bradley’s legal guardians got more than twice that, about $2,000, because of her behavioral problems….

The two also got separate funds to care for their adopted son, a 4-year-old.

Prosecutors say he was found with multiple injuries and could barely walk or talk.

“Don’t you think if you’re giving these people almost $2,000 a month to take care of a child, that there’s a responsibility and should be a responsibility on the DHS’s behalf to go and check on the child,” said Franklin.

Two years ago, state Rep. Lisa Marten introduced a bill to require families with permanency placements to submit to regular monthly checks.

Former Gov. David Ige vetoed it over constitutionality concerns….

Franklin said another complication is people who take legal custody of children are often subject to false allegations by angry relatives….

KITV: Gerime also told Island News he is talking with lawyers about suing the state over neglect.

KHON: Biological family of Wahiawa girl wants to lay her to rest (

read … Prosecutors: Couple charged in murder of 10-year-old were getting $2,000 a month for her care

Hawaiian Airlines shareholders approve proposed acquisition by Alaska Air Group

SA: … Hawaiian Holdings Inc., the parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, announced the results of the vote after hosting a virtual special stockholder meeting at 11:30 a.m. During that meeting, stockholders of record were able to vote and ask questions online.

Hawaiian Holdings said in a statement, “A substantial majority of the holders of Hawaiian’s stock voted in favor of the merger, according to preliminary results from the special meeting held earlier today. Hawaiian will file the final voting results, as tabulated by an independent inspector of elections, on a Form 8-K with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.” …

News Release: Hawaiian Holdings Stockholders Approve Acquisition by Alaska Air Group | Hawaiian Airlines | Newsroom

PBN: Hawaiian Holdings stockholders vote in favor of acquisition - Pacific Business News (

read … Hawaiian Airlines shareholders approve proposed acquisition by Alaska Air Group

Remembering Sara Yara: Community comes together to sign wave

KHON: … According to court documents, Mitchel Miyashiro, the man accused of the hit and run death of Sara had over 100 traffic violations and had been caught driving without a license numerous times…..

read … Remembering Sara Yara: Community comes together to sign wave

Alleged Molester Allegedly Confessed to HPD in 2020--Four Years Later Finally Extradited to Texas

FOX: … According to Sheriff Javier Salazar, back in November 2020, Delgado went into the Honolulu police department allegedly confessing to sexually assaulting a little girl. Salazar says he has been living in Hawaii for the last several years now. At some point, the sheriff said the case in Hawaii had been dropped, and the victim's mother grew frustrated. The mother then reached out to the BCSO back in December 2023.

Salazar said they were able to get a hold of the 2020 confession tape from Honolulu PD and deputies were able to develop enough information to extradite Delgado and obtain an arrest…

read … Man extradited from Hawaii to San Antonio for super-aggravated sexual assault of a child

Thousands of pounds of illegal fireworks seized

KHON: … A shipping container packed with professional-grade fireworks was seized on Thursday by the Illegal Fireworks Task Force; they have stopped nearly 200,000 pounds since forming last fall but face a new challenge as their current funding ends next year.

The Department of Law Enforcement said its Illegal Fireworks Task Force has intercepted five shipping containers filled with illegal fireworks since forming last fall. The latest bust was this week, nowhere near a holiday, yet approximately 24 tons of professional fireworks were seized at the harbor. …

read … Thousands of pounds of illegal fireworks seized (

Navy’s new $3.4 billion dry dock in Hawaii is most expensive project in service’s history

SAS: … The Navy has begun the most expensive building project in its history with construction of a $3.4 billion submarine-repair dry dock in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The initial work of installing foundational piles into the harbor waters began this month, with project completion expected by early 2028….

SA: Work begins on $3.4 billion Pearl Harbor shipyard dry dock

read … Navy’s new $3.4 billion dry dock in Hawaii is most expensive project in service’s history 

Mayor Blangiardi OKs aid to rail-affected small businesses

SA: … In front of a Korean fried chicken eatery and next to an active rail- related construction zone along busy Dillingham Boulevard, Mayor Rick Blangiardi on Friday formally signed a bill allowing the city to provide financial assistance to eligible small businesses struggling to stay open as the Skyline fixed- guideway rail system draws near.

Adopted by the City Council in January, Bill 40 is meant to provide up to $10,000 in grant funding to eligible businesses that opened prior to Jan. 1, 2022. Qualifying businesses would receive the grant each year, but only as long as active construction of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s nearly $10 billion rail line remains in the area.

Expected to take effect July 1, the measure would apply only to small businesses that are majority-owned by residents, have 15 or fewer employees, generate less than $750,000 a year and opened for business prior to commencement of active construction of the rail project, within the same city block as the business location….

NR: 02/16/2024 Mayor signs Bill 40, providing financial support to local businesses impacted by Skyline construction ( 

read … Mayor Blangiardi OKs aid to rail-affected small businesses

Lahaina Fire News:

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