Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Kinder, gentler TSA? Van Jones rallies state Capitol, Abercrombie names ag appointees, civil unions law tweaked, rare dengue-carrying mosquito prompts Health Department warning, bacteria high in Kauai waters, skink vanishes from Hawaii, Maui Charter Commission gives nod to Native Hawaiians, Hawaii council mulls paying for recyclables, more news from all the islands

TSA screening photo, courtesy conspiracyplanet.com


After a series of abuses by TSA officials across the country, Hawaii senators on the Transportation and Public Safety/Military Affairs committees unanimously passed a "Travelers Bill of Rights" on Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Van Jones, President Barack Obama’s former green jobs adviser who heads the “Rebuild the Dream” organization, keynoted a rally and a “mass action event” at the Hawaii State Capitol Tuesday night to promote “economic fairness” and “economic justice.” Hawaii Reporter.

The Biker for Christ was among the last to testify, but what he had to tell two Senate committees Tuesday was among the most memorable testimony submitted on House Bill 2569 — a civil unions bill. Civil Beat.

State senators are supporting a bill that would allow Hawaii high school graduates without legal immigration status to get resident tuition at the University of Hawaii and be eligible for state-funded financial aid. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii is considering the creation of a "clean economy bank." And it’s attracted the attention of Obama’s former green energy czar. Civil Beat.

The state House Judiciary Committee approved a bill today that sets aside money to settle claims against the state with the addition of more than $5.6 million in recent settlements. Star-Advertiser.

honeybee
Two bills are advancing in the Legislature this session to protect honey bees in Hawai’i.   These winged insects are a major economic driver in the state. Hawaii Public Radio.

Big Island state Rep. Bob Herkes, D-Puna, Ka‘u, Kona, is working to temper legislation that was enacted last spring to curtail the high rate of home foreclosures in Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

The years-long controversy over whether or not to shut down a major research center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa has led faculty members to draw up a damning resolution condemning the center's interim director, who they've repeatedly asked to resign. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has announced five appointments to fill seats on the Board of Agriculture and the Agribusiness Development Corporation. Associated Press.

Hawaii Websites Promote Extreme Hiking. KITV4.

For many of the 3,500 Schofield Barracks soldiers now returning from Af­ghani­stan, a decade of war in two countries finally may be over. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii hoteliers had the home-court advantage this week as they competed with other destinations for millions of dollars' worth of high-stakes deals at a gathering of meeting planners in Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

blue-tailed skin
The native-to-Hawaii copper striped blue- tailed skink, Emoia impar, is the latest vertebrate species to be declared extinct in the Hawaiian Islands, Robert Fisher, a biologist and research scientist for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Western Ecological Research Center in California, said Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Scientists are baffled about why the copper-striped blue-tailed skink has become extinct from the Hawaiian Islands — and might have been gone for decades without much ado. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Department of Commerce has imposed rather modest import tariffs on Chinese-made solar modules as part of its preliminary determination into unfair pricing from the Chinese. Pacific Business News.

Oahu
After more than 30 years, the city of Honolulu is finally moving to fulfill a constitutional mandate to protect Oahu’s important agricultural lands. Civil Beat.

About 500 traffic-related citations were issued to motorists during a five-hour period along the Leeward Coast by Honolulu Police Department solo bike officers today. Star-Advertiser.

Cayetano's Transit Plan Mirrors Harris' in 2000. Civil Beat.

A rare mosquito has been found on Oahu for the first time in more than 60 years. Now the state is reminding people to get rid of standing water on their property. Hawaii News Now.

Tsunami debris contingency plan to be voted on by Honolulu City Council. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of State and Church is demanding the Hawaii Public Housing Authority evict a church from a state owned building at a low income housing complex in Kalihi. Hawaii News Now.

Nuuanu Hillside Development Draws Fire From Neighbors. KITV4.

It's a dangerous stretch of road in Kapolei. That's how some West Oahu residents, including Honolulu City Councilman Tom Berg, are describing a part of Kapolei Parkway. KHON2.

Hawaii

A measure to encourage island residents to recycle more cardboard, glass, plastic and metal was postponed Tuesday afternoon after gaining some favorable testimony. West Hawaii Today.

When it comes to the future of Medicare and Social Security, Kona resident Nancy Callahan fears more benefits will be slashed, and more funding will be needed to keep what few benefits remain. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The Charter Commission supported a last-minute proposal Monday that would verbally acknowledge the importance of Native Hawaiians to the community. Maui News.

Maui Mayor Arakawa will unveil his proposed budget for the 2013 Fiscal Year this Friday, March 23, during a presentation in the Council Chambers. Maui Now.

County officials hope to know by midweek the extent of the damage and the scope of repair work required for the Hanawana Bridge in Kailua that collapsed during heavy rains earlier this month, cutting off vehicular transportation for about 40 residents. Maui News.

Kauai

While waters from open ocean surf breaks are flushing out clean in the wake of storms and flooding earlier this month on Kaua‘i, Surfrider Foundation volunteers found high bacteria counts in some streams and nearby coastal areas. Garden Island.

It’s a dirty business, but in the aftermath of heavy rains earlier this month, trucks full of untreated sewage were kept busy in some Kaua‘i neighborhoods. Garden Island.

Kauai Island Utility Cooperative will "indefinitely defer" the installation of smart meters for any ratepayers who object to the devices, company officials announced after a federal lawsuit was filed by a KIUC member attempting to block the project. Star-Advertiser.