Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hawaii lawmakers seek higher automobile fees, Waikiki restaurant foreign language fee draws debate, landfill managers under fire, Haleiwa development opposed, Stock Exchange scrutinizes Maui Land, basil fungus feared, more news

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann
Sidestepping a question about her political aspirations in 2012, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann said her mission in visiting early primary states in the coming months is to keep a focus on the Republican Party's message of restoring limited government and repealing the president's health-care reform law. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers can expect details of Gov. Neil Abercrombie's proposed budget in the next few weeks, about a month earlier than previously expected, the state's acting budget director told a Senate committee considering his nomination yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie's proposed tax increases will take a bite ranging from barely more than $100 for a welfare recipient to thousands for a state government retiree, a Civil Beat investigation has determined. Civil Beat.

The cost of operating a motor vehicle in Hawaii could go up if lawmakers and the administration have their way. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii drivers would have to pay higher registration and weight fees under legislation designed to raise money for repairs on the state's well-worn roads. Associated Press.

The Hawaii House Judiciary Committee is taking up same-sex civil unions next week after the legislation already passed the state Senate. Associated Press.

Glenn Okimoto and Alapaki Nahale-a sailed through their initial confirmation hearings to become the respective directors of the state Departments of Transportation and Hawaiian Home Lands. Hawaii Reporter.

Friction between surfers and stand-up paddle boarders is escalating, and a group of surfers is asking the state to regulate the paddle boarding in certain areas. Tribune-Herald.

Police want lawmakers to close what it calls a potentially deadly loophole in Hawaii's domestic violence law. Associated Press.

Frustrated with all the runaround they get from banks, homeowners are asking lawmakers to help them out especially when dealing with bankers thousands of miles away. Hawaii News Now.

Several homeowners told lawmakers on Wednesday of their frustration dealing with mortgage companies while trying to stave off foreclosure.KITV4.

A Waikiki restaurant has attracted the attention of the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission with a notice that it will add a 15 percent gratuity to the checks of patrons who don't speak English. Associated Press.

The chairman of the state Land Use Commission blasted the company that manages the city's Waimanalo Gulch Landfill Wednesday. KITV4.

The Land Use Commission called a meeting Wednesday to get an update on the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill and where the City stands as far as finding a replacement or supplemental site. KHON2.

The Blame Game: A merry-go-round of non-accountability. Honolulu Weekly.

Young Brothers Ltd., which has enjoyed a monopoly on interisland shipping in Hawaii for years, will face a new competitor this month. Tribune-Herald.

Island batteries: EIS scoping meetings to hear testimony on Hawaii wind power plans. Hawaii Independent.

The first vehicles belonging to the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade have arrived on the Big Island and will be used at Pohakuloa Training Area during predeployment training for an Afghanistan tour, said Ozzie Smith, brigade captain. West Hawaii Today.

The first-ever fungus infestation of Hawaii's $6.8 million sweet basil crop discovered late last week has started affecting some businesses while farmers scramble to save their fields. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii and the state Department of Agriculture are helping farmers combat a fast-spreading mildew that's attacking basil plants at several Waianae farms. Associated Press.

Molokai’s community college has cleared a major milestone in expanding its campus. Molokai Dispatch.

The Hawaii Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments at the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law for the first time next week. Associated Press.

Maui Land & Pineapple Co.’s stock gained 19.8 percent Wednesday, prompting the New York Stock Exchange to contact the company regarding the unusual market activity. Pacific Business News

Council Member Riki Hokama reopened the issue of moving the Central Maui sewage treatment plant inland at a meeting of the Water Resources Committee on Tuesday. Maui News.

County Department of Water officials on Wednesday announced the start of two pipeline replacement projects, one in Lihu‘e and the other in Wailua. Garden Island.

State and city officials say an illegal roadside park in Waimanalo poses a danger and must be demolished. KHON2.

A capacity crowd filled the Waialua Community Association building in Haleiwa to discuss developer Andy Anderson's proposal to build a 80-room hotel on unused park land that the city wants to sell. Hawaii News Now.

The debate over what to do with unused city land is heard again in Haleiwa. KITV4.

County taxpayers shouldn't have to pay the commuting and personal transportation costs of high-ranking police officers, County Council members decided Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.