Monday, June 18, 2012

Monk seals to tote cameras in study, labor board takes Hawaii teachers case, recycling costs rise, protestors target reef fish sales, Abercrombie signs 16 bills, Civil Defense: geothermal evacuation plan not needed, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaiian monk seal (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Government scientists plan to glue submersible cameras onto the backs of endangered monk seals, using the footage to prove to fishermen the animals are not harming their way of life. It may even end up on reality TV. Associated Press.

A man who was photographed throwing rocks at a monk seal on Rabbit Island earlier this year was sentenced in Kaneohe District Court today to 80 hours of community service and a $1,000 fine. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council member Tulsi Gabbard has overcome an early 45-point deficit to pull into a dead heat with the former Honolulu mayor two months before the Democratic primary likely to determine Hawaii's new representative in Congress. Civil Beat.

U.S. senate candidate Linda Lingle last week launched her own cable channel on Oceanic Time Warner, calling the move unprecedented in U.S. history. Civil Beat.

The state and teachers union filed final briefs Friday in a prohibited-practice complaint over the state's decision to impose a contract offer for teachers nearly a year ago. The Hawaii Labor Relations Board will now weigh the arguments made from both sides in the case. Star-Advertiser.

A dispute between Hawaii and the union representing teachers over a state-imposed contract is now in the hands of the Hawaii Labor Relations Board. Associated Press.

Department of Health officials plan to increase the nonrefundable handling fee paid by consumers, retailers and the beverage industry despite opposition from those groups and legislators. Star-Advertiser.

Gary Gill, deputy director for the Environmental Health Administration in the Department of Health, will take over for Director Gary Hooser until Hooser either wins election in November or loses and returns to his post. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed 16 bills into law Friday. The governor must notify the Legislature by June 25 of what bills he might veto. Star-Advertiser.

A mix of homegrown solar companies, construction firms, electrical contractors and entrants from the mainland are all boosting their payrolls as they push to meet the growing demand from homeowners and businesses for rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems. Star-Advertiser.

Career technical education courses at Hawaii high schools are seeing big enrollment increases amid statewide efforts to incorporate new technologies, more rigorous standards and better partnerships with industry professionals. Star-Advertiser.

Later this month, the students from the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources will be setting up an aquaponics system on the national mall as part of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. KHON2.

Oahu

Saturday's Grand Opening of Petco at the Koko Marina Shopping Center drew curious shoppers as well as angry protestors. Both the Reef Rescue Alliance and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) were out there to boycott Petco. Hawaii News Now.

More than a quarter of Honolulu’s gross metropolitan product is generated by federal, state and local agencies, according to an analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Pacific Business News.

The city of Honolulu will add 12 new garbage trucks to its fleet this fall, hoping to reduce delays in curbside trash pickups that have plagued residents for a year. Star-Advertiser.

Construction on Honolulu's 20-mile rail line has just begun, but the city is already chewing through cash reserves set aside to cover budget overruns or other unexpected costs related to construction of the project, according to city records. Star-Advertiser.

The Shack Waikiki, a popular but violence-plagued bar-restaurant in the center of Hawaii’s tourism industry, owes its landlord more than $500,000 in back rent and is facing imminent sale or closure, according to court records and interviews. Hawaii Reporter.

Federal Prosecutors Accuse Private Attorney Michael Green of Conflicts Of Interest in The Shack Waikiki cases. Hawaii Reporter.

The waters of Waikiki are starting the week a little bit cleaner thanks to the efforts of a few dozen people. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii

An emergency response and evacuation plan for a disaster at Puna’s geothermal power plant is not needed, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Benedict Fuata, who says that existing emergency plans would cover such an incident. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui County voters could face two nearly identical charter amendment questions on the Nov. 6 general election ballot - both dealing with extending County Council members' terms from the current two years to four years. Maui News.

Plans to expand the Makawao Veterans Cemetery have received a boost in recent weeks with the governor's release of $250,000 for the cemetery project and submission of a subdivision application that includes the expansion parcel. Maui News.

Kauai

Economic indicators give Kaua‘i optimistic outlook. Garden Island.

Tourism has to remain strong to make the state’s economy stronger, U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawai‘i, said during a business roundtable, Wednesday at the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort and Beach Club. Garden Island.

Molokai

Molokai Livestock Cooperative (MLC), the island’s only slaughterhouse, is fostering a shift in the way people think about the meat on their plates. Molokai Dispatch.