Friday, May 6, 2011

Hawaii legislative session pau, U.S. Sen. Akaka breaks ribs in fall, Kau coffee among world's best, F-22 Raptors in stand down, Big Island bans barking dogs, county budgets moving, dengue fever done, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Legislature (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
The state House and Senate adjourned yesterday after understated floor sessions to complete work on a handful of bills, but several lawmakers hinted they might have to return this summer for unfinished business. Star-Advertiser.

The 2011 legislative session wrapped up today, but lawmakers say a special session could be in their future. KHON2.

Hawaii lawmakers gave us civil unions, gender equity protection in employment, an appointed Board of Education, a mortgage foreclosure mediation process, a restructured Employees' Retirement System and recognition of Native Hawaiians. Civil Beat.

Legislators closed their 2011 session today by passing a legally questionable bill that extends pay cuts for themselves and other state executives. Hawaii Reporter.

The 26th State Legislature adjourned yesterday … and passed 250 of the more than 3-thousand bills introduced at the beginning of the session. Hawaii Public Radio.

One bill that came down to the last day focused on a five percent pay cut for judges, the governor and lawmakers themselves. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed a bill overhauling the state's foreclosure laws. Associated Press.

A proposal to end Medicare Part B reimbursements for retired Hawaii government employees isn't becoming law this year. Associated Press.

To borrow a term from the world of gaming, there was a lot of "action" over gambling bills at the state legislature this year. Hawaii News Now.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka is recovering after breaking two ribs Monday night when he slipped and fell at his home in Alexandria, Va., his deputy communications director, Jesse Broder Van Dyke, said yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

Pahala resident Bull Kailiawa doesn't drink it. Still, he and his family know how to produce an award-winning coffee -- consistently. West Hawaii Today.

The US Air Force announced late Thursday that all of the nation's F-22 Raptors have been grounded. The stand-down was ordered Tuesday, but is just now public. KITV4.

Hawaii hotels’ average occupancy rate was 60.7 percent for the week ending April 30, down 2.1 percentage points compared to the same week in 2010. Pacific Business News

Honolulu's Department of Environmental Services says a $300 million project to expand the city's waste-to-energy plant is halfway finished. Associated Press.

Bolstered by an economic picture slightly less bleak than first expected, Mayor Billy Kenoi on Thursday released a revised budget that's $1.1 million more than his preliminary spending package released in March. West Hawaii Today.

The Kaua‘i County Council’s Committee of the Whole last week finished initial reviews on Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2012, including Capital Improvement Projects. Garden Island.

A bill intended to resolve noisy-dog complaints with minimal police assistance is heading to Mayor Billy Kenoi's desk. Tribune-Herald.

Dr. Neal Palafox, who was asked by the governor to give up the state health director nomination in January, has now stepped down as lead administrative director and chairman of the Medicine Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the John A. Burns School of Medicine. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed into law yesterday a bill that increases the fee on the net weight of imported freight. Hawaii Independent.

Dengue fever is done on Maui - and across Hawaii - at least for the moment, state health officials said Wednesday. Maui News.