Monday, January 2, 2012

Obama ending vacation, same-sex couples wed, Department of Education holds back $34M, Cayetano ponders Honolulu mayoral race, Tripler to fill Oahu trauma center gap, Maui tourist spending up, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

The 2012 New Year will ring in several new State measures, including Hawaii’s civil unions law. Other measures include a law that provides workplace protections for domestic or sexual violence victims, a law that allows for anonymous filings in a court of law, as well as several new insurance provisions. Hawaii Independent.

President Barack Obama and his wife and friends dined at Nobu's Waikiki tonight on the eve of the first family's departure. Star-Advertiser.

Same-sex couples make it official as civil unions become legal in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Four Hawaii same-sex couples celebrated civil unions just after midnight Sunday at a party in east Honolulu. Civil Beat.

Final decorations are going up at a Hawaii Kai home to celebrate as four local couple’s say "I do" in the state's first civil union's ceremony. KITV4.

Public schools and state Department of Education offices tucked away $34.2 million last fiscal year to carry over into this one, as they tried to build up rainy-day funds or save for textbooks, electronics and other purchases, a new report to the state Legislature shows. Star-Advertiser.

A special commission that the Legislature created to oversee the distribution of federal stimulus funds has found a mixed bag of results. Tribune-Herald.

Though Native Hawaiian eighth-graders have shown improvements in reading and math proficiency, they continue to lag behind their non-Native Hawaiian peers, a new study finds. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Friday released more than $63.7 million for capital improvement projects, including $16 million to build student housing at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Pacific Business News.

Nearly three years after the Hawaii Superferry suspended its operations, state Rep. Joe Souki hopes to restart discussion about an interisland ferry system with legislation he introduced earlier this year. Maui News.

State Roundup for Jan. 2. Associated Press.

Innovators and leaders in Hawai`i’s technology sector have been working for more than a decade to bring kama’aina home. The focus is on keeping some of Hawai`i’s best and brightest closer to home. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

Will former Governor Benjamin Cayetano become Mayor Cayetano in 2012? Hawaii Reporter.

Tripler Army Medical Center has agreed to become a trauma center for the treatment of nonmilitary residents on Oahu, providing relief to the Queen's Medical Center, which is the only civilian trauma center on Hawaii's most populated island. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu's special events coordinator has resigned, after an investigation revealed numerous violations of city ethics policies. KITV4.

Honolulu fire officials say there were no severe fires started by fireworks New Year's Eve and dispatch calls were down slightly from last year, but they still saw a significant number of illegal aerials. Hawaii News Now.

What's open and closed for the New Year holiday. KHON2.

Hawaii

Occupy Hawaii Island Protesters Gather Near Pelosi's Vacation Resort. Hawaii Reporter.

New Year's came and went without a single fireworks-related incident reported in West Hawaii to the Fire Department, as of 11 a.m. Sunday, said West Hawaii Battalion Chief Reuben Chun. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Gov. Neil Abercrombie released more than $63.7 million for capital improvements projects, including $7.5 million for Maui projects. Maui News.

Maui Visitor Spending, Arrivals Continue Growing. Maui Now.

Kauai

As the new year was about to begin, council members and Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. reflected on achievements and challenges of the old year and looked ahead to 2012. Garden Island.