Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hawaii is the favorite state, political maps continue to draw fire, state Senate mulls Internet sales tax, Honolulu quietly breaches debt limit on rail, Big Island to host Mars training center, Kauai police chief furor continues, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Child plays at Waikiki (c) 2012 All Hawaii News

A new poll confirms what residents of the Aloha State already knew — Americans love Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie left for Washington, D.C., Wednesday night to attend the 2012 National Governor's Association Winter Meeting. Associated Press.

Residents from all corners of Oahu urged members of the state Reapportionment Commission to make further changes to proposed political boundary maps and make greater effort to keep communities together. Star-Advertiser.

New political boundaries are working toward reality, as the 2011 Reapportionment Commission races to meet a Feb. 29 deadline. Few like the lines; not only do they split up distinct neighborhoods, many say, but two state senators and five sets of state representatives will be forced to face each other should they seek re-election. Civil Beat.

State senators appear poised to pass a measure that would allow Hawaii to tap into millions of dollars in uncollected taxes on Internet sales. Civil Beat.

A Senate committee is hearing a bill today that would establish a tax credit to help offset teachers’ out-of-pocket expenses. Associated Press.

Weaknesses in Hawaii's child pornography laws would be strengthened to address possession of particularly violent or egregious images, under an effort in the Legislature. Associated Press.

The concern over the dwindling supply of opihi has renewed calls for a ban on opihi harvesting. KITV4.

The furor over Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s appointments to the state water commission isn’t likely to die down any time soon. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Honolulu Managing Director Douglas Chin quietly approved a request to suspend city debt guidelines last year in a move that clears the way for the extraordinary borrowing necessary to finance the city's $5.27 billion rail project. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s top-paid city job will soon be filled -- the head of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. But public feedback won't be possible before the offer is made.  KHON2.

A look back at what Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle said in his first such speech almost one year ago. Did he make good on his promises? How did his initiatives fare with the Honolulu City Council? Civil Beat.

former U.S. Rep. Ed Case
Hawaii

With the help of cheering supporters, Hawaiian music and fragrant food, a former restaurant was transformed Wednesday into the East Hawaii campaign headquarters for native son and former U.S. Rep. Ed Case. West Hawaii Today.

An unusual flurry of more than 60 small, shallow quakes at Kilauea volcano Wednesday is no cause for alarm, U.S. geologists say. Star-Advertiser.

A seismic swarm can be seen as a precursor to a lava outbreak, but in this case scientists say other factors are at play. Tribune-Herald.

Five homes will be built in just 240 hours this fall by Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii and other volunteers in an effort to increase affordable housing in Kona. West Hawaii Today.

The University of Hawaii and NASA are on the hunt for participants for a first-of-its-kind habitat study to Mars. NASA has a mission to Mars in its sights, and Hawaii Island is about to play a big part. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

A once-luxurious beachfront house that has been left vacant for more than 10 years would be removed and sold to the highest bidder under a proposal by Mayor Alan Arakawa. Maui News.

Planning for a proposed 4.5 story parking garage in the center of Wailuku town has been put on hold by the County of Maui and future meetings of the design team have been canceled. Maui Now.

Kauai

The Kauai County Charter Review Commission is scheduled to meet Monday to look at whether Mayor Bernard Carvalho has the authority to keep Police Chief Darryl Perry on leave. Star-Advertiser.

Kaua‘i Police Chief Darryl Perry was working in his office Wednesday afternoon for the first time since Feb. 1, even though the mayor said Wednesday morning the police chief was still on paid leave. Garden Island.

With six small-scale hydroelectric projects, a 12-megawatt solar farm and an island-wide rollout of smart meters all on the horizon, it’s arguably the most significant time in the history of the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative. Garden Island.

Molokai

The nun who served Hansen’s disease patients who were exiled to Kalaupapa for over 30 years will become a saint in a canonization ceremony to take place on Oct. 21 of this year, the Vatican announced last Saturday. Molokai’s Mother Marianne Cope was green-lighted for sainthood by Pope Benedict XVI in December, after confirmation of a second miracle was attributed to her. Molokai Dispatch.