Friday, October 9, 2009

Sidewalk sleeping ban nixed, economy still suffering, unions still resisting, other top news

A Honolulu City Council committee on Thursday voted to kill a bill that would have banned sleeping on sidewalks.

The latest state tax collection figures show a nearly 10 percent drop, and the bad news is forcing Gov. Linda Lingle to increase her tough talk to the public employee unions to hurry up and settle their contracts.

State tax collections fell 9.7 percent during the first three months of the fiscal year, the state Department of Taxation reported yesterday, a more significant drop than economists predicted.

The University of Hawai'i and the faculty's labor union are expected to return to the bargaining table Wednesday after union members voted overwhelmingly yesterday to reject a contract offer that included a 5 percent pay cut.

The University of Hawaii faculty union says its representatives and management will meet with a federal mediator Wednesday after members voted overwhelmingly to reject a contract offer that called for a 5 percent pay cut and other concessions to help UH deal with budget cuts.

A remake of the fabled "Hawaii Five-0" series could be coming to the television screen.

It's the most efficient, commercially available solar powered panels in the world and one Oahu couple becomes, one of the first in Honolulu to install it.

Public health officials are refuting claims made in a Hawaii County Council resolution that casts doubt on the safety of swine flu vaccines.

Ignoring pleas from the public and a warning from a council member that the process was "cloaked in dishonor," the Hawaii County Council on Wednesday reverted to an organizational structure that shifts more power to the east side of the island.

It may be a more dangerous time to be injured or lost in the woods on Kaua‘i, and brush fires may burn longer and stronger than they otherwise might.

In April the County of Hawaii will auction off 26 chemical spray rigs that originally cost up to $10,000 each. That auction will mark the end of the county's efforts to control coqui frogs.

Several hundred islanders showed up at the Blaisdell Arena last week to listen to and testify on proposals for a new, comprehensive federal ocean policy before the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force.