Friday, April 6, 2012

Hawaii teachers fight evaluations, new state securities head has mishandled funds, Kauai councilman fights zoning charge, Cayetano leading polls for Honolulu mayor, Kauai mayor tapping $23M reserves to balance budget, jobless claims drop, Oahu may get Koreatown, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hilo Union School (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
As the state and teachers union resumed negotiations Thursday after months away from the bargaining table, the union raised new concerns about a bill that would require a performance management system for teachers, saying the latest version of the measure “would effectively strip teachers” of collective bargaining rights. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii teachers union and the state returned to the bargaining table Thursday, three months to the day since their last session. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association is up in arms over a bill that would require teachers to be on probation for three years before attaining tenure, and which would afford the state Department of Education the chance to establish a teacher evaluation system. Tribune-Herald.

The newly hired head of the state’s securities enforcement office allegedly defrauded a business associate in 2010 and failed to pay $900,000 in tax and child support debts over the past 10 years, according to public records. Hawaii Reporter.

Laura Thielen
The chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii was warned that a candidate didn't have to have its approval to run for office under the party's banner. Civil Beat.

Just two days after speaking out on the floor of the Hawaii State Senate about Laura Thielen, Sens. Clayton Hee and Pohai Ryan — both Democrats — were at it again Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Republican Fred Hemmings will announce later this month that he is running for the District 25 state Senate seat he held for a decade before retiring in 2010. Civil Beat.

John Waihee thought back to his childhood, when the whole notion of Hawaiian sovereignty wasn't even part of the political conversation. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Health Information Exchange, a nonprofit organization that aims to connect Hawaii's medical providers through electronic health rec­ords, launched a secure direct messaging and patient referral system Thursday in a first step to link the health care industry. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii set another record for gas prices on Thursday, with the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded hitting $4.60, according to AAA Hawaii’s Weekend Gas Watch. Pacific Business News.

The number of initial unemployment claims filed in Hawaii dropped by 25 percent year over year last week, with all four counties showing double-digit declines, the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism said Thursday. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

In observance of Good Friday, state and city workers will have Friday off. Hawaii News Now.

Ben Cayetano
Former Governor Ben Cayetano is leading in a number of polls in the race for Honolulu Mayor. Hawaii Public Radio.

Three state agencies threw their weight behind the proposed Koa Ridge housing development in Central Oahu at a state Land Use Commission hearing Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Bicycle advocates on Thursday gave city officials a petition with more than 1,000 signatures urging that bicycle lanes be installed along Wai­alae Avenue as part of a major road improvement proj­ect in Kaimuki.Star-Advertiser.

Oahu may get Koreatown. Associated Press.

Lawmakers to hold April 12 hearing on Koreatown designation. Associated Press.

A capital improvement project for Kewalo Basin Harbor valued at $18 million may hinge on a public-private partnership between the Hawaii Community Development Authority and Almar Management Inc. KITV4.

Hawaii
National Marine Fisheries Service revokes a permit to Kampachi Farms for a floating aquaculture project. West Hawaii Today.

Officials of Hawaii Oceanic Technology Inc. said Thursday the company has received a state permit that allows it to move forward with its plan to raise bigeye and yellowfin tuna in open-ocean cages. Star-Advertiser.

Community undaunted by vandalism, committed to replacing trees. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

About 4,700 Maui County public school students could see their bus service ended next school year under a state Department of Education plan to deal with bills currently wending their way through the state Legislature that could lead to significant funding shortfalls. Maui News.

State Land Use Commission members heard the end of testimony Wednesday, including impassioned pleas to protect Native Hawaiian burials, during their review of A&B Properties' plans to develop Wai'ale, a master-planned community on about 545 acres in Central Maui. Maui News.

A public informational meeting about maintenance dredging and pier work at Lahaina Small Boat Harbor will be held Friday at 2 p.m. in the Pioneer Inn Court Yard. Maui News.

The Hawaii State Senate honored the county-based Invasive Species Committees and Dr. Mohsen Ramadan of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture biological control program with a Certificate of Recognition Wednesday. KHON2.

Senator Baker Comments on ‘Vacation Rental Bills’ Controversy. Maui Now.

Kauai

The 5th Circuit Court recused the Office of the Kaua‘i County Prosecuting Attorney from its misdemeanor zoning violation case against county councilman Tim Bynum in 5th Circuit Court on Thursday. Garden Island.

In the next few weeks, Kaua‘i County Council will face the challenge of approving a budget for Fiscal Year 2013, balanced by Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.’s administration, using $10.75 million from the county’s reserve fund and $12.55 million in forecasted surplus from the current fiscal year. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i County Council had little issue with the County Auditor’s FY2012-13 budget request. Garden Island.