Monday, September 10, 2012

Hawaii Tax Commission seeks General Excise Tax hike, solar companies want lower China tariffs, Lanai group fights golf course irrigation, Kauai remembers Iniki, Big Island tour company faces license loss, Molokai burial site upgraded, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

cop[yright 2012 All Hawaii News
Mai Tai bar (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
As one state advisory panel is predicting lower-than-expected tax revenues in coming years, another is recommending that the state increase the general excise tax rate by a half-percentage point. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii Tax Review Commission report recommending increase in General Excise Tax.

Companies seeking to develop projects on state lands aren’t required to go through a competitive bidding process under recently proposed rules that would govern Hawaii’s controversial Public Land Development Corporation. Civil Beat.

Coconut bras aren’t Hawaiian. Neither are grass skirts. Tiki bars? They’re from California. Yet they’re all among the most recognizable symbols of a Hawaiian vacation. Associated Press.

The National Weather Service Employees Organization on Sunday endorsed U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono for U.S. Senate, citing her opposition to House Republican budget cuts in 2011 that could have diminished operations at facilities such as the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. House candidate Tulsi Gabbard weighed in on Republican "obstructionism," the influx of outside funding to Hawaii races, the future of the U.S. military in Af­ghani­stan and other topics during a two-hour appearance on the MSNBC program "Up w/ Chris Hayes" on Sunday. Star-Advertiser.

An official from Hilo-based ProVision Solar plans to join dozens of other businesses at a hearing in Washington, D.C., next month to testify that tariffs being levied on imported Chinese solar panels are doing more harm than good to the U.S. economy. Star-Advertiser.

Between 2007 and 2009, Hawaii Tech Support boosted revenues by almost 300 percent, making it one of the fastest-growing companies in Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

Oahu
The Hawaii Supreme Court has given Native Hawaiian Paulette Kaleikini, the plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against the Honolulu rail project, a week to respond to a motion submitted by the City and County of Honolulu that asked the state high court to reconsider its ruling. Pacific Business News.

A U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in a Los Angeles case it is unconstitutional for the government to seize homeless people's temporarily unattended property could influence Honolulu's homeless ordinance. Civil Beat.

The University of Hawaii medical students have treated homeless shelter patients more than 7,600 times in the six years since the university started its homeless outreach program. KHON2.

The Honolulu City Council has a solution in mind to offer farmers on the Leeward Coast the opportunity to place as many as five retrofitted shipping containers on their land to serve as workforce housing. Hawaii Reporter.

Ben Cayetano and Kirk Caldwell talk journalism and politics at high school journalism day forum. Civil Beat.

Harriet Natsuyama said she can run her fingers along the Japa­nese characters etched into decades-old gravestones at the Moiliili Japa­nese Cemetery and know whether her grandfather's hands worked to carve them. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Board of Realtors says the Oahu real estate market ended with summer with strong numbers. Hawaii News Now.

In preparation for the Kaneohe Bay Air Show "Wall of Fire" pyrotechnics display, a rehearsal was conducted Saturday at 10 a.m. and lasting less than five minutes, according to Marine Corps Base Hawaii. KITV4.

Hawaii

Complaints against the chairman of the Windward Planning Commission, the chairman of the Hawaii County Council and union-endorsed candidate forums on the taxpayers’ dime: The county Board of Ethics has a full plate of issues when it meets Wednesday in County Council chambers. West Hawaii Today.

The jury is still out on the effectiveness of publicly financed County Council campaigns in erasing the advantage of big money in elections. Tribune-Herald.

A Kealakekua Bay kayak tour company may lose its ability to take visitors to the Captain Cook monument. Tribune-Herald.

August produced a bumper crop of burglaries on the Big Island, with 142 reported islandwide, up from the previous month’s 95 burglary reports. Tribune-Herald.

West Hawaii Community Health Center — a nonprofit working to provide health care to the underserved and underinsured — anticipates a new clinic at Lai Opua will open in April 2015. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Some Maui candidates who lost their primary election bids wound up spending more money per vote than their winning opponents. Maui News.

A broken pump at the Kaupakalua Well led to a water conservation advisory in the Haiku area for the weekend by the Department of Water Supply. Maui News.

The Maui County Department of Fire and Public Safety will begin installing smoke alarms at high risk homes in October, under the federally funded Smoke Alarm Maui Program. Maui Now.

Kauai

Since Hurricane Iniki barreled over Kauai 20 years ago Tuesday, the county's communication system has vastly improved, but the island still has too few shelters able to with­stand gale-force winds, emergency planners say. Star-Advertiser.

How did Kaua‘i Community Radio (KKCR) come to be linked to the emergency system tower in Princeville? The Category 4 Hurricane ‘Iniki played a part in it. Garden Island.

A proposal to give Kaua‘i Community College students substantial savings in Kaua‘i Bus fares has a trade off: All students would pay for it, regardless of who rides the bus. Garden Island.

County Parks and Recreation Director Lenny Rapozo on Wednesday unveiled to the Kaua‘i County Council the administration’s plan to work with the skateboarding groups on Kaua‘i to design and build two skate parks, one in Lihu‘e and another in Hanapepe. Garden Island.

Lanai

A legal dispute over the water source for a Lanai golf course that has spanned more than two decades has been kept alive by a state appeals court ruling that could mean more litigation for months, if not years. Star-Advertiser.

Molokai

Translations of letters written by the earliest Hawaiian Hansen's disease patients exiled to Molokai in the late 1800s paint a much different picture of early life in the settlement than the brutal image perpetuated by English-speaking, mostly Caucasian authorities at the time. Star-Advertiser.

Thanks to $438,000 in federal funding, two new columbaria, or vaults to hold urns containing ashes, were installed last month at the Molokai Veterans Cemetery in Ho`olehua. Molokai Dispatch.