Friday, November 23, 2012

Christmas trees delayed by invasive slugs, Souki solidifies House speakership, teacher protest spreads, DEA closes Hilo office, park service kills deer on Molokai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaii Santa and Mrs. Claus (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
From festive wreaths outside the headquarters of First Hawaiian Bank in downtown Honolulu, to the big Santa statue greeting shoppers at Ala Moana Center to a sculpture of Santa and his elves carved from sand greeting visitors in the lobby of the Sheraton Waikiki, Hawaii businesses have been busy decking the halls for the start of what is expected to be a robust holiday shopping season. Pacific Business News.

Pacific Northwest Christmas tree shippers don't know why there is such a large infestation of slugs, an invasive species that can carry rat lung disease in shipments of Christmas trees this year. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Legislature
Joe Souki
Maui Rep. Joe Souki, the speaker emeritus, announced Wednesday that he had 28 firm commitments to give him back the job that Speaker Calvin Say took from him 13 years ago. Civil Beat.

The internal battle to lead Hawaii's House of Representatives appears to have ended with Maui's Rep. Joe Souki officially announcing Wednesday that he's garnered enough support to defeat longtime House Speaker Calvin Say. Maui News.

A handshake with the Republican minority leader sealed the deal for Rep. Joe Souki to regain the position he held 13 years ago. KITV4.

Teachers at more than 25 public schools statewide have pledged to participate in "work to rule" protests each Thursday for the next three weeks in a bid to bring an end to a protracted labor dispute. During the protests, teachers will work only the hours they're required to under contract. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Elections Commission has moved up its meeting from December to the last week of November after voters across the Big Island and Oahu have complained about the management of the 2012 Primary and General Elections. Hawaii Reporter.

A Senate committee that investigated the Stevie Wonder concert debacle questions whether the University of Hawaii got its money’s worth from the lawyers hired to respond to the committee and to prepare a fact-finders report. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu
Pacific Resource Partnership, also known as the Hawaii Carpenters Union Market Recovery Fund, has filed a motion in U.S. District Court to transfer the libel and slander case filed against them by former Gov. Ben Cayetano from state to federal court. Hawaii Reporter.

Residential electricity rates fell on Oahu in November to their lowest level since February, tracking a decline in the price for fuel the utility burns for most of its power generation. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Federal cutbacks in the U.S. Department of Justice have caused the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to close its office and hangar that were located at Hilo International Airport. Tribune-Herald.

While Hawaii Island is a state leader in sustainable electricity production, it’s woefully lacking in another important component of self-sufficiency — transportation sustainability. West Hawaii Today.

The County Council took a step toward acquiring an easement along Papaikou Mill Road Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The executive director of the private, not for profit community health group, Hui No Ke Ola Pono, has resigned. Maui Now.

Maui retailers are optimistic about holiday season sales, with stores saying they already are seeing an "uptick" in business this month and feeling that customers are more confident about spending. Maui News.

Kauai

The Kaua‘i County Council’s Parks and Recreation Committee by a 3-1 vote Tuesday recommended passage of a bill that would make it illegal to fish at Morgan’s Ponds in Lydgate Beach Park. Garden Island.

A DuPont Pioneer education grant will provide funding for the media production program at Waimea Canyon Middle School. Garden Island.

Molokai

This week, the National Park Service held a two-day deer hunt to eradicate an estimated 20 to 40 axis deer from the settlement. Molokai Dispatch.