Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hawaii one of the three freest states, tight times hit education, rest of state government, new CIO named, bridges need work, toxin found in monk seal, bird droppings plague Capitol, bin Laden burial ship on shore stop, more Hawaii news

Hawaii House courtesy photo
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie will likely have to exhaust the state's hurricane relief savings to balance the current fiscal year's budget, according to his finance director. Associated Press.

The security blanket known as the Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund will likely be no more after July 1. KHON2.

Doing more with less was the theme of the legislative session that ended last month, a group of lawmakers said Tuesday evening in updating constituents in Hilo. West Hawaii Today.

Per-pupil money schools receive will be cut by nearly $8 million, and direct funding to popular programs such as learning centers and adult education will be eliminated as part of the state Department of Education's plan to tackle a $32.8 million budget reduction over the next two fiscal years. Star-Advertiser.

The new Board of Education had its first finance meeting today and voted to go with the Department of Education recommendation to subtract another $16.4 million from the budget. Hawaii News Now.

We’re only three meetings in, but the new appointed Hawai‘i State Board of Education is already being accused of discouraging public participation in its meetings. Civil Beat.

Years of neglect have created a problem at the State Capitol: bird droppings staining the famous building, a state official said. KITV4.

The aircraft carrier that buried Osama bin Laden's body at sea arrived in Hawaii Tuesday morning on its first stop on U.S. soil since its historic six-month deployment to Asia and the Middle East. KITV4.

Researchers from NOAA have discovered a potent and highly-debilitating toxin in the endangered Hawaiian monk seal, a first-of-its-kind chemical finding that is now prompting investigations of other marine mammals in the state. Associated Press.

An experienced leader of government technology oversight, Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia, was named Tuesday as Hawaii's first full-time chief information officer. Associated Press.

Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia has been named the state’s first chief information officer, effective July 6. Pacific Business News

Mercatus Report: Hawaii is 47th Least Free State. Hawaii Reporter.

The Waiahole Bridge is one of 34 bridges around Hawaii the state Department of Transportation hopes to rehabilitate or rebuild during the next five years at an estimated expense of $350 million dollars. Hawaii News Now.

The federal government has notified Honolulu officials that they may have to return $7.9 million if the city fails to act on possible misuse of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant monies.Civil Beat.

Former Honolulu Councilman Rod Tam pleaded no contest Tuesday to new misdemeanor charges of campaign spending violations, but he will have to wait until August to find out whether he will spend time in jail.Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii County Council is set to switch vice chairmen next week, with Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann handing the reins to North Kona Councilman Angel Pilago. West Hawaii Today.

The latest affordable neighborhood was dedicated today in Leeward O’ahu … the center of the state’s largest homeless population. Hawaii Public Radio.

A&B Properties has released for public review a draft environmental impact statement for Wai'ale, a master-planned community on about 545 acres in Central Maui. Maui News.

Corporate industrial agriculture is taking over food and farming on many different levels around the globe. Hawaii Independent.

A Hilo veterinary clinic has agreed to pay $101,000 to settle a federal sexual harassment lawsuit filed on behalf of eight former employees. Tribune-Herald.