What they're saying about Hawaii

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lingle's U.S. Senate campaign boosted by U.S. Chamber, Hawaii pays $117M in secret movie, TV incentives, teachers inch toward contract, $15M settlement in Kauai hiker death, Hawaii Marines going down under, pregnant Kona protest over midwife program, Kauai farmer sues over smart meters, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

GOP Senate candidate Linda Lingle, courtesy photo
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent $249,800 for production and media placement for television advertisements in Hawaii in February highlighting former Gov. Linda Lingle's stance on tourism. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii taxpayers have paid out nearly $117 million worth of tax credits over the past five years to movie and television studios as an incentive for filming in the islands. But, exactly who cashed in on these lucrative credits — and how much they got — is secret. Civil Beat.

The state has agreed to a settlement payout of $15 million in the death of a California hiker at Kauai's Opae­kaa Falls in 2006, the largest payment for a death in a court case in Hawaii, according to the lawyer for the victim's family. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Monday blasted the latest contract proposal by the union representing Hawaii public school teachers as “fiscally irresponsible” and urged educators to accept a settlement offer submitted by the administration. The Hawaii State Teachers Association responded that it wants to return to negotiations. Associated Press.

In the latest development in a months-long labor dispute, the teachers union has responded to a settlement offer from the governor with a request for contract talks to resume. Star-Advertiser.

Yielding to criticism from consumer groups and retirees, two state House panels voted Monday to ban health insurance companies from directly shaping Hawaii’s version of the federally-mandated program meant to provide health coverage to all residents of the Islands. Hawaii Reporter.

The Hawaii Health Insurance Exchange Board should not include members who represent health insurance providers, consumer advocates said Monday. Associated Press.

The 2010 primary election ended 16 months ago, but state House Rep. Karen Awana has still not filed three candidate reports for that election cycle with the state Campaign Spending Commission. Civil Beat.

Up to 200 Marines from Hawaii will be the first to deploy to Australia in a landmark move that signals a shift in America's focus on the Asia-Pacific region. Hawaii News Now.

Applicants are invited to apply for the trustee position at Kamehameha Schools to replace Chairman J. Douglas Ing, who ends his term in June 2012. KITV4.

Honolulu

Recruitment continues to be a challenge for the Hono­lulu Police Department. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro says he hasn't seen any evidence that Hawaii has a widespread sex trafficking problem. Civil Beat.

After decades of delays, Honolulu's new water chief intends to lease out the city's prime Beretania Street property to developers to generate revenue and keep rates down. Civil Beat.

The launch of the 122-kilowatt, direct-current system at Aiea High School will be followed by installations of solar power systems at three more public schools on Oahu and all 15 public schools on Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

Ai’ea High School became Hawai’i’s first public school to have solar electric panels installed on one of its buildings. Hawaii Public Radio.

The state Department of Health is urging tests for about 215 Kapiolani Community College and Hawaii Pacific University students and faculty who might have been exposed to a student who contracted in early February an active infectious tuberculosis, a potentially fatal but curable airborne disease. Star-Advertiser.

As Oahu's emergency rooms fill to the brink, more civilian patients are being taken to Tripler Army Medical Center. Hawaii News Now.

There's a proposal before the Honolulu City Council to limit the commercial activities at Kailua and Kalama Beach Parks by issuing two permits per park. KHON2.

With gas prices topping $4.30 a gallon, electric-vehicle makers and car-charging station operators are trying to entice people into checking out automobiles such as the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt and other cars that require zero or little gas. Pacific Business News.
 

Hawaii

North Hawaii Community Hospital’s efforts to trim maternal health costs brought midwifery supporters to the hospital Monday afternoon. West Hawaii Today.

Can a buyer of your property sue you because the buyers say they were unaware the area is home to drug dealers, prostitutes and coqui frogs? No, says the state appeals court, in upholding a verdict against a Hilo real estate company. Tribune-Herald.

Lava from Kilauea’s Puu Oo vent is inching toward the ocean from the coastal plain, where flows are within a mile of entering the water. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Neil Abercrombie will be the featured speaker at the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce annual focus luncheon on Thursday, March 29 at Keauhou Beach Resort. KPUA.

Maui

Heavy rains in East Maui earlier this month undermined the Hanawana Bridge, cutting off transit for an estimated 40 residents since March 9. Maui Now.

Maui homeowners and photovoltaic system installers are expressing frustration at requirements that they pay for expensive "interconnection studies" before installing solar panels, with no guarantee that their project will be approved after the study is complete. Maui News.

Hawaii construction is the subject of  the Economic Research Organization at the University of Hawaii (UHERO) report released today. UHERO sees the industry edging toward recovery, but makes a clear distinction between Oahu, where the outlook is more favorable, and the neighbor islands, especially Maui, where conditions have yet to turn around. Maui Now.

Kauai

A complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Honolulu by a Kaua‘i taro farmer seeks to stop the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative’s smart meter rollout. Garden Island.

A soft tissue infection more commonly known as flesh-eating bacteria has now been diagnosed in three unrelated cases on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.