Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hawaii House majority opposes tax hike, statewide energy plan draws heat, one last shot at Akaka Bill, Big Island police look into voter fraud allegations, electricity bills rise, fall, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaii state Capitol (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
A majority in the state House opposes recommendations from a consultant to the Tax Review Commission that call for several new tax increases to help finance state government, including an increase in the general excise tax. Star-Advertiser.

Tax hikes proposed by mainland consultants got a cold shoulder at the state Capitol Tuesday. KHON2.

The state Tax Review Commission heard unanimous opposition today to a suggested increase in the state general excise tax. Hawaii Reporter.

The State Tax Review Commission met today to hear public comment on two 2 consultant studies that recommend tax hikes to meet future state funding needs. Hawaii Public Radio.

The tax review commission took public testimony Tuesday on two consultant reports that examined the state’s current tax policy and structure. KITV4.

Randy Iwase began Tuesday's Hawaii Tax Review Commission hearing at the state Capitol by reminding everyone of the terrorist attacks on the United States. Civil Beat.

Concerns about proposed wind turbine projects on Lanai and Molokai dominated public comments Tuesday night at a meeting held by state and federal officials who are putting together a document to help plan renewable energy development in the state. Star-Advertiser.

Based on public comment, the US Department of Energy is now studying a range of other options including solar, geothermal and hydroelectric. KHON2.

The state has paid a private company $3 million to conduct environmental reviews for the Big Wind project. But that study, paid for with federal stimulus funds, has been essentially scrapped as the state and U.S. Department of Energy embark on a new study that doesn't favor any particular energy source or location. Civil Beat.

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will take up the namesake legislation of retiring Chair Daniel Akaka in his final attempt to advance the cause of Native Hawaiian government that will be his legacy. Civil Beat.

Hawaii tech companies enlist the help of U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye to deal with wireless broadband limits. Civil Beat.

More satellites and sophisticated equipment are available to weather forecasters to better track hurricanes since the wrath of Hurricane Iniki struck Hawaii two decades ago. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu
Senior citizens and persons with disabilities would ride TheBus and TheHandi-Van for free under a proposal introduced by City Council Chairman Ernie Martin and up for Council consideration today. Star-Advertiser.

Street performers protest police arrests. Hawaii News Now.

An Australian property services company announced plans Tuesday for developing a gated community with 353 homes in Makaha Valley on land zoned for agriculture. Star-Advertiser.

The state agency soliciting bids to build a 650-foot tower that includes workforce housing on state land in Kakaako released the names of bidders Tuesday, reversing an earlier position to keep their identities secret until a preferred plan was chosen. Star-Advertiser.

A year after debating whether to eliminate a city subsidy aimed at encouraging private companies and nonprofits to recycle, City Council members again appear ready to do away with the incentive. Star-Advertiser.

Residential electricity rates fell on Oahu in September for the third consecutive month, mainly reflecting a decline in Hawaiian Electric Co.'s fuel costs. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The Hawaii Police Department is investigating allegations of voter fraud involving the 2010 elections. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County police detectives have opened an investigation into allegations of voter fraud during the 2010 election. Star-Advertiser.

A Honolulu attorney, apparently stuck in a political dispute between the County Council and Mayor Billy Kenoi’s administration, has not been paid more than $9,000 owed him after being retained in January by Council Chairman Dominic Yagong. West Hawaii Today.

Harry Kim has made little progress with filling his campaign war chest. And that’s just fine with him. Tribune-Herald.

Twenty officers have been directed to quash a rash of burglaries and car crimes in South Kona that police attribute to an organized group of drug users trying to feed methamphetamine habits, officials said Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Councilman Fred Blas is joining the call for a geothermal health study. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Island residential rates rose to 40.7 cents a kilowatt-hour from last month's 40.1 cents. The typical bill rose by $3.87 to $254.69. Star-Advertiser.

A University of Hawaii at Hilo pharmacy professor has received a $675,000 career development award from the National Cancer Institute. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

Maui residents will have a rare opportunity to visit a national wildlife refuge on a weekend this Saturday. Associated Press.

The long-planned Kihei high school campus is not expected to have a "significant" impact on traffic along Piilani Highway and surrounding areas when it opens in 2016, according to the project's final environmental impact statement filed late last week. Maui News.

Maui Electric Co. customers saw rates fall to 34.9 cents per kilowatt-hour this month from 35.40 cents in August. The typical Maui bill fell by $3.18 to $218.12. Star-Advertiser.

In order to further promote electric cars on Maui and educate the public about what their engines look like, how they work and are charged up, and how they handle firsthand, local supporters are hosting a local National Plug-In Day event Sept. 22 at the Maui Swap Meet. Maui News.

Family pleads for the return of sentimental framed picture. Maui News.

Kauai

The Kaua‘i Planning Commission’s three-member Subdivision Committee by a 2-1 vote Tuesday deferred decision on an extension request for a subdivision of agriculture lands at Olohena Road in Kapa‘a. Garden Island.

A California woman accused of collecting about $398,000 in state disability payments on behalf of her dead father for 21 years is scheduled to plead guilty next month. Star-Advertiser.

Public invited to join mayor in weekly walks. Garden Island.

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative has entered into a deal with Unitek Solvent Services Inc. to purchase fuel oil to generate electricity that would help lower the cost of power on the island as well as its dependency on out-of-state sources of fuel. Pacific Business News.

On Kauai the electricty rate rose to 43.1 cents per kilowatt-hour. Last month the rate charged by the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative was 40 cents per kilowatt-hour. Star-Advertiser.