Friday, July 20, 2012

Gov. Abercrombie touts positive budget, Honolulu Fire Dept. merger opposed, Hawaiian roll commission advances, Kauai seabird maimings investigated, invasive species council seeks money, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie
Gov. Abercrombie budget news conference courtesy photo
Hawaii ended the last fiscal year $300 million in the black, prompting Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Thursday to say he wanted to concentrate on restoring some government services like workers killing rats and agriculture inspectors looking out for invasive species. Associated Press.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Thursday that stronger-than-expected state revenue growth last fiscal year could allow the state to restore spending on programs that had been reduced to help balance the budget. Star-Advertiser.

Pointing to an increase of 15 percent in general funds and a positive balance of $306 million at the end of the just-completed fiscal year, the Abercrombie administration says it can likely restore some cuts to programs and positions made over the past 20 months of belt-tightening. Civil Beat.

The state has ended the fiscal year with more than a $300 million positive balance. KHON2.

Hope and optimism were words used repeatedly today when talking about Hawaii's economy. Hawaii News Now.

The commission charged with putting together a roll of Native Hawaiians to form in their own government will announce details of a year-long campaign. Hawaii News Now.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week spent another $154,000 on ads endorsing Republican U.S. Senate candidate Linda Lingle, according to the most recent look into the public files. Civil Beat.

Looking for archived government records? They might be in the freezer. Civil Beat.


Hawaii
Island Air
Island Air launched a new look and logo Thursday as part of the Hawaii airline’s new business plan, which includes replacing and doubling the number of turboprop aircraft in its interisland fleet from four to eight by the end of next year. Pacific Business News.

The neighbor islands will receive $3.44 million to buy new county buses, Hawaii’s congressional delegation announced Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for July 20. Associated Press.

Oahu

State Health Director Loretta Fuddy said she is not prepared to support a merger of the city Department of Emergency Services with the Honolulu Fire Department as outlined in a study that's mired in controversy. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Health has cautioned Mayor Peter Carlisle against merging the city's Fire and Emergency Services agencies at this time, telling him in a letter Thursday that consolidation "seems premature." Civil Beat.

Honolulu City purchasing records do not support the Fire Department’s version of how a controversial $175,000 consulting contract was awarded in 2010, a review of those records today showed. Hawaii Reporter.

It could take a year and a half to transform a neglected area of Diamond Head into the new home of the Culinary Institute of the Pacific. KITV4.

A businessman was arrested Thursday and charged with harassment for spraying water on people protesting his business that transports kayaks to Kailua Beach Park. Star-Advertiser.

KITV returned to Oceanic Time Warner Cable's system in Hawaii Thursday afternoon after a 10-day blackout when the Honolulu ABC affiliate's parent company, Hearst Television Inc., reached an agreement on retransmission fees with the local cable company's parent, Time Warner Cable. Pacific Business News.

A Hawai`i home care company for seniors has been ordered to pay a former employee nearly $200,000  for reportedly discriminating against her age. Hawaii Public Radio.

Former Governor Ben Cayetano: Mayoral Profile. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii

The two Democrats who want to win over the 27,420 registered voters in Hawaii County's reapportioned Senate District 1 agree that the economy and job creation are priorities for the island's major city, Hilo. Star-Advertiser.

The path to the moon runs through the crater of an ancient cinder cone on Hawaii’s tallest mountain.Tribune-Herald.

There was more talk but no action Thursday on overriding Mayor Billy Kenoi’s veto of three bills passed by the Hawaii County Council. Tribune-Herald.

Absence of Protesters Prompts Council Accusations. Big Island Now.

Big Brothers Big Sisters will expand services to West Hawaii by 2013. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The California landowner developing two large shopping centers in Kihei says plans for the property have always included the possibility of retail despite a legal challenge that contends the land was exclusively intended for a light industrial park. Maui News.

Organizations trying to control or eradicate species from coqui frogs to fire ants and fountain grass are asking the Hawaii Invasive Species Council for $2.9 million in funding for the current fiscal year - including some $260,000 to fight axis deer on Maui and the Big Island. Associated Press.

Unforeseen problems have been encountered by construction crews while replacing a wastewater force main in Lahaina. Maui Now.

Kauai
Ocean forces lifeguard tower relocation, road barriers in Kekaha. Garden Island.

Maiming deaths of seabirds still under investigation. Garden Island.

Kauai County and the Kaua‘i Historical Society are offering free guided walking tours of the County Building in commemoration of the building’s centennial. Star-Advertiser.