Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Interisland cable bill revived, Board of Education tries to stem $16M bus shortfall, cybercrime bills pass, newspaper circulation rises, Medicaid changes in the works, open records challenges can now go to court, Hawaii County property values drop 3.6 percent, Maui gets federal money for clinic, Kauai birds flown to other islands, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Interisland cable, courtesy photo
The state Senate on Tuesday revived a bill that would create a regulatory framework for an interisland electric transmission cable, a priority for Gov. Neil Abercrombie's energy agenda. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii voters across the board oppose same-sex marriage, legalizing marijuana and rail. But those who vote regularly feel differently from those who don't, according to The Civil Beat Poll. Civil Beat.

The State Senate passed more than one hundred bills on the chamber floor today leaving more than 60 fiscal-related bills left to vote on Thursday, the last day of the session. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii lawmakers have approved a trio of bills aimed at preventing cybercrimes. Associated Press.

Hawaii lawmakers have heard the exasperation of local hospital administrators eager for a change in how they’re paid for providing health-care services to Medicaid patients. Pacific Business News.

The state House and Senate unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that would require business owners who lease land from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to propose making “substantial improvements” to their facilities before being granted a new lease. Tribune-Herald.

A complete overhaul of the state's charter school system is poised for passage Thursday at the state Legislature, along with $500,000 to help smooth the transition. Star-Advertiser.

An estimated 17 leadership and other positions at adult community schools will be eliminated when state funding for the campuses is halved next school year, but education officials pledged the range of adult education services offered by the state will remain the same. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Education and its governing board are laying out an array of bandages to dress the wounds they anticipate after making severe cuts to student transportation services. Civil Beat.

Over the next two weeks, the state Department of Education will search for ways to tackle a $16 million shortfall for student transportation without making big cuts to service. Star-Advertiser.

A Board of Education committee was briefed Tuesday about various options to address a $16 million shortfall for student bus service for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year. KITV4.

A day after news broke of one more Department of Education employee charged with stealing thousands of dollars from another public school, the DOE said it's cracking down to prevent employees from stealing. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii's open records agency is celebrating the fact that it has won government agencies a new right to appeal decisions compelling the release of public records. Civil Beat.

State lawmakers announced that House Bill 1875 HD2 SD2 CD1, which amends the mortgage foreclosure law to provide additional protections for Hawaii’s homeowners, passed its final floor vote Tuesday before the full House and Senate. Associated Press.

Transporting wild or feral deer between islands is a pen stroke away from being banned. Tribune-Herald.

State senators will present the Hawaii Foodbank a check for $9,400 on Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

The City Council is considering rules governing First Amendment activities at parks more than 10 years after protesters filed a lawsuit because there was no process to determine where and how they could demonstrate against the 2001 Asian Development Bank conference. Star-Advertiser.

A member of the Occupy Honolulu movement was arrested during a Lei Day celebration. The arrest then sparked a protest in front of the Honolulu Police Department's main station this afternoon. KHON2.

The commanding officer and senior enlisted sailor on the Pearl Harbor-based submarine USS Columbia were relieved of duties Tuesday for "shortfalls in professional performance" leading to a loss of confidence in their ability to serve in positions of command authority, the Navy said. Star-Advertiser.

May Day was a major protest day for Occupy Wall Street activists throughout the country. Occupy Honolulu was not about to be left out. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s total average circulation for its weekday newspaper grew by 6 percent since last year, according to semiannual circulation data released in the Audit Bureau of Circulation on Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Federal agents and police raided two homes and at least five businesses last night and today in an investigation of an alleged illegal lottery operation that caters to Honolulu’s Southeast Asian population. Hawaii Reporter.

Honolulu named one of the world’s best travel spots. KHON2.

Hawaii

Hawaii County property values decreased by 3.6 percent over the past fiscal year, a figure so close to Mayor Billy Kenoi’s earlier estimate that he said Tuesday there will be little, if any, changes when he submits his final budget later this week. West Hawaii Today.

Construction could begin in the fall on an $18.5 million, 100-bed skilled-nursing facility in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

A pilot program to truck garbage from Hilo and Puna transfer station sites has ended, a county Department of Environmental Management official said, and County Council members would like to keep it that way. Tribune-Herald.

A measure prohibiting trucking trash from Hilo and Puna to the West Hawaii landfill passed from council committee unanimously, with little fanfare and no public testimony. West Hawaii Today.

Opposition to re-appropriating $4 million to the Waimea Trails and Greenways project headlined a Hawaii County Council public hearing Tuesday evening that drew just five people commenting on the proposed fiscal year 2012-13 operating and capital budget. West Hawaii Today.

The state budget set to be be finalized Thursday contains $50.4 million in capital improvement projects for West Hawaii, two state representatives said Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Kona coffee farmers are asking the governor to veto a bill that removes mandatory certification requirements for Hawaii-grown coffee. Associated Press.

Maui

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is awarding $10.1 million in grants to community health centers on Maui and the Big Island. Associated Press.

The Community Clinic of Maui is the recipient of a $4.5 million grant made possible through new legislation outlined in the Affordable Care Act. Maui Now.

Not very many people would be excited to be going on a garbage patch expedition. Maui News.

Drug court pioneer retires. Maui News.

Lahaina, Maui made a list of top 25 places in the nation released today by TripAdvisor. Maui Now.

Kauai

It has been a year since Governor Neil Abercrombie issued an emergency declaration to relocate a growing flock of endangered waterbirds from the Kauai airport. KITV4.

House Bill 2100 appropriates $5,000 for bee hive research each county in Hawai‘i, including Kaua‘i County, and an additional $10,000 for UH Hilo, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management. Garden Island.

The Kapa‘a and Waimea swimming pools will be closed Thursday afternoon to allow staff to attend an island-wide meeting. Garden Island.