Thursday, December 15, 2011

Honolulu least affordable city, director named to troubled housing agency, Hawaiian Homes waiting list spans four decades, changes proposed for super PACs, military gears up live-fire exercises, Maui rethinks water laws, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu high rises (c) 2011 All Hawaii News

Honolulu is the least affordable city for renters nationwide, with only 8 percent of middle-class jobs paying enough to afford a two-bedroom apartment. Star-Advertiser.

Political committees in Hawaii that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of campaign money could be required to name the candidates their expenditures are targeting or supporting in the upcoming elections. Civil Beat.

Candidates running for the Hawaii Legislature last year raked in nearly $5 million in total contributions — and spent just as much, according to figures from the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission. Civil Beat.

Supporters of Hawaii’s ignition interlock law are hailing the first year of the program as a huge success. KHON2.

During the last session lawmakers hung their hats on a strategy that they hoped would help generate additional tax dollars without having to adopt an explicit tax increase like an increase in the general excise tax rate or an increase in personal income tax rates. Hawaii Reporter.

Former Gov. John Waihee III received a standing ovation after his 2011 State of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs keynote address, in which he stressed self-governance. Star-Advertiser.

"I stand here in front of you asking all of you to lay your weapons down. Lay your spears down and embrace with aloha," OHA chairperson Colette Machado said. Hawaii News Now.

Hakim Ouansafi, chairman of the Muslim Association of Hawaii and a longtime executive in the hotel industry here, has been selected as the newest head of the state’s public housing agency. Hawaii Reporter.

A study published in the Hawaii Medical Journal this month links certain eye irritation symptoms, such as inflamed bumps on the inside of the eyelid and clear mucous discharge, to chronic exposure to vog, or volcanic fog, and its findings might be key in diagnosing and treating the condition. Star-Advertiser.

Civil Unions will be legal for same gender couples starting early next year. Meanwhile, Mental Health America of Hawai’i hosted a seminar today to ask how well this community is being treated and what should be done in the future. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiian Telcom union workers have rejected the company's latest offer, according to a message on the IBEW Local Union 1357 website. KITV4.

State roundup for Dec. 15. Associated Press.

Oahu

The state agency charged with developing the waterfront around the historic Aloha Tower heard from tenants of the financially struggling retail complex. KITV4.

Whenever there's heavy rain, the Ala Wai Boat Harbor gets storm runoff debris. But according to residents who live on boats moored in the harbor, Tuesday's downpour left a more debris than they've ever seen. Hawaii News Now.

A subsidiary of Marriott International has filed a federal lawsuit against Aqua Hotels and Resorts Inc. alleging the Honolulu-based hotel operator secretly met with the owner of the former Waikiki Edition hotel to plan a hostile takeover of the hotel’s management. Pacific Business News.

Two more Honolulu police personnel have been charged with insurance fraud by the state Attorney General’s office.Hawaii Reporter.

First Lady Michelle Obama and her two daughters will be in Hawaii by the end of the week. KHON2.

Hawaii

Maxine Kaha'ulelio came prepared to meet with the chairman of the Hawaiian Homes Commission. Tribune Herald.

Navy aircraft are scheduled to conduct live-fire training on Monday and Tuesday at Pohakuloa Training Area. Tribune-Herald.

State and federal court cases regarding the future of the Mamalahoa bypass were settled late Tuesday, but county officials and attorneys remained mum on the details. West Hawaii Today.

The federal government is giving Hawaii another $13.5 million for Saddle Road. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The Pacific Cancer Institute of Maui is undertaking a nearly $7 million expansion and renovation project, primarily to accommodate a new, $3 million machine for radiation surgery and therapy. Maui News.

A move to amend and perhaps sunset the Show Me the Water ordinance stalled in a Maui County Council committee on a 3-3 vote Tuesday. Maui News.

With a supporter agreeing to match donations through the end of the year, Women Helping Women is wishing for a surge in holiday giving to keep its domestic violence shelter open. Maui News.

Kauai

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi today announced that the state Department of Education is working to significantly reduce the cost of school operations and, as a first step, has awarded a Power Purchase Agreement contract to install photovoltaic systems at 15 Kauai schools. Hawaii Independent.

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

Kaua‘i plans to offer tours of Garden Isle waste disposal and recycling facilities next year. Garden Island.