Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hawaii to get some of Okinawa Marines, emergency money for APEC, trial for 6 Occupy Honolulu members starts today, dogs in restaurants, endangered snails released on Oahu, state lawmakers want more gifts, ziplines scrutinized, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Pololu Valley Lookout (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
The Public Land Development Corp., an agency tasked with developing public lands, has raised concerns from environmentalists and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and is under attack by lawmakers this session. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's tourism industry could be changed by a proposal discussed Tuesday that requires more strict inspections of zip lines, which allow riders strapped to a harness and a cable to glide above forest canopies. Associated Press.

Companion bills seeking the regulation of zipline and canopy tours in Hawaii are scheduled to be heard by respective committees today. Maui Now.

Fed up with the state's ethics chief over advice they haven't liked about whether they can accept certain gifts, a handful of Hawaii lawmakers recently decided to go over his head. Civil Beat.

Senior Japanese officials say 4,700 U.S. Marines on Okinawa will be transferred to Guam. The remaining 3,300 would reportedly rotate among Australia, Hawaii or the Philippines. Associated Press.

Three months after the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, the state is asking legislators for an emergency appropriation of nearly $3 million to help cover its costs. KITV4.

The legal argument about gay marriage may be headed for the U.S. Supreme Court. Meanwhile a similar constitutionality battle continues in Hawai`i. Hawaii Public Radio.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa
Among Hawaii's delegates, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Urban Oahu, traveled back to the Islands the most in the past year: 14 roundtrips from Washington between Jan. 1, 2011 and Jan. 23, 2012. Civil Beat.

Business and labor interests are mobilizing on opposite sides of bills pending in the Legislature that would mandate paid leave for employees who are sick, victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault. Tribune-Herald.

The state Health Department opposes a bill being supported by Gov. Neil Abercrombie that would allow people to bring their dogs to restaurants statewide. Hawaii News Now.

As part of a push to show progress on key education reforms, the Board of Education is looking to make it board policy that the state move to a new evaluation system for teachers and principals no later than July 1, 2014. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Education would need to allocate a certain level of funding for Hawaiian language immersion programs under a bill introduced by state Rep. Mele Carroll. Maui News.

While Hawaii Electric Light Company has predicted its 2012 profits will be affected as a result of customers switching to solar panels, it does not currently have plans to increase its rates. Tribune-Herald.

Dog the Bounty hunter and his wife Beth are lending their support to a bill that they say many other bounty hunters do not support. KHON2.

State roundup for Feb. 8. Associated Press.

Oahu

Former Gov. Ben Cayetano

Former Gov. Benjamin Cayetano, a Democrat in office for 28 years and now a candidate for Honolulu Mayor, had some fighting words for U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, in response to Inouye's support for both of Cayetano's mayoral opponents and the $5.3 billion elevated steel wheel on steel rail project, which Inouye announced yesterday received Federal Transit Administration approval to move to the next phase of construction. Hawaii Reporter.

Oahu home prices got a jump on the new year, as the median sale price in January for previously owned single-family homes reached its highest level in 16 months. Star-Advertiser.

Trial for Six Occupy Honolulu Members Arrested in November Set for today. Hawaii Reporter.

A bill that would outlaw nearly all commercial activities on Sundays at a popular stretch of beach in Kailua faces a final vote next week after being passed unanimously Tuesday by the City Council’s Parks and Cultural Affairs Committee. KHON2.

Army biologists are releasing three hundreds kahuli tree snails into the heart of Oahu's Waianae mountains help the endangered species. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii
A combination of good management and good luck have left Hawaii County with enough federal stimulus funding to pave another mile of Ane Keohokalole Highway. West Hawaii Today.

The building where Hilo's cruise ship passengers receive a welcoming ceremony and assemble before boarding land tours is being closed for the next year. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Filling shelves, kids with knowledge. Maui News.

Kauai

The Prince Course will reopen for play on March 1 at Kauai’s Princeville at Hanalei resort under the management of Montage Golf. Pacific Business News.

Kaua‘i Planning Commission member Hartwell Blake’s words may have summarized the frustration of some of his fellow commissioners when he said a transient vacation rental in an area zoned agricultural is spot zoning of a resort in the middle of a rural community. Garden Island.

Teachers from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School, King Kaumuali‘i Elementary School and Kaua‘i Technology Academy had an opportunity to become whale researchers Saturday at the Kukui‘ula Small Boat Harbor. Garden Island.