Friday, February 17, 2012

Kona coffee battles continue, Hawaii Legislature advances bill allowing smoking in Oahu bars, Superferry redux, gas prices jump, Kauai camp-dwellers face eviction, bag fee advances, big bucks for high-school principals, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kona coffee on the vine (c) 2012 All Hawaii News



Coffee farmers and blenders are split over a proposed bill that would eliminate inspection and certification requirements for green coffee beans being shipped off island. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Reapportionment Commission's rushed redistricting plan leaves some Oahu legislators unhappy. Hawaii Reporter.

The Big Island's fourth state Senate seat is creating new opportunities for current and former lawmakers. West Hawaii Today.

Inouye Wants to Revive Interisland Ferry. Civil Beat.

Zipline operators push for mandatory safety regulations. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu nightclub and bar owners might be given the choice to allow smoking in their establishments. Associated Press.

Bar and nightclub owners trying to get an exemption from Hawaii's ban on indoor smoking were able to further their argument before lawmakers Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

By a vote of 10-1 members of the House Economic Revitalization and Business Committee approved a measure that would allow bars and nightclubs on Oahu to offer indoor smoking. KHON2.

High school prinicpals average $130,500 annual pay, $10,000 more than the average pay of the state's 15 complex area superintendents and some $20,000 more than seven state-level assistant superintendents. Two principals earn more than schools Superintendent Kathryn Mata­yo­shi. Star-Advertiser.

A proposal to collect fees from customers who choose disposable paper and plastic shopping bags is gaining support as it works through the state Legislature. Associated Press.

Ag officials say they are struggling to control the problem of invasive species, which can wreak havoc on Hawaii’s ecosystem, amid budgetary cutbacks and reductions in inspectors. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has appointed Heather Haunani Giugni, a documentary filmmaker and producer, to the Halawa-Aiea state House district seat to replace Rep. Tom Oka­mura, who resigned last month for health reasons. Star-Advertiser.

Air Australia announced today that it will suspend all flights immediately, including two from Honolulu to Brisbane and Melbourne. Maui Now.

Hundreds of visitors were stranded in Hawaii -- and thousands more worldwide -- when Air Australia abruptly suspended operations Thursday. KHON2.

Gas prices in Hawaii rose again this week, with the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline increasing by 2 cents to $4.21, according to AAA Hawaii’s Weekend Gas Watch. Pacific Business News.

State roundup for Feb. 17. Associated Press.

Oahu

Hawaii's Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday outside its courtroom and inside a high school. KITV4.

Honolulu mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano said Thursday he was telling his campaign to remove Civil Beat from its media list. Civil Beat.

About 7,000 sailors are pulling into Pearl Harbor for leave with the John C. Stennis aircraft carrier strike group following a more than six-month deployment to the Middle East and Western Pacific. Star-Advertiser.

HPR PRESENTS JOURNALISM PANEL WITH NPR NEWS HOST NEAL CONAN; Local Journalists Gather For Feb. 28th Discussion on Journalistic Ethics. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii

The little town of Waimea rose up on Thursday evening and told its charter school board of directors from Honolulu in no uncertain terms that it would not be pushed around. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Army National Guard Col. Benedict L. Fuata was named Civil Defense administrator by Mayor Billy Kenoi Thursday. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Tribune-Herald reporter Jason Armstrong on Thursday assumed a newly created position in county government. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

After years of planning and funding delays, the Kahului Airport access road and parking lot expansion projects have money lined up to start construction in mid-2013. Maui News.

Maui County Council members recommended that two nominees for the Molokai Planning Commission be disapproved, saying Karen Ashley and Amy Maeda needed more experience with planning issues and the community. Maui News.

Kauai
Grove Farm Co., which owns the land at Koloa Camp on Kauai, has turned down an offer from a local developer to purchase the property to help tenants facing eviction stay in their homes. Star-Advertiser.

Surfrider Kaua‘i is seeking volunteers to help remove two large derelict fishing nets near Kealia Beach on Saturday. Garden Island.

Molokai

Last week, a bill passed another hurdle on its way to establishing a working group to explore options for reducing shipping costs from Molokai and Lanai to Oahu. Molokai Dispatch.