Auditor: $500K IUCN Grant Left out of OHA Annual Report
HB2501: Ige Signs Hawaii Promise Scholarship Bill
UHERO: Healthy county economies face growing pains
Relief for Taxpayers Affected by Volcano
$0.15 Bag Tax Hits Oahu Starting July 1
Auditor: City Parks and Recreation Fails Again and Again
Honolulu Auditor: Only 56% of Recommendations Acted Upon Since 2004
Waikiki: Former Unity House Scammers Attack 14-year old girl
KHON: …less than a week since its set up shop, it has run into some heated confrontations. The company claims those in protest of the newly awarded contract have shouted racial obscenities, convinced customers to avoid doing business and physically harassed patrons in the water.
Dive Oahu says a 14-year-old customer suffered a gash after she was knocked off her board by surfers.
"Came up to her, dragged her by her leash. She went under the water. They took the leash off and they kept harassing her to the point where she got hit," Shelly Rofritis, Dive Oahu vice president said.
Former pro surfer Louis Ferreira is one of a few Waikiki Beach Boys that applied to work at Dive Oahu. He says the decisions triggered numerous threats from other beach boys who refused to work for the company.
"Give a lot of love out to you guys still, I'm not angry with you guys but I just want to show you guys and these people here some Aloha, what being Hawaiian is all about," Ferreira said….
(Former Unity House scammer), Aaron Rutledge, ran one of the beach stand's outbid by Dive Oahu. after close to 50 years in business, he was forced to shutdown. He tells Island News he doesn't condone harassment and was unaware it was even occurring (and he said this without laughing).…
read … Unity House Scammers
Homeless Drug Addicts Beat Japanese Couple near Kakaako Murals
SA: …A Japanese couple who was attacked Monday in a Mother Waldron Neighborhood Park bathroom face $50,000 in medical costs, according to the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii.
The husband was going into the park’s bathroom around 11 a.m. when he was assaulted in the face above his left eye, said Jessica Lani Rich, president of VASH. The man’s wife heard a noise, then went into the bathroom “and she was choked,” Rich said.
Rich read from a hand-written, VASH report prepared by a Honolulu police officer. The couple’s Japanese tour operator later said the woman briefly passed out, Rich said.
The injuries that HPD reported to VASH are different than the ones described by the Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu. On its website Tuesday, following the attack, the consulate warned Japanese tourists and Japanese nationals living in Honolulu about visiting Kakaako’s popular murals.
The warnings, written in Japanese, said the couple came upon a group of males injecting drugs. It said the man and woman were both punched in the face and choked, and were left with broken teeth….
The consulate’s warning says the area is known for purse snatchings and vehicle break-ins while visitors post pictures of themselves with the murals on social media….
The park — which is bordered by Pohukaina, Halekauwila, Cooke and Keawe streets and has bathrooms — was shut down by the city on Tuesday for “maintenance” after it was overrun by approximately 40 homeless people, their dogs, tents and tarps….
read … Japanese couple assaulted in Kakaako bathroom face $50,000 in medical costs
Former housekeepers for Heiress Kawananakoa say their firing was 'retaliation'
HNN: …Former employees are accusing Hawaiian royalty descendant Abigail Kawananakoa and her wife Veronica Gail Worth of retaliating against them.
Thongbay Smart and her daughters said they were fired as her housekeepers and are being evicted from a Pearl City home Kawananakoa promised them. That's after they spoke with a Probate Court appointed psychiatrist and a special master appointed to oversee the legal battle over Kawananakoa’s $200 million trust, she and her daughters said.
“We were threatened that if we said certain things, expressed certain things that we would get fired,” said Ashley Thairathom, Smart’s daughter and a former caretaker for Kawananakoa. "It's retaliation."
Smart has worked as the heiress’s housekeeper for 32 years. Two years ago, she snapped pictures with her cell phone of bruises on the arm and leg of the 92-year-old Kawananakoa.
“(Kawananakoa) told me, Gail (Worth) beats me, she no love me, she loves my money,” said Smart.
Her daughter and former employee Samantha Michel added that the alleged abuse happened more than once.
“(Worth) asked princess if princess would put her name in her bank account as a joint account holder but because princess said no, she would pinch her,” she said….
Related: Kawananakoa Estate: Sex, Drugs, and Inequality
read … Former housekeepers for Heiress Kawananakoa say their firing was 'retaliation'
Promoting economic freedom
PBN: …Keli‘i Akina is the president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a nonprofit, public policy think tank. According to its mission statement, the organization “seeks to educate people about the values of individual liberty, economic freedom and accountable government.”
Akina, who has a Ph.D. in philosophy and ethics, joined the organization as its president and CEO in March 2013. He replaced Richard Rowland, who founded the Grassroot Institute in 2001.
To maintain its role as an independent voice and watchdog, the organization refuses to accept funding from local, state or federal government. Akina told Pacific Business News that the majority of its funding comes from local residents, who believe in the cause of the institute. “Our supporters come from the broad spectrum of society, there’s no single profile of who they are politically or economically,” he said.
The Grassroot Institute has approximately half-a-dozen full-time employees and contractors. It also hires specialists for various projects. Akina recently talked to PBN about the organization’s work, its challenges and future plans….
read … Promoting economic freedom
Zumper, Apartment List Differ on Honolulu Rents
PBN: …Honolulu is ranked 11th for the highest rents among the 100 cities surveyed by Zumper, which found the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment dropped 8.3 percent from a year ago to $2,200 per month. Zumper reports the national median rent for a two-bedroom unit rose 3 percent to $1,436.
Apartment List, which does not rank the cities, found that rents for both one- and two-bedroom apartments fell 3.9 percent year-over-year, with the median rent for a two-bedroom unit at $2,030, well above the national average of $1,170.
Zumper reports median rent for a one-bedroom apartment, however, grew 3 percent to $1,730; Apartment List reports the median rent for a one-bedroom unit is $1,530….
read … Apartment rents for Honolulu drop in past year
Maui Charter Amendments: County Manager? $20K Fine for TVRs?
MN: Establishing a $20,000 penalty for transient accommodations without a permit and having a managing director handle county operations instead of the mayor are among proposed charter amendments to be discussed at a Maui County Council committee meeting Tuesday.
read … Charter amendments on council committee agenda for Tuesday