Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hawaii House moves budget, governor proposes tech czar, Honolulu symphony assets on auction block today, Maui postpones end to furloughs, Honolulu 30% gas tax hike proposed, Kauai mayor wants 12% budget increase, tsunami relief, more news

Puuhonua o Honaunau Photo (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Powerful tsunami surges hit Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, stole the sand and uncovered "cultural and historical evidence," including sites where posts once stood and fires ignited, said Eric Andersen, the park's chief of interpretation. West Hawaii Today.

The state House yesterday approved its draft of the two-year state budget, but with an asterisk. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie is saying that he's "flexible" on raising the state's general excise tax, its broadest source of tax income. Associated Press.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie is establishing a new Office of Information Management and Technology, assisted by a $3 million grant from e-Bay founder Pierre Omidyar. Pacific Business News

A $3 million effort to modernize the state's computer and technology systems aims to streamline core governmental functions and eliminate redundancy across departments, Gov. Neil Abercrombie said yesterday in announcing the public-private partnership.Star-Advertiser.

The chairman of the Council on Revenues says the effects of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant crisis could materially affect Hawaii tax revenues, a development that would exacerbate the state budget shortfall. Hawaii News Now.

Governor Neil Abercrombie said Wednesday the state will be agressive and not "lie down" and accept the consequences of falling Japanese tourism. KITV4.

The Governor says the tragic tsunami in Japan … …the nuclear threat there and the potentially long road to recovery are foremost in the minds of state leaders.Hawaii Public Radio.

The U.S. Postal Service in Hawaii has begun checking mail arriving from Japan after mail in San Francisco and New York showed low levels of radiation, USPS officials said. KITV4.

So what’s all the potassium iodide hype about? Hawaii Independent.

Island banks are teaming to serve as collection points for the "Aloha for Japan" relief effort. KHON2.

The Hawaii Ethics Commission today opposed a bill that would loosen restrictions on gift-giving to public officials, including legislators. Hawaii Reporter.

Ron Tam and Ed Watamura are just two of the state's many commercial and recreational fishermen who disagree with the state's outright ban on bottom fishing in a dozen so-called spawning areas. Hawaii News Now.

The defunct Honolulu Symphony’s assets will be auctioned beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Waikiki Resort Hotel. Assets include its music library, two grand pianos and other instruments. Pacific Business News

Hawaii Electric Light Co. is working to correct recent Big Isle customers' electric bills that were higher than normal following the company's use of estimated meter readings while utility workers were on strike. West Hawaii Today.

The Honolulu City Council advanced measures to raise the gas tax 30 percent over three years. KHON2.

The mayor's proposed city budget for the 2012 fiscal year reached the city council Wednesday and was criticized for raising fees and taxes while showing no effort to reorganize city priorities or cut waste. KITV4.

Mayor Peter Carlisle is recommending setting aside more than $43 million to fund 1,095 vacant positions as part of his operating budget for next year. Civil Beat.

Mayor Peter Carlisle’s administration has informed the City Council that it won’t be submitting an operating or capital improvement budget for the rail project in the upcoming year, saying instead that will be the purview a new authority that begins work on July 1. Hawaii Reporter.

A proposal to end furlough days for Maui County workers was deferred without objection Tuesday afternoon by members of the County Council's Budget and Finance Committee. Maui News.

Kauai mayor's budget proposal up 12% over current fiscal year. Garden Island.

In the face of a gloomy economy and uncertain impacts from the disaster in Japan, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.’s administration has put forward an operating budget for next fiscal year that would almost entirely clean up the county’s reserve fund. Garden Island.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie made a brief visit to Maalaea Harbor on Tuesday afternoon to assess damage at the state's small-boat harbor, one of the areas hardest hit by last week's earthquake-generated tsunami. Maui News.

County Council members on Tuesday took a step toward rescinding their endorsement of selling 737 acres in Paauilo to balance the county budget. Tribune-Herald.

Authorities say lava-ignited fires from a volcano eruption in Hawaii continue to spread across Volcanoes National Park. Associated Press.