Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hawaii governor reassures unions, shipping charges hiked, Sheraton sold, Hawaiian business boom, school board picks face Senate vetting, taxes, taxes and more

Honolulu homeless (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Homeless are on the move again after a recent sweep in Kakaako. Hawaii News Now.

The number of companies owned by Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders increased at a faster rate here and nationally than business growth overall from 2002 to 2007, and small-business advocates said yesterday there’s reason to believe they continue to thrive despite the down economy. Star-Advertiser.

Hundreds of union workers rallied at the state capitol Monday, some wielding signs that called into question the attack on labor rights across the country. KITV4.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie had a message for the members of more than 20 unions who filled the state Capitol courtyard yesterday: Union support is in the governor’s blood. Star-Advertiser.

Labor union members cheered and chanted Monday at the Hawai‘i Capitol against cuts in government that would come out of their pockets. Associated Press.

More than 500 union workers gathered in the state Capitol rotunda this afternoon to express support for collective bargaining here and on the Mainland. Hawaii Reporter.

Hundreds gathered today at the Hawaii State Capitol to rally for union solidarity and to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was murdered 43 years ago today in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was speaking on behalf of a group of workers seeking to unionize. Hawaii Independent.

On Wednesday, Hawaii lawmakers will hear a measure to modify the state's excise tax. KITV4.

Taxing retiree pensions is being debated at the capitol. Hawaii News Now.

One after another local restaurant owners, liquor distributors, and employees of companies that sell or distribute alcohol testified at a House Finance Committee hearing against increasing the state tax on alcohol. Hawaii News Now.

Treading into politically sensitive territory, state Senate Democrats are asking the public to choose between raising the general excise tax or temporarily suspending a tax exemption on certain business activities to help balance the budget. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii senators are proposing an increase to the state's broadest tax, and they'll discuss it during a public hearing Wednesday. Associated Press.

Lawmakers heard testimony today from residents who want to stop prostitution in areas frequented by children and take it one step further … by targeting sex-trade operators and customers. Hawaii Public Radio.

A new day for accountability in Hawaii schools begins as early as this week, when Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie's nine nominees to the state's first appointed Board of Education in 45 years head into their confirmation hearings.Civil Beat.

The Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort and Spa has been sold. West Hawaii Today.

Courthouse in Wailuku needs fixing. Maui News.

Both Horizon Lines Inc. and Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines will raise their fuel surcharges for specific routes at the beginning of May. Pacific Business News

After a series of natural disasters that hit Japan recently, the bosses at the Hawaii Tourism Authority have hinted for a possible cut in the Hawaii air capacity for the second quarter after the tourism was adversely affected. Top News.

Wailuku District Court Judge Rhonda Lai Loo was appointed Monday to replace retiring 2nd Circuit Judge Joel August, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced. Maui News.

Hawaii residents applied for a record number of permits to buy guns last year and registered a near-record number of firearms, while the islands continued to enjoy the lowest rate of gun-related deaths in the country. Star-Advertiser.

Attorneys for the state Land Use Commission now have through April 25 to provide commission records in response to an appeal filed by Ooma Beachside Village. West Hawaii Today.

Members of Hawaii’s second-largest credit union voted two new faces onto its volunteer board of directors and ousted the chairwoman, reflecting what many said was a need to change the ways of the old board, whose leadership recently came under fire. Star-Advertiser.

Dr. Michael Chun says his retirement from the helm of the Kapalama campus has been discussed in internally for a couple of years -- common of long lead times for transitions at schools the size of Kamehameha. KHON2.