Friday, August 24, 2012

Hawaii poll supports preschool, health network gets $61.8M federal grant, jobless claims down, hotel occupancy up, new Waikiki hotel wins zoning, mayoral candidate's daughter burns foe's signs with bong, Kauai wants solar loophole, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii keiki (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
A new poll shows that the majority of the Hawaii public supports a state-funded preschool program — and lawmakers are hoping to make it happen as soon as 2014. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Health Connector has received a $61.8 million federal grant to help set up a health insurance exchange in the Islands. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii jobless claims have fallen to 12,218 in the newest weekly report, including first-time claims that fell to 1,404 statewide. Both figures, actual tallies of claims filed last week, are the lowest since 2008. Hawaii News Now.

Initial unemployment claims in Hawaii dropped 18 percent last week, compared to a year ago, according to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii hotels average 85 percent full in the newest weekly survey, with 93 percent occupancy on Oahu offsetting lower figures on neighbor islands. Hawaii News Now.

Eleven researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association spent part of their summer in the nature preserve trying to kill galapagos sharks, the species they say is the main culprit in the demise of baby monk seals. Civil Beat.

GOP U.S. Senate candidate Linda Lingle this week spent more than $90,000 on 395 spots that are airing through the end of the week on KHON, KITV, KITV subsidiary MeTV, KGMB, KHNL and Time Warner cable networks such as CNN, ESPN and TNT. Civil Beat.

Tea Parties Across the Nation - Including Hawaii - Under IRS Scrutiny. Hawaii Reporter.

The Hawai’i Tourism Authority is hosting its annual conference this week … amid encouraging news of double-digit increases in visitor arrivals and spending. Hawaii Public Radio.

Even 92 years after it was passed, the Jones Act shipping laws remain contentious in Hawaii — especially when you put the law’s supporters and the people who want to sink it in the same room. Pacific Business News.

State roundup for Aug. 23. Associated Press.

Oahu

A plan to build Waikiki's first new oceanfront hotel in more than 30 years prevailed in a zoning challenge Thursday, freeing the project to proceed after a nearly two-year skirmish before the city Zoning Board of Appeals. Star-Advertiser.

Three different projects on Oahu have each taken another step forward but not without some controversy. KHON2.

Twelve former students at Damien high school on Oahu have filed claims in a New York bankruptcy court alleging that they were sexually abused by clergy who were working at the private Catholic school in the 1960s, '70s and '80s. Star-Advertiser.

The public can expect to see a lot more of the two Honolulu City Prosecutor candidates between now and Nov. 6, whether it's sign-waving around Oahu or advertising on the radio. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's largest and most prominent synagogue will elect new leaders Sunday in a vote that represents a referendum on its beleaguered rabbi and the fortunes — and future — of Temple Emanu-El. Star-Advertiser.

A gun advocacy charity has filed a lawsuit against the city of Honolulu over deleted posts on the Honolulu Police Department’s Facebook page. Associated Press.

The Pacific Resource Partnership, a group highly critical of anti-rail mayoral candidate Ben Caye­tano during the primary election, is reassessing its strategy for the general election campaign and has not yet decided whether it will continue with negative ads against the former governor, the group’s executive director said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii News Now has obtained photos showing two girls setting fire to a Ben Cayetano campaign sign. Kirk Caldwell has confirmed that one of the girls in the photo is his 18-year-old daughter, Maya.Hawaii News Now.

A defeated Honolulu City Council candidate contends his opponent broke campaign laws by posting signs too close to polling places on primary election day as a way to influence undecided voters in the district, many of whom are seniors. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The second-place finisher in a four-way race for the state House District 6 Democratic primary has filed a petition with the Hawaii Supreme Court seeking a recount or a new election for the open Kailua-Kona seat. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Island’s economy continues its slow climb out of recession, thanks largely to a relatively quick recovery of its tourism industry, according to economist Leroy O. Laney. Tribune-Herald.

Hunters have killed three axis deer through a program aimed at eliminating their presence on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

The Department of Public Works’ Traffic Division announced it is continuing to convert streetlights from the current low-pressure sodium lamps to light-emitting diode lamps (LED) this week. Tribune-Herald.

South Kona couple opens glassblowing business. West Hawaii Today.

A Hawaii tournament angler fought a 12-foot, half-ton marlin in the Pacific Ocean for more than four hours before she and her teammates got the monster fish out of the water — but she missed out on the glory and prize money. Associated Press.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources is warning the public to keep out of the nearshore and ocean waters off Pahoa, due to the presence of tiger sharks that are being attracted to a decomposing 50-foot long sperm whale carcass. KITV4.

Maui

A Maui ranch owner pleaded guilty to a federal misdemeanor Thursday for illegally selling axis deer and Mouflon cross-bred sheep and letting a person who did not have a hunting license pay to kill the animals. Star-Advertiser.

After years of political wrangling and legal machinations, the Maui County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve disposing of the controversial "Montana Beach" home on the north side of Baldwin Beach Park. Maui News.

A human skull found near Waiohuli Hawaiian Homes in Kula was to be turned over to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources after it was determined to be from a child who died more than 50 years ago, police said. Maui News.

A Wailuku woman was ordered to pay back $23,710 she stole over a two-year period while she worked for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.Maui News.

More than 10,000 ready-to-eat meals are now in the hands of Maui County disaster response organizations, thanks to a donation by the federal government. Maui News.

Last week at the Ninth Circuit Court's Judicial Conference on the island of Maui, judges and lawyers from across the country were told by social media and legal experts they would have to be careful about what they post on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Hawaii Reporter.

Kauai

Following a failed attempt earlier this year to have the state Senate address a loophole in a state law, which mandates new homes to be fitted with solar water heating systems. The Kaua‘i County Council is now discussing whether to ask state lawmakers in the 2013 Legislature to amend Act 204 to bring it closer to its intent. Garden Island.

The Hanalei Bridge received much attention for its 100th birthday Thursday. Garden Island.

HGEA trades signs for spoons to help feed people. Garden Island.

Molokai

Molokai Ranch has sold 3.2 acres in Kaunakakai to the University of Hawaii, according to ranch owner Molokai Properties Ltd. Maui News.

The DOE will hold eight public scoping meetings on six islands from Sept. 11–20 to gather input on wind energy development . The Molokai meeting will be held on Wed. Sept. 19 at the Mitchell Pauole Center at 5:30 p.m. Molokai Dispatch.