Friday, May 20, 2011

Hawaii Supreme Court mulling Native Hawaiian rights, Latinos up sharply, Hirono in Senate race, human traffickers must pay back wages, legislators proud of balanced budget, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Ala Mauna Saddle Road (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
A revamp of the westernmost portion of the Ala Mauna Saddle Road, the 48-mile cross-island route, recently moved a step closer to fruition. West Hawaii Today.

All five Hawaii Supreme Court justices grilled lawyers yesterday in a case that could help clarify to what extent a native Hawaiian's practice of traditional cultural and religious activities can trump a criminal prosecution. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono told supporters yesterday that she will run in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate next year, seeking to establish herself as a strong voice for Hawaii and the logical heir to fellow progressive U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, who is retiring. Star-Advertiser.

State and federal agencies have signed a partnership to help conserve Hawaii's forestry. Associated Press.

Hawaii Lawmakers Most Proud of Balancing Budget. Civil Beat.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is stuck with $2,500 worth of exercise equipment that was improperly ordered and caused the departure of the agency’s deputy director. Hawaii Reporter.

The U.S. Labor Department has ordered a labor recruiting company to pay thousands of dollars worth of back wages to men from Thailand who worked at farms in Hawaii. KITV4.

U.S. Census demographic data released Thursday shows a 37.8 percent increase in Hawaii's Hispanic population from 2000 to 2010. Associated Press.

Hawaii saw a total of 2,476 initial unemployment claims for the week of May 14, up 12.5 percent compared to the 2,201 claims filed during the same week in 2010, according to data from the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Pacific Business News

A fierce fight by supporters and scientists of the Pacific Bioscience Research Center to avoid a shutdown of the Kewalo facility proved successful, at least temporarily. KITV4.

A large-scale initiative to integrate Hydrogen-powered vehicles is underway on Oa’hu. Hawaii Public Radio.

The city's Department of Transportation Services detailed its plans to allow bicycles and surfboards to be carried onboard the proposed rail trains.  KHON2.

The Hawaii Public Housing Authority says they have taken a leap of faith, jumping into the first private-public housing partnership in the state of Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

The loss of nearly $5 million in federal anti-terrorism funding for Honolulu will not affect the city's preparedness for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in November, city officials say. Star-Advertiser.

Developers of a proposed Ka'u resort and village are looking to limit their ecological impacts while bolstering the region's educational opportunities. West Hawaii Today.

A Texas judge has granted the widow of surfing champion Andy Irons another extension to delay the release of Irons' autopsy report. Star-Advertiser.

In the era of endless news loops and aggregation, it’s hard to get a rise when mentioning the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, plastic-coated beaches or endangered Hawaiian monk seals ensnared in rafts of trash. Honolulu Weekly.

When it comes to illegal dumping, there's a group of ladies in Leeward Oahu that take it personally. Hawaii News Now.

Instead of almost annually having to piecemeal together repairs and improvements on South Kihei Road, along with the detours that come with construction, county Department of Public Works Director David Goode this week said he hopes to "dust off" a decades-old proposal to entirely rebuild the north end of the busy roadway. Maui News.

Waimea High School’s graduating seniors missed out on a piece of tradition Thursday, when a break in a water main forced school officials to close the campus. Garden Island.

The public can sound off about noise around Hilo International Airport at a coming meeting called by the state Department of Transportation. Tribune-Herald.

A loud drinking party on county property brought to a halt by the police early May 1 included Mayor Billy Kenoi, state Rep. Jerry Chang and a host of other bigwigs celebrating the end of the Merrie Monarch Festival. West Hawaii Today.