Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hula is good for your health, state pays millions in special ed cases, UH loses Maui supercomputer contract, Big Island agri-tourism bill aired, Public Land Development Corp. unpopular, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii hula girls (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Hula practitioners have long touted the health benefits of Hawaii's signature dance form. Now, thanks to a new study on the rehabilitative potential of hula for heart patients, they have the science to support their claims. Star-Advertiser.

The state has agreed to pay $4.4 million to settle a landmark lawsuit filed by a couple who alleged the Department of Education failed to provide their daughters with appropriate autism-specific services during the girls' formative years in the 1990s. Star-Advertiser.

The Public Land Development Corp. was created last year as an arm of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources to partner with the private sector to make better use of state property. But the PLDC's launch has been undermined by a poorly articulated description of its mission and suspicion from environmentalists and some Native Hawaiian activists that it would open the door to shadowy development interests. Star-Advertiser.

The race between Mazie Hirono and Linda Lingle for Sen. Daniel Akaka’s U.S. Senate seat has both local and national implications. Civil Beat.

What lessons can be learned from the University of Hawaii's handling of the botched Stevie Wonder concert? The State Senate may try to answer that question. KHON2.

State roundup for Aug. 29. Associated Press.

Oahu

The city of Honolulu awarded more than $75 million in new rail-related design and professional services contracts in the weeks before the rail project was halted by a Hawaii Supreme Court ruling, state procurement records show. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu rapid transit chief Dan Grabauskas told the City Council two weeks ago that 75 per cent of necessary archeological surveys along the rail route remain to be done and won’t be completed until the end of this year. Hawaii Reporter.

State Sen. Carol Fukunaga filed nomination papers on Tuesday to run for the Honolulu City Council's District 6 seat vacated earlier this month by congressional candidate Tulsi Gabbard. Star-Advertiser.

A Honolulu City Council committee voted unanimously to advance a measure setting a procedure to suspend a Council member without pay for up to a month if colleagues determine he or she has violated order or decorum of a Council meeting. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council appears to be on the verge of approving a bill to legalize the peddling of goods on Mo’ili’ili sidewalks. Hawaii Public Radio.

The state Supreme Court has dismissed a primary election challenge filed by a losing candidate for Honolulu City Council. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu paramedics are learning new tactics to combat Hawaii's growing sex trafficking problem. KITV4.

A breakdown of Honolulu Police Department overtime costs for special protection details. Civil Beat.

Agriculture theft is a growing concern on Oahu's North Shore. KHON2.

More than one in five Honolulu residents is classified as a young adult, with nearly 22 percent of Oahu’s population falling into the 20- to 34-year-old demographic, according to an analysis of Census data. Pacific Business News.

Honolulu Civil Beat said Tuesday that it has hired Jayson Harper as general manager of the online news operation. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii
A proposal to create new rules for small agri-tourism enterprises has generated so much controversy that County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong has scheduled a public hearing Tuesday to air residents’ concerns. West Hawaii Today.

Goodfellow Bros. submitted the apparent low bid to build the western end of Saddle Road. West Hawaii Today.

A West Hawaii legislator would like to see a moratorium on approving new power purchase agreements that do not decrease the cost of electricity until the state irons out details on how it should pursue its renewable energy goals. West Hawaii Today.

County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi on Monday declined to attend a meeting on Oahu on the use of voting machines. Big Island Now.

The Weather Channel’s new series “Hawaii Air Rescue” follows Hawaii Life Flight crews. West Hawaii Today.

Ever wonder what happens on those medevac flights that take patients from the Big Island to Oahu? Tribune-Herald.

For the 50th annual Merrie Monarch Festival, which kicks off March 31, in Hilo, the festival committee, led by President Luana Kawelu, wanted to do something different. They’re going back to the festival’s roots. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The University of Hawaii has lost the biggest contract in the school's history, worth tens of millions of dollars, to run a supercomputer center on Maui. Hawaii News Now.

Tennessee Judge Larry Potter, who created one of the nation's first environmental courts, was invited to Maui on Saturday as the keynote speaker in a daylong conference hosted by Keep the Hawaiian Islands Beautiful to try to establish the state's first environmental court in Maui County, organizers of the event, Laulima 2012, said. Maui News.

Will Spence, the planning director for the County of Maui, will discuss land use matters at a public informational meeting in Hana on Thursday, August 30. Maui Now.

Maui County is moving ahead with plans to build a $4.5 million rock seawall to protect its Wailuku-Kahului sewage treatment plant from erosion eating away at the beach fronting the facility. Maui News.

Kauai
Kauai County taxpayers are forking over tens of thousands of dollars to settle claims of racial discrimination filed by current and former employees of the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney. Civil Beat.

The popularity of cars utilizing sources other than gasoline has skyrocketed, said Pat Iwasaki of Kaua‘i Toyota during the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau Fair. Garden Island.

Clarissa Chun, London Olympics bronze medalist in women’s wrestling, challenged Kaua‘i High School students to find a passion about what you want to do and stick to it. Garden Island.