Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Census shows Hawaii, Kauai counties falling behind, teachers may yet strike, Maui drops district voting idea, tourist spending up, Honolulu rapid transit could get millions, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Child at play (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Almost one-quarter of Hawaii County's children lived in poverty last year, by far the highest rate in the state, and a 6 percentage point increase over five years ago. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii's tourism industry is heading into December with a fighting chance to break the record for annual visitor spending despite anemic growth in the number of arrivals so far this year. Star-Advertiser.

Visitors to Hawaii last month spent $20 more per person daily compared to last year, the Hawaii Tourism Authority said Tuesday. Associated Press.

A legal battle between the Hawaii State Teachers Association and the state has dragged on for five months, and yet the end is nowhere on even the most distant horizon. Civil Beat.

State taxpayers may have to foot cost of returning 350 new guns. Hawaii News Now.

Former Gov. Linda Lingle said Tuesday a federal proposal to designate areas on and around the main Hawaiian islands as critical habitat for the endangered Hawaiian monk seal is insensitive and an example of "government over-reach." Associated Press.

15,000 - that is the number of non resident members of the United States military who are not represented in any state anywhere in the country in state elections. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaiian Telcom announced it has updated its collective bargaining agreement offer to IBEW Local Union 1357. KHON2.

Comment: OHA needs to hear its beneficiaries before making deals. Hawaii Independent.

Oahu

Hawaii residents could be paying tens of millions of dollars in higher electric rates over the next 25 years if state regulators don't approve a contract for a wind farm on Oahu’s north shore in time for developers to take advantage of a lucrative federal grant. Civil Beat.

At a time when other union members are facing pay cuts, furloughs and losing benefits, registered nurses at Queen’s Medical Center, Hawaii's largest hospital, approved a contract Monday night with three years’ worth of raises. KITV4.

A temporary restraining order preventing construction of a multipurpose building at Kawaiaha'o Church will remain in effect at least through Friday as a state judge considers arguments made Tuesday in a lawsuit seeking to stop the controversial project. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu has the highest quality of living nationwide, according to a new survey from investment consulting group Mercer. Associated Press.

Honolulu's planned rail transit project is one of a handful of top candidates across the nation with a chance to share in $510 million in federal transit funds under spending measures signed by President Barack Obama earlier this month. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is eligible for $510 million in federal funds next year, Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka announced Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

The second-annual conference of nonprofit communities convened in Waikiki today. Hawaii Public Radio.

A dust problem in Nanakuli is not a health concern, but steps can be taken to mitigate the nuisance. KHON2.

Hawaii

A 3rd Circuit District Court judge on Tuesday ejected Abel Simeona Lui, a Native Hawaiian activist, from his courtroom and upheld an eviction order previously handed down against Lui and his group claiming native ownership of a Ka'u parcel recently purchased by Hawaii County. West Hawaii Today.

In a classic case of home rule, Hawaii County lawmakers want the state to delay releasing a foreign insect intended to control the spread of invasive strawberry guava. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County's high number of retirees and people with disabilities are factors behind the county seeing 7.3 percent of personal income coming from Social Security payments, economists and a sociologist say. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

District voting for Maui County Council races is off the table for the foreseeable future. Maui News.

Maui County Council Planning Committee Chairman Don Couch wanted to begin discussion Monday of a proposed limit on the number of vacation rentals on Maui. Maui News.

Kauai

The Kamalani Pavilion will be blessed and dedicated to the public benefit soon. Garden Island.

Molokai

State transportation officials are hoping the conflict over cruise ships docking on Molokai will be resolved during a scheduled meeting of the parties today, department spokesman Dan Meisenzahl said. Star-Advertiser.