Thursday, September 17, 2009

Shark tours, plastic bag bans moving forward, Hawaii residents buckle up, pay less for gas

A proposal moving through the City Council makes it illegal to operate shark tours on O'ahu.

Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. signaled his support for a stalled bill that would outlaw plastic checkout bags at retail stores across Kaua‘i, sending a letter to the Kaua‘i County Council that counters business community opposition that caused a deferral last week.

Hawai'i's seat belt usage tops the nation again and more people are buckling up here then ever before, the state Department of Transportation said yesterday.

Drivers in Hawaii aren't paying the highest gas prices in the nation anymore. That unwanted honor now goes to Alaska.

Alternative energy projects such as wind farms and solar power plants would be exempt from property taxes under a proposal passed by the Honolulu City Council.

Hawaii Mayor Billy Kenoi's administration and the County Council were looking at ways to increase revenue and cut costs even before Kenoi's announcement that next year's budget could be short $44.8 million.

Mayor Billy Kenoi met with his top officials Monday, telling them to prepare for "deep and painful" budget cuts.

A Hawaii County Council committee on Tuesday recommended the council not pass a bill designed to add another layer of transparency when the county sells real property.

Maui Planning Commission members recommended Tuesday returning a major development at Olowalu to the Maui Island Plan and restoring the Pulelehua housing project in West Maui to its full size.