Monday, April 12, 2010

End of session crunch pushes tax bills, Furlough Friday protests get louder, alternative energy comes and goes in the islands, more Hawaii news


State House negotiators last night offered to significantly scale back a proposal to lift general-excise tax exemptions on several business activities and impose a new GET hike, a move that would generate $25.3 million — instead of about $100 million — to help contain the state's budget deficit.

Many tax breaks or exemptions for local businesses would be preserved under a tentative compromise bill set to move today at the Legislature.

The fifth day of a protest to end Furlough Fridays closed yesterday with bubbles, musicians, art and slam poetry at the state Capitol's rotunda as parents and students urged the governor to find a solution.

Confirmation hearings are tomorrow for the three men nominated by Gov. Linda Lingle to serve on the board that oversees the 10-campus UH system.

Hawaiian Airlines did the best job for fliers last year, closely followed by low-cost carrier AirTran, according to an annual study released today that rates the nation's 18 busiest airlines for the quality of their service.

The spotlight was on Hilo, Hawaii for nearly a week as work crews, spectators and halau after halau poured into town. At the Edith Kanaka'ole stadium, the stage was prepped early for practice performances.

Make that two years in a row for the men of Ke Kai O Kahiki.

A and B Properties, Inc., announced today that it has acquired Lanihau Marketplace, an 88,300-square-foot shopping center in Kailua, Kona.

Hawaii County's labor costs will increase roughly $150,000 a year under Mayor Billy Kenoi's forthcoming proposal to combine vehicle-repair and transportation functions.

Farming sunshine may not become a reality for Kaua‘i after all.

A multimillion-dollar research project to investigate converting Hawaii's last sugar plantation to biofuel crops could mean the end of an era of another kind: cane burning.

North shore papaya farmer Kenneth Kamiya said wild pigs are devastating his crops and cutting into his profits.