Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Akaka Bill up for debate, new sponges, coral found, bed and breakfasts head to likely defeat, more

Opponents of federal recognition for native Hawaiians are urging Hawaii's congressional delegation to hold hearings in Hawaii on the latest version of the Akaka Bill, which is being discussed in Congress this week.

Sen. Daniel K. Inouye denied accusations yesterday by a group of mostly Native Hawaiians that he is trying to avoid public scrutiny of legislation that would grant them historic new status by hiding it in a defense bill.

A bill that would allow the issuance of more bed-and-breakfast permits on Oahu for the first time in 20 years will likely be defeated when it comes up for a final vote tomorrow.

New and dramatic species of coral and sponges have been found in the Pacific during deep-sea dives near the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, scientists said yesterday.

A shortage of trees had families scrambling this weekend in Hawaii.

An Oahu Christmas tree vendor says more Christmas trees are expected to be available for sale Wednesday or Thursday. Richard Tajiri, who runs the Christmas tree concession at Ala Moana Center near Sears, says 400 more trees have been ordered.

Hawaii County Council members on Tuesday will debate a resolution that would ask the state Legislature to decriminalize marijuana

A garage sale of abandoned liquids, jams, jellies and lotions took a West Hawaii couple by surprise last week, but it turns out that airport officials have signed off on the donation of discarded items to a nonprofit.

Immediate efforts are needed to curb the rapid decline of endemic seabirds being impacted by the modernization of mankind, according to Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative’s final draft Short-Term Seabird Habitat Conservation Plan.

Homeowners who have provided affordable housing in recent years but failed to file paperwork to earn property tax breaks were granted a do-over by the Kaua‘i County Council last week but will not get a refund for any increases they may have paid in the interim.