Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hawaii tax burden 4th highest in the nation, school lunches, bus fees to increase, Native Hawaiians to protest bill signing, Freddie Mac foreclosures go judicial route, more Hawaii news

USS Constellation U.S. Navy courtesy photo


The USS Constellation needs a new home, and several Big Island residents want to take advantage of the naval vessel's potential to foster new jobs and an economic boon for the entire state. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii will be hit with a one-two punch of summertime surf for south and west shores. KITV4.

Vast quantities of natural minerals necessary to produce everything from iPhones to electric cars to military weapons systems have been discovered across the Pacific by Japanese researchers, leading to concerns that a modern-day gold rush could contaminate waters around Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

The Board of Education is being asked by the Governor to consider further program cuts amidst a projected 50-million dollar annual state-wide budget shortfall. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawai‘i will receive $115,257,706 in federal funds for education this fiscal year including more than $39 million for education programs targeting children living with disabilities and more than $47 million for the improvement of existing state programs, Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka, and U.S. Reps. Mazie Hirono and Colleen Hanabusa announced Tuesday in a press release. Garden Island.

Looks like more of the same with runaway school bus costs. Civil Beat.

Hawaii families could soon see changes in prices for school meals and bus fares.  Hawaii News Now.

Students would pay $1.25 for a one-way school bus ride, or 50 cents more, under a fare increase proposal aimed at helping make up a $9 million legislative cut in funding to student transportation. Star-Advertiser.

We’re an island chain in the middle of the Pacific trying to feed the energy needs of over a million people—and the millions more who visit Hawaii each year. Hawaii Independent.

A plan to harvest 13,000 acres of Ka'u scrubland to convert plant material into energy is moving forward, following the signing of a law paving the way for electric customer cost-sharing and the establishment of a construction management partnership. West Hawaii Today.

The Institute for Truth in Accounting recently announced completion of a significant, comprehensive study of all 50 states’ assets and liabilities, including pension and retirement healthcare obligations. Hawaii Reporter.

A group of Native Hawaiians has announced a four-hour protest today in Honolulu, opposing a bill they say would “try to revive and jump-start the now defunct Akaka Bill.” Garden Island.

The state has toughened up the law protecting firefighters and water safety officers. KHON2.

Government-backed lender Freddie Mac says it too will convert all of its new and pending non-judicial foreclosures in Hawaii to judicial foreclosures effective immediately.  Civil Beat.

Housing markets on Kauai and Hawaii island were relatively weak in June with mostly lower prices and sales, though activity over the first six months of this year has been more mixed with lower prices and mostly higher sales. Star-Advertiser.

Big Island real estate sales are lagging -- if just a bit. West Hawaii Today.

More of Hawaii's homeless are being fed in shelters instead of public spaces during the first half state's 90-day plan to help move people into housing. Associated Press.

The Army will demonstrate on Friday underwater technology that will be used over the following three weeks to gauge whether old, discarded munitions can be removed from relatively shallow waters off the Waianae Coast. Star-Advertiser.

Councilman Fred Blas is his own faction regarding his vote on Hawaii County's $367.3 million operating budget, he said. Tribune-Herald.

Alien species: "It would help if we had more staff and more people." Hawaii News Now.

Duplication of health services is not an issue for Molokai, said Loretta Fuddy, state Director of Health, last week. Molokai Dispatch.

After a week-and-a-half of haggling over terms, developer Jeff Stone’s proposed gift of 300 acres of land in Leeward Oahu is no closer to its intended recipients, Kamehameha Schools and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Pacific Business News.

An alert guard at the Oahu Community Correctional Center thwarted a daring escape off the rooftop of a third story building. KITV4.

Forty-five Japanese citizens affected by March's deadly earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis arrived on the Valley Isle on Monday to have some time to rest and recuperate. Maui News.