Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Feds announce human trafficking sweep, gas hits record high, bedbugs invade Waikiki restaurant, Maui nurses protest pay, Sanjay Gupta bringing Fit Nation to Kona, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu Hale (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Deep funding cuts proposed for the city Office of Economic Development and the Mayor's Office on Culture and the Arts could be scaled back, a key lawmaker says, depending on the support each agency receives when the City Council meets today to weigh budget plans. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will announce the filing of a major human trafficking lawsuit today, involving hundreds of Thai workers throughout California, Washington and Hawai‘i. Garden Island.

Members of the House Finance and Senate Ways and Means committees kicked off a conference committee Tuesday night to start negotiating a final budget draft for the coming two fiscal years.Civil Beat.

Hawaii Republicans are holding a "Balanced Budget Summit" intended to show the public that tax increases aren't needed to address the state's shortfall. Associated Press.

Gas prices hit a new record high in Hawaii today and oil industry analysts say prices are likely to continue rising. Star-Advertiser.

As rising gasoline prices drive up the cost of transportation in Hawaii, the Hawaii State Legislature is poised to pass laws that sharply increase the cost of owning a car or truck. Hawaii Reporter.

A company that builds electric vehicle charging stations announced Tuesday the first steps toward building a network of chargers across Hawaii. KITV4.

O’ahu students rallied at the Capitol to show their support of Clean Energy legislation. Hawaii Public Radio.

A Waikiki restaurant is currently receiving treatment for bed bugs. KHON2.

A 1,200-acre lowland forest preserve in Ka'u is blossoming with native species once thought to have vanished. West Hawaii Today.

An effort by Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann to increase the list of eligible public land purchase properties faltered in the council's Finance Committee Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Work continues at the 1,739-acre Kapulena Agricultural Park in Hamakua, as inmates build fences for initial use as pasture land. Tribune-Herald.

Debris swept into the sea after the Great East Japan Earthquake likely will reach the shores of the Hawaiian Islands in about a year and the West Coast of North America in 2014, according to a Japan-U.S. joint research organization. Hawaii Independent.

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta bringing Fit Nation to Big Island of Hawaii. Big Island Video News.

The federal government is awarding researchers $25 million to study how to prevent obesity among native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. Associated Press.

A newly released study by the State Land and Natural Resources Department and the University of Hawaii’s Sea Grant program is proposing ways to protect Kailua Beach from erosion, and the expected rise in the ocean levels. KITV4.

The state and coastal geologists have prepared a plan to protect sand dunes on Oahu's Kailua Beach from erosion that scientists predict will occur as global warming causes sea levels to rise. Associated Press.

It's been named one of the prettiest beaches in the world but some say the parking at Lanikai Beach in Kailua is getting downright ugly. KHON2.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation 2011 Hawaii Host Committee Tuesday issued a request for proposals for a company to sell Hawaii tours and activities to APEC attendees in November. Pacific Business News

Federal authorities investigating a deadly fireworks explosion on Oahu have started to slowly remove explosives that remain in the underground bunker where five workers were killed. Associated Press.

More than 100 nurses from Maui Memorial Medical Center rallied Monday and plan to gather again Thursday to protest terms of a new contract with the state. Maui News.

University of Hawaii at Hilo administrators anticipate canceling a number of classes next academic year in an effort to cut expenses. Tribune-Herald.

Federal trial for marijuana minister Roger Christie and 13 others has been delayed again. Tribune-Herald.