Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hawaii hospitality workers well-paid, Blackhawk fatalities identified, Hawaii teachers, state enter federal mediation, disability rights lawsuit settled, county clerk keeps job, copter pilot pleads guilty to shuttling axis deer between Hawaii, Maui, UH West Oahu risks accreditation loss, Oracle CEO Ellison blasted for tax loopholes, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii hotel pool party (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Workers in the hospitality sector of Honolulu’s tourism industry earn the third-highest wages among major U.S. markets, behind only Las Vegas and New York City, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Pacific Business News.

The Pentagon on Monday made public the names of the four Black Hawk crew members from Schofield Barracks and three Navy sailors who lost their lives last week in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan. Star-Advertiser.

The State and the Teachers Union, HSTA, will enter into federal mediation to resolve the teachers contract issues. KHON2.

Leadership at the Hawaii State Teachers Association has agreed to an offer by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to use a federal mediator to resolve their long-standing contractual differences. Star-Advertiser.

Axis deer
A Vietnam War helicopter pilot pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to illegally flying axis deer from Maui to Hawaii island in one of his helicopters, and flying mouflon cross-bred sheep from Hawaii island to Maui in a wildlife hunting case expected to expand. Star-Advertiser.

Ten Hawaii business people have accounted for more than $250,000 in campaign contributions to state and local candidates since the beginning of the year. Civil Beat.

A proposed settlement agreement has been reached between the state and the Hawaii Disability Rights Center on a class-action lawsuit by individuals who were denied mental health services because of state policy changes. Star-Advertiser.

As Hawaii farmers and ranchers continue to suffer from a lingering drought, meteorologists said Monday that they fear more severe dry weather could be in store for the state. Civil Beat.

State roundup for Aug. 21. Associated Press.

Oahu

Hawaii ratepayers are on the hook for $2.4 million in infrastructure costs for Oahu’s Kahuku wind farm, even though it’s only produced a fraction of the energy it was expected to and is now shut down due to a fire that devastated its battery storage facility earlier this month. Civil Beat.

The landmark Honolulu Advertiser Building, which has housed Hawaii Five-0 for the past two years, is being sold to local developer Marshall Hung, who plans to build condos. Hawaii News Now.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges has slapped the University of Hawaii West Oahu with a "notice of concern," one step below a formal warning that its brand new Kapolei campus could be in danger of losing its accreditation. Hawaii News Now.

Local residents have been protesting against Genetically Modified Organisms being grown on the North Shore since 1999. Hawaii Public Radio.

State Department of Transportation employees and prison inmates worked together Monday morning to clear a chronic homeless encampment under the H-1 Freeway Airport Viaduct. KITV4.

Hawaii

Following a daylong session Monday with most County Council members expressing support for County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi, Council Chairman Dominic Yagong said he’s planning a trip to Honolulu this week to meet with state officials to help mediate tension between Kawauchi and the state Elections Office. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong said Monday that he would not dismiss County Clerk Jamae Kawa­uchi, who has been harshly criticized by the state Office of Elections as an ineffective leader after more than a dozen precincts opened late for the primary election. Star-Advertiser.

The governor and the Hawaii County Council are under growing pressure to diffuse a rift between state and Hawaii County elections office. KITV4.

Under fire for primary election poll opening delays, Hawaii County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi says she has asked the governor for an independent review of the state elections office. Associated Press.

The Hawaii County Clerk has called the Aug. 11 primary an election-related disaster, and is asking the governor's administration to investigate and take control of the state voting office. KHON2.

Hawaii County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi noted a series of blunders during the primary election while addressing the County Council on Monday: misdelivery of election materials, voting equipment malfunctions, and incorrectly programmed phones at polling locations. Tribune-Herald.

The Big Island became the epicenter of primary election day fiascos when the delayed opening of numerous polling places forced Gov. Neil Abercrombie to issue an emergency proclamation authorizing them to stay open for an extra 90 minutes. Civil Beat.

Democrat Lorraine Inouye conceded the primary contest for state Senate District 4 late Monday. West Hawaii Today.

Well over 100 people showed up to testify tonight at a hearing held by the Department of Land and Natural Resources on proposed rules for the Public Land Development Corporation. Big Island Now.

Maui
At $150 a pop, Maui Economic Development Board sold out all 700 tickets to its 30th annual benefit Saturday to support science, technology, engineering and math programs as well as emerging high-tech companies on the Valley Isle. Maui News.

A record $338,046 was raised during the Ke Alahele Education Fund dinner held over the weekend at the Grand Wailea Resort. Maui Now.

Hawaii's primary election ended in victories for Democrat Mazie Hirono and Republican Linda Lingle just a week ago, but the U.S. Senate candidates are already engaged in a heated face-off to secure support for the November general election. Maui News.

Kauai

Fifty-five students by Friday is the unspoken goal of Kaua‘i Community College officials on Monday.Garden Island.

The Hanalei refuse transfer station is temporarily not accepting green waste because the facility has reached its permitted capacity for this material. Garden Island.

The light cast in the darkness is a fragile thing, said the Rev. Kosen Ishikawa of the Koloa Jodo Mission Sunday during the toro nagashi ceremony. Garden Island.

Oracle CEO
Larry Ellison
Lanai

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is being called out of line for using massive payouts in a tax deductibility loophole to buy unnecessary things such as the Hawaiian island of Lanai, which is estimated to cost the billionaire upwards of $500 million, according to a new report showing how tax dollars subsidize exorbitant executive pay. Pacific Business News.