Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Top Hawaii Headlines: Wednesday morning edition

Honolulu residents have been registering guns this year at a blistering pace that, if kept up, would result in 18,900 firearms registered this year, a possible 13.5 percent jump from last year, reflecting national trends.

Gov. Linda Lingle will sign a bill today allowing married couples and others to live in the same residential care facility. Currently, two non-Medicaid patients cannot live in the same adult residential foster home, even if the two people are married. But the bill will allow married couples, reciprocal beneficiaries, siblings, the parents of a child or best friends to do so.

Hononulu tries online voting. The Neighborhood Commission Office has entered into a contract with San Diego-based Everyone Counts, Inc. for online voting services in the 2009 Neighborhood Board elections, the city announced yesterday.

The House and Senate are expected to vote this afternoon on Senate Bill 1111, which would raise the state's 7.25 percent Transient Accommodations Tax 1 percentage point this year and an additional 2 percentage points next year to 10.25 percent.

Hawaii County must have really hated parting with a landfill bulldozer it sold as surplus in 2000. Hated it so much, in fact, the county's been leasing it back for almost $15,000 a month.

Just days after announcing in no uncertain terms that his office won't tolerate employees politicking on the Internet, Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi found himself defending the use of his own county address, e-mail address and telephone number to register his campaign Web site for mayor.

A bill in the state Legislature that would have banned pit bull dogs or puppies in Hawaii appears dead -- at least for this session.

The University of Hawaii Warrior football team is in their final week of spring practice, and so far, head coach Greg McMackin is pleased with the overall progression of the entire squad, including the secondary unit who entered spring with a big question mark.

If you are seriously delinquent in paying your taxes, look out. On Friday, the state Department of Taxation will post the names of the biggest tax delinquents in the state on the Internet.

Second Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza has ruled there's no constitutional right to engage in recreational dancing, dismissing a lawsuit by a group that has challenged a Maui County Department of Liquor Control rule on dancing in bars. Maui Dance Advocates and its president, Ramoda Anand, filed the lawsuit over the rule that prohibits dancing in businesses that serve alcohol, unless there's a designated dance floor in an area where alcohol isn't consumed.

James Pflueger made his first physical appearance in a Kaua‘i courtroom Tuesday, sitting in the gallery alongside family and friends as a handful of his attorneys argued a pair of motions in the manslaughter case stemming from the Ka Loko Reservoir Dam breach three years ago.