Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hawaii deposit fee going up, Navy tests biofuel at RIMPAC, Hirono misses votes to campaign, Kona coffee farmers warn of fakes, OSHA to take over safety inspections, Lanai group gets standing in Larry Ellison utilities decision, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii recycling center (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
The deposit fee for beverage containers in Hawai’i will increase by a half-cent to keep the successful HI-5 recycling program in operation for two more years. Maui Now.

The cost of a beer or soda likely will creep up in September as the state kicks in a half-cent increase of the beverage container fee. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii will increase by a half-cent the bottle deposit fee that the state charges beverage manufacturers, distributors and importers, state health officials said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

The federal government begins conducting some workplace safety inspections for the State Labor Department next month as part of the recovery from budget cuts and layoffs under the administration of former Gov. Linda Lingle, state officials said Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Former U.S. Rep. Ed Case had the worst fundraising quarter of his U.S. Senate campaign, raising doubts about the strength of his organization with the Democratic primary against U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono just weeks away. Star-Advertiser.

Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, who is a hotly contested primary race for U.S. Senate against former Congressman Ed Case, (D-Hawaii/2002-2007), missed several votes in the last few weeks, so she could continue to fundraise and campaign for the seat left open by the retirement of U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii. Hawaii Reporter.

Colleen Hanabusa and Charles Djou ran in three separate elections — a special, primary and general election — for the 1st Congressional District just two years ago. Civil Beat.

U.S. Navy ships and planes operated on a biofuel blend off Hawaii during Rim of the Pacific war games Wednesday as part of a renewable-fuel push by Navy leaders — the biggest test of its kind and one that has become politicized and opposed by some in Congress because of its costs. Star-Advertiser.

As part of this year's RIMPAC exercises the US Navy is emphasizing its push to go green. KHON2.

Honolulu, Hilo, the Kahului-Wailuku area on Maui and Kapaa on Kauai posted declines in private-sector employment of between 1 percent and 4 percent, according to an analysis by Pacific Business News affiliate On Numbers, which used new U.S. Census Bureau data to analyze year-to-year employment trends for all metropolitan and micropolitan areas. Pacific Business News.

Kapalua, Molokai and Lanai airports are "absolutely all on the list" of places Hawaiian Airlines is considering to fly as it takes its first steps in the process of forming a subsidiary airline, a Hawaiian official said Tuesday. Maui News.

State roundup for July 19. Associated Press.

Oahu

Windward Oahu residents met Wednesday night to come up with a way to convince the city not to move forward with its plans to construct a Kaneohe to Kailua sewer tunnel. KHON2.

The Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation is expanding its video surveillance program at city parks thanks to an $11,000 gift by the Palehua Community Association. KITV4.

The Sierra Club will hold off on endorsing a candidate for Honolulu mayor until someone emerges who backs rail and fights urban sprawl, the Hawaii nonprofit's leaders said Wednesday. Civil Beat.

The race between state Senate candidates Pohai Ryan and Laura Thielen is nearly tied — at least in terms of fundraising. Civil Beat.

Former state Rep. John Medeiros died Friday morning in his sleep after battling Parkinson's disease and a heart condition, his wife said. He was 83. Star-Advertiser.

The first glimpse in more than a decade into former Hawaii Governor Ben Cayetano’s financial backers shows he can still count on some old friends for support. Civil Beat.

Mayor Peter Carlisle: Profile. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii

A County Council committee on Wednesday had a sunny outlook for a nonbinding resolution asking the state Public Utilities Commission to make it easier for homeowners to hook up solar panels. West Hawaii Today.

Two seasoned politicians will face off next month to become the Democratic candidate for state senator of the newly created 4th District on Hawaii Island. Star-Advertiser.

A group of mostly small-scale Kona coffee farmers wants to alert consumers that a new state law could affect the quality of Hawaii’s premier specialty crop. Associated Press.

More than 30 years after a federal judge ordered the state to fix a broken fence on the upper slopes of Mauna Kea on the Big Island in order to protect endangered birds, officials will finally spend about $1 million to patch the holes. Civil Beat.

The mauka-makai beach access road to Kohanaiki Coastal Community Park will close for approximately six weeks for road improvements. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui Memorial Medical Center will be the only non-Oahu hospital participating in a mock disaster exercise Friday as part of the U.S. Navy's ongoing Rim of the Pacific international exercises in Hawaii. Maui News.

A drier climate would jeopardize Maui's water supply and native ecosystems, said UH-Manoa geography professor Tom Giambelluca. Maui News.

State regulators have granted Lana'ians for Sensible Growth limited participation in the ongoing review of whether transferring Lanai's public utilities to Larry Ellison, who owns the vast majority of the island, is in the public interest. Maui News.

Kauai

Despite a drop in the number of Kaua‘i public schools that have met federal standards this year, local schools have shown an overall improvement, according to Bill Arakaki, Kaua‘i Complex superintendent at the state Department of Education. Garden Island.

With many summer programs coming to an end and the first day of school looming two weeks away, youngsters can take advantage of this window to plan their entries for the Lego Contest, which is part of the Home Economics Show at the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau Fair, Aug. 23 through 26. Garden Island.