Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Civil unions coming to Hawaii, new taxes boost revenue forecast, state tops nation in teen suicide attempts, new BOE flexes muscle, Kauai food bank fight continues, Maui flights boost tourism, Big Island crime patterns change, more news

Honolulu gay rights rally (c) All Hawaii News
The state Department of Health expects to issue the first licenses for civil unions by Dec. 3, with the expressed, written understanding that the authorizations would not take effect until Jan. 1. Star-Advertiser.

The State Council on Revenues raised its projections today for General Fund tax collections this year. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii's economy is expected to grow slowly, despite the overall dreary financial outlook from economists. KITV4.

At a Tuesday meeting Hawaii’s Council on Revenues projected substantial growth to the state's general fund for the next several years, but much of that is due to tax increases passed by state lawmakers, not a strengthening economy. KHON2.

Hawaii high school students had the highest self-reported prevalence of seriously considering suicide, making a plan and attempting suicide in the nation. They also had the third highest rate of being sad or hopeless. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii health officials are sponsoring events statewide to coincide with National Suicide Prevention Week. Associated Press.

The public will have the chance to voice their opinion on the possible closure of several Hawaii post offices starting Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

The question of whether the media should be able to live blog from a federal court trial in Hawaii is again up for debate. Civil Beat.

State health officials responded more quickly to the swine flu and SARS viruses because of techniques and equipment developed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but modern-day priorities mean they are less focused on monitoring Hawaii’s milk supply and tracking diseases such as tuberculosis. Honolulu Advertiser.

A group of retired military leaders who drew attention last year with its claim that overweight children are a threat to national security, are now targeting Hawaii's obesity rates. Associated Press.

Hawaii's Board of Education members promised culture change during their confirmation hearings earlier this year, and barely more than four months later, it's clear that they're already bringing it. Civil Beat.

Students get reprimanded for turning in an incomplete report and today so did the Department of Education. Hawaii News Now.

Home sales on Hawaii island and Kauai rose or remained unchanged in August compared with a year earlier while prices mostly declined, according to the latest report from Hawaii Information Service. Star-Advertiser.

Against a backdrop of local slowing and deteriorating conditions in the U.S. and global economy, Hawaii will see only modest growth in 2012. Hawaii Reporter.

Seven species of Native Hawaiian bees will be placed on the endangered species list. KHON2.

Oahu

The city began notifying groups early on this year that permits for events in November could be rejected because of the security surrounding the upcoming economic summit. KITV4.

The Board of Education wants a better study before taking a possible elementary school closure to a public hearing. KHON2.

The state Board of Education wants more information on the impacts of closing Likelike Elementary in Kalihi before the cost-saving proposal is taken to the community. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The Big Island's fastest-growing district has experienced a double-digit drop in crime. Tribune-Herald.

The instances of murder, rape and robbery in West Hawaii increased last year compared to 2009. West Hawaii Today.

Land preservation proponents today will begin the long process of trying to get a 2 percent land fund amendment on the ballot -- again. West Hawaii Today.

State Department of Land and Natural Resources staff is recommending approval of a month's worth of high-altitude helicopter training on the slopes of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa for Army pilots and crews deploying to Afghanistan in January. Star-Advertiser.

Maui

Maui has been getting a whole bunch of direct nonstop flights that will go a long way toward helping carry the economic momentum the Valley Isle has been seeing for much of the last year. Pacific Business News.

This summer, seven high school students experienced what it is like to be a doctor as they made rounds with physicians at the hospital, witnessed surgeries and even dealt with dying patients. Maui News.

The National Marine Fisheries Service has scheduled hearings this month in Kaunakakai and Kihei to gather public input on a draft programmatic environmental impact statement for its plans to help the recovery of the endangered Hawaiian monk seal. Maui News.

Fire officials say arson is the cause of a fire that broke out at the Maui Drug Court Office Tuesday morning. KHON2.

Kauai

In recent weeks, Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank in Lihu‘e has been fending off a flurry of accusations made by an O‘ahu food bank official. A central allegation is that KIFB charges a steep service fee while Hawai‘i Food Bank does not. Garden Island.

County prosecutors are concerned that marijuana legalization advocates may influence state legislative decisions because those advocates are well organized and more active than their opponents. Garden Island.