Thursday, September 13, 2012

Honolulu poised to sell $300M bonds to fix sewers, Hawaii County Ethics Board probes union politicking, state lawmaker fined for campaign reports, Chinese golfers new tourism target, Oahu farmworkers to get container homes, good year for mac nuts, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Ala Wai canal (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
The City and County of Honolulu is preparing to sell up to $300 million in Wastewater System Revenue Bonds to help pay for a variety of important repairs and upgrades. KITV4.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie says the state has allotted $147 million in capital improvement spending for various state projects, including $75 million to fix roofs, plumbing and electrical systems in Hawaii schools. Associated Press.

The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission slapped state Rep. Karen Awana with a $6,800 fine Wednesday after she failed to report contributions and expenditures or respond to the office's requests for more information. Civil Beat.

What Does Tulsi Gabbard's Rising Star Do For Hawaii? Civil Beat.

Chinese visitors, long seen as the next growth market for Hawaii tourism, soon may be hitting the islands' links in growing numbers with the help of a Chinese entrepreneur and one of the most recognizable golfers in the world. Star-Advertiser.

Production of macadamia nuts in Hawaii rebounded last season after a two-year decline, with a 23 percent gain over the previous season, according to a federal report. Stephens Media.

Oahu

An owner and a manager of two small businesses in Aiea that are being displaced by the Honolulu rail project say the city is pushing them out without paying them fair compensation, and both businesses are expected to close. Star-Advertiser.

It could soon be easier for West Oahu farmers to use retrofitted shipping containers or trailers to house their agricultural workers on their property under legislation passed unanimously by the Honolulu City Council on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council wants to kill a controversial recycling subsidy that has saved a single scrap yard millions of dollars. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu City Council is attempting to restore bus service on O’ahu … in light of many routes being cut to save 6-7 million dollars in overhead. Hawaii Public Radio.

The city of Honolulu said cuts to bus service needed to be made to save money. Now the City Council is talking about giving away bus rides to senior citizens and the disabled. Hawaii News Now.

The playgrounds, located at a public housing complex, were demolished with large equipment pieces left behind. KHON2.

University of Hawaii Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple has only been on the job two months, but he's already apologizing to the faculty and staff for his lack of communication. Hawaii Reporter.

A state circuit judge has rejected the third request by the former manager of a Waimanalo puppy mill to reduce his bail of $200,000 on 153 counts of animal cruelty. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Over the objections of one member who said the county Board of Ethics has no jurisdiction over union activity, the board voted 3-1 Wednesday to look into a complaint about union-endorsed politicking on county time at county facilities. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Council candidates are spending their publicly funded campaign contributions in some interesting ways this election. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii County Board of Ethics meeting erupted into a flurry of gavel-pounding and raised voices Wednesday when Hawaii County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong defended himself against an anonymous complaint that he’s inappropriately involved in the operations of the county Elections Division. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island residents will get a chance to shape Hawaii’s future energy policies this week. Tribune-Herald.

Work on the deteriorating 101-year-old Umauma Bridge along Highway 19 will get under way in a matter of months, following an announcement Wednesday by Gov. Neil Abercrombie that funds have been released for the $37.2 million project. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii County Board of Ethics on Wednesday cleared Windward Planning Commission Chairman Zendo Kern, who won the Puna District 5 County Council seat in the Aug. 11 primary, of any wrongdoing when he voted to allow the Hawaii Volcano Circus to continue operations after it violated its special use permit. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaiian Homes Commission will hold its annual Big Island meeting Monday in Hilo and Tuesday in Naalehu. Big Island Now.

Maui

Dozens of high-paying science and research jobs as well as the construction jobs needed to build a massive $300 million solar telescope on Haleakala could hinge on the outcome of a Friday hearing with the Department of Land and Natural Resources Board. Pacific Business News.

A combined $13 million was released today for Capital Improvement Projects at Maui’s Kahului Airport and the Maui Memorial Medical Center. Maui Now.

A Maui helicopter pilot faces sentencing for illegally flying deer to the Big Island. Hawaii News Now.

The median price of a single-family home jumped 26.8 percent in Maui County in August compared to the same month last year, while sales volume dipped 7.4 percent, according to the Realtors Association of Maui. Pacific Business News.

Journalist Edwin Tanji, who covered the protests and eventual return of the military target island of Kahoolawe and other historic events on Maui, Molokai and Lanai for decades, died Wednesday after a battle with cancer. He was 65. Star-Advertiser.

Edwin Tanji, the former city editor for The Maui News and longtime Honolulu Advertiser Maui bureau chief, has died. He was 65. Maui News.

Kauai

The county of Kauai announced Wednesday it has secured the boundaries of all three Hanalei River lots previously owned by Mike Sheehan and Hanalei River Holdings LLC. The administration’s action was the culmination of an 18-month condemnation process, according to county officials. Garden Island.

Carolyn Larson, the librarian at the Lihu‘e Public Library, is concerned about the public, especially the students, who visit the library for study or to “hang out” after school. Garden Island.