Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Military fuels 18% of Hawaii economy, visitor spending up, Abercrombie signs $42M raid on hurricane fund, Hawaii County police to get radios, electric car rebate unpopular, Honolulu kills recycling subsidy, more news from the Hawaiian Islands

Military in Hawaii courtesy photo

The U.S. military pumped up to $12.2 billion into Hawaii in 2009 — or more than 18 percent of total spending in the islands, according to the first study of its kind in nearly 50 years, scheduled for release today. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates visited the Battleship Missouri Memorial at Pearl Harbor on Tuesday. KITV4.

Amid mounting Western Pacific political tensions and an impending visit to Singapore, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates reaffirmed Tuesday the nation's commitment to having a military presence in East Asia. Honolulu Advertiser.

The Pearl Harbor-based guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon is due to deploy to the Western Pacific. Associated Press.

A new Hawaii license plate will soon be available for family members of fallen military personnel. KHON2.

A veterans group is collecting a photograph for each of Hawaii's service members who died in the Vietnam War. Associated Press.

Visitor spending in Hawaii increased 17.8 percent to $4.1 billion in the first four months of the year compared with the same time last year, according to Hawaii Tourism Authority statistics released Tuesday. Associated Press.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today authorized a $42 million raid from Hawaii’s Hurricane Relief Trust Fund. Hawaii Reporter.

The state still has nearly $1.3 million to dole out in rebates for electric cars. And it has just four months to do so. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle has signed into law a bill that eliminates a 2-decade-old subsidy aimed at encouraging private companies and nonprofit organizations to recycle. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council will hold off a proposal to collect more money from parking meters at city parks, particularly Kapiolani Park. Star-Advertiser.

A bill to allow the installation of parking meters at Oahu City and County parks sailed through the public hearing process at City Hall. Hawaii Public Radio.

Bolstered by an endorsement from Hawaii's police union, the Hawaii County Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a policy requiring take-home radios for police officers. West Hawaii Today.

A state agency has signed off on a request by a private radiology company to bring an MRI scanner to West Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has awarded a $100,000 grant to the University of Hawaii Maui College’s Liko Ae Native Hawaiian Scholarship Program. Pacific Business News

The University of Hawaii at Manoa and Auckland University of Technology have agreed to a student and staff exchange program as well as to work together on research. Associated Press.

Completion of the new Wailua Cane Haul Bridge Widening Project will greatly improve the quality of life for Kaua‘i residents and enhance our visitors’ experience by helping to relieve traffic congestion along Kuhio Highway, according to the state Department of Transportation. Garden Island.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife and a coalition of resource managers on Hawaii Island are still seeking information from island residents about the invasive axis deer. Hawaii Independent.

A rockslide killed an 8-year-old Lahaina girl Tuesday afternoon in the Oheo Gulch area, Maui County officials reported. Maui News.

How many hikers got lost Monday on the Captain's Trail in Puna? Sixty, according to an eye-popping news report that made electronic headlines statewide. Tribune-Herald.