Money flows to federal campaigns

HILO — Money continues flowing into campaign coffers for Hawaii’s congressional delegation, even for Senate candidates who have several years before their next election.

No special tax class for vacation rentals

HILO — There will be no special property tax classification for short-term vacation rentals under recommendations proposed by a panel tasked with revamping the county property tax code, but some people currently getting tax breaks for agriculture could take a hit.

Kierkiewicz disclosure, Ethics Board presentation planned

HILO — It’s been almost three months since the Board of Ethics approved an advisory opinion requiring Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz to file an after-the-fact written disclosure of a possible conflict of interest stemming from a vote she took earlier this year.

Herbicide ban advances

HILO — A ban on the county’s use of weedkillers in parks and along its highways advanced Wednesday on an 8-1 vote, although some members of the County Council asked for more clarification before its final vote later this month.

Council hears vacation rental update

HILO — West Hawaii accounts for 82% of the county’s short-term vacation rental applications in permitted areas and just 25% of those in non-permitted areas, according to a report discussed Tuesday by the County Council Planning Committee.

DHHL beneficiaries urge restructuring of department

HILO — Major changes need to be made to the Hawaiian Homes Commission and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands before Native Hawaiians can be reconnected to their homelands, a series of speakers told a state Senate panel Monday in Honolulu.

Bid protest stalls bus contract

HILO — It’s back to the drawing board for the embattled Hele-On bus service, after a bid protest stopped a contract from being awarded to the winning bidder, Roberts Tours and Transportation Inc.

Architects and builders speak out about code changes

HILO — Balancing energy conservation with building costs was top of mind Monday, as about 50 designers, builders and home owners quizzed county Building Division staff over proposed changes to the county energy code.

Congressional race likely to get crowded

HILO — U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s announcement late Thursday that she won’t seek reelection to Congress so she can focus on her presidential bid turns what early challenger Kai Kahele saw as a likely mano-a-mano contest into a political free-for-all.

County to loosen energy code restrictions

HILO — Changes to the county’s energy code aimed at making home construction more affordable, while still becoming more energy-efficient, are the subject of public “speakout” sessions for design and construction professionals early next week.

DHHL committee to consider hiring private attorney

HILO — The Hawaiian Homes Commission took the first step Monday to hire an outside attorney to put a dollar figure on what the state owes Native Hawaiian beneficiaries for land, including the Maunakea Access Road, that was the subject of a 1995 state law.