What they're saying about Hawaii

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Monday, April 30, 2012

Money problems threaten Pisces V, Hawaii Historic Preservation Division in trouble again, newspaper lobbies for legal ads, toxins polluting Hanalei Bay, Legislature finalizes budget, enters final week, UHH salaries spike, Molokai tweets, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Pisces V launch, courtesy photo


Mere weeks after filmmaker James Cameron plunged to the deepest reaches of the ocean and at the same time that China is testing a new submersible in undersea mining grounds 600 miles south of Hawaii, federal funding is in jeopardy for the only two U.S. deep-diving research submersibles in the Pacific. Star-Advertiser.

The state agency charged with safeguarding Hawaii's historic and archeological treasures is in such disarray that the federal government is threatening to revoke its certification and funding. Civil Beat.

Nearly four dozen bills have received lifelines under an extended deadline at the state Legislature, including a bill that would provide money to preserve a safety net of health, human services and education programs. Star-Advertiser.

In Lazarus-like fashion, the Hawaii Legislature on Sunday resurrected 47 measures that had failed to meet a Friday deadline. Civil Beat.

A handshake just before 3 a.m. Saturday ended the state’s budget impasse. Associated Press.

There is an agreement on the state's $11.2 billion budget. But it took lawmakers negotiating into the early morning hours to hammer out the deal. KITV4.

Lawmakers say they were happy negotiators were able to come to a compromise and say time is critical. KHON2.

Hawaii lawmakers passed out a number of bills in advance of a 6 p.m. internal deadline on Friday, but the $11.2 billion budget bill wasn’t among them. Associated Press.

Organizations offering services to Hawaii’s needy have had their budgets slashed by 19 percent since the financial crisis hit in 2008, and they’ve lost 16 percent of their staff, an advocacy group for the poor said Tuesday. Associated Press

Administrators at the 18 public schools trying out a new teacher evaluation system need as much as three hours per teacher to conduct the comprehensive observation that is a central component of the process. Star-Advertiser.

The state Legislature will vote this week on a bill that would overhaul Hawaii's charter school management structure. Associated Press.

The Honolulu Star Advertiser’s bid to keep monopoly control of non-judicial foreclosure newspaper ads has failed at the Legislature and a key state senator said she was “appalled” by the newspaper’s lobbying tactics. Hawaii Reporter.

The details still may be unclear about how many Marines could be headed to Hawaii after a U.S. and Japanese agreement to transfer 9,000 of them out of Okinawa was reached this week, but contractors anticipate that it could mean more work here to house the additional troops. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Christian Coalition presents its annual Prayer at the Capitol May 3, Thursday 6:30-8:00pm State Capitol Auditorium. Hawaii Reporter.

Na Maka O Ka ‘Aina is an independent video production company that has documented social and environmental struggles in Hawai’i since the 1980’s.  Because of their dedication and the unique history they’ve preserved, they are the 2012 honorees for Maoli Arts Month in May. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

The House and Senate might vote Tuesday on a bill that would allow the Friends of the Library — the Big Friends — their affiliates and independent nonprofits like the volunteers from Aina Haina — the Little Friends — to hold book sales and have concession stands on state library property and maintain their own financial accounts.  Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation will hold a series of public meetings next month to discuss Honolulu’s $5.1 billion rail-transit project. Pacific Business News.

Major construction on some of Waikiki's busiest streets will begin next month. The $5.7 million project is scheduled to begin on May 20, and is slated to last about 500 days. Hawaii News Now.

A misfired arrow closed an aging archery range in Waikiki. Now concerns over safety could keep it closed for good. KITV4.

Hawaii

Despite making across-the-board pay cuts in 2009 and freezing salaries in 2010, the University of Hawaii at Hilo is spending 61 percent more on executive pay than it did five years ago. Tribune-Herald.

Come November, voters in Hawaii County will revisit the 2 percent land fund, contemplate changes to public meeting notices and decide on other amendments to the county’s governing document. Tribune-Herald.

GASB 45 obligations came to the forefront of discussions on the county budget last month when Mayor Billy Kenoi announced he planned to postpone the payments for the second consecutive year in order to balance the county’s $365.3 million budget. West Hawaii Today.

A marine mammal center designed to treat injured Hawaiian monk seals is scheduled to break ground this summer on Hawaii island. Star-Advertiser.

A three-year-old community medical center in Puna wants to set up an emergency room to serve the fast-growing Big Island district. Associated Press.

Maui

Lee Imada has been named managing editor of The Maui News and will supervise all phases of the news operation, it was announced today by Publisher Joe Bradley. Maui News.

When the Auwahi Wind project comes on line late this year, it will be "a building block for the future," Maui Electric Co. President Ed Reinhardt said Friday during the wind farm's Hawaiian blessing and groundbreaking ceremonies. Maui News.

A new community organization has been formed "in response to the need for another independent, credible grass-roots voice with the goal of sustainable economic viability within the context of historic preservation and cultural practices," according to the group's announcement. Maui News.

A Maui woman is about to set sail from the Marshall Islands to Tokyo. Her 3,000 mile journey is part of a research voyage to study marine pollution, including debris from Japan's tsunami. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

Tests show toxins polluting Hanalei river mouth, bay. Garden Island.

Kauai County's Open Spaces Commission has recommended its top priorities for county property acquisitions. Garden Island.

Agriculture has become a tourist draw in Hawaii, which imports about 85 percent of its food but used to export almost everything it grew — tons of pineapples and sugar cane. Los Angeles Times.

Molokai

While time often seems to stand still here on Molokai, new technologies are becoming more and more prevalent in everyday life. Molokai Dispatch.