Friday, September 2, 2011

Japan gives Hawaii GMO papaya industry big boost, state tops nation for workplace meth, radiation worries at Kaneohe Bay, Big island power plant advances, DLNR scolded by Army Corps over boat dock, Kona coffee deal reached, Maui taking flowers stateside, Kaui leads state in economic growth, more Hawaii news

Hilo farmers market (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
The Japanese government has approved the commercial import of genetically modified papayas from Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

Japanese consumers will likely be seeing genetically modified papayas on their grocery shelves beginning in December. West Hawaii Today.

There was no tsunami warning issued for Hawaii following a large earthquake that hit near Alaska Friday morning. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii's economic recovery is turning out to be weaker than previously thought, leaving the state in a vulnerable position as the U.S. and global economies continue to slow, according to a forecast released by a group of University of Hawaii economists.Star-Advertiser.

Hawai’i was a beneficiary of Congressional Earmarks for decades …receiving 200-to-300 million dollars a year in dedicated federal funding. Hawaii Public Radio.

A new study shows Hawaii leads the nation for methamphetamine use in the workforce. Associated Press.

Hawaii ranks 29th worst for the condition of its roads in rural areas and 16th worst for the condition of its bridges. Hawaii Reporter.

A bipartisan showing of Maui political leaders appealed to members of the Hawaii Reapportionment Commission on Wednesday to give greater representation to the Neighbor Islands as the panel draws election maps. Maui News.

The Public Land Development Corporation and its Public Lands Optimization Plan, despite the unfortunate acronym of PLOP, seems to be embraced by State officials who are looking to generate revenue through the commercial development of public lands in Hawaii through public-private partnerships. Hawaii Independent.

One Hawaii lawmaker learned the hard way how far you can go in using your public office for private business when state Ethics Commission Executive Director Les Kondo put a stop to an email fundraiser. Civil Beat.

Federal officials are asking the community to actively participate in a plan that could shape the efforts to save the highly endangered Hawaiian monk seal, whose estimated population of 1,300 to 1,400 keeps declining about 4.5 percent a year. Garden Island.

Oahu

Former state Sen. Robert "Bobby" Bunda has been tapped to fill the 10th seat on the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation's board of directors. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning months away from breaking ground. KHON2.

Local environmentalist Carroll Cox is raising concerns about the lack of public notification of what the Marine Corps revealed Thursday was a "low level" radiation release in the March crash of a CH-53D Sea Stallion helicopter on the Kaneohe Bay sandbar that killed a crewmember and injured three others. Star-Advertiser.

Nearly one year after Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle was elected, he says he's proudest of getting the city's finances in order. And he has big dreams for a billion-dollar rainy day fund to ensure the city's financial future. Civil Beat.

Waikiki Hotel Employees Claim Threats, Intimidation. KITV4.

Hawaii

Safeway has agreed to change the label on packages of Kona coffee blend sold in mainland stores in response to concerns from Hawaii farmers that it didn't provide information about what percentage of the famous bean it contains. Associated Press.

The company planning to open a wood-burning power plant in Pepeekeo has received a key permit that incorporates the federal government's request for tougher emission limits. Tribune-Herald.

Almost half of the Big Island's children were exposed to alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use while in the womb, researchers report. West Hawaii Today.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday told the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to quit working on the Poihiki boat ramp until it gets a permit. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The nonprofit East Maui Animal Refuge is hoping to regain federal and state permits to accept sick, injured and orphaned wildlife, after its federal wildlife rehabilitation permit was suspended Monday when agents seized 17 birds from the Haiku facility, said Executive Director Sylvan Schwab. Maui News.

The Maui County Office of Economic Development has announced that it has purchased ten booths at the Philadelphia International Flower Show, held from March 4 to 11. Hawaii Independent.

Kauai

Despite losing the most during the recession, Kauai is showing the strongest job growth among Hawaii’s Neighbor Island counties, according to a forecast by economist Leroy Laney. Pacific Business News.

Recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Electronic Benefits Transfer programs will be able to shop at four farmers markets and sunshine markets, starting this weekend. Garden Island.

The military says an interceptor missile failed to shoot down its intended target during a test off the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Associated Press.