Friday, April 8, 2011

Hawaii tax hike nixed, union contract under fire, birther suit rejected, journalism shield law extended, dengue fears widen, education board pau, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu tour bus (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
A Norwegian Cruise Line company is bringing seven open-top, double-decker tour buses to Honolulu, a move that's expected to add 60 jobs in the islands. Associated Press.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee voted Thursday to kill a proposal to raise Hawaii's broadest tax. Hawaii News Now.

The Ways and Means Committee killed a hike in the general excise tax after the chairman faced a rare revolt from some committee members Thursday morning. KITV4.

A general excise tax hike has been killed by lawmakers, but businesses and nonprofits still may face a $200 million jump in taxes. KHON2.

Thursday's decision by the Senate Ways and Means committee to rule out a general excise tax increase means lawmakers may have to strengthen at least a dozen surviving revenue bills to close the state's budget gap. Civil Beat.

The Abercrombie administration agreed to a “favored nation” clause in a tentative contract with the Hawaii Government Employees Association that gives the union the ability to match gains won by other unions, sources say. Star-Advertiser.

State Republicans are calling the tentative agreement with HGEA "expensive and unfair" and say how its being pitched deceptive and misleading. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle says city officials “still have many questions and concerns” about the statewide labor agreement reached by Governor Neil Abercrombie with Hawaii’s largest government workers union. Hawaii Reporter.

Questions linger around HGEA contract agreement. Hawaii Independent.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie Thursday identified 61 capital improvement projects that are currently under way as part of his New Day Works Projects, which are meant to create jobs and stimulate the economy. Pacific Business News

The economic crisis that refuses to leave the Hawaiian Islands has not been sufficient to sink the idea of a state-run interisland ferry system, introduced this year through a bill sailing through rough waters in the Legislature. Garden Island.

Measures that would have provided state funds to the Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission have stalled for this year, after legislators raised questions about the agency's management of the island. Maui News.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has advanced a bill extending the state’s journalism shield law an additional two years. Star-Advertiser.

It is the end of the road for the elected board members, many of whom have given much of their time to try and improve the state's public school system. KITV4.

A Hawaii appeals court has rejected a man's request to "inspect and copy" Honolulu-born President Barack Obama's birth certificate, saying the plaintiff failed to state a valid claim to having access to the document. KITV4.

For the third straight year, Hawaii County is facing one of the most difficult budgeting processes in the local government's history, Mayor Billy Kenoi told West Hawaii residents Thursday night. West Hawaii Today.

About 70 current and former boat owners expressed anger and frustration yesterday with their inability to get help for their losses in last month's tsunami. Star-Advertiser.

Two women were rescued from a remote Hawaiian beach after a tour helicopter spotted "S.O.S." written in the sand. Associated Press.

It will take years, but Hawaii ultimately will bear a heavy burden from floating debris from the March 11 tsunami in Japan, Hawaii researchers conclude. Star-Advertiser.

Big Island sending love to Japan. Tribune-Herald.

For the first time, Disney Cruise Line will sail through the Hawaiian Islands, with a 15-night cruise departing the Port of Los Angeles on April 29, 2012. KHON2.

The state Department of Health is investigating two suspected East Maui cases of dengue fever, a potentially deadly tropical disease. Maui News.

A California company planning to build and operate a wind farm on Maui's Ulupalakua Ranch has agreed to sell electricity to Maui's power company. Associated Press.