Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hawaii political maps finalized, GOP fallout, budget cuts for HHSC, Honolulu tax hike mulled, Maui shoppers adjust to plastic bag ban, Kauai seabird suit dropped, TNT hearings to conclude, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii GOP chair Jonah Kaauwai courtesy photo
Jonah Kaauwai, the embattled chair of the Hawaii Republican Party, has stepped down. Civil Beat.

Hawaii GOP In Dire Financial Need. Civil Beat.

Hawaii County groups that say their island deserves a fourth seat in the state Senate are challenging the constitutionality of new maps for the state's political boundaries approved Monday by the state Reapportionment Commission. Star-Advertiser.

Redistricting Panel Deals One Senator Bad Hand. Civil Beat.

The State Reapportionment Commission voted on its final redistricting plans today. Hawaii Public Radio.

The state attorney general's office now says three children died of abuse in Hawaii's Child Welfare Services system in the past decade — not one, as legislators were told last week — and some child advocates were stunned Monday to learn that deaths in state custody are not reported in Hawaii's Child Death Review. Star-Advertiser.

China's outbound travel market to the U.S. could grow to 5 million visitors in 2015 from less than 1 million last year if visa restrictions are loosened and more direct flights are added. Star-Advertiser.

Filling the tourist hole: Industry buffs look to big spenders from far away. Hawaii Independent.

Data from PV study isn't surprising, but still important. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

It's a controversial idea - raising the state’s general excise tax in order to create better commuting options for Oahu residents. KHON2.

The Honolulu City Council is expected to take action on a controversial video monitoring proposal leading up to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in November. Hawaii News Now.

USPS rally to be held at state capitol Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu District staff teamed up with the City and County of Honolulu Storm Water Quality Branch, State Department of Health’s Wastewater Branch and Clean Water Branch, Punahou School Mamiya Science Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Hawaii Nature Center and more than 100 Anuenue School students Sept. 22 as part of Oahu’s annual World Water Monitoring Day activities in the Makiki watershed. Hawaii Reporter.

Honolulu residents brace for the first round of traffic slowdowns from the rail transit project. KITV4.

Hawaii

Kona Community Hospital must cut about $1.1 million from its budget this year, after the governor's office ordered Hawaii Health Systems Corp. to cut payroll costs by 5 percent. West Hawaii Today.

Opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope rested their case on Monday after a three-hour hearing that featured a lengthy cross-examination of Kealoha Pisciotta. Tribune-Herald.

Overwhelmingly negative comments from Big Island residents were "inadvertently omitted" from a recently published Kahuku Village draft environmental impact statement.West Hawaii Today.

By the end of August, Hilo Harbor had welcomed about 9,000 more cruise ship passengers to East Hawaii than it had at the same time last year. Tribune-Herald.

In preparation for its upcoming deployment, the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) recently conducted a Culminating Training Event (CTE).  The CTE allowed the 25th CAB and its subordinate battalions to train on mission critical tasks in order to increase their mission readiness. Hawaii Reporter.

Maui

More people are declining an offer of a paper bag at local markets as 30 percent of Maui County residents are now bringing their own reusable bags when they go shopping, according to a county study. Maui News.

Each year since just after WWII, they gather on Maui to remember their fallen brothers in arms and husbands, and each year they say there are fewer of them - members of the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team - the most highly decorated unit in U.S. military history. Maui News.

Kauai

Conservation groups are dropping a federal lawsuit they filed against Kauai’s electric utility after deciding the company is taking important steps to protect threatened seabirds. Star-Advertiser.

Conservation groups on Monday dismissed the federal lawsuit they filed last year against Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative for violations of the Endangered Species Act. Garden Island.

The state has severed its relationship with Kauai Independent Food Bank, choosing instead to recommend that another agency, the Hawaii Foodbank-Kauai Branch, receive federal support to distribute food to agencies on the island for needy families. Star-Advertiser.

Five veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion were joined by a host of dignitaries, veterans, family members and spouses at the 66th Memorial Service commemorating not only fallen veterans of the 100th Battalion, but other veterans of all wars. Garden Island.