What they're saying about Hawaii

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

U.S. Army strengthens China ties in Hawaii, state Ethics Commission fines California film company for gifts, new county councils, prosecutors for Hawaii, Kauai, Dems mull new blood, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii-China military ties
U.S. Maj. Gen. Stephen Lyons and Maj. Tang Fen of China's People's Liberation Army, courtesy photo
The leader of a U.S. Army delegation to a disaster-relief exercise in China last week said Monday the drills are a stepping stone to building relationships between the two militaries. Associated Press.

The Army said it advanced disaster management cooperation with the People's Liberation Army on a trip to China by about 20 Hawaii-based soldiers, and the hope is the annual exchanges will expand in scope and size. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines’ Taiwan flights won’t be gateway to mainland China. Pacific Business News.

Democratic Party of Hawaii insiders are quietly beginning to talk seriously about the possibility that the state's top two elected officials may not seek re-election. By most indications, Gov. Neil Abercrombie will run for re-election in 2014 and U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye will run for re-election in 2016. Civil Beat.

Sen. Daniel Akaka, who is three-fourths Native Hawaiian and one-fourth Chinese, introduced the first incarnation of his namesake legislation more than a decade ago. Unless something dramatic happens in coming weeks, he'll leave Congress without passing it — or even getting a straight up-or-down vote on it. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii State Ethics Commission closed the book Monday on violations of the state lobbyist law by Relativity Media, a California-based film company. The company got in ethical hot water in 2011 after failing to disclose gifts of movie DVDs to Hawaii lawmakers. Civil Beat.

Debris from the March 11, 2011, Japan tsunami is reaching a different stage in its drift across the Pacific, with heavier and larger objects contributing to coastal garbage patches in Hawaii, University of Hawaii researchers said. Star-Advertiser.

A recent series of field tests of the state's siren network, designed to bolster the trustworthiness of the emergency warning system, is now complete, kicking off Hawaii State Civil Defense's estimated $20 million refitting of the siren system. Star-Advertiser.

Last week, Gov. Neil Abercrombie launched the “Buy Hawai‘i, Give Aloha!” campaign urging consumers to buy locally made products during the holiday season. At the same time, shipping containers were already en route to the islands from the Pacific Northwest filled with Christmas trees. Garden Island.

Michael Gold took the helm as chief executive officer of the state's largest health insurer, Hawaii Medical Service Association, on Saturday. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for December 4. Associated Press.

Oahu

The first annual audit of the books for the city of Honolulu's $5.27 billion rail project turned up some flaws in the rail project's accounting practices, and the board for the Hono­lulu Authority for Rapid Transportation wants to know more about city plans to prevent those problems in the future. Star-Advertiser.

An injunction on rail could increase the cost of the project by $149 million. KHON2.

Laid out in hundreds of pages of court documents is the case over one of the last hurdles before the rail project gets the unobstructed green light or gets bumped back to square one. KITV4.

An ongoing discrimination lawsuit against the Honolulu Police Department could cost taxpayers upwards of $300,000 for the city to contract with outside attorneys.Civil Beat.

The largest solar photovoltaic utility project on O’ahu was dedicated yesterday in Pearl City. Hawaii Public Radio.

University of Hawaii leaders and several Board of Regents members faced some tough questions at a "talk story" session in Manoa on Monday. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

Sitting at a dais draped with fragrant lei, a new Hawaii County Council took office Monday afternoon, and immediately fell into disagreement about who should be in charge. West Hawaii Today.

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Deacon Larry Ignacio blesses Hawaii County Council (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Mayor Billy Kenoi started his second term, members of the new County Council took their oaths of office, and Mitch Roth became the county prosecuting attorney Monday. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County residents have a little more than a month before a ban on plastic bags at the store, farmers markets and restaurants begins taking effect. West Hawaii Today.

Overnight stays in a hospital are almost never a reason to celebrate, but patients say that Hilo Medical Center is succeeding in its ongoing mission to improve the experience for them. Tribune-Herald.

Kona Community Hospital is surveying community members on what they would like to see included in a new hospital. West Hawaii Today.

An unusual sight on the Big Island, Rainbow Falls, one of the most famous waterfalls in the world has dried up. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

Kahului Airport and Maui Memorial Medical Center will get the largest chunks of state money for Maui County from Gov. Neil Abercrombie's release last week of more than $44 million for various capital improvement projects state-wide, according to an announcement from the Governor's Office. Maui News.

The state is holding a public meeting to inform the community about a comprehensive watershed study being conducted for the West Maui “Ridge to Reef Initiative.” Maui Now.

Bids for the demolition of the 51-year-old former Wailuku Post Office/Federal Building across the street from the Kalana O Maui building are being accepted. Maui News.

The Coast Guard this afternoon suspended the search for a small plane, piloted by Maui pastry chef Jose Krall, that disappeared from radar on a flight from Maui to Molokai on Saturday evening. Maui News.

Officials at Haleakalā National Park are asking for the public’s help in protecting the endangered Hawaiian goose or nēnē as they prepare for the upcoming nesting season. Maui Now.

Kauai

It’s official: the Kaua‘i County Council has a new formation. The seven council members for the next two years were sworn in by Judge Randal Valenciano at an inauguration ceremony at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall Monday. Garden Island.

Justin Kollar was sworn in as the County of Kaua‘i prosecuting attorney Monday afternoon at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall. Garden Island.


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