Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hollywood seeks Hawaii tax credits, soda tax fizzles, Honolulu rail in Obama budget, Big Island wants gas taxes for private roads, parents fight school closures, more Hawaii news

Honolulu homeless photo (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
A legislative committee on Monday discussed the impact of homelessness on Hawaii's tourism industry. Hawaii News Now.

Dozens of bills designed to create affordable housing and help the homeless are flying under the radar at the Hawaii Legislature. Civil Beat.

The state Senate Health Committee advanced a bill yesterday that would increase the tax on alcoholic beverages but removed a provision that would have created a new soda tax. Star-Advertiser.

No stranger to filming in Hawaii, actor Cuba Gooding Jr. told lawmakers yesterday he would like to film more movies in the islands and urged them to approve expanded tax breaks for production companies. Star-Advertiser.

The head of Relativity Media, a major Hollywood production company, asked state senators Monday to support tax credits for media productions and studio construction and a training program for film production workers. KITV4.

The state Legislature is poised to give final approval today to a proposal to permit civil unions in Hawaii, sending it to Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who has promised to sign the measure. Star-Advertiser.

The authority to use gasoline taxes to fix private roads is a power Hawaii County Council members want and one only the state Legislature may grant. Tribune-Herald.

It’s a fairly common phrase: “Hawaii is a special place.” When it comes to gaming, that’s certainly so—only Hawaii and Utah bar gambling. Hawaii Independent.

Russell Kokubun is Hawaii's new agriculture head following his confirmation by the state Senate. Associated Press.

Included in the president’s spending blueprint is a $250 million request for Honolulu’s controversial $5.5 billion rail transit system. KHON2.

Discounting works in the hotel business. At least in the short term. Maui News.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined a Honolulu Japanese goods retailer just over $222,000 for selling and distributing unregistered pesticides and improperly labeled pesticide products. Associated Press.

Waste Management of Hawaii, operators of the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill, announced Monday that it expects the landfill’s stormwater diversion channel to be functional starting Tuesday. Pacific Business News

Twenty years after Molokai’s first flood maps were released, Maui County and federal agencies have presented a major overhaul of flood zones on Molokai.Molokai Dispatch.

Dozens of parents, teachers and community members crowded into a Board of Education meeting room yesterday to speak out against closing three small Honolulu schools, some saying that shuttering the campuses would be unfair given a recent decision to spare two Hawaii Kai schools. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) shut down Hapuna State Recreation area on Monday after a lifeguard spotted what is suspected to be an unexploded ordnance. KHON2.

Hawaii County's confusing bid specifications are delaying construction of the first of many covered play courts Mayor Billy Kenoi has pledged to build islandwide. Tribune-Herald.

Environmental benefits is the focus of the $2.9 million Pelekane Bay Watershed Restoration Project, but Melora Purell also shed light on economic factors Sunday during the Kawaihae Local Resource Council's monthly meeting. West Hawaii Today.

A controversial permit to fence off the easiest access to Lepe‘uli, known as Larsen’s Beach, was surrendered last month. Garden Island.

Stunts on Hawaii Five-0 are of movie caliber but to create the seamless transition from stunt double to actor is quite a task. Hawaii News Now.

Lynne Waters, recently hired as spokeswoman for City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro, has jumped ship from Kaneshiro’s staff to take a high-priced University of Hawaii public relations position, Hawaii Reporter has learned. Hawaii Reporter.