Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hawaii mayors bring wish lists to Legislature, prison suicide leads to probe, military beefing up Big Island, downsizing Oahu, Native Hawaiian lawsuit renewed, Hawaiian Electric gets tier billing approval, City Council mulls transit plan, Big Island council members face ethics charges, more news

Even Hawaii has snow on the ground, along with every other state except Florida. Associated Press.

Moisture and unstable air ahead of a cold front brought heavy snow showers to Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa summits, causing delight along with danger and a road closure Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

The Transient Accommodations Tax, better known as the hotel room tax, is something all four mayors depend on to help their counties' budgets. KITV4.

Presenting a modest wish list of projects, mostly from Maui and the Big Island, the state's four county mayors appeared before the Legislature's money committees yesterday with the same message as last year: Don't touch our hotel room tax money. Star-Advertiser.

In an appearance before the Legislature's financial committees, Hawaii's four mayors urged lawmakers not to grab the counties' share of hotel tax revenues. Associated Press.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. said on Wednesday that although he will not request funding for special projects this year, he will ask Governor Neil Abercrombie to release funding that was set aside in the 2009 legislative session for improvements to the Wailua emergency bypass road, a county press release stated. Garden Island.

"The unavoidable truth is we now have a county government that we cannot afford," Kenoi said in a five-page letter to members of the state Legislature. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Billy Kenoi on Wednesday asked state lawmakers for $35 million to finance needed infrastructure projects that also would generate development jobs. Tribune-Herald.

Jump-starting Hawaii's economy, creating jobs and getting various capital improvement projects under way were among the priorities legislators expressed during a town meeting Wednesday in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

Kokubun, until recently a Big Island senator, got reacquainted with old friends Wednesday when the Senate Ways and Means Committee held a informational budget briefing for the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, which Kokubun now serves as interim director.Civil Beat.

When the last Democratic administration quit the halls of state government in 2002, several members of Gov. Ben Cayetano’s departing cabinet deftly found shelter in civil service positions, much to the annoyance of Gov. Linda Lingle. Hawaii Reporter.

A KITV4 News Investigation has found disturbing allegations surrounding a death in prison. KITV4.

Hawaii Senate leaders are recommending that the chamber end religious invocations before floor sessions. Associated Press.

Big Island Prosecutor Jay Kimura is announcing that he will retire in April. Associated Press.

The last company of soldiers may have stormed the hills of Makua Valley with M-4 rifles blazing, artillery whistling overhead, mortars pounding mock enemy positions and helicopters firing from above. Star-Advertiser.

Testifiers pan Army plan. West Hawaii Today.

Heavy rain hit all across Oahu overnight, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood warning. KHON2.

The county Department of Water Supply is advising Upper Kula residents and businesses from Waiakoa Road to Kanaio to continue boiling their water as a precautionary measure. Maui News.

New York native Ralph Lombardo's back for another surfing vacation - his annual getaway from snow and stress. Hawaii News Now.

Sure, it's miserable weather for those who live in Hawaii, but compared to parts of the mainland, this is still paradise. KITV4.

The state appeals court reinstated a lawsuit yesterday by six Native Hawaiians seeking sufficient funding for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands from the state.Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii County Board of Ethics on Wednesday advanced one County Council member's case to a formal hearing and postponed action on another. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County's Board of Ethics decided Wednesday it needs more information to determine if two County Council members committed ethical violations. Tribune-Herald.

What began as a City Council hearing on the rail transit project's two financial analyses ended up yesterday as something of a panel discussion on the larger merits of the $5.5 billion project. Star-Advertiser.

Promises that Hawaiian Electric Co. and Castle & Cooke have made to Lanai in exchange for being allowed to build a wind farm on the island are a starting point for discussions on the the project, the vice chairman of the state Senate Committee on Energy and the Environment said Tuesday. Associated Press.

Hawaiian Electric got approval for a program that will help customers who conserve energy save even more money.Hawaii Public Radio.

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has approved a tiered structure of electric rates for residential customers of Hawaii Electric Light Co. on the Big island and Maui Electric Co. Pacific Business News.

Four University of Hawaii at Manoa students will be spending the Spring 2011 semester in Washington, D.C., as Fellows interning in all four offices of Hawaii’s Congressional delegation. Hawaii Independent.

If you are becoming increasingly concerned about the cost and quality of the fish you are serving to your family, you have good reasons to be worried. Garden Island.