Monday, January 23, 2012

Hawaii bridge report in, Honolulu nation's least affordable housing, Department of Hawaiian Homelands seeks new Maui prison, big security presence allows yacht to dock on Molokai, fired election workers sue Hawaii County, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

With 756 state-owned bridges in Hawai‘i, the Senate Committee on Transportation and International Affairs is taking a closer look at the condition and integrity of the structures. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii is the only state in the country that doesn't have a law requiring drivers to give police, EMS or any freeway responder room on the roadway. KHON2.

Performance pay linked to annual evaluations was often cited by Hawaii teachers as one of the key reasons for rejecting a proposed 6-year contract with the state. Civil Beat.

The University of Hawaii is looking for people to participate in a study with New York’s Cornell University to develop foods that can be used on a mission to Mars. Pacific Business News.

The Hawai‘i Children’s Trust Fund partnered with the Joyful Heart Foundation to begin a statewide public awareness campaign called “One Strong ‘Ohana.” Garden Island.

State roundup for January 23. Associated Press.

Oahu

The Honolulu City Council routinely introduces bills and resolutions with multiple cosponsors despite a state law that bars members of public boards from discussing board business outside of public meetings. Civil Beat.

Last year Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle told a radio audience that Honolulu's rail project had "too much momentum" to be stopped. Now former Gov. Ben Caye­tano plans to put Carlisle's claim to the test, and is running for mayor with the stated intention of killing the $5.27 billion rail project. Star-Advertiser.

This promises to be a wild year in Honolulu. Civil Beat.

Police Chief Louis Kealoha bowed his head before a memorial erected to patrol officer Garret Davis on Sunday, then implored Oahu drivers to be more careful — especially when officers are doing their jobs. Star-Advertiser.

A study of 325 metropolitan areas worldwide says Honolulu is the least-affordable housing market in the United States. Star-Advertiser.

A former Hawaii state senator announced Sunday that he's running for a Honolulu City Council seat. KHON2.

Hawaii

Alleging they were wrongly fired, two former Hawaii County senior elections officials on Friday asked for $500,000 apiece to settle a defamation claim and offset their emotional suffering. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii County administration has made an end run around the County Council by soliciting bids for recycling services without the council's blessing. West Hawaii Today.

Jack Hash thought he was getting an idyllic setting, but a multiyear battle over a neighbor's illegal home has him regretting the move, contemplating selling and wondering where's the building enforcement. Tribune-Herald.

A magnitude-5.0 earthquake and several small aftershocks shook the Big Island on Sunday, but there were no reports of injury or damage. Associated Press.

Maui

Runway options would halt Mainland flights for weeks. Maui News.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is taking the lead in resuscitating what had been an estimated $235 million project to build an 843-inmate, minimum- and medium-security prison in Puunene. Maui News.

Maui County could streamline the way it grants millions of dollars to nonprofit agencies and eliminate the volunteer Grants Review Committee under changes being considered by the administration and County Council. Maui News.

Lehuanani Huddleston-Hafoka of Kihei said she'd save about $560 a year in bus transportation to send her two children to Maui High School in Kahului if a high school were built in South Maui. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai

Where did you sleep last night? This is the question volunteers across Kaua‘i will be asking starting Tuesday through Jan. 29 when the Kaua‘i Community Alliance, a member of a Neighbor Island continuum of care called Bridging the Gap, oversees the annual Point in Time homeless count, states a news release from Catholic Charities Hawai‘i. Garden Island.

Molokai

In 30 years of community activism, Molokai's Walter Ritte Jr. said he never saw anything like Saturday at dawn at Kaunakakai Harbor: about 80 cruise ship protesters matched up against at least twice as many county, state and federal officers. Maui News.

Nearly 50 U.S. Coast Guard personnel, as well as dozens of county, state and federal law enforcement guarded a security zone around Kaunakakai Harbor for the return of American Safari Cruises’ yacht Safari Explorer last Saturday. Molokai Dispatch.

There was no blockade on the water for the American Safari Explorer, a 36-passenger tour boat as it pulled into port at Kaunakakai Harbor at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. KITV4.