Friday, April 2, 2010

Hawaii skittish about census, swine flu shot, not so much, Legislature, Lingle grapple with budgets, no interest in Hamakua land sales, more top Hawaii news

Hawaii's participation in the 2010 Census, so far among the worst in the nation, is raising concerns about whether the state will again lose out on millions of dollars in federal funding.

Hawai'i is among the nation's leaders in swine flu vaccinations and health officials here credit an aggressive educational program for much of the success.

The leaders of the state Legislature's two money committees continue to criticize Gov. Linda Lingle's handling of the state budget shortfall.

Hawaii hotels have performed better in the economic slump than key rival destinations, despite cutting room rates less.

Maui coral reef lovers came looking for answers Tuesday night from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources about an accident in which state officials and private contractors dropped 125 concrete slabs onto the Keawakapu artificial reef.

A day after votes by Hawai'i lawmakers and the teachers union renewed pressure for resolution of the state's teacher furlough mess, Gov. Linda Lingle's office released new details about the "nonessential" personnel that have become a $30 million sticking point in the controversy.

One Big Island lawmaker wants police and fire personnel to forgo pay raises for a year to share in the sacrifices most other government workers are making.

The popular Peppa's Korean BBQ on South King Street was shut down yesterday by the state Department of Health after seven people were diagnosed with E. coli poisoning last month, four of them requiring hospitalization.

An April Fool's Day joke on KUMU-FM that the upcoming Merrie Monarch Festival was canceled because of the recent deaths of three hula legends, left many in Hawaii dismayed Thursday morning.

Award-winning songwriter Roslyn Catracchia says her prayers have been answered. Honolulu police recovered her stolen computers Thursday and they still contained her prized compositions.

When it comes to selling its Paauilo lands, Hawaii County is batting .000.

Rows of tables, stacks of documents, piles of pens. The Hawaii County Finance Department was ready. In fact, only one thing was missing from the much heralded bid opening for the first Hamakua land sale -- bidders.

As the Kaua‘i section administrator in the state Department of Human Services Benefit, Employment and Support Services Division, on Monday she had the unenviable task of hand-delivering letters of layoff to 22 of her co-workers.

The county's long-term solid waste management plan is up for review Tuesday by a Hawaii County Council committee.

In 2008, James Koshiba helped launch Kanu Hawaii, a nonprofit that promotes and supports Island-style sustainability.