Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Molokai tour boat truce reached, Hawaii teachers take second jobs, Big Island rents drop, $10.7M for homeless, Honolulu scrambles after hospital shutdown, UH picks Norm Chow as new football coach, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Molokai blockade courtesy photo
Molokai protesters and the operator of American Safari Cruises have agreed to a truce that will allow the tour boat company to resume its weekly visits to Molokai next month. Star-Advertiser.

American Safari Cruises announced Tuesday that an agreement has been reached between the company, state and federal authorities and local groups so that the Safari Explorer will return to Molokai in January. Star-Advertiser.

American Safari Cruises plans to resume regularly scheduled visits to Molokai on January 21, 2011. Maui Now.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan Tuesday awarded $10.7 million to renew funding to Hawaii homeless programs. KHON2.

Two-thirds of Hawaii public school teachers who responded to a recent union poll said they hold one or more outside jobs, and 41 percent of those earning supplemental incomes said they started working another job in the last one to three years. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii legislators are planning a complete overhaul of the state’s charter school system in the wake of “glaring concerns” about lack of accountability and even possible fraud at some schools. Hawaii Reporter.

Inouye Still Brings Home The Bacon. Half a billion dollars going to military, APEC costs, East-West Center. Civil Beat.

Norm Chow is poised to become the next University of Hawaii head football coach -- 16 years, two Heisman Trophy winners and two national titles after losing his first bid for the position. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s version of the Supplemental Budget for Fiscal Year 2013, submitted yesterday, requires an additional $35 million in general funds—overall changes included an increase of $119.9 million in spending in some areas and $85.9 million in savings in others. Hawaii Independent.

The Keck Observatory was involved in what its director called a historic moment recently, helping confirm the discovery of two Earth-sized planets.  West Hawaii Today.

State roundup for Dec. 21. Associated Press.

Oahu

Police-Business Deal Raises Ethical Questions. Civil Beat.

About 1200 people are waiting for the outcome of a lawsuit determining their future living conditions. Mayor Wright Homes is the second complex to draw attention to public housing standards in the past several years. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Medical Centers, which is closing the former St. Francis Medical Centers in Liliha and Ewa over the next few weeks, operates the only organ transplant center in the Pacific. The Transplant Institute of the Pacific shut down on Friday when HMC's Liliha hospital stopped admitting patients. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations will provide Rapid Response services to employees at both Hawaii Medical Center worksites in Liliha and Ewa after the company announced last Friday it is closing. KITV4.

After the sudden closure of Hawaii’s only organ transplant hospital at Hawaii Medical Center East in Liliha, The Queen’s Medical Center is racing against the clock to quickly certify a new program. KHON2.

A non-profit that describes itself as the world's largest religious civil liberties legal organization is getting involved in a discrimination lawsuit filed on Oahu Monday by a lesbian couple. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu mortgage brokers Welton Kalani and Stephen Balino have been found guilty on numerous counts of mortgage fraud and money laundering, the U.S. Department of Justice reported Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

The Honolulu Fire Department says Wednesday, December 21 is the last day to get firecracker permits on Oahu. KITV4.

Hawaii

A newly released study shows that monthly residential rents are decreasing on the Big Island, while the rest of the state is posting increases. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island residents are in for a sight when several massive storage tanks for the new Big Island Biodiesel refinery are transported from Hilo to Keeau on Wednesday. KHON2.

Kona Community Hospital is actively recruiting a cardiologist, CEO Jay Kreuzer said this week. West Hawaii Today.

Residents in four Big Island communities may soon have access to computers and printers at County Council offices, thanks to a resolution forwarded Tuesday by the council's Finance Committee. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island County Council to Vote on Plastic Bag Ban, Civil Beat.

Maui

About 40 nisei veterans traveled to Oahu this past weekend to take part in ceremonies honoring them for receiving the Congressional Gold Medal for their service during World War II with the 100th Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Services. Maui News.

Kauai

Kadomatsu, one of the more familiar New Year’s decorations, are now on sale at the Hawai‘i Government Employees Association offices on Aikahi Street in Lihu‘e. Garden Island.

The holiday spirit caught up with the staff at the Courtyard by Marriott at Coconut Beach Thursday night. Garden Island.