Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hawaii GOP in disarray, lawsuit protests Native Hawaiian tax exemptions, political firestorm over Senate districts, graduation requirements change, HNL airport woes, new helipad for Maui hospital, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

F-22 Raptor, military courtesy photo
The F-22 Raptors belonging to the Hawaii Air National Guard are scheduled to take flight Wednesday for the first time since the entire fleet was grounded back in May. Hawaii News Now.

Top Republicans in Hawaii are calling for the resignation of party chair Jonah Kaauwai.Civil Beat.

Saying the Hawaii Republican Party is broke heading into an election year, some state GOP leaders here are calling for the Republican State Chairman Jonah Kaauwai to be replaced. KITV4.

State legislative boundaries look increasingly likely to be decided by the Hawaii Supreme Court, two Big Island residents said Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Monday's meeting of the Reapportionment Commission got a little strange. Two Big Island political rivals put on a bit of a show when one accused the other of trying to fix district boundaries to benefit himself. Civil Beat.

H. William Burgess, long known for his involvement in lawsuits challenging native Hawaiian entitlements, is now involved in a lawsuit challenging property tax exemptions for native Hawaiians. The lawsuit was filed on September 15. Hawaii Independent.

Republican John Carroll is expected to make an announcement regarding his possible candidacy for U.S. Senate. on Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

A growing number of workers who took jobs during the economic slowdown to ensure they had a paycheck are now looking to trade up for better positions as employers increase hiring, organizers of the state's largest job fair said. Star-Advertiser.

Starting with next year's freshmen, high school students will have to meet tougher graduation requirements aimed at better preparing them for college or careers, under changes unanimously approved Tuesday by the Board of Education. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii public school students will graduate better prepared for college and the world beyond -- at least that's the goal behind new diploma requirements approved Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Board Unfazed by Ed Department's Reversal on Grad Requirements. Civil Beat.

Two children died while in Hawaii's foster care system in 2006, and another in 2008, but the grandparents of a 9-month-old Hauula boy who died last month under unexplained circumstances after he was taken by state officials say Hawaii's fatality statistics are too high. Star-Advertiser.

CONGRESS.ORG: How Hawaii's Elected Officials Voted - September 19, 2011. Hawaii Reporter.

The 8th International Women’s Leadership Conference was conducted with a sold-out audience in attendance today in Waikiki. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

A free weekly newspaper in Honolulu nearly shut down last month. Thanks to some of its loyal readers, the Honolulu Weekly is still on news stands. KITV4.

Three Hawaiian Airlines flights were delayed Tuesday, and federal security workers had to rely on dogs and other methods to screen checked baggage after a Transportation Security Administration X-ray machine broke down — the fourth such device to malfunction in that section of the airport. Star-Advertiser.

The union that represented most of the Honolulu Airport baggage screeners disciplined for improper screening said it plans to appeal almost all the cases. Star-Advertiser.

Foodland Super Market Ltd. and Times Supermarkets have agreed to stop purchasing pork products from pigs that are transported live to Hawaii for slaughter. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

Despite police concerns, a bill allowing them to impound vehicles driven by intoxicated, unlicensed or fraudulent drivers was advanced out of a County Council committee Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

Stretching the dollar as far as possible should be at the forefront of the state Judiciary's mind when it selects a site next year for the long-promised Kona Judiciary Complex, a state official said Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Laupahoehoe High and Elementary will once again face the possibility of closure if efforts by community members to block its conversion to a charter school are successful, a Department of Education official said Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

Three unexploded ordnance have been discovered in the Hapuna Beach area since a cleanup began two weeks ago. KHON2.

Maui

Maui Memorial Medical Center's long-awaited $3 million helipad will be blessed Thursday, followed by a helicopter trial run next week. Maui News.

With separate interview rooms designed for children and teenagers and a lounge where families can wait, the Maui County prosecutor's office is offering crime victims a "friendly atmosphere" to meet with deputy prosecutors in its new Victim Witness Services office. Maui News.

Kauai

Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank is in danger of losing nearly a third of the food it distributes to local agencies that feed the hungry. Garden Island.

The development of a county Human Resources Department seems like a hot potato everyone wants to eat but no one wants to hold. Garden Island.