Friday, January 4, 2013

Big revenue jump predicted, birther lawsuit halted, six vie for Maui Senate seat, Hawaii council to mull Public Land Development Corp., Lt. Gov. Tsutsui sworn in, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Chief Justice Mark Rectenwald
Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui sworn in by Chief Justice Mark Rectenwald, photo courtesy Governor's Office
The state Council on Revenues upgraded the state's tax collection forecast Thursday, predicting that the housing and construction sectors of the economy will follow tourism into the recovery. Star-Advertiser.

The state Council on Revenues raised its tax revenue growth forecast for Hawaii’s current fiscal year by 0.2 percentage points to 5.1 percent during its meeting Thursday, and raised the revenue forecast for the following fiscal year by nearly $400 million. Pacific Business News.

The state is expected to generate $172.6 million more in tax revenue over the next 18 months if a revised general fund forecast by the Council on Revenues holds true. KITV4.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today responded that the Council of Revenues forecast revisions for FY14 and FY15 are consistent with the Abercrombie Administration analysis of the overall economy. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii may have dodged the fiscal cliff, but there's a bigger looming threat that state budget officials say they don't know how to begin to prepare for: the economic vacuum created by the loss of Sen. Daniel K. Inouye. Civil Beat.

The death of longtime U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye has created an economic cliff in Hawaii that’s far worse for the state than the federal fiscal cliff, Hawaii’s state finance director said Thursday. Associated Press.

The number of individuals and businesses filing for bankruptcy in Hawaii last year fell to the lowest level since 2008 amid an improving economy and declining consumer debt loads. Star-Advertiser.

A federal judge rejected a challenge by so-called "birthers" seeking to halt Friday's scheduled counting of Electoral College votes for President Barack Obama in their latest attempt to overturn Obama's presidency. Associated Press.

President Obama spent time with his daughters Thursday, taking them bowling at Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe and then heading for shave ice at their regular spot, Island Snow in Kailua. Hawaii News Now.

President Barack Obama chose to spend part of Thursday afternoon bowling and eating shave ice with his daughters, a departure from the daily rounds of golf this vacation. Star-Advertiser.

As the 113th Congress was sworn in on Thursday, the four members of Hawaii's delegation pledged to work as a unified group to begin rebuilding the all-important seniority that was lost recently following the death of U.S. Sen. Daniel Ino­uye and the retirement of U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka. Star-Advertiser.

The nation's 113th Congress began today with the swearing in ceremonies of two of Hawaii's four delegates. Hawaii News Now.

The remaining three members of Hawai‘i’s congressional delegation were sworn in on Thursday in Washington, D.C., sealing a renovation that started two years ago, with the election of U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa to the House. Sen. Brian Schatz was sworn in last week. Garden Island.

When he died, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye had more than a quarter-million dollars in his main campaign account and another $50,000 in his leadership PAC, a political action committee he called DANPAC. What will become of it now? Civil Beat.

Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui was sworn in Thursday morning by Hawaii Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald on Oahu. Maui News.

The Navy’s use of sonar in Hawaiian waters is getting increased scrutiny as a federal agency documents and maps human-caused noise pollution in the oceans in an attempt to dim the din for the sake of marine mammals. Honolulu Weekly.

Climate Change in Hawaii: It’s Here. A new report brings together all the science and concludes it’s time to act. Honolulu Weekly.

State roundup for January 4. Associated Press.

Oahu

There's still a lot of gray area when it comes to regulating how Honolulu City Council members spend their yearly allowances, according to the city auditor. Civil Beat.

Downtown Honolulu will lose its only major department store next month, and what fills the void left by Macy's will go a long way in determining the future of the city's core. Star-Advertiser.

Macy’s announcement Thursday morning that its Honolulu store was one of six on the chopping block this year opens the door for a prime downtown block to be reborn as something other than a department store. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Pacific University's plans for redeveloping Aloha Tower Marketplace are on hold for at least another week, as its development partner is trying to maintain control of the project. KHON2.

A dispute over control of Aloha Tower Marketplace has escalated between the developer who bought the downtown waterfront retail complex about a year ago and his financial partner, Hawaii Pacific University. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu police arrested and cited two women for prostitution at a King Street massage parlor and arrested and cited a third woman at another massage parlor on Keeaumoku Street Wednesday night. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The state Public Land Development Corp. hasn’t finalized its administrative rules, but Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille wants Hawaii County to be prepared in the event those rules infringe upon Hawaii County’s home rule powers. West Hawaii Today.

A suspect is in custody after two Hawaii County police officers were shot and injured Wednesday night in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

A $4 million gas collection and control system for the West Hawaii Sanitary Landfill in Puuanahulu needs to be working by mid-December or Hawaii County could face fines. West Hawaii Today.

The Mo‘oheau Bus Terminal has welcomed the new year with a new look. Tribune-Herald.

Maui
The Maui County Democratic Party has received six qualified applications for the Central Maui state Senate seat vacated by Shan Tsutsui, who became lieutenant governor. Maui News.

Maui County Council members officially organized behind Gladys Baisa and Bob Carroll, unanimously electing them chairwoman and vice chairman, respectively, of the newly seated council on Wednesday. Maui News.

Kalbert K. Young, the Director of Budget and Finance for the State of Hawai’i, and former finance director for Maui County, delivered the keynote address for the 2013 Maui Council Inauguration today. Maui Now.

Hawaii's recent shifts in political leadership - in Congress and at the state Capitol - heighten the need for Maui County to partner with state government to ensure continued services and to foster economic growth, state Budget and Finance Director Kalbert Young told the newly seated Maui County Council. Maui News.

Kauai

A Kauai landowner who caused a catastrophic mudslide on November 26, 2001, which destroyed a rare coral reef and polluted a pristine bay at Pilaa, Kauai, must pay a $4 million fine to the state, according to the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals. Hawaii Reporter.

After years of controversy, construction of the Wailua Beach portion of the Ke Ala Hele Makalae, or “the path that goes along the coast,” began Wednesday night. Garden Island.

County officials report a mobile chair, which is used for people with disabilities, was damaged at the Waimea public swimming pool. Garden Island.