Monday, February 22, 2010

Lingle talks transit in Washington, Hannemann preps for state of the city, lawmakers looking for money, cetacean rehab facility opening in Hilo, domestic violence rising, more Hawaii news

Sunday Governor Linda Lingle met with the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to talk about Honolulu's rail project.

President Barack Obama prodded states today to raise their school standards by using his best leverage: money.

Sick and injured whales and dolphins will have a place to go after the Feb. 26 opening of the Hawai'i Cetacean Rehabilitation Facility in Hilo.

Expect Mayor Mufi Hannemann to offer a "five-year report card" of his administration when he gives his sixth, and possibly last, state of the city address tonight on the grounds of the Frank F. Fasi Civic Center.

Gambling, civil unions, banning fireworks and raiding the city's transit fund to balance the state budget all appear to be losing support at the Legislature.

Perhaps it is the fiscal crisis facing the state, but it is more apparent this year that there is a lot of ignorance about just what makes the economy run.

As the state's agriculture industry goes through some sour times, a relatively new crop is hoping to sweeten things up. Sugar and pineapple were once the staple crops of Hawaii's plantation era, but with these industries practically extinct, Hawaii's ag lands are now returning to a new era of small farms.

As incidents of domestic violence rise statewide, East Hawaii has seen an increasing number of temporary restraining orders filed against individuals.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is scheduled to begin a week-long monitoring project at the old Kailua-Kona landfill March 8, sampling the air for toxic gases.

Mayor Charmaine Tavares said she made an effort to cut back on out-of-state travel in 2009 because of the county's tight budget.

Maui County Council members spent a total of $116,090 on travel last year, including trips to lobby the Legislature in Honolulu, meetings with council members from other counties and conferences on the Mainland.

Congresswoman Mazie Hirono got a first-hand look at one of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act programs in action Saturday