Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Feds seek quiet skies over Hawaii national parks, Senate budget assumes furlough savings, court says state at fault in Kauai hiker deaths, more Hawaii news

Ala Wai boat harbor (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
A handful of bills allowing increased privatization of Hawaii’s harbors was kept alive at the Legislature yesterday despite opposition of some boat owners who also worry about separate development proposals to bring wedding chapels to the state’s largest recreational boat harbor. Star-Advertiser.

The state Senate Ways and Means Committee approved the Senate’s draft of the budget yesterday, which would preserve the equivalent of two furlough days a month for state workers to help contain costs through the next two years. Star-Advertiser.

Sen. Sam Slom, the lone Republican in the state Senate, said Tuesday that it is clear to him that public worker unions are the ones putting pressure on the Legislature to raise the general excise tax 20 percent. KITV4.

With the state facing a $1.3 billion budget shortfall over the next two years, the Senate Ways and Means Committee passed a $21.9 billion state budget on Tuesday. Hawaii Reporter.

No school days furloughed, but school bus service cut. Hawaii News Now.

Derek Kawakami is no longer a Kaua‘i County Council member. Garden Island.

Budget cuts threaten Hawaii’s prisoner rehabilitation strategies. Hawaii Independent.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority says the number of airline seats to the islands is expected to be little changed from last year during the next few months despite a reduction in flights from Japan. Associated Press.

More than four years after two hikers fell to their deaths near Opaeka'a Falls on Kauai, a judge has ruled the state "totally" at fault. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Army National Guard’s combat brigade was notified today of a possible deployment to Afghanistan two years from now. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Hawaii Army National Guard received notice that it may be deployed to Afghanistan in 2013, the department announced Tuesday. KITV4.

As the nation’s military and civilian leaders debate the size of a drawdown expected to start in Afghanistan in July, record numbers of Hawaii-based troops are projected to serve in the country for years to come. Star-Advertiser.

Abercrombie Never Promised Transparency. Civil Beat.

The National Park Service and the Federal Aviation Administration are seeking public comment on possible regulations for commercial tour flights over Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Associated Press.

The National Park Service and the Federal Aviation Administration want to hear from you. Tribune-Herald.

An air tour management plan is being developed for commercial air tours in and around Haleakala National Park, the National Park Service said Monday. Maui News.

More than a thousand pages of documents have been released in response to open-records requests about storm water and waste discharge from Oahu's city landfill into the ocean this winter. KHON2.

Former Honolulu City Council Chairman Todd Apo has surfaced as a potential pick for the new transit agency's board of directors — and so have new details about his two ethics violations, including a $500 civil fine. Civil Beat.

Hawaii County administrators on Tuesday brought a revised bond ordinance with a detailed list of projects to the County Council, hoping to win support for the $56 million bond issue when the council takes it up today. West Hawaii Today.

The state is asking a 2nd Circuit Court judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed in January by Public Access Trails Hawaii-Maui. Maui News.

A Kekaha community group announced Tuesday that it has filed complaints with the Department of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency against an energy developer for its lack of transparency in plans to remove toxic substances from the site of an old sugar mill. Garden Island.

The University of Hawaii at Hilo has asked the state Legislature for $36 million to build more on-campus housing for students, but the state's budget crunch may mean that UHH will have to defer the projects. Tribune-Herald.

Queen Kaahumanu Highway widening construction is scheduled to begin in September, state transportation officials said Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.