Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hawaii telescope under scrutiny, Honolulu EMS calendar flirts with trouble, bus rides costly, feds consider options for tiny Kalaupapa post office, teachers union hearing continues, profits up for telcom, health insurers, multimodal for Kauai, Main Street for Maui, more Hawaii news

Mauna Kea telescope courtesy image
Opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope heaved pointed questions at telescope principals for three hours Monday, with the fate of the $1.3 billion project hanging in the balance. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii school transportation costs have doubled in the last six years, thanks in part to an uncompetitive market and the largest company's decision to rebid its contracts instead of extending them. Civil Beat.

The chairman of the Hawaii Labor Relations Board, citing "serious concerns" about the Hawaii State Teachers Association's challenge to its impartiality, has set a Thursday hearing to listen to the union's claims. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Labor Relations Board abruptly ended Monday's hearing in the dispute between the teachers union and state, citing "serious concerns" that an ethics complaint against the governor also calls into question the board's ability to rule with impartiality. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's two dominant health insurers — Kaiser and HMSA — were profitable in the second quarter thanks in part to double-digit rate hikes over the past two years and strong returns from investments. Star-Advertiser.

Senate Ways and Means Chair David Ige said the Hawaii State Legislature " recognizes the importance of resolving the unfunded actuarial accrued liability of the Employees’ Retirement System of the State of Hawaii." Hawaii Reporter.

Rising sales of high-speed Internet service helped Hawaiian Telcom earn a $6.7 million profit in the second quarter, building on the company's financial strength since emerging from bankruptcy in October. Star-Advertiser.

What started as an idea to help fight breast cancer got some Honolulu EMS personnel in hot water. KITV4.

Makaha Beach Park will get a facelift starting on Aug. 22. Pacific Business News.

As Hawaii’s congressional delegation fights for the future of the East-West Center, located on the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus, the Pacific cultural and political hub has received a million-dollar grant to support an international journalism exchange. Hawaii Independent.

The state Department of Transportation broke ground Monday for an inter-island cargo terminal and an additional pier at Hilo Harbor. Tribune-Herald.

The Kalaupapa post office, one of four in Hawaii being considered for closure by the U.S. Postal Service, may remain unchanged until February 2012 – but its future after that remains cloudy. Molokai Dispatch.

Bills to remove a developer's option to pay in-lieu fees rather than provide affordable housing and infrastructure for Big Islanders will go before the Hawaii County Council this week in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

The Friends of Moku'ula Inc. hopes to present to Maui County planners next month the first phase of its archaeological restoration and information center along Front Street, Maui News.

While the traditional transportation plan concentrates mainly on accommodating automobiles, the multi-modal land transportation plan being developed by the County of Kaua‘i focuses on all modes of transportation. Garden Island.

A historic residence hall at the University of Hawaii at Manoa is reopening after a $6.7-million renovation. Associated Press.

Molokai residents east of Kaunakakai who want to reap the benefits of installing small, renewable energy systems for their homes or businesses may be out of luck. Molokai Dispatch.

A new postage stamp has a Hilo artist saying, "bonsai!" Hawaii News Now.

Residents in rural Big Island communities now have access to clean, drinkable water. KHON2.