Friday, March 12, 2010

Turtles get protection, economic signals mixed, developers' permits take years, state looks to loosen marijuana laws even as feds raid Cannabis Ministry, Hawaii County to consider ethics, more state news

The National Marine Fisheries Service and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service jointly published a proposal to "up-list" North Pacific turtles to endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

The state Council on Revenues delivered mixed news yesterday: No need for any more state budget cuts to get through the fiscal year that ends in June, but the state will have to find more money to stay out of the red next year.

Hawaii's economy is showing signs of recovery, but uncertainty remains about how long it will be before the state fully emerges from recession

The momentum is shifting from negative to positive when it comes to the state general fund revenues.

The Council on Revenues Thursday forecast $48 million less in tax revenues to be collected by the state this fiscal year ending June 30, and next fiscal year.

Three marijuana bills are making their way through the Hawaii State Capitol.

Federal agents raided the downtown Hilo sanctuary of The Hawaii Cannabis Ministry Wednesday morning, assisted by local police.

Flag Bill Dead For Session

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources may issue a request for proposals for a kayak concession at Kealakekua Bay, the agency's director says.

A developer who hopes to build 3,500 homes makai of the H-2 freeway says farmers working on the land have found another place to plant.

It has taken six years, but Sterling Kim has gotten his final construction approvals from Maui County for phase one of his Hale Mua affordable housing project on about 200 acres mauka of Happy Valley.

The 16th iteration of a burial treatment plan that would allow Naue landowner Joseph Brescia to move forward with construction on his single-family home atop 30 known Hawaiian burials was approved this week by the State Historic Preservation Division.

The accrediting agency that six years ago raised serious concerns about the University of Hawai'i's operations is praising UH-Manoa for a big turnaround, saying the campus has "emerged from a difficult past," benefited from "stable" leadership and shows promise on meeting its goals.

Hawaii County's two bands will play on, according to County Council members working to preserve the $347,027 budget Mayor Billy Kenoi has proposed eliminating.

Dueling ethics proposals will be presented to the Hawaii County Council at an April 6 committee meeting, thanks to action taken Wednesday by the Board of Ethics.