Wednesday, September 23, 2009

She's no barbarian, she's a princess, teachers finally ink contract and other Hawaii news of the day

Native Hawaiians yesterday expressed anger at the decision to call a soon-to-be-released feature film on Princess Ka'iulani's life "Barbarian Princess," and some went as far as to call the title a publicity stunt and an insult to the young royal's memory.

Hawaii's public school year will have 17 fewer instructional days under a two-year contract ratified yesterday by the Hawaii State Teachers Association.

Hawai'i public school teachers yesterday ratified a two-year contract that amounts to a 7.9 percent pay cut and will shut down the school system for 17 Fridays beginning in October.

Hawaii public school teachers overwhelmingly voted on Tuesday to ratify a new contract that will include furlough days and a cut in salary.

O'ahu homeowners could get permits for new bed-and-breakfast establishments under a bill that won a preliminary 4-1 vote by the City Council's Zoning Committee yesterday.

A pair of controversial bills that would ease restrictions on Kauai transient vacation rentals on agricultural land and development near the shoreline have been deferred for one month.

Gas is an important source of heating for many island restaurants, and as the cost of this basic utility has gone up, many are finding it difficult to keep costs down.

Having turned down more than $7.6 million for Hamakua property at the height of the real estate boom five years ago, Hawaii County may be hard-pressed to find such eager buyers during the current sour economy.

Sugar prices are through the roof this year, but that will be of little help to Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co., which will have its sugar output reduced by drought to an estimated 125,000 to 130,000 tons this year.

A 2nd Circuit jury on Monday ordered the Fairways at Maui Lani developer to pay a total of $232,700 in damages to six of 11 plaintiffs who said construction of the project caused noise and nuisance and that workers trespassed on their properties.