What they're saying about Hawaii

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Abercrombie to get shoulder surgery today, Hawaii looks to make up $25M-$40M in federal funds, Souki solidifies speakership, religious fundraiser canceled at Oahu school, green waste tip fees coming to Hawaii County, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

bond and budget announcement
Abercrombie news conference
Gov. Neil Abercrombie is taking a short break from his duties to have minor shoulder surgery. Associated Press.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Tuesday his budget planners are cautiously anticipating the state may need to immediately make up anywhere from $25 million to $40 million in lost federal funds depending on how Washington acts on the so-called fiscal cliff. Associated Press.

Taking advantage of a friendly market, the Abercrombie administration sold $867 million in bonds in November, attracting the lowest interest rate in state history. Star-Advertiser.

The recent sale of general obligation bonds will help strengthen Hawaii’s financial foundation in light of the pending federal cuts said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. KITV4.

The sale of $867 million in general obligation bonds by the state reflects strong investor confidence in Hawaii, Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Tuesday. Civil Beat.
http://www.civilbeat.com/articles/2012/12/04/17812-abercrombie-hawaii-heading-in-other-direction-of-fiscal-cliff/

With a growing number of legislators supporting his bid for speaker of the Hawaii House, Maui state Rep. Joe Souki has announced two leadership appointments. Maui News.

As many teachers statewide prepare for another protest on Thursday, the Board of Education is taking a closer look at their contract and what it says about teacher obligation. KHON2.

Teachers are permitted to participate in popular “work to rule” protests but still must fulfill their professional duties, even those that fall outside of contracted hours, the state told a Board of Education committee Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Members of the state Board of Education on Tuesday questioned the cost and benefit of following a consultant’s recommendations and overhauling Hawaii’s student transportation program. Associated Press.

After a lengthy presentation Tuesday on what is needed to correct Hawaii’s beleaguered student transportation system, Board of Education members urged the state to move quickly to cut school bus costs to avoid further reductions in service. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Board of Education members say they expected more from a much anticipated report on how the state should fix its nearly $75 million student transportation program. Civil Beat.

"Marcy, it’s the Governor calling." That was the start of a 4-minute voicemail that Gov. Neil Abercrombie left University of Hawaii President MRC Greenwood on August 16 just after the University announced it had likely been tricked into sending $200,000 to a fake promoter to schedule what they thought was a Stevie Wonder concert. Hawaii Reporter.

In response to findings by a state Senate investigatory committee, the University of Hawaii Board of Regents and President M.R.C. Greenwood said Tuesday that oversight, transparency and accountability at UH will be addressed. Star-Advertiser.

Most Hawaii residents haven’t heard of the Jones Act, but one Hawaii lawyer and several business owners say the 1920 federal shipping law has a major negative impact on virtually every resident and business in the state, and they are challenging the law in U.S. District Court. Hawaii Reporter.

Akaka Retiring: Ambassador Of Aloha Bridged Party Lines. Civil Beat.

State roundup for December 5. Associated Press.

Oahu

A “Gift of Hope Charity Concert” featuring Moanalua High School’s acclaimed orchestra and New Hope Oahu’s singers scheduled for Friday night at the school was canceled after complaints that it crossed the line between church and state. Star-Advertiser.

State senators pressed the developers of a North Shore wind farm on Tuesday about the safety of their technology in light of a major fire that destroyed their battery storage facility and sent toxic fumes into the air. Civil Beat.

The State Senate Committee on Energy and Environment conducted an informational briefing today on the safety of wind-energy storage systems like the one that burned on Oahu’s North Shore four months ago. Hawaii Public Radio.

The former manager of a Waimanalo dog breeding facility that had all of its animals seized because of squalid conditions pleaded no contest in state court Tuesday to 153 counts of animal cruelty. Star-Advertiser.

The State Department of Transportation is about to start a project that it hopes will help ease pau hana traffic on the freeway through the Red Hill area. KHON2.

State officials are investigating whether the stern of a boat that washed up on Windward Oahu may be 2011 Japan tsunami debris. Star-Advertiser.

Alexander & Baldwin said Tuesday that the entity developing the Waihonua condominium high-rise in Honolulu has secured a $120 million construction loan from three of Hawaii’s largest banks and Wells Fargo Bank. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

Big changes coming to Hawaii County’s green waste program could mean higher costs for those using commercial landscapers and a more hands-on approach for residents getting free mulch from the Kealakehe transfer station. West Hawaii Today.

An unexpected fireworks display in Hilo Bay Monday night was the kicker to a post-inauguration shindig for Mayor Billy Kenoi at the Wainaku Executive Center. Tribune-Herald.

Planners of a public shooting range at Puuanahulu still don’t have an estimated cost for the site, but they do have a preliminary site plan and an idea of which amenities would come first. West Hawaii Today.

For the first time in nearly a year, lava is entering the ocean from Kilauea volcano. Hawaii News Now.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is still unsure when a large container can be removed from a Ka‘u shoreline. Tribune-Herald.

The National Park Service on the Big Island says its rangers and visitors have witnessed an incredible gathering of sharks in Pelekane Bay on the South Kohala Coast. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

The Hawaii Supreme Court will convene on Maui for what is believed to be the first time since the mid-1800s to hear oral arguments Thursday morning in the Baldwin High School Auditorium. Maui News.

The highest bid at a foreclosure auction Monday for dozens of luxury condominiums and hundreds of time-share interests at the financially troubled Ritz-Carlton Club and Residences at Kapalua Bay came through at $55 million. Maui News.

Kauai

The Kaua‘i County Council launched its “Kaua‘i County Council” social media page on Facebook this week. Garden Island.

Almost two dozen teachers from Kapa‘a Middle School joined the state’s growing crowd of frustrated teachers Tuesday morning. Garden Island.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie recently announced the release of more than $44 million for various capital improvement projects statewide, including $328,000 for Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital. Garden Island.