Monday, December 19, 2011

Hawaii on Obama watch, feds pan early education plan, Young Bros. granted 16.6% rate hike, UH to pay student for peeping tom, Maui to ban booze at park, Hawaii County studies property taxes, Kauai seeks landfill space and more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Mother Marianne Cope at Father Damien's funeral historical photo
Pope Benedict XVI has approved seven new saints for the Catholic Church, including Hawaii’s Mother Marianne and a 17th-century Native American, Caterina Tekakwitha. Associated Press.

First lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha seem to have been enjoying a respite from the television cameras since arriving at their Kailua vacation home on Saturday, according to area residents. Star-Advertiser.

First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters, Sasha and Malia, spent the night in Kailua, Oahu, on Saturday. Hawaii Reporter.

First lady Michelle Obama and first daughters Malia and Sasha are on day two of their Hawaiian holiday vacation. KHON2.

Federal reviewers ranked Hawaii's application for a competitive, $49 million federal grant to improve the state's early-learning network last among 35 states vying for the money, calling elements of the plan "minimally implemented" and "low quality," documents show. Star-Advertiser.

Recently ratings by the federal government show how Hawaii hospitals compare with ones across the country and the grades could also lead to better quality care. KITV4.

Hawaii's big bond sale this month was great news for the state because of how much it will save in lower interest rates. But for the Hawaii State Department of Education, it was a routine event. Civil Beat.

It's been a month since the head of Hawaii's largest union demanded to reopen labor talks with Gov. Neil Abercrombie's chief negotiator, claiming another union got a better deal. Civil Beat.

The University of Hawaii must pay about $31,000 to a former student who was showering at a UH dormitory four years ago when an intruder tried to take photos or a video of her with his cellphone, a state judge has ruled. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission on Friday approved a 16.58 percent rate increase for interisland shipping company Young Brothers Ltd. Pacific Business News.

State Roundup for Dec. 18. Associated Press.

Hawaii Soldiers Last Division To Exit Iraq. KITV4.

There were many hugs and kisses at Wheeler Army Airfield Sunday night, as the families of about 50 soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division welcomed them home from their deployment to Iraq. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Residential electric bills on Oahu hit a record high in December for the third consecutive month, continuing a trend that has prompted a growing number of homeowners to install rooftop photovoltaic systems to cut their soaring power bills. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii state Department of Agriculture will inspect a Kahuku farm where undocumented workers from Laos said they were sickened by exposure to toxic pesticides. Hawaii Reporter.

The Council had approved to hear a bill in 2012 that would require grocers or wholesale food clubs to post signs or labels signifying that a food product included genetically engineered material. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaii

Hawaii County has begun an outside review of its property tax structure, the first step in ensuring fairness and perhaps bringing additional money to county coffers. West Hawaii Today.

The Transportation Security Administration is hoping to prevent concerns that new body scanning machines it began using at Hilo International Airport are an invasion of privacy. Tribune-Herald.

Organizers of the Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School have been notified that they will not be allowed to launch next year. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui County Council members voted 8-0 Friday to give initial approval for a ban on the consumption of alcohol at the new South Maui Community Park. Maui News.

Xorin Balbes maintains that he renovated a historic landmark and created a self-awareness retreat, Lumeria Maui, while at least one opponent to reopening the Fred Baldwin Memorial Home said it looks more "like the Ritz." Maui News.

28 families were selected to receive homestead leases in the Kula, Waiohuli Hikina and the Waiehu Kou communities. KHON2.

Kauai

The island’s only landfill may operate another 10 years before closing down for good. With the clock ticking — and after a few extensions and expansions — the county has yet to find a site for the next landfill. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i Police Department has a new deputy chief. Garden Island.