What they're saying about Hawaii

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hawaii Legislature down to the wire, plastic bag fee unlikely this session, Obama declares Kauai disaster, Honolulu rail argued in court, Maui wind farm set to break ground, fired Big Island workers willing to settle, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii state Capitol (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
House and Senate conference committee members have just over a week to reach agreement on measures they want to see passed this legislative session. Associated Press.

Hawaii’s first lady is joining environmental groups in calling on state lawmakers to take a vote on a bill that would charge a fee every time a shopper chooses a disposable paper or plastic bag. Associated Press.

Once touted as one the biggest environmental measures of the year, a bill that would charge consumers for single-use bags at the check-out counter appears to be on its deathbed. Civil Beat.

Senate Democrats Help Each Other Raise Campaign Cash. Civil Beat.

An overhaul of Hawaii's criminal justice and corrections system is moving forward at the state capitol. KHON2.

Two bills that had proposed raising fees on state-chartered banks and other financial institutions have failed to pass the Hawaii Legislature — leaving the state’s Division of Financial Institutions with budget deficits in the coming years. Pacific Business News.

Lawmakers approved a bill that will require cell phone or communication service providers to assist law enforcement agencies in determining the location of a cell phone in emergency situations. Maui Now.

Incumbent Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa and her Republican challenger, former Congressman Charles Djou, are building their campaign warchests in anticipation of a November showdown. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines flight attendants will see their wages rise by 15 percent over the next four years under the terms of a new contract. Star-Advertiser.

A new educational exchange program is planned for students and teachers in the Asia Pacific region. Hawaii Public Radio.

A little more than a year after the Times named Alvin Kuo Wong the Happiest Man in America, he's now trying to create a nonprofit think tank devoted to happiness while continuing to run his company, which helps physicians cope with reduced medical reimbursements. Star-Advertiser.


Oahu

The city of Honolulu has agreed to pay $1.2 million for water quality improvements on the Waianae Coast to settle a state Health Department fine for dumping truckloads of concrete slabs into a West Oahu stream used by endangered Hawaiian birds. Associated Press.

The state Department of Health and Honolulu have agreed on a $1.2 million settlement in one of Hawaii’s most controversial water pollution cases. Associated Press.

The environmentalist who brought to the forefront one of Hawaii's most controversial water pollution cases ever says the state's $1.4 million fine against the city is an insult to taxpayers. KHON2.

A motion to dismiss portions of a federal lawsuit challenging Honolulu’s $5.3 billion rail project was argued in court this morning, with U.S. Senior Circuit Judge A. Wallace Tashima to issue a ruling later. Hawaii Reporter.

A Honolulu City Council committee has approved a measure that would ban commercial beach activities at Kailua and Kalama beach parks, seven days a week. Hawaii News Now.

A majority of an estimated 200 people at a meeting at Kailua High School on Wednesday night told City Council members that they want a blanket ban of all commercial activity at the popular Kailua and Kalama beach parks. Star-Advertiser.

The city will seize and sell a derelict three-story Waikiki apartment building if its owners do not pay the taxes on the property that has sometimes been used by squatters and drug abusers in recent years. Star-Advertiser.

The city will spend nearly $1 million to renovate nine Waikiki public restrooms that residents, business owners and tourists have described as gross and, at times, unusable. Star-Advertiser.

It's Your Money: Council Spends on Travel and TVs. Civil Beat.

Grand opening ceremonies were held Wednesday  for the latest Whole Foods Market in Hawaii. KITV4.

Hawaii

Three fired election workers who threatened a $1.5 million lawsuit were willing to accept $10,000 each, a public apology and their jobs back, according to a settlement offer obtained Wednesday by West Hawaii Today. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Billy Kenoi on Wednesday defended his $365.3 million budget before a County Council largely skeptical about whether the administration has trimmed the size and cost of government as much as he’s said. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Sempra US Gas & Power breaks ground on the new 21-megawatt Auwahi Wind Farm project in Ulupalkua on Maui next week. Maui Now.

Children from Wailuku's Kehalani master-planned community would attend the new Puu Kukui Elementary School, under attendance boundaries being considered by the state Department of Education. Maui News.

Real estate developer Peter Savio will meet with Lanai residents today to offer fee-simple ownership in a 24-unit town house complex built in 1990.Maui News.

Kauai
President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration for Kauai County on Wednesday, making available millions in federal money to repair damage incurred by flooding and landslides on the Garden Isle March 3-11. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama on Wednesday issued a disaster declaration for Hawai‘i, clearing the way for federal funds to cover 75 percent of the costs of emergency work and repairs or replacement of public property damaged by the storms and flooding that hit Kaua‘i in early March. Garden Island.

Molokai

Paschoal Hall in Kalaupapa is one of the historic preservation projects chosen state-wide to be honored by the Historic Hawaii Foundation. Molokai Dispatch.