Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hawaii libraries go digital, Maui land-use permit fees to skyrocket, opposition rises to Hawaiian Homelands appointee, pension plan a rocky investment, feds to fix Kona wetlands, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaii library (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
In its bid to remain relevant in the digital age, Hawaii's library system appears to be making some gains, new figures show. Star-Advertiser.

Former Gov. Linda Lingle would gradually raise the payroll tax cap for Social Security so workers with higher incomes would pay a greater share, a position that mirrors the approach U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, her Demo­cratic opponent for U.S. Senate, would take to help stabilize the federal retirement program. Star-Advertiser.

Just as they did four years ago, delegates to the Republican National Convention dialed down the enthusiasm for the first official day of events as a tropical storm bore down on the Gulf Coast. Star-Advertiser.

The new head of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is facing mounting opposition to her leadership that could derail her confirmation by the Senate next year. Civil Beat.

Investors who buy bonds issued by the state of Hawaii are not being compensated adequately given the risk presented by the state’s high unfunded pension liability and debt load, according to analysis by Barron’s, a weekly financial newspaper. Star-Advertiser.

A new report says Hawaii is one of the least affordable states for daycare for infants, with parents spending nearly 15 percent of their income each month on child care. Pacific Business News.

The federal government has given Hawaii millions of dollars to help ensure the state is ready to launch a new online health insurance marketplace by January 2014. Civil Beat.

State roundup for Aug. 28. Associated Press.

Oahu

The city on Monday agreed to temporarily halt construction on the $5.26 billion rail project apart from some short-term tasks required for an orderly shutdown, according to statements from the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation and the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. Star-Advertiser.

As expected, Friday’s Hawaii Supreme Court ruling has resulted in the city and county of Honolulu temporarily halting construction on its $5.26 billion rail project. Civil Beat.

The City and County of Honolulu has stopped construction on its $5.16 billion elevated-rail mass-transit project following last week's Hawaii Supreme Court ruling against the project. Pacific Business News.

The state will spend $2 million to study the H-1 Freeway and other major roads to find out what improvements are needed and how to prioritize those needs. KHON2.

The Hawaii Supreme Court has dismissed the election complaint filed Aug. 16 by Honolulu City Council candidate Martin Han. Civil Beat.

A community group says block parties and events including "First Fridays," which were meant to help revitalize Chinatown, is leaving the historical area trashed. Hawaii News Now.

The Battle of the Islands Pacific Roller Derby Tournament is coming up on O’ahu next month, and the Paradise Roller Girls from Hawai’i Island are hoping to be there. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii

One of the two naturally occurring brackish wetlands on the Kona Coast is due for major restoration work, which National Park Service officials hope will help improve conditions for endangered bird species within the park. West Hawaii Today.

The University of Hawaii at Hilo’s troubled Hoku Kea telescope is still in pieces and is on its third director, with extensive problems that have included an improperly shaped primary mirror, a damaged secondary mirror and no operating system to control the telescope. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii residents will be among the first to get their hands on a new quarter featuring a Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park design. Star-Advertiser.

A Big Island blogger has been ordered to stop posting salacious cartoons and false comments about an online news publisher. Hawaii Reporter.

The U.S. Geological Survey says surface flows remain active on the pali and coastal plain, but have not made significant progress toward the ocean. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

The cost of various Maui County land-use permit application fees could go up significantly - some by as much as 450 percent - as county officials look to realign fees with actual processing costs. Maui News.

Gary Toth of Project for Public Spaces will present “Principles of Great Streets” and “Why Streets as Places” in a three hour interactive workshop scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. on Friday, August 31. Maui Now.

Kauai

Island School broke ground on a solar project Monday. When completed, it should take care of its daytime power needs. Garden Island.

The Charter Review Commission on Monday addressed a couple of grammar mistakes in the proposed amendments to the Kaua‘i County Charter it had transmitted Aug. 9 to County Clerk Ricky Watanabe. Now, it’s all up to the voters to decide at the Nov. 6 General Election on eight proposals to amend the charter. Garden Island.