Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Drone can't patrol Honolulu Harbor, Hawaii judges low paid, no state preschool, new airline coming, environmentalists rally against development bills, path cleared for rail transit, Maui bug patrol returns, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Aircraft over Honolulu Harbor (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
The state Department of Transportation's Harbors Division has been unable to use an unmanned drone aircraft purchased with $75,000 in federal grant money to provide security at Honolulu Harbor because it falls within restricted airspace near Honolulu International Airport. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii's state judges are among the lowest paid in the nation — and their salaries won't be improving anytime soon given legislative pay cuts that have been extended through the end of next year. Civil Beat.

Hawaii remains among a minority of states without a state-funded preschool program, according to a new report that also shows spending for preschool programs in other states is declining. Eleven states didn't offer state-funded programs in 2011, up from 10 in 2010. Star-Advertiser.

Banning or charging fees for plastic bags at the check-out counter could be having unintended consequences. Civil Beat.

Several measures moving forward at the capitol would exempt state and private-partnership developments from environmental and planning rules. Opponents rallied at the capitol ahead of Tuesday's votes on four of the bills. KHON2.

The state Legislature has taken another step toward adopting labeling protections for Hawaii-grown tea after recently leaving the issue to steep. Tribune-Herald.

What Do Hawaii Lawmakers Have Against Ethics Code? (commentary) Civil Beat.

If you care about holding government officials' feet to the fire when it comes to public records, you should be concerned about a bill the Hawaii Office of Information Practices is pushing at the Legislature. (commentary) Civil Beat.

Allegiant Air, a low-cost, Las Vegas-based airline that primarily serves small cities, is entering the Hawaii market. Star-Advertiser.


Oahu

A contractor may soon be able to move forward with construction of a key support facility needed to build the $5.27 billion Hono­lulu rail proj­ect, but rail opponents say the plans for the "precast" facility could be the basis for new court challenges. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu bus stop (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
The city says soaring costs are to blame for a consolidation of bus services this summer. KHON2.


230 signatures and counting.That's how many bus riders are demanding that the City not change the current #14 route. KHON2.


A higher profile in Asia and the Pacific is in the works for Fort Shafter and within the ranks of the Army with construction of a new 330,000-square-foot headquarters under way as well as an effort to upgrade the three-star command to four stars. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Zoo's accreditation has been renewed after exhibit upgrades, more staffing and new signage were put in place in response to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums deferring renewal a year ago because standards were not being met. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii

Motorists frustrated by construction delays along the Hamakua Coast can expect to soon to get some relief. Tribune-Herald.

A burned-out motor that caused the breakdown of a South Kona well is causing the county Department of Water Supply to issue health advisories and a voluntary water conservation. West Hawaii Today.


Mauna Kea (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Mauna Kea remains one of Hawaii's treasures. It's a center of both science and spirituality. HPR's Noe Tanigawa recently made a special trip to Mauna Kea...beginning at the home of a family in Waimea with unique ties to the sacred mountain. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui

Maui County has a state entomologist again after the position was lost to budget cuts in 2009. Associated Press.

Using a net, Mach Fukada swept over grasses and plants in a wetland area off a parking lot at Kanaha Beach Park last week. Maui News.

The County of Maui, Department of Public Works proposes to conduct roadway repairs to a section of Kahekili Highway between Mile Markers 15 and 16 in the Kahakuloa district of Maui. Maui Now.


Maui Nui Botanical Gardens will hold an Earth Day celebration from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Maui News.

Kauai

The Kaua‘i County Fire Department on Monday asked for new staff members and better equipment for the next fiscal year. Garden Island.

The county Civil Defense Agency asked the Kaua‘i County Council on Monday for a reduced operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Garden Island.