Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Unions like labor nominee, tax collections, bankruptcies down, plastic bag bans at issue, lobbying laws leave folks guessing, more Hawaii news

Sen. Dan Inouye brings buses to Big Island (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Hawaii programs that depend on hundreds of millions of congressional dollars are in jeopardy after U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said yesterday he would ban "earmarks" for the next two years. Star-Advertiser.

Labor leaders from public and private sector unions jammed a hearing Tuesday morning for Dwight Takamine, 58, a former state legislator appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie as state labor director. KITV4.

The union that represents Hawaii's police officers has reached a self-triggered impasse with the county mayors and Governor Neil Abercrombie. KHON2.

State tax collections are down 2.8 percent through the first half of the fiscal year, according to the state Department of Taxation, but revenues would be up 6.3 percent if the delay in income tax refunds last year is factored out. Star-Advertiser.

A total of 245 bankruptcy cases were filed in Hawaii in January, down 11 percent from the 276 cases recorded for the same month last year, according to statistics from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Hawaii.Pacific Business News

The largest photovoltaic system in the state, located in Kapa‘a, is ready to go. Garden Island.

A bill to limit the state's cost from solar energy tax credits has sent a chill through the state's solar energy industry. KITV4.

New laws cost taxpayers' money, and Hawaii Republican legislators want a clearer accounting of how much. Associated Press.

Hawaii's lobbying laws leave organizations guessing what expenditures they're required to report with the state ethics commission. Civil Beat.

There are dozens of animal protection laws going through the state capitol this session, some of which stem from our reports over the summer on puppy farms. Hawaii News Now.

State plans to fly unmanned aerial surveillance drones over Hawaii harbors are now “under review” by Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s administration, a spokesman for the Department of Transportation says. Hawaii Reporter.

It's a program that's estimated to cost nearly one billion dollars, with the goal of our state being much less dependent on imported oil. KHON2.

Students from Hualalai Academy, Holualoa Elementary and Parker School swelled the ranks of supporters as the County Council Environmental Management Committee voted 5-3 to move a plastic bag reduction bill forward. West Hawaii Today.

A new law banning checkout plastic bags went into effect three weeks ago, but many food service establishments are allegedly already complaining of food breaking through paper bags and possible contamination. Garden Island.

The annual push in the Legislature to restrict the use of fireworks in Hawaii is under way.Tribune-Herald.

State legislators are seeking to change who sits on the board governing the state's semiautonomous hospital system.West Hawaii Today.

Alapaki Nahale-a, Gov. Neil Abercrombie's nominee for Hawaiian Homes Commission chairman, says there needs to be strong emphasis on putting Hawaiians in homes, even if they do not have a deed saying they own the property. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Abercrombie's Social Media Director Speaks on Sustaining Your Network. Hawaii Public Radio.

Mayor Alan Arakawa has appointed Bill Medeiros to his executive staff, making him the third former Maui County Council member to get a post in the new administration. Maui News.

Sometime next year the Department of Transportation may take a snapshot of your car’s license plate as you travel down the H1 Freeway. KHON2.

A divided County Council on Tuesday advanced new rules for dividing the county into council districts, when the Committee on Governmental Relations voted 7-2 for a stricter redistricting plan. West Hawaii Today.

Inspectors from the state Department of Agriculture captured a live snake in Waipahu Sunday. Several citizens and the Honolulu Police Department were also involved in the capture. Hawaii News Now.

Grand Wailea owners scramble to settle debt. Maui News.

The Molokai Public Library will be closed from Feb. 14 to March 18 for re-carpeting. Molokai Dispatch.