Friday, December 16, 2011

Hawaii tax database breached, scathing audit of charter schools, Honolulu property ticks up, recovery slow, Hawaii County fires five cops, big airport changes coming to Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu road construction (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Congress appropriated 840-Billion dollars in Federal Economic Stimulus money to States in February 2009. Did Hawai’i receive its fair share of that funding and who’s tracking it? Hawaii Public Radio.

The state Department of Taxation placed several employees on administrative leave without pay this week following the discovery of an internal security breach of the department's tax database. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Neil Abercrombie’s administration is investigating unspecified wrongdoing in the state Tax Department. Hawaii Reporter.

The State Attorney General is investigating allegations of security breaches at the tax department dating back several years. KHON2.

Charter schools have been spending public money with little oversight -- or accountability for student performance -- and the lack of government monitoring has resulted in "unethical and illegal" spending and employment practices at some campuses, a scathing audit of Hawaii's system of 31 charter schools found. Star-Advertiser.

State Auditor Marion Higa issued a scathing report on Hawaii's charter schools Thursday, calling out individual schools for potential fraud and criticizing the Charter School Review Panel. West Hawaii Today.

A blistering report released Thursday by the Hawaii state auditor alleges little to no oversight of the state’s public charter school system.KHON2.

For the first time in five years, Hawaii's school bus companies have bid against each other for contracts to transport students to and from school. Civil Beat.

Youth Correctional Facility Cleans Up Its Act. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Wednesday that he will appoint an interim successor for Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Boyd Mossman "as soon as I can" and that whomever he picks will not be running for the seat in the November election. Maui News.

State roundup for Dec. 16. Associated Press.

Oahu

Property values on Oahu rose slightly over the past year, giving the City Council and the Carlisle administration the expectation for some added revenue to work with as they craft a budget for the next fiscal year. Star-Advertiser.

The tax bill for some landowners may increase slightly if the Honolulu city council keeps tax rate at the current level. KITV4.

The pace of Honolulu's economic recovery since the end of the recession ranks in the bottom 20 percent of the nation's top 100 metropolitan areas, according to a report released Thursday by the Brookings Institution. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine will receive a $13.2 million federal grant for its Bioscience Research Infrastructure Development for Grant Enhancement and Success project. Pacific Business News.

First complaint filed under new city ordinance against personal property on sidewalks. Hawaii News Now.

The Gas Company dedicated a new plant in Kapolei that can make "renewable natural gas" out of oils and fats from animal, fishing and farming waste. KHON2.

Visitors to the Waikiki Aquarium got their first chance to see the aquarium's newest resident Thursday. KHON2.

Hawaii

Five Hawaii County police officers were fired this year, a significant increase over last year, when no nonprobationary police officers lost their jobs for disciplinary reasons. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaiians unloaded their mana'o on officials from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands about an initiative to get the longest-waiting beneficiaries off the homestead waiting list.  Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii County Water Board has tapped the department's deputy manager to become the manager and chief engineer. West Hawaii Today.

The Police Department won't be getting any new marked cruisers this Christmas or in the near future, a senior administrator said. Tribune-Herald.

Double-decker out of commission. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The state Department of Transportation is studying different plans to comprehensively rebuild Kahului Airport’s aging main runway, which was built in 1942. KITV4.

Projects such as the 460-kilowatt photovoltaic system recently installed at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center are part of a "spectrum of alternative energy" from home-based systems to large-scale farms to meet the state's current and future power needs, said Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Wednesday. Maui News.

A small turnout of Kihei residents Tuesday night urged Charter Commission members to put a proposal for four-year council terms on the ballot and keep County Council elections nonpartisan. Maui News.

Kauai

Grove Farm has told its Koloa Camp tenants it’s time to move out and make way for progress. Garden Island.

The major Hawaiian ports of call for hundreds of whalers during the 19th century were Honolulu and Lahaina, where whalers restocked provisions, replenished crews and transshipped whale oil cargoes following whale hunts in the Japan Sea, the South Pacific or the Arctic. Garden Island.

West Kaua‘i Rotary plants seeds for ‘Christmas miracle’ Garden Island.