Tuesday, March 8, 2011

We're happy and we know it, Kilauea amazes, unions have deal, Legislature takes up tax and spend bills, Kauai County sinks money in golf course, news from the Hawaiian Islands

Kilauea photo USGS Hawaii Volcano Observatory
Sun and waves might be good for the soul, according to a new national survey naming Hawaii as tops in well-being among U.S. states — but the sunshine doesn't necessarily elbow out Northern Lights and snow, as Alaska also made the top 10 happiest states list. KHON2.

The happiest man in America likes to laugh and be intellectually stimulated, lives with a frisky, oversize puppy, cooks kosher meals for young scholars at his home in Manoa — and enjoys the love of a good woman he's been married to for the last 35 years. Star-Advertiser.

Visitors are flocking to the Big Island's Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to get a glimpse of the lava that is spewing from the fissure near Pu'u O'o crater. KITV4.

After wandering Kilauea Volcano's flanks for the past 28 years, Madame Pele has returned to where she started one of the world's most active lava flows. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii’s Legislature is nearing the halfway point in its annual session. Senate Bill 1274, a healthcare bill to reconcile the State with the federal Affordable Care Act means some nuanced aspects of healthcare as we now know it in Hawaii may change. Hawaii Independent.

Five of Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie's Cabinet appointees are still awaiting Senate hearings and confirmation votes, months after most of them were nominated in December. Associated Press.

The Hawaii State House Minority Caucus met for eight hours Monday mapping out their votes as the Legislature moves toward crossover deadlines this week. Hawaii Reporter.

One of the options lawmakers may be considering is a proposal to temporarily suspend existing exemptions from the general excise tax. West Hawaii Today.

Three years after the Hawaii Senate went paperless, the House hasn't followed suit. Civil Beat.

Roughly 1,300 striking Hawaiian Electric Co. workers could be back to work by the end of this week if they approve a tentative agreement reached yesterday by negotiators for the company and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1260. Star-Advertiser.

Maui Electric Co. union workers began picketing at the company's Kahului main office Sunday for the first time since the union called a strike Friday afternoon. Maui News.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa union workers, who have been without a contract since June, have reached a tentative agreement with the company and will vote today on whether to accept it. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu plans to close Keaau beach park on the Waianae Coast this week and force out about the homeless who live there. Associated Press.

Traffic was snarled and ground floor businesses near the intersection of Royal Hawaiian Avenue and Kuhio Avenue were flooded late Monday morning when a 12" water main broke under Royal Hawaiian Avenue. Hawaii News Now.

Prices of condominiums on the Big Island and Kauai fell in February, even though the number of units sold saw a healthy increase. Pacific Business News

Wailua Golf Course was once the highest-ranked municipal course in the nation. Garden Island.