Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hawaii prepares for Obama visit, Inouye pushes earmarks bill, inmates sue state, Abercrombie to name more Cabinet picks today, Kona coffee farmers optimistic, more news from around the islands

A hat trick of all three of the Big Island's state senators moving to Gov. Neil Abercrombie's Cabinet is still a possibility, the governor confirmed Monday. West Hawaii Today.

In the waning days of the lame duck congressional session, Democrats led by Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye -- in collaboration with a handful of old-school Republicans -- are pushing to wrap $1.27 trillion worth of unfinished budget work into a single "omnibus" appropriations bill. Associated Press.

A federal government spending measure pending in the U.S. Senate calls for a study on forming a Native Hawaiian governing entity. Associated Press.

Native Hawaiian practitioners have called for a stop to a State of Hawaii construction project in on Oahu’s leeward coast that began last month without the proper precautions to protect against disturbing burial sites. Hawaii Independent.

Aviators face flight restrictions because of Obama visit. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu police have hit the streets to prepare for the President. Hawaii News Now.

The average Hawaii household income grew by nearly 30 percent from 2000 to 2009, according to new Census data released yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

On Tuesday, the state of Hawaii began using federal funds to pay for unemployment benefits. KHON2.

The Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) will audit the federal funding of the Compact of Free Association (COFA) with the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, says Congressman Charles Djou, R-HI, who supports the review. Hawaii Reporter.

Eighteen Hawaii inmates have sued the state of Hawaii and the Corrections Corporation of America. KITV4.

Five employees at the Hawaii Department of Public Safety were paid for more than 2,000 hours of overtime during the 2009 budget year, a Civil Beat investigation found. Civil Beat.

The number of nationally certified teachers in the islands continues to rise, with 44 new names added to the list this year. Star-Advertiser.

A University of Hawaii lecturer who agreed to an unpaid suspension after using foul language in class says he has quit and will refuse to turn his students' grades in to administrators. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii health officials in 2007 and 2008 were unable to rapidly identify E. coli or adequately staff laboratories to respond to an outbreak such as the H1N1 flu, according to a national survey released yesterday that dinged Hawaii's preparedness for public health disasters. Star-Advertiser.

Inter-island carrier go! Mokulele Airlines experienced a drop in the number of passengers last month.KHON2.

New technology to pinpoint the origin of illegal fireworks could be on the way to Honolulu. KITV4.

Although former Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole has been voted out of office, she might continue drawing checks at taxpayers' expense through mid-2011. Tribune-Herald.

Kona coffee farmers say they've got reason to be optimistic, even in light of more reports of coffee berry borer damage. West Hawaii Today.

For the first time in its five-year history, the Hawaii County Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Commission is recommending taxpayer money be spent on an agricultural easement to lock property into farmland. West Hawaii Today.

Maui Mayor-elect Alan Arakawa has named a new chief for the county Transportation Department. Associated Press.

A project to bring order to many years of haphazard parking near the Keawakapu Beach access would result in less parking, and that has led to protests from neighbors. Maui News.

State and county officials are notifying the public that treated effluent mixed with storm water was discharged into the Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor. Garden Island.

Big Island police arrested a 21-year-old man Tuesday (December 14) during a lockdown at Kealakehe High School. Associated Press.