Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hawaii inmates released without supervision, tax department not keeping up, four same-sex couples to inaugurate new civil unions law, Maui PD shows off morgue, Kauai mayor to talk story, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu city lights (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
While Honolulu residents may marvel at the brilliant glow of the city's night skyline, it's not a welcome sight for astronomers atop Haleakala. For them, it's light pollution that's interfering with their scientific studies. Civil Beat.

Hawaii inmates considered at high risk for committing new offenses increasingly have been released from prison without any supervision -- a trend that experts say is not only out of sync with national practices, but increases the safety risk to the public. Star-Advertiser.

Antiquated technology at the Hawaii Department of Taxation is hampering efforts to perform effective and timely audits of Hawaii taxpayers. Civil Beat.

Four committed couples from Hawaii will become the first in Hawaii to enter into civil unions on January 1. Hawaii Independent.

Thirty-seven programs that help homeless people in Hawaii have received a total of $10.7 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Star-Advertiser.

Bouncing back from homelessness is a challenge confronted by more than 10-thousand adults in Hawai`i over the past year. Hawai`i’s high cost of housing and the dominance of service industry jobs makes it particularly challenging for many people to rent or own a home they can call their own. Hawaii Public Radio.

The number of Hawaii residents filing for unemployment benefits has fallen sharply since hitting historic highs during the recent recession. Star-Advertiser.

State officials are bracing for a federal review of Hawaii's public school system early next year that could determine whether the state continues to receive millions in competitive education grants. Associated Press.

State roundup for Dec. 27. Associated Press.

Oahu

President Barack Obama had an active Monday, starting with a morning workout and a late-morning hike with his family in Lanikai, followed by a golf outing with friends in the afternoon. Star-Advertiser.

City May Need $1 Million From State For Extra Ambulances. KITV4.

Fireworks ban dampens New Year plans for some. KHON2.

A vocal proponent of the Honolulu rail project has asked the IRS to look into alleged tax violations by a nonprofit suing to stop the train. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa is asking a national education research group to pay about $28,800 for UH to fulfill an open-records request from the group, which is compiling a controversial ranking of teacher preparation programs. Star-Advertiser.

An area that's been a magnet for illegal dumping continues to attract everything but the kitchen sink. KHON2.

Hawaii

New Year's celebrations and fireworks have been synonymous on Hawaii Island. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The temperature in the walk-in refrigerator at the Maui Police Department's new morgue and forensic facility is maintained between 36 and 38 degrees. Inside, there are racks of steel slabs. Maui News.

The nuns who have been researching the life of Mother Marianne Cope have discovered a woman who was a tough, capable, caring administrator. Maui News.

In an effort to ensure a safe and enjoyable New Year’s celebration, officials with the Maui Fire Department are urging the public to take proper precautions. Maui Now.

Kauai

Robert Kawamura, a junior at Kaua‘i High School, said he’s been pounding mochi for a long time, Monday in Wailua. Garden Island.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. will meet with community members in Hanapepe, Kapa‘a, Kekaha and Koloa in January as part of his pledge to meet with communities throughout the island annually. Garden Island.

Molokai

The studio structure is being constructed by Molokai Habitat for Humanity (MHFH) through a Habitat for Humanity International and Lowe’s Home Improvement program called Hammers for Heroes, which funds home improvements for veterans. Molokai Dispatch.