Wednesday, September 19, 2012

China invited to RIMPAC, Hawaii DOE tackles budget, more water for upcountry Maui, thieves break into Lingle Hilo campaign HQ, feds investigate Wahiawa senior center, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

military exercises
RIMPAC Hawaii military exercises courtesy photo
The U.S. military has invited China to participate in the next Rim of the Pacific naval exercise off Hawaii in two years after equivocating on the issue during the multinational war games this summer. Star-Advertiser.

The Department of Education is preparing for some tough spending decisions as it faces the specter of federal budget cuts, a so-so economic picture and the roll-out of key new initiatives that could carry big price tags. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Education Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi says Gov. Neil Abercrombie's demand to set aside 5 percent of the department's discretionary budget as a contingency plan would hurt the district. Civil Beat.

All public elementary schools in the state will be accredited by 2019, under an ambitious plan approved by the Board of Education on Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Four years ago, less than a third of young people in Hawaii between ages 18 and 29 voted, the lowest youth turnout in the nation. But grassroots organizations in Hawaii want 2012 to be different. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s State Environmental Council has come up with a draft of revised rules for the state’s environmental review process and is asking the public to submit comment on the new rules. Pacific Business News.

State roundup for September 19. Associated Press.

Oahu

Pro-rail group's poll claims mayor race is close. KHON2.

A Wahiawa senior center already under federal investigation may have received illegal kickbacks from a construction company, according to documents obtained by Civil Beat.

Employers turned out in force at Tuesday's job fair at the Neal Blaisdell Center, anxious to fill a growing list of openings. Star-Advertiser.

The Public Land Development Corporation could help resolve the longstanding morass over what to do with the Waikiki Natatorium. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Co. said on Tuesday that it will now be faster and simpler for many residential and some small commercial customers to get approval for photovoltaic installations without worrying about the need for a costly interconnection study. Pacific Business News.

A Honolulu City Council Committee considered a measure yesterday to implement a “no kill” policy for unwanted animals at the Hawaiian Humane Society. Hawaii Public Radio.

A strange sighting in waters off Windward Oahu prompted the first real test for Hawaii's tsunami debris response team. Hawaii News Now.

More than 20 native plants and insects on Oahu have been added to the list of federal endangered and threatened species, joining 437 threatened and endangered species already designated in Hawaii — the highest number of any state in the nation. Star-Advertiser.

A Honolulu police major facing federal extortion charges is asking that his GPS monitoring device be removed from his ankle for medical reasons. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

The state Senate and House candidates at Tuesday’s forum may differ on how to reinvigorate the Big Island’s economy and what the top priorities should be during this legislative session. However, they all agree that no matter who wins, something must be done immediately to lower electricity costs. West Hawaii Today.

While U.S. Senate Candidate Linda Lingle has been busy campaigning and fundraising around the state, a hungry thief broke into her Hilo campaign headquarters. Hawaii Reporter.

Big Island residents should soon find it easier to install solar panels. Tribune-Herald.

The County council Agriculture, Water and Energy Sustainability Committee advanced a bill banning night drilling at Puna Geothermal Venture. Stephens Media.

The federal prosecutor filed court papers Monday charging Hawaii island rancher Daniel R. Rocha with providing the 14 mouflon rams that went by helicopter to a ranch on Maui in December 2009. Star-Advertiser.

Despite their different backgrounds, and competing campaigns, Oliver “Sonny” Shimaoka and Margaret Wille may have more in common than they think. Tribune-Herald.

State elections, meeting raises new charges, challenges. KITV4.

Maui

Maui County's Department of Water Supply announced Tuesday that it had found added water capacity in Upcountry that can be used to eliminate the area's longstanding list for new water meters that dates back to 1994. Maui News.

The Maui Department of Water Supply today presented a plan to resolve the Upcountry Water Meter Priority List within the next two to three years. Maui Now.

Maui's newest 2nd Circuit Court judge was described by a handful of speakers as fair, honest, jovial, pragmatic and a man of integrity. Maui News.

"Superloads" of wind turbine components began making their way Tuesday evening from a staging area near Kahului Airport to a wind farm site on Ulupalakua Ranch land.Maui News.

Kauai

One of the most significant developments proposed in Hanalei Bay since the building of the Princeville Hotel (now the St. Regis Resort), is meeting staunch opposition from a rapidly growing group of people, despite attempts from developers to assure that they are doing the right thing. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i Police Department worked with officials from the State Department of Land and Natural Resources to remove an illegal camp site in Hanapepe and its resident on Thursday. Garden Island.

For just a few minutes Tuesday, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. experienced the meaning of his office. Garden Island.