Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hawaii even less affordable, thanks to new tax hikes that go into effect today, more state news

New laws and more taxes, on Thursday morning, we'll all be waking up to a long list of tax hikes on water, cigarettes, and gas, and higher property bills. Hawaii News Now.

New laws effective today ban shark fin foods,charge fees for mixed martial arts events, increase cigarette taxes, raise payment for traffic abstracts and strip businesses and nonprofits of tax-exempt status if they do not file general excise tax returns. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii residents may hate July 1, the start of the new fiscal year, as much as they despise April 15. KHON2.

New cigarette taxes hitting Hawaii smokers Thursday make each pack cost 40 cents more, reaching an average of nearly $8. AP.

The state and city are raising fees for a number of services.KITV

County pools will be closed once a week starting Thursday, due to budget and staffing cuts that left the Aquatic Division without enough pool guards.. Maui News.

Fifth of Big Isle on food stamps. Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

Where's the Beef? No Reason to Oppose Civil Unions. Civil Beat.

Dear Gov. Lingle, Sometime between now and July 6, you will make your final decision on HB444, the civil-unions bill. Honolulu Weekly.

State tourism officials said Hawaii is seeing an increase in demand for summer travel, both in the domestic and international market. KITV

In January you'll have a new airline to choose from if you're traveling between Seoul and Honolulu. KHON2.

Hawaiian Airlines last week launched its first-ever, nonstop daily flights between Oakland and Maui. Lahaina News.

According to a high Army official, the Army never intended to remove depleted uranium ammunition remnants from Pohakuloa Training Area and Shofield Barracks, and it has no plans to do so for as long as the firing ranges at those facilities are still in use. Big Island Weekly.

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann's campaign for governor has questioned former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie's support for removing a federal ban on offshore oil drilling, pointing to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as an example of the danger.Star-Advertiser.

A new poll released Wednesday suggests Hawaii's Democratic Party is likely to take back the governor's office. Hawaii News Now.

A new poll shows both former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie and Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann ahead of Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona in hypothetical matchups for governor in November. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Charmaine Tavares will take until Tuesday to sign into law a bill that will make it illegal to use a cellular phone or other mobile electronic devices while driving. Maui News.

W.S. Merwin acknowledges that his relatively reclusive life on a former pineapple plantation built on the slopes of Haleakala on Maui will be disturbed by the Library of Congress’ announcement this morning naming him the country’s poet laureate. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiians want bridge work stopped, claim ‘obfuscation.' Garden Island.

Staking for construction of both a new Wailua Beach parking lot and a retaining wall that is part of the old cane-haul-bridge widening project could have alarmed some residents who may have thought it was for construction of the county’s coastal path, said a state Department of Transportation spokeswoman. Garden Island.