Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sen. Josh Green not taking top doc post, Oahu property values stable, Maui County clerk at top of payroll, Hawaii Kai school fights closure, Abercrombie names more Cabinet heads, more news from the Hawaiian Islands

According to AAA the average for a gallon of gas at the pump in Hawaii is $3.46. That's up about 6 cents from just a week ago and about 23 cents from this time last year. Hawaii News Now.

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann returned to City Hall this morning. KHON2.

For his official portrait, former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann posed in front of his office desk of five years. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu properties have largely maintained their value through the past year, allowing city officials to breathe a sigh of relief that the revenue will keep flowing even as the city faces an anticipated $100 million shortfall in next year's $1.8 billion operating budget. Star-Advertiser.

New figures released by the City Wednesday show that overall, residential property values across Oahu increased point-4-percent based on the city's real property assessments for 2011. KHON2.

Federal authorities intend to impose less onerous temporary flight restrictions while President Obama and his family are vacationing in Kailua. Associated Press.

United Continental announced Wednesday the company will resume direct flights from the West Coast to Hilo International Airport beginning next June. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie named two more department heads and said he is "on the cusp" of completing his Cabinet with the final two nominees: attorney general and health director. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie promised swift action to bring back all Hawaii inmates serving sentences in mainland prisons in light of a new lawsuit alleging their mistreatment by guards at an Arizona facility. Star-Advertiser.

Neil Abercrombie's New Day plan calls for stopping the practice of sending prisoners out of state. Civil Beat.

Sen. Josh Green looks forward to staying in Senate. Hawaii Reporter.

The state Ethics Commission says it's selected Leslie Kondo to be its new executive director. Associated Press.

Carrying signs that read "Save our School," more than 400 angry parents and community members came out last night to oppose proposals that would close one of two high-performing Hawaii Kai elementary schools, saying both campuses give students a high-quality learning environment and that closing either of them would go against efforts to improve Hawaii's public education. Star-Advertiser.

Leona Rocha-Wilson, the newly elected Maui District representative on the state Board of Education, will serve as vice chairwoman of the board's Committee on Curriculum Instruction and Student Support. Maui News.

State dam inspectors said a dam above Haleiwa did not fail during heavy rains two years ago, although it was heavily damaged. KITV4.

Mayor-elect Alan Arakawa has chosen Maui County Council Member Jo Anne Johnson as his administration's transportation director. Maui News.

A pay raise that County Clerk Peter Nakamura received a year ago based on a Salary Commission recommendation and the Kaua‘i County Council’s approval put him at the top of the county’s pay roll, surpassing the salary of Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. Garden Island.

Since Dec. 1 when a majority of the Kaua‘i County Council appointed Peter Nakamura to continue serving as county clerk, some officials have remained embroiled in a controversy that stems in large part over their interpretation of the County Charter. Garden Island.

"Without a doubt, the number one issue and priority is to deal with the upcoming budget," noted Dominic Yagong, "This is my sixth term, and without a doubt, I know that this is going to be the toughest budget that the county has ever had to deal with." Big Island Weekly.

Hawaii will receive $425,000 from a $21 million settlement with Dannon Co. Inc. over the company's health claims for its Activia yogurt and DanActive dairy drink. Associated Press.

The Gas Company is trying more environmentally friendly ways to produce natural gas. KITV4.

A judge has ruled in favor of a lender in a foreclosure suit on a former Pacific Northwest logger who attempted to turn the former Haina sugar mill in Honokaa into a sawmill. Tribune-Herald.

A request for a special permit to build a condo at Lyman's surf spot goes back before the Leeward Planning Commission today. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Crop Improvement Association (HCIA), a nonprofit trade association, recently announced the impressive growth of the seed industry in our state –estimated at more than $220 million and growing at a rate of 26 percent every year. Honolulu Weekly.

The relationship between humans and honeybees is ancient, as demonstrated by cave paintings in Spain, South Africa, and Nepal, depicting honey hunters collecting honey from wild hives. Molokai Dispatch.

A young couple draped in a blue beach tarp huddle together under a tent on the beach—their infant child held close. For many, it’s not the usual Nativity scene. Hawaii Independent.