Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hawaii tourism up, surf down, Kilauea grumbles, Legislature in turmoil, website targets spending, counties reorganize, more news from the islands

Tourism rises in isles Star-Advertiser.

La Niña, “the little girl,” has brought her little waves to Hawaii and is wreaking havoc with the world’s best surfers. For the first time in the 28-year history of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing,  presented by Rockstar Energy Drink, Sunset Beach has not delivered a single day of iconic giant surf for the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing. Hawaii Independent.

Extended unemployment benefits for nearly 2 million Americans, including more than 4,000 in Hawaii, begin to run out today, cutting off a steady stream of income and guaranteeing a dismal holiday season for people already struggling with bills they cannot pay. Associated Press.

Nearly a month after the November general election, seven new state representatives lack Capitol offices as the result of an unsettled House leadership struggle, delaying preparations for the first lawmaking session under Gov.-elect Neil Abercrombie's leadership. Associated Press.

Slom thinks Say will hold on to speakership. Civil Beat.

A Hawaii group that favors limited and accountable government has unveiled a new website that details state spending for the last two years. Associated Press.

The site exposes details for more than $12 billion in state spending and transfers since 2008. Grassroot Institute.

Gov.-elect Neil Abercrombie chose the Maui County finance director yesterday to be his budget chief and tapped a veteran Hawaii island lawmaker as the state's top labor official. Star-Advertiser.

Governor-elect Neil Abercrombie added two more nominees to his cabinet Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Gov.-Elect Neil Abercrombie on Tuesday announced his choices to head the Departments of Budget and Finance and Labor and Industrial Relations. KITV4.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii has joined almost five dozen other senators to defeat a proposal that would have imposed a three-year ban on congressionally directed spending — also known as earmarks. Associated Press.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono says she's been elected to the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee in Congress. Associated Press.

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle on Tuesday announced his choices for eight new administrators on his staff, including two department directors. KITV4.

Maui County Mayor-elect Alan Arakawa named six new members to his Cabinet on Monday, including two key people to help him achieve his campaign goals, Danny Agsalog as director of the Department of Finance and Dave Taylor as director of the Department of Water Supply. Maui News.

Kaua‘i County Council members on Tuesday continued their behind-closed-doors discussion of who they should hire to serve as county clerk. Garden Island.

Incoming Planning Director Michael Dahilig announced Tuesday that Dee Crowell will become deputy planning director effective Dec. 13. Garden Island.

Earlier today there was a confidential meeting within the Department of Transportation regarding employee and management disagreements.  The previous issues escalated to where these two women filed a lawsuit against the airport personnel manager. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii ranks fifth in the nation in methamphetamine use among people age 12 and older, according to a study by the Hawaii Meth Project. KITV4.

Family and Friends are invited to the State Capitol at 11 a.m. today to remember those who have lost loved ones to AIDS. KHON2.

Scientists at Kilauea Volcano will conduct aerial surveillance Wednesday of a new breakout, to determine where the lava flows may be headed next. KHON2.

Tube rupturing, sending flow toward residences near Kalapana Gardens. Tribune-Herald.

There will be a celebration of Hawaii Radio and Entertainment pioneer Krash Kealoha in his hometown of Waimanalo. Hawaii Reporter.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources will begin construction on a new ferry terminal building and other improvements at the Ma'alaea Small Boat Harbor on Maui Friday. KHON2.

Stimulating the local economy by putting people to work -- to "help us paddle our canoe out of the economic doldrums" -- is one of the stated goals of a $56 million bond issue the Hawaii County Council is scheduled to vote on today.West Hawaii Today.

The owner of Ooma Beachside Village wants another chance before the Land Use Commission. West Hawaii Today.

Wailuku town would have raised speed tables on Vineyard Street and a pedestrian greenway along Waiale Road. And, there would be more trees along sidewalks in Kahului and Wailuku. Maui News.