Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hawaii beaches eroding, teachers to vote on strike, exploratory drilling to be allowed without environmental assessment, Maui mulls property tax hikes while employees get bonuses, online voter registration bill passes, Cayetano-Inouye skirmish spreads, bill makes coffee certification voluntary, Okabe wins HSTA re-election, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hanauma Bay (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Federal officials say most beaches on Hawaii's most visited islands are disappearing. Associated Press.

A new study that quantifies how quickly Hawaii's beaches are being lost to erosion is arming researchers with information they hope will be used to protect the state's shorelines. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Republicans will be electing new national committee representatives at their state convention this weekend. Associated Press.

A bill passed by the Legislature, which still requires final approval from Gov. Neil Abercrombie, calls for $500,000 for the elections office to design an online voter registration system. Civil Beat.

When teachers take a second vote this month on a proposed contract they overwhelmingly rejected in January, they will also be asked whether to authorize a strike. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association launched a series of meetings on Monday about the contract offer its members previously rejected. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association held a meeting with its members tonight to discuss the benefits of a contract offer. KHON2.

Wil Okabe has edged out Paul Daugherty in the race to be president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, unofficial election results show. Civil Beat.

The state Environmental Council is set to vote on exemptions that would allow drilling of exploratory geothermal wells up to a mile deep without an environmental assessment. West Hawaii Today.

Big Isle coffee growers are asking Gov. Neil Abercrombie to veto a bill that aims to do away with the state’s mandatory certifications of their coffee. Tribune-Herald.

Ben Cayetano's recent criticism of longtime Sen. Dan Inouye — that he's out of touch with his constituents and doesn't listen to them — is still reverberating. Civil Beat.

Hawaii will receive $1.2 million of a $100 million civil settlement with 44 other states and the District of Columbia over allegations that global health care company Abbott Laboratories, Inc. marketed a prescription drug for uses not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the state Office of Consumer Protection said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

The sale of KHON-TV and 12 mainland sister-stations to publicly traded LIN Television Corp. by New Vision Television is part of a deal that includes a $330.4 million purchase price and assumption of about $12 million in debt. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for May 8. Associated Press.

Oahu

FACT CHECK — Caldwell: Carlisle Raised Property Tax Rates -- mostly true. Civil Beat.

A driving instructor who arranged for illegal immigrants to get Hawaii driver's licenses without taking the written and road tests is going to jail for three months. Star-Advertiser.

Resubmerging a plastic sewage pipe that has floated to the surface of the Ala Wai Canal could take up to three weeks, but city officials reiterated Monday that the pipe is not leaking and poses no health risks. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Councilman Tom Berg has introduced a bill that would allow the city’s Department of Transportation Services to regulate roadside memorials through a permitting system. KITV4.

Vandals desecrate Makaha Valley heiau. KHON2.

It wasn't much, but a 2.6 percent rise in April extended median price increases on sales of previously owned Oahu single-family homes to six straight months. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council is considering a bill to raise Summer Fun registration fees next year.Hawaii Public Radio.

Camp for military kids loses funds. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu's mayor and a traditional Hawaiian blessing welcomed visitors to the newly renovated downtown satellite city hall. KITV4.

Hawaii

some Big Island physicians, who have scrambled over the last couple years to secure supplies, say they have yet to receive any relief. Tribune-Herald.

Sales of condominiums on the Big Island jumped 78 percent last month, and prices rose by 14 percent, while sales and prices of single-family homes there both showed small decreases, according to statistics from Hawaii Information Service. Pacific Business News.

A West Hawaii contractor and a tile subcontractor must pay several hundred thousand dollars each to a South Kohala condominium association for defective construction. West Hawaii Today.

Astronomers using a Hawaii Island telescope reported the discovery of one of the most distant protocluster of galaxies yet found. West Hawaii Today.

Maui
The Maui County Council's Budget and Finance Committee is proposing property tax hikes to cover the county's unfunded pension and health fund obligations and is expected to vote today on whether to advance the council's budget to the full council. Maui News.

A majority of Maui County council members gave their staff thousands of dollars in bonuses last year while hundreds of Maui County employees endured five-percent pay reductions. Hawaii News Now.

Construction of the Maui Lani Center has been ongoing for months, with workers driving heavy earth-moving machines behind a black dust fence to ready the ground for construction of Safeway and other stores. Maui News.

Kauai

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative is concerned that its messages aren't getting through to its members. Pacific Business News.

The road to Maha‘ulepu will be closed from Wednesday through Saturday as Grove Farm Co. crews perform road maintenance with the cooperation of Jas W. Glover and Wa‘alani Enterprises. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i Community College will celebrate its spring commencement exercises Friday at KCC Performing Arts Center, marking the end of another school year at the Puhi campus. Garden Island.

Molokai
The state Department of Health announced Monday that it has fined Molokai's Kane­mitsu Bakery $90,000 for selling baked goods and other food products under unsanitary conditions. Star-Advertiser.