Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Top Hawaii Headlines: Tuesday morning edition

Exposed steel bars, crumbing concrete and other hazards have prompted Hawaii County to close the only boat ramp along the Hamakua Coast.

The Hawai'i Government Employees Association went to court yesterday, seeking to stop Gov. Linda Lingle from unilaterally imposing new layoff procedures if her furlough plans are blocked by legal challenges.

With the help of federal mediator Ken Kawamoto, the four public employee unions and the state and counties bargained for four hours yesterday, but no agreements were reached.

Another session of negotiations has wrapped up regarding, among other things, the planned state furloughs.

Faced with the largest cuts ever to Hawaii's public schools, state Board of Education members yesterday again delayed a decision on a budget reduction plan, this time saying they are concerned the state's fiscal situation may change between now and the time the governor signs the budget bill in July.

For University of Hawaii political science professor Ira Rohter, open government, citizen participation and public policy nurturing the environment weren't just subjects for academic discussion.

An emergency call for firefighters to respond to a traffic crash ended in a cautionary tale for everyone who cooks food when the firefighters got a second call to put out a fire — back at their own station house in Waipahu.

Maalaea resident Ed Begley said he "got lucky" as a brush fire roared close on both sides of his oceanfront home Sunday, but never burned his property.

After Kaua‘i County Council members Tim Bynum and Lani Kawahara lobbed allegations at Council Chair Kaipo Asing and County Clerk Peter Nakamura earlier this month, more clarity is being sought on existing policies related to government transparency.