Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hawaii Senate sets special session to confirm judicial nominees, Abercrombie signs charter schools bills, Hawaii County Council bans aerial hunting, transit stations downsized in Honolulu plan, Lanai sale gaining momentum, islands battle wildfires, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii state Capitol (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
The state Senate will meet in a special session June 28-29 to take confirmation votes on judge appointees Richard Pollack to the Hawaii Supreme Court and Peter Cahill to the Circuit Court bench on Maui. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Tuesday signed into law Senate Bill 2115, which replaces the chapter governing charter schools based on task force recommendations. Civil Beat.

Tuesday Governor Neil Abercrombie enacted Senate Bill (SB) 2115 and SB 2116, Relating to Charter Schools, into law. KHON2.

With just six weeks until kids head back to class, Hawaii school board members still can't decide how to plug a $17 million hole in the school bus budget. Civil Beat.

The wheels of the bus go round and round, except when there's no money to fund them. Hawaii News Now.

A Civil Beat review of the financial disclosures — filed in mid-May and posted online by the Center for Responsive Politics last week — shows that Sen. Daniel K. Inouye could be the wealthiest in the delegation. But it could also be Rep. Mazie Hirono or Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, depending on how things shake out. All three have holdings valued between $1 million and $3 million. Civil Beat.

Former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle is making her ability as a Republican who can work with Democrats a centerpiece of her campaign for U.S. Senate. Associated Press.

In a Hawaii Public Radio debate with Mazie Hirono last Wednesday, U.S. senate candidate Ed Case said that women’s organizations gave him 100 percent approval ratings when he represented Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District from 2002 to 2007. Civil Beat.

Small unmanned planes are used as military spies elsewhere but NOAA has bought half a dozen for use over the remote Northwestern Hawai`i Islands. They’ll help researchers track endangered wildlife and marine debris. Hawaii Public Radio.

State roundup for June 20. Associated Press.

Oahu
As the Honolulu Authority of Rapid Transportation continues to tweak its financial plan, a decision has been made to shorten the length of all 21 rail stations from East Kapolei to the Ala Moana Shopping Center. KITV4.

Honolulu City Council considers auctioning off Haleiwa land. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano reacted quickly today to a new online political attack questioning his record as governor. Hawaii Reporter.

Conflicting information has come out of the Honolulu Department of Environmental Services regarding how much the city is limiting the number of new sewer connections that can be added to the the city’s system from Halawa to Pearl City. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle joined an official from Google to announce Tuesday the new Street View imagery of Hawaii's parks, beaches and attractions. KITV4.

Hawaii

The Hawaii County Council has a message for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources: Stop shooting our animals from helicopters. Tribune-Herald.

Energy and the economy — and their relationship to each other — were the biggest topics at Tuesday’s League of Women Voters of Hawaii County candidates’ forum at Hualalai Academy. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii County Council passed two geothermal bills Tuesday evening but floundered on a third. Tribune-Herald.

Ka‘u Hospital reopened its emergency room late Tuesday while firefighters continued to battle two brush fires that have scorched about 4,400 acres and obstructed traffic in the Pahala area. West Hawaii Today.

Firefighters spent a second day on Tuesday battling a wildfire that has all but paralyzed Pahala, as well as a smaller brushfire a few miles to the north. Tribune-Herald.

East Hawaii parents dodged a bullet Tuesday when members of the state Board of Education voted to fund all school bus routes on the east side of the island. However, nearly 200 West Hawaii students will need to find alternative transportation in the fall. Tribune-Herald.

Maui
The island of Lanai could be under new ownership by the end of the week, according to Mayor Alan Arakawa. Maui News.

The news of the sale of the island of Lanai being imminent has spread throughout the Mainland and even internationally as far as Germany. Pacific Business News.

A wind-fanned fire that damaged three homes in Kula was 90 percent contained this morning, a fire official said. Maui News.

At least three homes were damaged and 6 acres of "heavy timber" were scorched Monday afternoon in a fire fanned by periodic "crazy winds" in Kula. Maui News.

Kauai

The Kaua‘i Fire Department has acquired a driver simulator and showed it off recently in a demonstration held at the Lihu‘e Fire Station. Garden Island.

Molokai

About 50 guests at Hotel Molokai — the island's only hotel — were allowed to return to their rooms Tuesday afternoon after fire heavily damaged the bottom floor of one of its buildings — but the facility is still without power and water, a Maui fire official reported. Star-Advertiser.