Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hawaii stimulus job creation debated, more agencies want more money, Senate doesn't have a prayer, 2010 driest on record, more news from the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii grows more corn for seed than for eating, and the seed industry is the new sugar for Hawaii, accounting for more than a third of all farmgate revenue in the islands. Hawaii News Now.

The year 2010 was among the driest on record, according to year-end rainfall totals reported by the National Weather Service. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County officials expect a finding of no significant impact in the county's draft environmental assessment of a planned agriculture park on 1,739 acres of Kapulena farmland. West Hawaii Today.

Dwight Takamine's effort to help rebuild the job market on the Hamakua Coast after the collapse of the Big Island's sugar industry is indicative of the passion he will bring to his new job as head of the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, his supporters say. Star-Advertiser.

A commission created to oversee and evaluate how American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money is being spent has problems with the estimates of how many local jobs were created or saved by the stimulus dollars. Hawaii Reporter.

State Senate leaders will recommend that the Senate end the invocations traditionally offered by clergy before floor sessions to avoid intruding on the separation between church and state. Star-Advertiser.

And the state Senate seat goes to ... Neil Abercrombie's East Hawaii campaign chairman. West Hawaii Today.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Tuesday announced his choice to replace Sen. Russell Kokubun, who has taken the job of Department of Agriculture director. KITV4.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has named leaders of state agencies that focus on youths, the elderly, taxation, and consumer affairs. Associated Press.

Hawaii schools got a C-plus in an annual report that grades the quality of the nation's public education systems, coming in slightly higher than the national average but lower than 19 other states. Star-Advertiser.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee continued its week-long review of the executive budget. Today, the Department of Human Services provided its fiscal overview. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Hawaii Department of Human Services is asking for funding increases of 16 percent and 20 percent over the next two years — mostly due to increased costs for health-care services for low-income adults and children. Civil Beat.

Interim DHS director Pat McManaman told a Senate money committee Tuesday she needs $2.3 billion in 2012 and $2.4 billion in 2013 to fund a basic budget, plus emergency money that tops $100 million. Hawaii News Now.

The University of Hawaii says it needs $1.9 million to tighten its Web security and lessen the chance of future data breaches of individual privacy. Star-Advertiser.

The Walt Disney Co. will be the 2011 sponsor of the Hawaii Minority Business Advisory Committee, part of the Hawaii Minority Supplier Certification. Pacific Business News.

It's like finding a needle in a haystack. That's what a member of the Illegal Fireworks Task Force said Tuesday about the importation of aerials, outlawed in Hawaii since 1994. KHON2.

Hundreds of law enforcement, military and federal officials met in Waikiki on Tuesday for briefings and presentations on the security concerns surrounding the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference. KITV4.

Kamehameha Schools increased security this week, bringing in state sheriffs deputies to patrol its Kalihi campus and its Kakaako administrative offices because of a “potential threat” by a recent graduate. KITV4.

Schofield resident Jenny Rogers was with friends at Young Guns in Mapunapuna Saturday, browsing the aisles of the gun store. Star-Advertiser.

Upper Kula residents and businesses are being advised to boil water after heavy rains washed out approximately 60 feet of waterline near Kawehi Place in Kula. Maui News.

Kaua‘i law enforcement officers say they are cracking down on prescription drug abuse, calling it a “serious and growing problem in our community.” Garden Island.

Experts and long-time residents emphasized Lualualei Valley’s cultural and agricultural significance in testimony last week to the State Land Use Commission (LUC). The nine commission members will decide in May whether 96 acres of agricultural land will be reclassified for urban use—namely for Tropic Land LLC’s construction of a proposed light industrial park. Hawaii Independent.

A subscription-based journalism website is allowing occasional readers to access its content for free in an evolving effort to make money from online news. Associated Press.

Mayor Alan Arakawa announced today that applications are still being accepted for Boards, Councils, Commissions and Committees. Molokai Dispatch.