Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hawaii teachers union unhappy with new contract, Native Hawaiian nominated federal judge, new poverty rate takes high cost of living into account, former UH AD Donovan finalist for Cal State job, Maui telescope to move quickly, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Abercrombie meets with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, courtesy photo
A new federal calculation that takes into account Hawaii's high cost of living significantly boosts the state's poverty rate — from the 18th lowest in the nation to the seventh highest. Star-Advertiser.

A negotiating team for the state has given a 103-page contract offer to the Hawaii State Teachers Association as talks began Wednesday on a new contract for 2013-2015. Hawaii News Now.

The state Department of Education says a state negotiating team and the teachers union are resuming contract talks. Associated Press.

The state's new contract for teachers offers little hope. according to the teachers' union, which met with the state on Wednesday to resume negotiations. KHON2.

At Campbell High School, the signs are being painted and the T-shirts are being distributed for a teacher protest weeks in the making.KITV4.

Enrollment at public schools has increased slightly in all districts, except on Hawaii Island, which experienced a 1.6 decrease, according to data released Wednesday by the state Department of Education. West Hawaii Today.

The state’s official public school enrollment for the 2012-13 school year increased by more than 2,000 students. The total 183,251 enrollment at the state’s 254 DOE schools and 32 charter schools, translates to a total 1.1% increase. Maui Now.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Derrick Kahala Watson has been nominated by President Obama to serve as Hawaii’s next federal judge. Hawaii Reporter.

A federal attorney who graduated from Kamehameha Schools and spent most of his legal career on the mainland before returning to Hawaii five years ago was nominated Wednesday by President Barack Obama as a U.S. district judge. Star-Advertiser.

A hearing over the ballot shortage across Oahu on Election Day was almost pushed into December, past the deadline for candidates to challenge election results. KHON2.

It cost taxpayers at least $11.5 million to close state and county government offices, schools and the University of Hawaii on Election Day. Civil Beat.

Former University of Hawaii athletics director Jim Donovan has been named one of four finalists for the AD position at Cal State Fullerton, according to the school's website. Hawaii News Now.

Former University of Hawaii Athletic Director Jim Donovan has been named a finalist for the Athletic Director position at California State University, Fullerton. KHON2.

The president of the National Rifle Association visited the islands this week to advocate for development of shooting ranges and expansion of hunting opportunities. Civil Beat.

The value of seed crops in Hawaii managed a slight rise to a record this past season, according to a new government report, though the industry appears to have plateaued after rapid growth over much of the past decade. Star-Advertiser.

RealtyTrac reports that the number of foreclosures in Hawaii plummeted 62 percent in October when compared to the same month a year ago, as the effects of a state law forcing most foreclosures to go through the courts continues to push the state’s ranking down. Pacific Business News.

State news roundup for Nov. 15. Associated Press.

Oahu

The Navy said Wednesday it is considering not basing 18 P-8A Poseidon jets at Kaneohe Bay to save $300 million by consolidating the aircraft in Washington state and Florida instead. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council Safety Chairman Nestor Garcia said he would entertain the idea of expanding a proposal to ban smoking at some of Hono­lulu's most popular beach facilities to include all city-run parks. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council considered a measure to ban smoking at certain beaches and parks on O’ahu. Hawaii Public Radio.

Former Honolulu City Councilman Rod Tam has been fined $813.53 by the city Ethics Commission for misusing city funds to buy city employees "appreciation lunches" and for a Chinese dinner for foreign delegates. Star-Advertiser.

A human skull fragment turned up in an archaeological survey trench dug into a parking lot near Ward Avenue last weekend, marking the sixth time human remains have been found in the path of the $5.26 billion Honolulu rail project. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

An old hand is returning to the helm of the Hawaii County Council. J Yoshimoto, a three-term councilman from Hilo, was selected chairman Sunday in a closed-door session. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Electric Light Co. must take measures to cap emissions from three East Hawaii oil-fueled boilers by 2018 to reduce visibility impacts on the state’s two national parks, according to a rule rolled out Oct. 9 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Tribune-Herald.

Symposium highlights need for more local produce. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Public school enrollment in Maui County grew by 1.6 percent to more than 21,000 students this school year, according to the state Department of Education. Maui News.

The University of Hawaii plans to swiftly begin construction on a cutting-edge solar telescope atop Haleakala Volcano on Maui following a long-awaited ruling by the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources that reaffirms approval of a critical permit. Civil Beat.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources has reaffirmed its approval of a key permit for a controversial solar telescope to be built atop Haleakala, essentially giving the University of Hawaii the green light to proceed with the $300 million project. Maui News.

Kauai

It was standing room only at Hanalei School’s cafeteria Tuesday evening as more than 400 Kaua‘i residents turned out to hear a presentation by developers of the Hanalei Plantation Resort. Garden Island.

The owner of a transient vacation rental which was denied a non-conforming use permit will likely take his case to a higher court after a contested case didn’t go his way, according to county officials. Garden Island.
Kurt Matsumoto

Lanai

Hawaii hotel industry executive and Lanai native Kurt Matsumoto has been tapped to oversee all of Larry Ellison's business operations on the island of Lanai. Maui News.