Friday, January 7, 2011

Hawaii farm to fuel project, military to stay strong in Pacific, school impact fees coming to Maui, but not the Big Island, Maui, Kauai expect budget surpluses, Oahu, Hawaii, shortfalls, Honolulu hotels filling up, more news from the Hawaiian Islands

Crops grown on Hawaii's Big Island will be converted into liquid fuel as part of a deal announced Thursday between Hawaiian Electric Co. and renewable energy company Aina Koa Pono. Associated Press.

Hawaiian Electric Company has struck a deal to buy more than 300 million gallons of liquid biofuel from a local company over the next two decades. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Co. has signed a contract to buy 16 million gallons a year of locally produced biofuel to power its generators in a move that will allow the state to take a big step toward reducing its dependence on fossil fuel. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric company announced a major deal today to turn Big Island crops into liquid fuel. KHON2.

At the same time the Pentagon announced big budget cuts yesterday, the head of the U.S. military in the Pacific said that "Hawaii is of extreme strategic importance" to the United States because of its mid-Pacific location facing Asia -- the "economic engine for the rest of the world." Star-Advertiser.

Kauai and Maui are experiencing budget surpluses, while Oahu and the Big Island predict budget shortfalls this year. KITV4.

With its economy sputtering, Hawaii is in the perfect position to foster healthier residents at less cost, says Health Director-designate Dr. Neal Palafox.Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s hotels were 80.1 percent full for the last week of 2010, according to Smith Travel Research and Hospitality Advisors. That was 2.7 percentage points higher than the same week in 2009. Pacific Business News.

Landowners who want to build new housing units in Central, South and West Maui will soon have to pay new "impact fees" for the construction of new school facilities. Maui News.

The state's Department of Education is collecting impact fees on Maui, but Hawaii County still opposes the plan to levy similar fees in West Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

The Windward Planning Commission on Thursday unanimously approved a special permit for Yamada & Sons Inc. to dig a new quarry near the landfill, but not before two members scolded County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong for publicly airing his concerns. West Hawaii Today.

Maui County’s Department of Environmental Management has prepared an Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Wailuku-Kahului Wastewater Reclamation Facility Shoreline Protection Extension Project, which will be published in The Environmental Notice on January 23. Hawaii Independent.

The West Maui Charter Working Group recently released its final report offering six proposals for amending the Maui County Charter during the upcoming Charter Review Commission. Lahaina News.

Public schools in Hawaii will have a hard time complying with a new state law requiring more instructional time next school year, Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said today. Associated Press.

They raised the fares and reduced the service areas, but school buses are still costing the Department of Education $20 million more than they were budgeted for. KITV4.

Several state officials provided dozens of North Hawaii residents an update regarding legislative priorities for the upcoming session Thursday evening in Waimea. West Hawaii Today.


Tenants went toe-to-toe Thursday with State Health and Public Housing officials. They've been told their washing machines are in violation of state health codes and that they'd have to give them up, effective immediately. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Firefighters hope that security cameras at the Hawaiian Waste Management facility will help determine cause of blaze. KITV4.

With carpooling and mass transit use down, island workers are leaving for their jobs earlier to avoid traffic and shorten their commutes. Civil Beat.

In the coming months Hawaii Public Radio will take an important step closer toward its long-time dream of providing two, first-class program services to the entire state and, of equal importance, providing people around the state with a means to talk to one another, exchange information, debate and tell stories, using our airwaves. Hawaii Public Radio.

A Maui businessman pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to charges that he bilked more than 50 people of up to $20 million in a long-running Ponzi scheme. Maui News.

Federal authorities are investigating a loan officer fired from the Bank of America’s Honolulu office last month for allegedly stealing at least $1 million of customer funds to repay personal gambling debts, HawaiiReporter has learned. Hawaii Reporter.

Nine Island School high school students participated in this year’s model United Nations conference on O‘ahu, Dec. 10-11. Garden Island.