Monday, April 25, 2011

Hawaii Supreme Court takes up native squatting rights, Real ID real expensive for counties, Maui group sues over Main Street name, budget struggles continue, more news from the Hawaiian Islands

Waikiki homeless (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie and his point man on homeless issues are scheduled to announce a new initiative to help people without shelter. Associated Press.

It's decision time at the Hawaii Capitol, where lawmakers enter their final days scrounging for money to keep the state running with a full slate of proposed tax increases and spending cuts.  Associated Press.

The deadline is looming at the State Capitol, House and Senate conference committees must agree on how to close a $1.3 billion budget gap. KHON2.

University of Hawaii students are bracing for another tuition hike as state lawmakers struggle to close a major budget shortfall. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Legislature's endgame is a mystery even to those who work in the state Capitol. Civil Beat.

An increase in Hawaii's general excise tax is dead for now, but Rep. George Fontaine worries that it could make a comeback. Associated Press.

The Department of Taxation reported that tax collections in Hawaii were coming in below expectations, down by 5.5 percent through the first nine months of this fiscal year. KITV4.

The Hawaii Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case in which a Native Hawaiian argues he has a constitutional right to take up residence as a caretaker of a remote state park on Kauai. Civil Beat.

An unfunded federal mandate that the state passed down to the four counties will likely increase expenses for Kaua‘i in the near future, officials said last week. Garden Island.

Lost in the renewed scrutiny into President Barack Obama's birth records is the fact that anyone can walk into a Hawaii vital records office, wait in line behind couples getting marriage licenses and open a baby-blue government binder containing basic information about his birth. Associated Press.

The Wailuku Main Street Association is suing the National Trust for Historic Preservation over its right to use the Main Street name. Maui News.

The State Land Use Commission has denied Tropic Land LLC’s petition to allow a light industrial park’s construction on Lualualei valley farmland. Hawaii Independent.

Relocation of utility lines is expected to begin today as the city moves forward with work on its $5.3 billion rail transit system. Star-Advertiser.

The odor of rotting flesh emanating from a single "corpse flower" drew hundreds of new visitors yesterday to Hilo's Pana­‘ewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens on a typically quiet Easter Sunday. Star-Advertiser.

Mitsubishi has chosen Hawaii to be the first state in the nation to get the company's new electric car. KHON2.

Continental Airlines has begun hiring airport workers as it prepares to launch its direct mainland-to-Hilo service this summer. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii state health officials have sent samples of Big Island groundwater for testing after the release of radiation from Japanese nuclear power plants last month. Associated Press.

The Queen Liliuokalani Trust is getting quite a tax break on a $9.9 million commercial parcel it owns at a prime Kona crossroads. West Hawaii Today.

“Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono – The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.” This, the state motto of Hawaii, is one of the few if not only state mottos that alludes to man’s integral relationship to the natural world. Molokai Dispatch.