Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bloggers could lose shield law protection, feds mull defense, energy programs, lawmakers warned about gifts again, Tesoro sale could rattle state gas supply, cleaning up Oahu, Kauai has new clerk, Maui mulls property taxes, more top Hawaii news for smartphone and web

Hawaii state Capitol (c) 2012 All Hawaii News

A U-S House Armed Services panel was at the state capitol today to hear from defense-related businesses. Hawaii Public Radio.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack toured Pearl Harbor on a visit Tuesday meant to highlight the Obama administration's commitment to renewable energy. Associated Press.

A Hawaii state judiciary committee is recommending that the Hawaii Legislature make permanent the state's shield law that protects journalists from forced disclosure of sources and notes. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Legislature convenes next week and the state Ethics Commission is already warning legislators about ethical restrictions on gifts from lobbyists. Hawaii Reporter.

The executive director of the State Ethics Commission issued two memos Monday to state legislators informing them that he was advising against accepting invitations to events hosted by lobbyists. Civil Beat.

The pending sale of Tesoro Corp.'s Hawaii operations adds uncertainty to the island's energy market and raises the possibility of increased prices for gasoline, electricity and jet fuel. Star-Advertiser.

Renewable Energy Push Could Hurt Refineries. Civil Beat.

Chevron Corp. wouldn’t say if it plans to put in a bid to buy Tesoro Corp., after the Texas-based refiner announced on Tuesday that it plans to sell its Hawaii operations. Pacific Business News.

Joe Nathan, who helped write the nation's first charter school law, urged Hawaii educators Tuesday to celebrate the expansion and successes of the charter movement even as they grapple with growing pains. Star-Advertiser.

To address a “crisis” in backlogged elevator safety inspections, the state plans to increase inspection fees to hire new, better-paid inspectors from the private sector, state Labor and Industrial Relations Department Director Dwight Takamine said today. Hawaii Reporter.

The owner of a South Korean oil tanker was sentenced in federal court in Honolulu Tuesday to pay more than $1 million for knowingly dumping oily waste in U.S. waters off Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

This year, lawmakers want to strengthen these provisions to help the victims of labor and sex trafficking. Hawaii Public Radio.

State roundup for January 11. Associated Press.

Oahu

City officials said they will monitor the situation today on South King Street in the McCully-Moiliili area, following Tuesday's daylong effort to clear sidewalks of homeless encampments. Star-Advertiser.

Every day after work, Ernest Basamonte tries to walk fast past the homeless encampment on his way to catch the bus. KITV4.

Trash Cans Overflowing at Diamond Head Lookout. Hawaii News Now.

West Oahu City Councilman Tom Berg believes the island’s nightmarish traffic congestion could be drastically improved if a computer system allowed police to more easily identify drivers who actually belong on the road. KHON2.

Hawaii

Three West Hawaii legislators on Tuesday spelled out their priorities for the upcoming session -- ranging from geothermal energy to school improvements. West Hawaii Today.
A former Leeward Planning commissioner announced his candidacy for state House Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

West Hawaii's four County Council districts are shaping up to have competitive races, with candidates beginning to come forward weeks before the Feb. 1 start of pulling papers for nominations. West Hawaii Today.

Astronomers announced a small discovery that may have big implications for the number of planets orbiting other stars. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui County Council members continued wrestling Monday with illegal vacation rentals, a problem made more difficult by limited county resources available for enforcement. Maui News.

Public testimony will be taken on a bill that would change the way homes are taxed on agricultural property during meetings throughout Maui County this month. Maui News.

Residents and visitors will have an opportunity to visit Haleakala National Park for free. Maui Now.

Kauai

The Kaua‘i County Council announced Tuesday that Interim County Clerk and former council services administrator Ricky Watanabe was selected for the position of county clerk. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council selected Rick Watanabe as the new county clerk, the county announced today. Star-Advertiser.

The Kaua‘i Planning Commission Tuesday unanimously confirmed Jan Kimura, one of the commission’s more vocal members, as the commission’s chair for 2012. Garden Island.

Kaua'i RSVP, an organization that's part of the Agency on Elderly Affairs, announced today the kick-off of its cell phone and eyewear recycling campaign. Hawaii News Now.

Molokai

Maui County officials said Cooke Memorial Pool on Molokai be closed on Friday, January 13 and Saturday, January 14 for black algae maintenance. KITV4.