Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hawaii preps for Obama ohana, Kauai residents sue Pioneer GMO seed corn company, Abercrombie to release cautiously optimistic budget, union woes unending, PUC clears First Wind project for Oahu, Honolulu EMS racks $16M in OT, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kilauea lava flows into sea USGS courtesy photo
Volcanologists on Tuesday mapped the newest ocean entry from the ongoing eruption of Kilauea volcano. Tribune-Herald.

Kailua residents began bracing for the possibility of a fourth consecutive Christmas visit from President Barack Obama and the first family as activity picked up Tuesday around the beachside compound that's come to be known as Obama's Western White House. Star-Advertiser.

Cautiously optimistic. That's the tone Hawaii taxpayers can expect when Gov. Neil Abercrombie releases his budget update Monday. Civil Beat.

The National Transportation Safety Board recommendation Tuesday that all states should ban drivers from using any cellphones, including hands-free devices, would be "drastic" and a tough sell in the islands where county restrictions already exist, a key Hawaii lawmaker said. Star-Advertiser.

The Legislature passed an anti-bullying law this year, but it wasn't in time to keep Hawaii out of a federal report that names the state as one of four without such a statute. Star-Advertiser.

For the last five months the Hawaii State Teachers Association has been making its case before the Labor Relations Board — and in the media — that Gov. Neil Abercrombie violated collective bargaining law when he unilaterally implemented a new contract on teachers in July. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Telcom workers have rejected the company's latest contract offer. Associated Press.

State roundup for Dec. 14. Associated Press.

Oahu

Skies over Oahu are expected to clear this morning as a storm system that prompted a flash-flood watch Tuesday moves to the east, the National Weather Service said. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has approved First Wind and Hawaiian Electric Co.’s plan to construct a 69-megawatt wind farm on the North Shore of Oahu that will be the largest wind-energy project in the state. Pacific Business News.

CBS's executive producer for the television series Hawaii Five-O, Peter Lenkov, issued an apology on Tuesday, December 14, 2011, on behalf of the Hawaii Five-0 production unit, to "veterans and members of the Greatest Generation Foundation whom we unintentionally offended when our events coincided." Hawaii Reporter.

Local Nisei soldiers who received the coveted Congressional Gold Medal in Washington D.C. last month, will be honored during several celebrations in Honolulu this weekend. KITV4.

The city auditor found the city's Emergency Medical Services operation spent $15.7 million in non-holiday overtime costs between fiscal years 2008 and 2010. KITV4.

Hawaii

Although still without a contractor to clean its dry wells and drainage culverts, Hawaii County safely "weathered" recent rains that drenched much of the island. Tribune-Herald.

A reward of up to $30,000 is being offered for information leading to charges against the person or people who destroyed 10 acres of papaya trees in Kapoho this summer. Tribune-Herald.

Federal Justice Officials Ignore Questions About Hawaii Pot Minister. Civil Beat.

The low bidder for the next phase of the Kaloko Housing project is protesting its disqualification, its president says. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees left the replacement of former member Boyd Mossman in the governor's hands, after they were unable to reach a decision on the appointment Monday. Maui News.

The origin of a fire that knocked out 911 emergency service and caused other communications problems Sunday was unknown Monday, but a Hawaiian Telcom spokesman said all service was restored by 3:15 a.m. Monday. Maui News.

Kauai

On behalf of more than 150 Waimea residents, attorneys on Tuesday filed a lawsuit in Fifth Circuit Court on O‘ahu against Pioneer Hi-Bred International, a DuPont company. Garden Island.

Photovoltaic systems will be installed at 15 Kauai schools at no cost to the State. KHON2.

A handful of bills recently introduced by the Kaua‘i County Council may jolt the county’s main revenue generator — real property taxes. Garden Island.

An anonymous letter from a county employee takes aim at what is described as marijuana use during the workday by employees who never seem to come up for random urinalysis testing. Garden Island.

Lanai

When a former employee who became one of David H. Murdock’s most avid supporters sat down with the billionaire owner of Lana'i in July, she created quite a stir among residents when she wrote Murdock was contemplating selling the island. KHON2.