What they're saying about Hawaii

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Park fees for Akaka Falls, Hilo radio station among first to gag Limbaugh, big bill day for Hawaii Legislature, Abercrombie signs emergency declaration as rain pelts islands, tobacco fund raided, National Guard musters, more Hawaii news

Akaka Falls (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
The Division of State Parks has initiated a new five-year contract with Makai Parking Inc. for the collection of entry fees at Akaka Falls State Park. West Hawaii Today.

New West Broadcasting announced today that it is discontinuing the Rush Limbaugh program on KPUA AM 670 in Hilo, Hawaii effective immediately. KPUA.

Hilo radio station KPUA-AM 670 was among the first in the nation to pull the plug on the nationally syndicated Rush Limbaugh talk radio show after Limbaugh called Georgetown University law school student Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute." Star-Advertiser.

Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul will be on the ballot in Hawaii March 13 as the state Republican Party hosts its first-ever presidential caucuses. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Diverts Millions In Tobacco Settlement Funds. KITV4.

Job creation and economic development remain key priorities as lawmakers near the midway point of the 2012 legislative session. Associated Press.

House Bill 1033, which, according to House Minority Leader Gene Ward, recently had its contents “gutted and replaced” by House Finance Chair Marcus Oshiro, would create a state bank that would put Gov. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, as its chairman. Hawaii Reporter.

Months after pulling its most-favored-nation card, the Hawaii Government Employees Association has gotten the state to equalize pay benefits for some of its members, matching deals struck with the United Public Workers union. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Attorney General said it wrote off salary over payments of 260 current and former state employees worth $882,639 between 2001 and 2010. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii at Manoa professors are raising concerns about the loss of a federally funded fisheries cooperative, which will move to UH-Hilo, leaving the system's flagship campus without a fisheries program. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Education won't be taking over statewide school bus operations anytime soon, based on what officials have learned from an emergency takeover of 12 school bus routes in Kailua-Kona seven years ago. Civil Beat.

State senators are marking Education Week by inviting students to submit questions over email, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. KHON2.

The Hawaii Geographic Coordinating Council launched its 3-day conference today … looking at how we can solve problems using digital data available on the internet …which increases tenfold every 5 years. Hawaii Public Radio.

The 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Hawaii Army National Guard were told to prepare for possible deployment. KHON2.

Oahu

The primary election is about five months away, and the controversial Honolulu rail project is as unpopular as it's ever been. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation has a long way to go if it wants to win the confidence of Honolulu voters. Civil Beat.

Daniel Grabauskas appears to be already hard at work for HART, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation , even though he was just named the rail transit agency’s executive director last week. Pacific Business News.

Historic Designation Adds Red Tape To Tantalus Projects. KITV4.

Hawaii

While a majority of county departments are seeing their budgets shrink for the coming fiscal year, some will have moderate increases. Tribune-Herald.

Five sparkling new Chevy Volt electric cars had been set aside at a Hilo dealership even before an invitation for bid for electric cars went out from Hawaii County government last week. And, they’re in Mayor Billy Kenoi’s preferred color. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Finance Director Nancy Crawford has canceled purchase orders totaling $42,499 that Council Chairman Dominic Yagong had issued to outside attorneys to represent the legislative branch in grievances with fired Elections Office employees. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County police seized $18,207 in cash, 17 illegal video gambling machines and gambling records in a raid an on alleged gambling room in Kona Friday, police said. Associated Press.

Maui

Maui Electric Company has appointed Sharon M. Suzuki as the company’s next president. Maui Now.

The median price of a single-family home on Maui jumped nearly 22 percent in February, going from $440,000 last year to $535,000 last month. Pacific Business News.

Melanie Boudar sent over at least 600 pounds of chocolate to the Philadelphia International Flower Show last week. Maui News.

Kauai

Disaster declaration follows sewage spill, evacuations and road, school closures. Garden Island.

Governor Abercrombie signed a disaster proclamation on Friday authorizing the state Department of Transportation to begin emergency highway repair work on Kuhio Highway near Kilauea town on Kaua'i in response to a partial collapse of a 15-foot-diameter culvert running beneath the highway.  KHON2.

Kaua‘i Acting Deputy Police Chief Mark Begley was named to the Wireless Enhanced 911 Board to oversee the development, integration and maintenance of services statewide. Garden Island.