Friday, November 20, 2009

Selling the family jewels, state workers get priorty for H1N1 shots, school bus fares going up, other news


The sale of 737 acres in Hamakua will go forward without a transparency amendment, thanks to County Council flip-flops Wednesday.

The Hawaii County Council voted 6-3 Wednesday to approve Mayor Billy Kenoi's controversial proposal to attempt to sell 737 acres of Hawaii County land to help pay for government operations.

School bus fares for Hawaii public school students will be going up at the beginning of 2010.

Public school parents will pay more for their kids to ride the school bus come next year after the state Board of Education last night voted 8-2 to raise one-way fares from 35 cents to 75 cents.

The Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) announced Thursday that the state’s film office will remain intact despite layoffs.

Senate leaders say they are ready to come back into session to halt next year's Furlough Fridays.

The state Legislature is likely to return for a special session to address the issue of school furloughs, possibly in early December, according to state Sen. Roz Baker.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye is encouraging many people to run for office and is urging "healthy competition" but has not formally endorsed Mayor Mufi Hannemann's expected bid for governor in 2010, according to an Inouye spokesman.

Though this week the number of flu cases in Hawai‘i is just elevated or at the historic baseline, flu season has arrived in the state earlier than normal, state Department of Health officials said.

More than 7,000 state workers identified as critical personnel have been offered priority access to the H1N1 vaccine to ensure that government operations continue running smoothly in the event of a worst-case flu scenario.

The state wants to use the old Hilo Memorial Hospital building to provide job training to certain Hawaii Community Correctional Center inmates.

Faced with opposition from both sides of the island, the Hawaii County Council on Wednesday postponed a resolution reducing the number of Kona meetings, saying the measure will be brought up again later in the budget process.

A longtime dream of a Hawaii Community College campus at Kona took a step forward yesterday with the Board of Regents' approval of a development plan for the new campus.