Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Akaka Bill passes House, economy improving, few speak Hawaiian, traffic better but still bad, more news

Hawai'i's economic difficulties may be abating, with the state saying there are signs that certain sectors may hit bottom this year and start a slow recovery from the downturn.

More signs of stability in Hawaii's economy and improved outlooks for the U.S. and Japan have prompted the state to slightly revise upward its recovery projections for this year.

Following passage in the House yesterday, the fate of the Akaka bill now rests with the Senate, where the outcome is much less certain.

Over the objections of Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, the U.S. House passed a bill empowering native Hawaiians to create their own government that eventually would negotiate for control of hundreds of thousands of acres of Hawaii.

Proponents argue additions to the body of the Akaka Bill make it stronger even though Gov. Linda Lingle disagrees.

One of the things we’ll be watching closely when the numbers from the 2010 U.S. Census begin to trickle in: the percentage of Hawaii residents who speak the Hawaiian language.

A traffic report released on Tuesday puts Honolulu near the top of a list no one wants to be on. The report lists the top 100 U.S. cities with the worst traffic congestion. Honolulu ranks second behind Los Angeles.

A dip in tourism and a spike in unemployment translate to less traffic congestion on Honolulu's roadways, according to a recent study.

Hawaii Island agencies that respond to domestic violence are working to update a system hamstrung by a lack of consistency, communication and resources.

Hawaiian Telcom on Monday released a Palani Road closure schedule for work to transfer cables to new utility poles.

The congestion in the parking lot at Mala Wharf over the weekend was so bad that some fishers said they had to park half a mile away. Others just went home.

County officials announced that the Energy Conservation Code governing all new construction on Kaua‘i will be effective May 26.