Monday, April 4, 2011

Hawaii residents asked to choose their tax hike, airport fees go up, cold water AC, mac nut charcoal plans move forward, county employees' furloughs, pay cuts, OT under review, more news from the Hawaiian Islands

Waikiki road repairs
An ongoing construction project and an untimely water main break provided a double whammy for motorists and businesses in a section of Waikiki Sunday. Hawaii News Now.

This Sunday, Kokua For Japan takes place at the Hilton in Waikiki. Hawaii Public Radio.

State lawmakers want to hear from the public on proposals to raise the general excise tax or temporarily suspend the tax on certain business activities. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie is supporting a tax plan that would increase taxes for Hawaiian Airlines, construction companies and businesses that sublease. KITV4.

As Hawaii lawmakers find ways to fill the State’s budget deficit, tax reform is being cited as a key component to the solution. Hawaii Independent.

All aboard! That seems to be the consensus so far across the Hawaii state legislature for a proposed bill that would jumpstart a state-wide high-speed ferry system. Molokai Dispatch.

For some Honolulu city workers, Furlough Fridays have meant overtime instead of time off. Civil Beat.

The developer of a proposed $200 million air-conditioning system that draws cold sea water several miles off Hono­lulu said the proj­ect is unlikely to threaten endangered species such as monk seals or leatherback turtles. Star-Advertiser.

A Schofield Barracks aviation brigade deploying to southern Af­ghani­stan with 2,600 Hawaii soldiers and 95 helicopters has been unable to conduct high-altitude training on the Big Island because of an inadequate Army environmental assessment, officials said. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Army invited members of the media onto Pohakuloa Training Area on Thursday, to observe their studies on the impacts that the proposed High-Altitude Mountainous Environmental Training, also known as HAMET, may have on the Mauna Kea area. Big Island Video News.

The U.S. Coast Guard is on 24-hour watch at the Kaneohe sand bar - enforcing a safety zone around the CH-53 helicopter that crashed earlier this week. KHON2.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono says she has advanced an amendment to pending legislation that would result in $6 million in federal money to improve Hawaii airports. Associated Press.

The state Department of Transportation says parking rates are due to go up at airports statewide starting May 1 to help the state to raise funds to pay for airport improvements. Associated Press.

Hawaiian Air ranked among the large airlines with the fewest complaints.Associated Press.

Hawaii County employees could be asked to continue twice-monthly furloughs or endure 5 percent wage cuts expected to save taxpayers a combined $10 million annually. Tribune-Herald.

Honolulu City Council member Tom Berg is sticking with his Tea Party roots. Civil Beat.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa wants to spend nearly $44 million on water infrastructure projects during the next fiscal year — almost double what the county is spending this year. Associated Press.

A Big Island technology startup plans this month to begin turning macadamia nut shells into premium grade, granular activate carbon. West Hawaii Today.

Five appointments each to the University of Hawaii Board of Regents and the East West Center Board of Governors were announced this afternoon by Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Hawaii Reporter.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is funding a new Hawaiian cultural training program for volunteers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings taking place in Hawaii this November. Pacific Business News

Steven Nishimura, Kaua‘i’s Democratic party chair, said Foster Ducker, one of the applicants for the party’s nomination, was also in the voting committee that chose the three nominees. Garden Island.

At a party marking Joel August's retirement as a 2nd Circuit Court judge, emcee Judge Richard Bissen joked that if you read the letters to the editor of The Maui News, you'd think that opinions about the jurist started at bad and went down from there. Maui News.

The governor's new pick to represent Hawaii Island on the state Board of Education says his main mission will be to serve as a cheerleader for the school system. Tribune-Herald.