Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hawaii legislative maps aired at public hearing, Gov. Abercrombie agrees with same-sex couple challenging state marriage law, state Board of Education approves new standards for teachers, Kauai police chief back on the job, Honolulu tractor rally protests lost farmland, more Hawaii news

Former Hawaii Sen. Lorraine Inouye mulls maps (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Big Islanders — whose colleagues sued to force a fourth Senate seat and a second round of public hearings on new legislative maps — formed a small but vocal crowd Tuesday evening when the state Reapportionment Commission came to town. West Hawaii Today.

The state Reapportionment Commission found out Tuesday that you can’t please everyone. Big Island Now.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie acknowledged Tuesday that the state's marriage law is unconstitutional because it denies same-sex couples the "fundamental right" to marry, but the state will still defend the statute in federal court on behalf of the state Department of Health. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie told a federal court Tuesday that Hawaii's existing marriage law denies federal constitutional rights to same-sex couples who want to marry. Associated Press.

Separate answers have been filed in response to a lawsuit that challenges Hawaii’s ban on same-sex marriage. Maui Now.

The Hawaii State Board of Education approved new performance management policies for teachers on Tuesday that might be the most tangible progress the state has made in its Race to the Top since December. Civil Beat.

Against the objections of scores of teachers, the Board of Education approved proposals Tuesday to make it board policy that the state change to a performance-based management system for teachers and principals. Star-Advertiser.

Breastfeeding mothers could find it easier to pump milk at work under a bill before the state House. Associated Press.

The majority of births to Hawaii women younger than 30 are taking place outside of marriage for the first time, according to a Washington-based nonprofit research group that tracks national birth data. Civil Beat.

The House Judiciary Committee chairman deferred a bill proposing to exempt Hawaii's four county councils from the state's Sunshine Laws. West Hawaii Today.

A $500 million construction package aimed at stimulating job growth has cleared the state Senate. Associated Press.

The state Senate unanimously voted to pass SB 2012, known as “The Invest in Hawai‘i Act of 2012,” on Tuesday. Garden Island.

Judge David Ezra


U.S. District Court Judge David Alan Ezra, the longest serving active federal judge in Hawaii’s history, will take senior status after June 27 when he turns 65 years old. Hawaii Reporter.

A trial began Tuesday in the case of a Hawaii-based Marine accused of punching, kicking and pouring sand in the face of a fellow lance corporal who fell asleep on watch in Afghanistan. Associated Press.

State roundup for Feb. 22. Associated Press.

Oahu

As he prepares for his second State of the City address, Mayor Peter Carlisle confronts a sagging job approval rating and growing public skepticism about the biggest public works project in Hawaii's history. Star-Advertiser.

Downtown Honolulu became the latest battleground between farmers and developers. A fleet of tractors circled around the business district during lunchtime to protest the potential loss of more than 2000 acres of active farmland. Hawaii Public Radio.

The embattled Wahiawa senior center at the center of a federal investigation is abandoning plans to seek continued Community Development Block Grants, according to a Jan. 31 letter obtained by Civil Beat. Civil Beat.

Unrelated power failures Tuesday morning in Manoa and at Honolulu Airport closed schools and delayed dozens of interisland flights, respectively. Star-Advertiser.

Attorneys for the City and County of Honolulu have asked the federal court to declare that the plaintiffs in a lawsuit to stop the rail transit project lack standing to pursue some claims under a section of the Department of Transportation Act that applies to publicly owned land or historic sites. Pacific Business News.

Guests and staff members had a brief scare at two Waikiki hotels early Wednesday morning. Hawaii News Now.

Along the Waianae mountain range, tucked in thick shrub is a safe haven for an endangered native species. KITV4.

An early morning power outage at Honolulu International Airport's inter-island terminal caused major delays for Hawaiian Airlines' neighbor island flights. KHON2.

Hawaii

A former County Council chairman and his former clerk are headed for an election-day showdown to represent the vacant 2nd council district. Tribune-Herald.

South Kona property that Hokulia developer Lyle Anderson tried to convert into a golf course before being rebuffed by the Sierra Club and others is up for sale. West Hawaii Today.

A winter storm that caused a voluntary evacuation of Mauna Kea on Tuesday morning likely will continue throughout the week, bringing more rain and chilly temperatures to East Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

When the Maui County prosecutor's office was created Feb. 1, 1977, John Tam was one of its four attorneys. Maui News.

A blessing ceremony will be held on Wednesday for a new vessel on Maui that will support whale response and research efforts throughout the state. Maui Now.

A Kapalua retiree has found a way to harness the power of ladies who lunch. Maui News.

Kauai

Kaua‘i Police Chief Darryl Perry, after being first suspended for “insubordination” on Feb. 1 and later placed on paid leave by the mayor, will be back at work today after a unanimous vote by the Kaua‘i County Police Commission to return him to his job, Perry said Tuesday. Garden Island.

About two dozen people dressed as lab rats held signs and marched to the sound of a drum during a GMO Free Kaua‘i afternoon rally Tuesday. Garden Island.