Friday, January 11, 2013

Hawaii voters seek legal marijuana, Oahu teacher sprays sanitizer into mouth of swearing student, Election Commission report due today, Senate sets priorities, norovirus outbreak in hospitals, Kauai council mulls rainy-day fund, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Pohakuloa military training area (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
The Marine Corps stands to see the biggest military increases in Hawaii in coming years as other services here go through less of a change and as all shift from a wartime footing to greater engagement in Asia and the Pacific, officials said at an annual military-business conference Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii has lost a lot of firepower in the U.S. Congress, when it comes to the military, with the death of Sen. Daniel Inouye, but the state’s younger congressional delegation and its strategic importance will ensure that it plays an important part in the country’s pivot to the Pacific. Pacific Business News.

More than half of Hawaii voters want the state to follow the lead of Colorado and Washington and make recreational marijuana legal for adults, a new poll shows. Civil Beat.

The state Election's Commission is expected to release the findings of its investigation into problems during November's general election at a meeting on Friday morning. Hawaii News Now.

Thousands of public correctional, institutional and health workers will receive pay raises in the next six months under a draft arbitration award that could lead other public employees to seek similar raises. Star-Advertiser.

Representatives from the state Department of Education and the Hawaii State Teacher's Association will resume negotiations on Friday, nearly a month after the teacher's union rejected the state's latest proposal. Hawaii News Now.

The uproar over Hawaii’s solar tax credits will fuel a good deal of the debate on energy policy this legislative session, which opens next week. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Co. customers will be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars if the utility doesn't switch to liquefied natural gas to power its generators, the executive vice president of the company says. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii State Senate Majority Caucus today unveiled its priorities for the 2013 Legislative Session, which begins on January 16. Hawaii Reporter.

The Senate Committee on Energy and Environment, with Senator Mike Gabbard as the Chair, will host an informational briefing on invasive species issues on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. in Conference Room 229 in the State Capitol. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii lacks a state-funded preschool program, something that Gov. Neil Abercrombie is making a top legislative priority this year. Civil Beat.

The state will bestow the prestigious Aloha Order of Merit upon former US Sen. Daniel K. Akaka during a ceremony on Monday, January 14. Maui Now.

Island Air, the interisland carrier that has struggled to find its niche among rivals Hawaiian Airlines and Mesa Air Group's go!, is being sold to an undisclosed buyer. Star-Advertiser.

Exhibit highlights honor bestowed upon Japanese-American veterans. Star-Advertiser.

State health officials monitoring outbreak of possible norovirus. KITV4.

State roundup for January 11. Associated Press.

Oahu

The cost of construction delays tied to a recent Hawaii Supreme Court ruling that suspended the city’s $5.26 billion rail transit project are coming in lower than anticipated, the project’s oversight agency announced Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation officials said Thursday the costs of construction delays for September and October stemming from an Aug. 24 Hawaii Supreme Court were 31 percent lower than what they had anticipated. Pacific Business News.

Members of Defend Oahu Coalition gathered at City Hall on Thursday to urge state and city government leaders to stop the planned expansion of Turtle Bay Resort. Star-Advertiser.

A 79-year-old man who was paralyzed by a fall 15 to 20 feet from the illuminated first tee at the Mid Pacific Country Club late at night in 2009 was awarded about $6.2 million in a jury verdict Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

One of the figures in the Stevie Wonder Blunder, Hawaii promoter Bob Peyton, died Thursday morning at Castle Medical Center. Hawaii News Now.

A Hawaii extreme sports athlete plans to liven up a dingy block in Kakaako with a year-round fairgrounds featuring a stationary surfing wave, skateboard park and go-kart track. Star-Advertiser.

An Oahu middle school teacher is on leave after allegedly squirting hand sanitizer into the mouth of a eighth-grade student on Wednesday in front of the class. KHON2.

Hawaii

The Windward Planning Commission was poised Thursday to give the Connections Public Charter School a failing grade for its Kaumana campus proposal. Tribune-Herald.

Waimea’s North Hawaii Community Hospital on Thursday appointed an interim CEO and hired a consulting firm in an effort to improve the facility’s financial performance and attract a permanent chief executive officer. West Hawaii Today.

A professor of Hawaiian language believes he has traced the ancestors of Hawaii’s first inhabitants to the remote, Polynesian Outlier atolls to the southwest. Tribune-Herald.

The same day plaintiffs in a lawsuit against 1250 Oceanside Partners announced they had reached an impasse after several years of negotiations, a South Kona property owner signed a $13 million complaint against the developer. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Island's economy is gradually improving, but it still has a lot of catching up to do to match other parts of the state. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui
Complete with nine different teaching laboratories, an observatory, a rooftop garden, wind turbines and a photovoltaic system, University of Hawaii Maui College's long-awaited $26 million science facility is expected to open in the next few weeks. Maui News.

David Raatz Jr., the new director of Maui County's Office of Council Services, had worked as a legislative attorney for the same office for 16 years until March 2012. Maui News.

Maui Memorial Park is planning to rebuild 153 feet of wall within the next three to four weeks, cemetery officials said this week. Maui News.

Kauai

After routinely ending each recent fiscal year with tens of millions of dollars with a budgetary surplus, the county may start using some of that money for a permanent rainy-day fund. But will it cost more to taxpayers? Garden Island.

Five Kaua‘i residents have been selected to appear on the ballot for the board of the Kaua‘i Island Utilities Cooperation. Garden Island.

After a few weeks in plain view on the island’s busiest traffic corridor, the graffiti on the rockwall of the southbound Wailua Bridge was removed Wednesday. The same cannot be said about the graffiti at the bridge’s foundation. Garden Island.