Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hawaii No. 1 in IOU, locking up the homeless, new candidates, judges, fireworks bans, sewer fees, and more news from all the islands

When state legislators passed a law three years ago calling for the creation of regional `Aha Moku councils to help manage Hawaii’s natural resources, many questioned the logistics of the plan. Molokai Dispatch.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is in the process of revising the rules for uses on conservation lands, and a DLNR spokesperson says it will not look favorably on vacation rentals on such lands. Garden Island.

City wants to involuntarily commit mentally ill homeless people. KHON2.

Currently, Oahu's most severely mentally ill homeless get help only after they've been arrested or they're sick enough to be taken to hospital emergency rooms, but after that, many return to the streets. KITV.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann steps down from his job next week. One of the last things he will ask the city council is to pass two laws aimed at curbing illegal camping on city land. KITV.

Based on Mufi Hannemann's 600,000 Twitter followers, you might guess that half the population of Hawaii is following the mayor. Civil Beat.

Hawaii consumers have racked up the highest credit card debt in the nation, carrying an average of $9,296 per person in the first half of the year. Star-Advertiser

A total ban on consumer fireworks would not stop the problem of illegally imported fireworks overnight, but it could serve as a deterrent and reduce the supply, Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha told City Council members yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

A proposed ban of consumer fireworks on Oahu could become law with just two more votes by the Honolulu City Council. KHON2.

Three Hawaii politicians formally became candidates today, filing documents with the state Office of Elections to appear on state primary ballots in September. Associated Press.

Gary being Gary. Honolulu Weekly.

A consent decree requiring renovations of the city's aging sewer system and more than $1 billion in upgrades of Oahu's two main sewage treatment plants is expected to raise sewer rates for Honolulu residents. Star-Advertiser.

After years of litigation over Honolulu’s sewer systems, the city is one step closer to finalizing a landmark settlement with a group of state and federal environmental agencies and nonprofits. Civil Beat.

A former deputy prosecutor has filed a federal lawsuit against the Maui County Department of the Prosecuting Attorney, alleging she was subjected to discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation before she was fired last year. Maui News.

A fired Maui County deputy prosecutor has filed a federal lawsuit that accuses her former boss and the department of discrimination, retaliation and sexual harassment. Associated Press.

New developments in the HPD scandal over DUI reports. Hawaii News Now.

The wife of state Sen. Fred Hemmings has pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor theft charges stemming from her time as executive director of a nonprofit organization. Associated Press.

Gov. Linda Lingle this week appointed three Honolulu circuit judges, all with prosecutorial backgrounds and two of them women. Star-Advertiser.

Chief Justice Ronald Moon appointed four lawyers yesterday to six-year terms on the Honolulu district court bench. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii County taxpayers should save thousands in interest on $60 million in bonds issued Tuesday, thanks to a higher bond rating reaffirmed by the three major rating agencies. West Hawaii Today.

An executive assistant for the mayor appeared Tuesday before a special commission looking into how Hawaii County spent $115 million in federal stimulus money. Tribune-Herald.

Environmentalist and Kekaha resident Diana LaBedz on Monday pulled papers to challenge Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. in the September mayoral primary, intends to file papers, and thinks she can unseat the incumbent, she said. Garden Island.

The Hawai`i coffee industry unites for the 15th year, gathering growers, millers, wholesalers and retailers from across the state for the annual Hawai`i Coffee Association (HCA) Industry Conference. Big Island Weekly.
Every eight minutes, a pedestrian is injured in an accident in the United States and nearly 5,000 pedestrians are killed annually by motor vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. West Hawaii Today.

Wells Fargo Bank, trustee of the mortgage lending trust group that foreclosed on the Makena Resort last year, fended off two additional bidders Tuesday and prevailed - with a $95 million bid - to purchase the 1,800-acre property and the Makena Beach & Golf Resort. Maui News.

A meeting to review and possibly approve the final report of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Kekaha Host Community Benefits Program is scheduled for July 19. Garden Island.