Thursday, January 6, 2011

Obama Hawaii vacation home illegal, Health Department defends water, schools want more money, eight vie for Sen. Kokubun's seat, Big Island council chair fights ethics charge, Colt Brennan's girlfriend sued in traffic crash, Maui library reopens, Kauai vandals hit state equipment, Hawaii Five-0 the people's choice, more

President Barack Obama's two-week stay at his Hawaii Winter White House was illegal under a long-standing Honolulu ban on short-term rentals. Civil Beat.

The level of a toxic chemical in Honolulu's drinking water found by an environmental research group is "not a huge problem," although government testing is continuing, said state Health Director Neal Palafox. Star-Advertiser.

Concerns over Oahu's drinking water surfaced in Bonnie Marsh's home after a mainland group's study claimed Oahu's water supply may be contaminated with high levels of Chromium VI, a suspected cancer causing agent. Hawaii News Now.

State health officials say a Honolulu water sample taken by an environmental group showed only natural levels of a carcinogen called hexavalent chromium. Associated Press.

A new year brings with it new budget wars in the Hawaii Legislature. Civil Beat.

The state schools superintendent said Wednesday that a new law requiring more instructional time in public schools is not possible for some schools and may be too difficult to implement at all this year. KITV4.

The Department of Education presented state senators yesterday with a "no frills" operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year that seeks $129 million to restore cuts and an additional $29 million for what was described as a wish list for tough times. Star-Advertiser.

Despite slightly improved revenue projections, the overall state budget picture remains very bleak, legislators were told today. Hawaii Reporter.

Remember Mufi Hannemann’s now infamous “Compare-and-Decide” mailer? Honolulu Weekly.

One state House member and a former Hawaii County Council chairman are among the eight qualified Democrats seeking appointment to Hawaii's 2nd Senate District. Tribune-Herald.

The 112th U-S Congress convened today on Capitol Hill. Ninety-six freshmen Representatives were sworn into office … including one from Hawaii. Hawaii Public Radio.

Colleen Hanabusa, the former state Senate president, was sworn in yesterday as urban Honolulu's new congresswoman. Star-Advertiser.

Interview: Former Congressman Charles Djou. Hawaii News Now.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye has been sworn into his ninth 6-year term, retaining his status as the longest-serving Senate incumbent. Associated Press.

The head of the environmental group Hawaii’s Thousand Friends complained Wednesday that the city wasn't clear enough about what sensitive areas would be affected by the proposed rail transit project. KITV4.

Almost 5,000 acres of West Molokai pasture lands would be preserved under a plan by Molokai Properties Ltd. Maui News.

A vote on a developer's agreement has spawned an ethics complaint against County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong. West Hawaii Today.

The County Council must be notified when the county administration changes the price of construction or service contracts, according to a bill lawmakers unanimously passed Wednesday. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii County Council will start getting regular reports about contract change orders. West Hawaii Today.

Traffic fatalities jumped by more than 25 percent last year on the Big Island, despite an increase in drunken driving arrests and a drop in major traffic crashes. Star-Advertiser.

Brennan's girlfriend Stream named in suit seeking tort damages. West Hawaii Today.

Maui accountant Lloyd Kimura pleaded guilty Wednesday to nine counts of bank and mail fraud and theft in an elaborate ponzi scheme. Hawaii News Now.

A handful of Waimea residents has filed suit against Hawaii County claiming the approval of a special use permit amendment to expand Parker School's campus and the subsequent dismissal of an appeal of that decision violated state and federal laws. West Hawaii Today.

A $1 billion project proposed by Waikiki giant Kyo-Ya Hotels and Resorts would see the first beach-side resort to go up in the area in over three decades. Hawaii Independent.

A battle over a planned oceanfront hotel and condominium tower next to the Moana Surfrider Hotel in Waikiki is moving to a city review board. Star-Advertiser.

A gun is fired under the watchful eye of Honolulu Police, aimed in the direction of the Hawaii Convention Center. KHON2.

Keokea resident Marjory Stone punched her right fist into the air as she cradled five books while approaching Kahului Public Library on Tuesday. Maui News.

Vandals cost taxpayers $10,000. Garden Island.

"Hawaii Five-0" was declared the best new drama on television at tonight's People's Choice Awards. Star-Advertiser.

Lights ... camera ... action! We’re so used to that instant action and glamour of the silver screen that it’s easy to overlook the many components that go into creating movies. Midweek.

There are not one but two storm fronts that will affect our state. KHON2.

"My dad started here in the 1950s," says Wes, on lunch break at the old Pepe'ekeo power plant. "I grew up around power plants and sugar cane." Big Island Weekly.