Thursday, February 25, 2010

Legislature won't gamble on casinos, congressional election set, flag flap continues, most TAT to counties restored, Kauai mayor satisfied, more Hawaii news

The state House Finance Committee agreed last night to defer a bill that would have allowed a casino on O'ahu, as lawmakers discarded gambling as an option to help with the state's budget deficit.

State House Finance Chairman Marcus Oshiro said a move to legalize casino gambling is dead at the Hawaii Legislature this session.

The state's four county mayors applauded the move by House lawmakers to leave in place most of the money they receive from the hotel room tax.

Each year the state forgoes about $835 million in revenue by giving companies and individuals a break on the general excise tax, exempting everything from aircraft engines to shipbuilding.

The State House Housing Committee Wednesday unanimously approved a bill to force planned communities to allow residents to fly Hawaiian and American flags without restrictions.

Room 325 at the State Capitol was full of military veterans. One held an American flag. Others wore red, white and blue. All of them had the same mission.

Responding to a request from lawmakers to cut another 5 percent from its budget, the state Board of Education worked into the night identifying programs that could be trimmed.

The election to fill U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie's 1st Congressional District seat will be held May 22, according to state elections officials.

Hawaii County has launched its first high-tech effort to sell real estate, with a Web site that went live late last week advertising 738 acres in Hamakua.

A Hilo pharmacist foiled an armed robbery Tuesday morning, with a little help from his friends.

Hawaii Island residents and doctors keep coming back to the issue of access to care -- or lack thereof.

He didn’t give himself a specific letter grade for his first full year as Kaua‘i’s mayor, but Bernard Carvalho Jr. made it clear that he is happy with the results thus far.

When Towne Development of Hawaii started selling affordably priced homes in its 2,000-home Kehalani subdivision in Central Maui in the 1990s, customers would wait in line for hours to get on the buyers' list.

Crew members of SubAviator were packing up to leave Mala Ramp on Tuesday, but they may well come back.

A proposed reduction in force affecting state Department of Human Services workers on Kaua‘i will be discussed Thursday at 5 p.m. at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihu‘e.