Friday, January 8, 2010

El Nino keeps islands hot and dry, civil unions law coming, leadership tiff at BOE, professors fight pay cuts, Mighty Mo is back, more top Hawaii news

With El Nino's influence now in full effect, East Hawaii is experiencing warm, dry weather and heavy vog. And there is little relief on the horizon, according to the National Weather Service.

State senators told KITV they expect to approve a civil unions bill shortly after the legislative session starts this month.

The "Mighty Mo," the platform for the Japanese surrender in World War II, has returned to its berth in Pearl Harbor to continue serving as a floating national museum.

State Board of Education Chairman Garrett Toguchi last night refused to step down from his leadership post after several board members called for his resignation.

Board of Education Chairman Garrett Toguchi was criticized by fellow board members Thursday who claim he has not kept them in the loop on important issues.

The University of Hawai'i faculty union on Thursday filed a motion for a temporary restraining order, asking a state court to stop UH President M.R.C. Greenwood from unilaterally imposing salary reductions for UH faculty.

A reduction in the cost of caring for Hawaii's senior citizens is creating controversy.

The Federal Transit Administration raised concerns last fall that the cost of Honolulu's new commuter rail line could outpace the revenue the city has lined up to pay for it.

The board of the state public housing agency selected a replacement yesterday for the agency's executive director in spite of some pleas from community members to keep the popular chief.

State labor officials confirmed Thursday that hundreds of hotel workers on Maui will be laid off.

State cutbacks have led to the recent loss of 10 staff members at the Kaua‘i District Health Office, according to state Department of Health spokesperson Janice Okubo.

Hiring freezes, early retirement incentives and greater use of rainy day funds are among the ways some governments deal with budget emergencies.

A newly formed mainland company is hoping to purchase Kona Blue Water Farms Inc.'s offshore operations.

The latest trend in renewable energy often looks like a remote-controlled airplane - with a man-sized propellor - mounted on top of a flagpole, but it is as quiet as two people talking in a coffee shop and costs about as much as a used car.

Passengers aboard a Hawaiian Airlines Mainland flight that was disrupted by an unruly flier arrived on Maui more than five hours late Wednesday night, tired and happy to finally be on the Valley Isle.