Thursday, May 3, 2012

New contract vote set for Hawaii teachers union, Honolulu mayoral candidates hold first debate, space tourism bills, $11.2B state budget up for vote in Legislature, more geothermal coming to Big Island, more Hawaii news for smartphone and web

Hawaii schoolchildren at play (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaii teachers will vote again on the contract settlement offer they overwhelmingly rejected in January, union leaders announced Wednesday night. Civil Beat.

The teachers union announced Wednesday it will take another vote on a proposed contract overwhelmingly rejected in January, a decision a union leader said is "driven by the urgency to preserve" the state's $75 million Race to the Top grant. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii's public school teachers union will be holding a number of "informational meetings" statewide for HSTA members in May. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Legislature will vote on the $11.2 billion state budget Thursday, the final day of the legislative session. KHON2.

The state Office of Information Practices hopes a bill that would grant government agencies a new right to appeal open records decisions in court would give its orders more legal clout, yet open government advocates warn that it would delay public access to information. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers are expected to pass two bills on Thursday that would bring the state closer to space tourism and even developing the moon. Hawaii News Now.

Voters across Hawaii support the construction of underwater cables between some of the islands to transmit electricity from wind, geothermal or solar, according to The Civil Beat Poll. Civil Beat.

A strong majority of Hawaii voters want the government to preserve more land and develop less of it. Civil Beat.

Hawaii may once again look to its four-legged friends to help prevent the introduction of invasive species. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii's four county mayors reminded residents Wednesday to always be prepared for natural disasters because they can strike unexpectedly any time of the year. Star-Advertiser.

The film commissions of all four Hawai'i counties, the Hawai'i Film Office, and the Creative Industries Division of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism were recently honored with a collaborative award from the American Marketing Association. Hawaii Reporter.

Ten million dollars is headed to the islands to improve community health care. The grants are part of the federal Affordable Care Act and the money will be used to reach more patients. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii gained a little ground this year in Chief Executive magazine’s annual survey of the best and worst states in which to do business. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

The three candidates vying for Honolulu mayor engaged in the first debate of the campaign season Wednesday night, touching on a variety of subjects but ultimately trying to score points against one another on the singularly contentious issue of rail transit. Star-Advertiser.

In their first time on a stage together as mayoral candidates, Kirk Caldwell, Peter Carlisle and Ben Cayetano quickly established their roles. Civil Beat.

Honolulu’s three mayoral candidates met Wednesday evening in their first debate of the election season, with the city’s $5.3 billion rapid transit project most of their attention. Hawaii Reporter.

In their first Mayoral debate, Ben Cayetano, Peter Carlisle and Kirk Caldwell wasted no time getting to Oahu's most talked about issue - rail. KHON2.

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

The governor's wife voiced her opposition, but the state Wednesday gave developers of a planned $380 million luxury condominium tower in Kakaako an exemption from a rule intended to preserve mauka-makai views. Star-Advertiser.

Leeward Coast residents hoping to rid themselves of Waimanalo Gulch Landfill will have to wait awhile. KITV4.

Sen. Daniel Akaka
The University of Hawaii will award honorary degrees to Sen. Daniel Akaka and Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami at commencement ceremonies next week. Associated Press.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa has confirmed a possible computer security threat that was found on campus. KITV4.

Hawaii

The state Public Utilities Commission has taken the first step toward approving a second geothermal plant on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

Two groups opposed to floating fish farms are considering an appeal of a ruling by U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway that a federal agency was within its authority to grant an ocean aquaculture permit to a private research venture. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined three Big Island businesses. Tribune-Herald.

A push to make corporation counsel an elected position took another step forward Wednesday, as County Council members made several amendments to the proposal and scheduled a public hearing. West Hawaii Today.

Kona International Airport will get some much-needed TLC with $10.4 million slated by the state Legislature to re-roof the open-airport’s main terminal early next year. West Hawaii Today.

A popular performing arts center in Kalapana Seaview Estates is facing a possible shutdown today by the Windward Planning Commission. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui County has purchased 64 acres of undeveloped property fronting Kaehu Bay, preserving the wetland and fishponds in a $996,000 deal brokered with the Trust for Public Land and other groups. Maui News.

The County of Maui completed the $996,000 purchase of 64 acres of undeveloped coastal wetlands at Ka‘ehu Bay in Paukukalo. Maui Now.

A community meeting to provide public input on the development of the 2012-2017 State Historic Preservation Plan will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Maui High School. Maui News.

Hawaiian Airlines has added three new boarding gates to its Kahului Airport operations, with all flights using gates 11 to 21 in the center of the terminal. Maui News.

Kauai

State workers have removed 300 nene geese from the area around Kauai's airport in the last few months to reduce the risk they will get in the way of airplanes taking off and landing. Associated Press.

The North Shore Path, a project to connect North Shore communities through a path similar to Kapa‘a’s Ke Ala Hele Makalae path, is gaining momentum. Garden Island.

Molokai

An old guy from Molokai is flying to Oahu and helping to lead a charge for labeling. Molokai Dispatch.