Monday, June 7, 2010

Media merger starts today, EPA, Maui at odds over water, city, counties continue budget debates, more

The sun is climbing high, but business is still bustling for the 60 vendors at the farmers market in the shady Kapiolani Community College parking lot behind Diamond Head.

Saturday was a great day to hang out at the beach with that special someone, and a pair of monk seals were no exception.

The final chapters of Hawaii's two largest newspapers have been written and Monday, the new Star-Advertiser makes its debut.

The merger of century-old rivals into today's new Honolulu Star-Advertiser should bring readers a stronger newspaper, with more muscle for investigative reporting and a deep perspective on the state that both papers helped shape.

The lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender community took part in a 20-year old tradition in Waikiki Saturday, but their focus is on the future.

Hawaii Family Forum, a Christian group that has been one of the loudest voices against civil unions, must limit its lobbying activity to keep its tax-exempt, charitable status with the Internal Revenue Service.

Top of mind for many who participated in Saturday's 20th annual Honolulu LGBT Pride Parade was the fate of House Bill 444, the civil unions measure.

Gov. John A. Burns, a devout Catholic who attended Mass every day, felt his reputation was being unfairly tarnished. He was the subject of warnings, even threats, from clergy and lay members of his own church.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered the Maui County to conduct water sampling and testing off West Maui, saying two studies found "substantial evidence" that wastewater injected into the ground was seeping out of submarine springs off Kaanapali.

State Attorney General Mark Bennett, considered a strong possible candidate to be the next Hawaii chief justice, is not seeking the job, leaving Associate Supreme Court Justice Mark Recktenwald as the leading contender for the post.

With popular programs such as Summer Fun and the Royal Hawaiian Band saved, the City Council now turns its attention to property taxes, the main source of income for city operations.

Hundreds of volunteers took to the streets of Chinatown and got dirty, picking up trash and painting over graffiti.

A major road project gets underway Monday in Hawaii Kai.

Box jellyfish invade the south and west shores of Oahu.

Much of the Big Island has been in extreme drought for nearly a year, according to the National Weather Service.

Making tea is a painstaking process requiring a great amount of patience, time and love, but experts say Hawaii's tropical weather and acidic soil provide fertile ground for specialty teas to become a new agricultural industry in the state.

In 1810, Kamehameha the Great unified the eight major islands and formally established the Kingdom of Hawaii.