Thursday, September 27, 2012

Most Hawaii families are the mom and pop type, state mulls federal waiver for welfare-to-work, unions can force employees to campaign, Kauai drought brings disaster declaration, Molokai man's DNA lawsuit explored, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii mom (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Almost three quarters of all families in Hawaii are literally "mom and pop" operations, according to a new analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Pacific Business News.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s administration is considering whether to accept a waiver that would allow states to develop their own welfare-to-work programs under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program with a decision expected by the Department of Human Services as soon as November. KITV4.

Unions and corporations are prohibited by federal law from coercing employees to make financial contributions to candidates, but UPW's attorneys argued — and the three Republican appointees to the FEC agree — that employees can be required to participate in activities such as sign-waving, telephone banking and canvassing for candidates as they did in 2010 for congressional candidate Colleen Hanabusa. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu Democrats will meet Saturday to act on a complaint against state Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz that could lead to his censure. Civil Beat.

Hawaii has no official plan for dealing with Japanese tsunami debris that has begun showing up in offshore waters, no task force to help coordinate federal, state and city response efforts and virtually no funding to deal with the issue. Civil Beat.

The Federal Aviation Administration has put up money to help search for the best site in Hawaii for a commercial spaceport, and to study the environmental impacts of launching and landing commercial spacecraft from Hawaii airports. Star-Advertiser.

A team from the University of Hawaii's accrediting agency that visited earlier this month supports a plan to form a working group to review "delegations of authority" in the wake of a botched benefit concert, and wants to be apprised of any report or legislation resulting from the concert fallout, according to a draft synopsis of the team's conclusions. Star-Advertiser.

The aftermath of the Stevie Wonder blunder has caught the attention of the agency that accredits the University of Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Epic Talent LLC - the company that took a $200,000 deposit on the promise of staging a Stevie Wonder concert at the University of Hawaii in August but had no authority to do so -bills itself as “reliable consulting source for accessing big name entertainment for public concerts, corporate events and fundraisers around the world” amd promises to look out for their “clients’ best interests.” Hawaii Reporter.

With less than a week before the 11th Annual Native Hawaiian Convention opens on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at the Hawaii Convention Center, registration has hit 600 participants during the three-day event. Hawaii Reporter.

Today the Army is shutting down regular operations to focus everyone’s attention on a “silent enemy”. The stand down day will train soldiers of all ranks in preventing suicide,  the Army’s fastest growing threat, and military leaders are asking for everyone’s help. Hawaii Public Radio.

Former state lawmaker Kenneth Koon Leong Lee 'compassionate,' 'tough'. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for September 27. Associated Press.

Oahu

Mayoral candidates Kirk Caldwell and Ben Cayetano will meet in a live, televised setting on two consecutive nights next week, the only chances the public will have to see the two candidates face off against each other on television before the Nov. 6 general election. Star-Advertiser.

The pro-rail group that spent more than a million dollars this election season has launched its first ad since the primary election. KHON2.

Roads, sewers and homelessness. That's what's on the minds of leading contenders for Tulsi Gabbard’s vacant Honolulu City Council seat. Civil Beat.

Green thumb or not, Japanese billionaire Genshiro Kawamoto has been busy recently working to transform another one of his Kahala Avenue home lots into a public garden — this one a Japanese tea garden. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Hawaii County is adjusting its game plan for the Nov. 6 general election in order to avoid the problems that plagued the primary. Tribune-Herald.

The state Department of Transportation won’t be starting construction on Queen Kaahumanu Highway this month, and just when construction will begin is unclear. West Hawaii Today.

When it comes to politics, Russell Ruderman and Daryl Smith might as well be from different worlds. Tribune-Herald.

State House District 3: Race features community activist, former teacher and man of ideas. Tribune-Herald.

A worldwide shrimp breeder is moving its headquarters from Florida to the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority and expanding its Hawaii operations. Tribune-Herald.

A 12-year-old dolphin at Hilton Waikoloa Village gave birth to a female calf that seemed to instantly recognize her mother. Associated Press.

Maui

The Maui Planning Commission unanimously approved Tuesday a permit for the University of Hawaii Maui College to expand its ongoing investments in renewable, photovoltaic energy. Maui News.

An environmental group wants to put an end to cane burning on Maui. StopCaneBurning.org says smoke from operations at HC&S, Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar company, is making residents sick and could potentially cause life-threatening illness. On Wednesday, the two sides met to discuss concerns at the HC&S office in Puunene. Hawaii News Now.

Officials at Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company responded today to a cane burning petition presented by members of an opposition group on Maui. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kaua‘i County Council candidates have already gone through a series of public meetings during this year’s election season, but Tuesday night was the first time they participated in a debate leading to Nov. 6 General Elections. Garden Island.

The U.S. Agriculture Department has designated Kaua‘i County as a natural disaster area due to a “severe” drought, which has lasted for more than eight straight weeks during the growing season. Garden Island.

Federal officials said Wednesday that based on wind and currents, the floating dock suspected of being 2011 tsunami debris from Japan could be headed toward Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

A list of recommended rules that would regulate commercial boating and commercial surf activities at Hanalei Black Pot Beach Park were presented to the mayor on Wednesday. Garden Island.

Molokai

A Molokai man has filed a lawsuit seeking to use DNA to prove his ancestry so he can qualify for the Hawaiian homelands program. Star-Advertiser.

A Molokai man has filed a lawsuit seeking to use DNA to prove his ancestry so he can qualify for the Hawaiian homelands program, which leases land at almost no cost to Native Hawaiians. Associated Press.

Kukui nuts have long been used by Hawaiians for food and medicinal purposes, but it may soon be also used for fuel –specifically, biodiesel fuel. Wayde Lee, who created the Molokai Sustainable Farming Project (MSFP) last year, has been exploring biodiesel initiatives that he said may lead to economic stability and energy security for Molokai farmers. Molokai Dispatch.