Monday, February 8, 2010

Lawmakers target taxes, hospitals, restaurants and drunk drivers, Census seeks better representation, Chinatown and cherry blossoms celebrated, more

The state Senate is set to discuss a bill Monday to privatize Hawaii Health Systems Corp. as a nonprofit organization.

For some legislative observers, the very idea that lawmakers will raise your taxes had become more of a "fait accompli" even before the starting gun had been shot.

Impounding a drunk driver's car for a year and furthering the education of bartenders and servers at the core of two new bills being introduced to the state Legislature this year.

The ingredients in entrees served at restaurants across the state are the target of new legislation at Hawaii's Capitol.

Local census officials estimate Hawai'i lost out on $310 million in federal funding over the past 10 years because of "undercounting" in the 2000 census.

Maui's commercial real estate industry sure isn't as bad as on the Mainland, said veteran local leasing broker Ed Bello of Bello Realty Inc., who on a recent business trip to Colorado saw a bankrupt big-box store converted into a charter school and a former Blockbuster Video into a veterinary clinic.

The state is driving the adoption of electric and alternate vehicles through a variety of mandates and grants, but the push could add to costs at government agencies and businesses already grappling with the worst economy in decades.

The Year of the Golden Tiger will be celebrated this year in conjunction with Valentine's Day, an occurrence that happened only a few times during the past century. But don't let the added romanticism fool you.

Hawaiian Holdings Inc., the parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, has posted a profit for the fourth quarter and for full year 2009.

An idea to keep Waimea from falling off the map as the Big Island grew has become a full-fledged explosion of color and fun for Big Island residents.

Parents and school officials have long questioned whether Hawaii students are prepared for life beyond high school.

Consumers are changing the way they use energy, said Brad Parsons of Kauaians for a Bright Future.

The Chinatown art renaissance continues.