Thursday, February 10, 2011

Kauai reconsiders plastic bag ban, video shows couple swept off rocks, Abercrombie defies open records laws, neighbor islands fear social services cuts, Hawaii lawmakers consider soda tax, gambling, civil unions, prayers, more

Hawaiian activist Abel Lui (c) 2011 All Hawaii News

Hawaii County could lose $2.5 million in state and federal grants to purchase Kawa Bay property because of a battle with Native Hawaiians claiming ownership there. West Hawaii Today.

Sen. Clayton Hee has credibility as a proponent of Native Hawaiian rights. So when he says there's something wrong with a bill that would give the Office of Hawaiian Affairs $200 million to settle a 32-year-old debt, there must be something going on. Civil Beat.

Despite the opinion by the head of the state agency that administers Hawaii's open-records law, Gov. Neil Abercrombie will not release the names of candidates to the Hawaii Supreme Court. Star-Advertiser.

Civil unions appear to be quickly moving toward final legislative approval, with a House vote pending and a Senate leader saying he'll likely accept amendments to the legislation, avoiding the need for additional hearings.Associated Press.

From her home in Kaneohe, the Rev. Toni Baran coordinates commitment ceremonies for gay couples.KITV4.

While most gambling proposals are foundering at the Legislature, a House panel has advanced a measure that would allow bingo on lands designated by the Hawaiian Homes Commission. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii House of Representatives voted Wednesday to continue holding prayers before daily legislative sessions, unlike the state Senate, which became the first legislative body in the nation to cancel them last month. Associated Press.

Alcohol and soda, two consumer favorites, could be hit with new taxes to help with the state's budget deficit and promote healthy lifestyles. Star-Advertiser.

Steep new tax increases on alcoholic and sugared beverages proposed by the Abercrombie administration would cost jobs and unfairly impact low and middle income consumers, opponents testified at a Senate committee today. Hawaii Reporter.

The governor appointed Don Horner to the Board of Education yesterday, saying the First Hawaiian Bank board chairman and chief executive officer embodies the leadership qualities he wants to see on the board that sets policy for Hawaii's public schools. Star-Advertiser.

Kealii Lopez is Hawaii's new director for the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs following her confirmation by the full Senate. Associated Press.

A proposed measure that would have drastically changed the car stereo industry has been sidelined for now. KHON2.

The Kaua‘i County Council on Wednesday approved on first reading an amendment to the plastic bag ban that would allow establishments serving ready-to-eat food to distribute plastic bags to customers. Garden Island.

Video shows wave washing couple off wall at Shark's Cove. Hawaii News Now.
Video.

A six-foot-long blue shark beached herself on Kauai and gave birth to several pups before dying. Associated Press.

The last city and county park along the leeward Oahu coast is next in line for a major cleanup, which will force the eviction of more than a hundred homeless campers at Keaau Beach Park. KITV4.

The completion of a $7.8 million construction project in East Oahu has been delayed. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Billy Kenoi and key administration officials answered citizens' questions on a wide range of topics in the Kukuihaele and Waipio communities, especially about the need for water and road improvements. Tribune-Herald.

The Molokai veterans group said it has discussed a tentative agreement with Maui County which would OK the permit for a new veterans’ center in Kaunakakai. Molokai Dispatch.

Maui Electric Co. is seeking a supplier of approximately 50 megawatts of firm renewable electric power. Maui News.

Social programs on the Big Island will take a big hit in two months, when the state Department of Human Services cuts off funding. Tribune-Herald.

Students and community members rallied Wednesday afternoon to raise public awareness of the state’s intent to cut funding for several key youth programs. Garden Island.