Friday, April 22, 2011

Hawaii tourism brightens, reapportionment commission already at odds, state looks to car rental fees, fishponds opened by tsunami, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hapuna Beach (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
The Hawaii Legislature has adopted a resolution urging the governor not to transfer Hapuna Beach State Park to Hawaii County. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii hotels were three-fourths full during the week ending April 16, and most island’s average room rates were higher compared to the same week in 2010, according to data from Smith Travel Research and Hospitality Advisors. Pacific Business News

Hunting for a ready source of cash to help balance the budget, state lawmakers might divert some of the daily surcharges that tourists and others pay on rental cars. Star-Advertiser.

With just a few weeks left before the legislature adjourns, there's a battle brewing between state lawmakers and the teacher's union.Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Supreme Court is stepping in to pick a leader of the group charged with redrawing election district lines after it failed to agree on a chairperson itself. Associated Press.

Voting districts across the state will be changed within the year. It's a process that takes place by law every ten years by law. KHON2.

With one Constitutional deadline already missed and another bearing down on them, the state's Reapportionment Commission is asking for more time. Civil Beat.

The state Supreme Court began soliciting for nominees yesterday to lead the Hawaii Reapportionment Commission after the eight sitting members announced they have been unable to reach consensus on a ninth member to serve as chairman. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council is looking at ways to close a projected 100 million dollar budget gap. Hawaii Public Radio.

Visitor industry leaders appealed to Maui County Council members on Wednesday not to raise their property tax rates. Maui News.

The state Land Use Commission on Thursday affirmed its decision to revert land owned by Bridge Aina Lea and DW Aina Lea to agriculture. West Hawaii Today.

Don Horner doesn't sit on the board of every nonprofit and key organization in the state. Star-Advertiser.

Lawsuits describing “deplorable and hazardous” living conditions at the state-owned Mayor Wright Homes project were filed in state and federal court today, alleging that residents, including severely disabled individuals, have endured years of rat, roach and bedbug infestations, leaky and broken pipes, and “an almost total lack of hot water.” Hawaii Reporter.

"The state is the largest landlord in this state. It's also by far the largest slum lord in the state." Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle on Thursday appointed Robert Godbey as the new corporation counsel for the city. KITV4.

Less than a week after the Kaua‘i Planning Commission granted permits to allow Phase II of the Anaina Hou Project in Kilauea to go forward, the Executive Committee of Kaua‘i’s Sierra Club expressed its concerns in writing. Garden Island.

Kohala kupuna and state biologists are hoping a breach created by the March 11 tsunami at the Kuualii fish pond may turn into a permanent ocean opening. West Hawaii Today.

Donations are needed at Keawanui Fishpond to help restore the walls, after the March 11 tsunami. Molokai Dispatch.

Data released Wednesday morning by the Environmental Protection Agency reveal that radiation levels found in Big Isle milk have dropped by more than half. Tribune-Herald.

Community colleges in Hawaii expect to slash their energy use by nearly one-quarter and save a combined $58 million over the next 20 years due to conservation measures they are adopting. Associated Press.