Monday, January 28, 2013

Gay marriage, election reform, farm bills on Legislature's agenda, Kaiser Permanente cutting nurses, HELCO seeks geothermal energy, high court to hear medical marijuana case, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News
Honolulu gay marriage rally (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Hawaii advocates of gay marriage applauded the introduction of legislation this week that would give same-sex couples the same status, legal and symbolic, as opposite-sex couples. Civil Beat.

There's a new push to legalize same sex marriage in Hawaii, where Civil Unions are allowed. KITV4.

Hawaii lawmakers are pushing to reform the state elections process after a series of mishaps caused polling places to run out of ballots and open late last year. Associated Press.

The state Senate Agriculture Committee will hear public opinions on at least six bills related to incentives to local farmers Tuesday. The bills’ scope range from tax exemptions to planning for food security. Garden Island.

The Navy said it plans to cut some temporary workers in Hawaii in the spring, cancel a $35 million repair job on a Pearl Harbor destroyer and reduce base support and modernization by $75 million as part of at least $110 million in savings it says it needs to reach in Hawaii alone due to a federal budget shortfall. Star-Advertiser.

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii plans to eliminate nearly one-quarter of its clinic registered nurses, replacing some of them with lower-skilled licensed practical nurses and medical assistants. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Attorney General’s office is blasting a proposal aimed at countering the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which opened the floodgates for secret cash to influence elections. Civil Beat.

The union representing Hawaii public school principals and the state Department of Education have reached an agreement on evaluations. Associated Press.

Troubled Waters: Budget Cuts Hamper An Unusual Ocean Research Project. Civil Beat.

Oahu
The city of Honolulu is preparing another property-related citation against the operator of Oahu's only auto racing venue, placing another black mark on the company's checkered history on that state-owned parcel. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The Big Island's electric utility is asking the Public Utilities Commission for permission to generate more geothermal energy for sale to customers. Associated Press.

Former state Rep. Jerry Chang says his primary focus this year will be to obtain $33 million from the Legislature to fund a building for the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s College of Pharmacy. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear an appeal from a man convicted of promoting a detrimental drug when he tried to take his medical marijuana on a flight to Honolulu from Kona International Airport. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has released a new ungulate management plan that includes fencing and both lethal and non-lethal techniques. Tribune-Herald.

Coffee berry borer damage is resulting in diminished quality that could jeopardize the region’s position in the global coffee market, a grower and processor said Friday. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui County officials say the electric utility's reluctance to retire decades-old oil-fired generators is keeping electric costs high on the island. Civil Beat.

Care Homes by Hale Makua was blessed Friday as the Wailuku facility converts a closed wing at Maui's largest nursing home into a 26-resident adult residential care home. Maui News.


Kauai

Scientists aren’t the only ones concerned about the future of Kaua‘i’s diseased coral reefs. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i Police Commission held its first meeting of the year with new board leadership in place. Garden Island.

Lanai

Larry Ellison, Oracle Corp.’s billionaire CEO who bought the majority of Lanai last year, has laid out pretty distinct plans for the future of Hawaii's Pineapple Island. Pacific Business News.

A bungalow-style hotel, a desalination plant and a new airport runway are part of billionaire and new Lanai owner Larry Ellison's vision for the island, Lanai residents said Friday. Maui News.