What they're saying about Hawaii

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Hawaii Legislature ponders invasive species, bed bugs in state Kapolei building, lawmakers seek delay in unemployment insurance, Native Hawaiians have day in court, Caldwell jumps back in Honolulu mayoral race, Kauai has $57M budget surplus, safer motorcyclists for Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Iolani Palace (c) 2012 All Hawaii News

Native Hawaiians who believe they are citizens of the Hawaiian Kingdom — not the United States — nonetheless spent Thursday in an American court defending themselves against charges they trespassed on the grounds of their rightful seat of government, Iolani Palace. Civil Beat.

The state Reapportionment Commission plans to meet Jan. 20 to begin redrawing political boundaries, following a Hawaii Supreme Court ruling last week that invalidated new maps approved by the nine-member panel in October. Star-Advertiser.

Wary of undermining economic recovery, state House lawmakers want to forestall a scheduled increase this year in the unemployment insurance tax rate that would force businesses to pay $180 to $650 more for every employee. Star-Advertiser.

Teacher Agreement Better Than 'Last, Best and Final'? Too Soon To Say. Civil Beat.

Reptiles and other invasive species invaded the capitol today as part of a legislative briefing on environmental concerns. KHON2.

The biggest threat to the state’s economy, natural environment and the health of island residents, according to state lawmakers, comes from destructive plants and pests originating elsewhere. Hawaii Public Radio.

A wildlife revival around the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands is giving scientists a glimpse of what the main Hawaiian Islands looked like thousands of years ago -- and researchers said Thursday they hope the environmental renaissance of sorts will spur similar endeavors around the world. Star-Advertiser.

State building hit by bed bug problem. KHON2.

State roundup for January 13. Associated Press.

Oahu

Former acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell, looking to reclaim the post permanently, wasted little time in criticizing the incumbent, characterizing Mayor Peter Carlisle's first year in office as little more than photo opportunities and traveling with a singular focus on pushing the rail transit project at any cost. Star-Advertiser.

Caldwell's First Promise: Soap In Bus Stop Bathroom. Civil Beat.

Former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano is considering a run for Honolulu mayor at age 72 for one main reason: to stop the rail project. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has released $2 million in general obligation bond funds for the planning, design and construction of a flood alleviation project for Oahu's Waianae Coast. KITV4.

Up to 100 truckloads per day of used asphalt has been dumped at the site of a proposed cemetery in Hawaii Kai in the past several weeks, resurrecting environmental concerns about what is being stockpiled on the property. Star-Advertiser.

Kaneohe Pier Declared Unsafe. Officials Condemn Portion Of Main Access Pier To Coconut Island. KITV4.

Great white shark spotted off Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

The year 2011 ended on a soggy note in East Hawaii, but that was not enough to keep most of the Big Island from recording another year of below-average rainfall. Tribune-Herald.

North Hawaii Community Hospital has received $680,000 to improve its health information technology, joining a national health care industry trend to improve information technology. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Hawaiian Airlines is adding flights at Kahului Airport for both interisland and Mainland destinations, creating a "Maui hub" to improve connections. Maui News.

One of the leading Democratic candidates vying to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka decided to brown bag it to work Wednesday in Wailuku. Maui News.

A state-authorized motorcycle safety program will now be available on Maui with the opening of Hawaii’s newest motorcycle safety training site in Kahului. Maui Now.

An ordinance to prohibit alcohol consumption at the new South Maui Community Park in Kihei went into effect this week. KHON2.

Kauai

The County of Kaua‘i ended Fiscal Year 2011 on June 30 with a budget surplus of $57.26 million, according to the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report released Dec. 15. Garden Island.

Amanda Barretto has filed suit against a Kaua‘i elementary school and the state Department of Education in 5th Circuit Court on behalf of her 7-year-old child. Garden Island.

The mayor recognized Kamehameha Schools’ third-grade students in the  Kali‘imamo Program on Wednesday afternoon for their participation in creating and dedicating a new bus shelter fronting Kapa‘a Neighborhood Center. Garden Island.