Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hawaii's best beaches, fundraiser set for Obama library, Keith-Agaran named to state Senate, Kauai taro farmers boycott poi mill, new Civil Defense chief for Hawaii Island, more news from across the state

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Hapuna Beach, Hawaii (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Travel + Leisure magazine this month released for the first time a Best Beaches on Earth list, and, not surprisingly, four in Hawaii made the cut. Star-Advertiser.

Maui Rep. Gil Keith-Agaran, who was expected to become the House majority leader in the next Legislature, has been appointed to the Senate, filling a vacancy left by former Senate President Shan Tsu­tsui, who became lieutenant governor. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has appointed Kahului state Rep. Gil Keith-Agaran to the 5th Senate District seat vacated when former Sen. Shan Tsutsui accepted an appointment to lieutenant governor. Maui News.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the appointment of Gilbert Keith-Agaran to the state Senate to represent Hawaii’s 5th senatorial district, a seat recently left vacant by Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui. Maui Now.

State Rep. Calvin Say is all packed up and ready to move out of the big office reserved for the head of the House. Civil Beat.

Hawaii hosting first fundraiser for Obama library. Hawaii News Now.

Health insurance premiums for about 14,400 individuals covered by Kaiser Permanente Hawaii jumped 9.7 percent on Jan. 1. Star-Advertiser.

A deadline is nearing for Hawaii residents who lost their homes to foreclosure to benefit from a settlement between the state and five large banks. Tribune-Herald.

A University of Hawaii audit found that UH short-changed students on two campuses out of financial aid, mistakes that UH officials said were later corrected. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Office of Information Practices reduced its backlog just by just six cases in the 2012 fiscal year, leaving 78 pending cases on its list — some of them years old, according to the office's director. During the 2010 fiscal year, the office cleared 37 cases from its backlog. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines is expanding its fleet again with an eye toward the neighbor islands. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines is expanding again and plans to offer more routes and 1,000 new jobs. KHON2.

The difference between owning a ferret in Hawaii and one in Pennsylvania can be up to three years in jail — and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Associated Press.

Hawaiian Language Newspapers Now Searchable Online. Hawaii Public Radio.

State roundup for January 8. Associated Press.

Oahu

Elevator workers were trying to determine Monday what caused Honolulu District Court elevators to malfunction for the second time in less than a week, resulting in a long line of people trying to get in to the Alakea Street building. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu firearms owners are increasingly frustrated with long lines at the registration desk at the main Honolulu Police Department station. Hawaii's firearms registration laws are among the strictest in the country, and mandate gun owners must register firearms within 72 hours of purchase. Hawaii Reporter.

Gordon Bruce, former chief information officer for the City and County of Honolulu, has become chief executive officer of Honolulu-based information technology company Pacxa. Star-Advertiser.

Councilman Stanley Chang is drafting a new bill in response to repeated complaints from residents both in his district and county wide. KHON2.

Hawaii

Former Fire Chief Darryl Oliveira is taking over as the administrator of the county Department of Civil Defense. West Hawaii Today.

County Legislative Auditor Colleen Schrandt has left Hawaii to take a job as an auditor with the United Nations in New York City. West Hawaii Today.

Keauhou Bay was one of the areas hit hardest by the 2011 tsunami and the harbor is still in dire need of repair — a situation that could change as soon as late summer, when state Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation officials are anticipating construction to start. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

With new management in place and soon-to-be new ownership, the financially troubled Residences at Kapalua Bay appears poised to turn the corner. Maui News.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources will hold a public information meeting this week to present a technical report and corrective action plan for the Keawakapu artificial reef in South Maui. Maui Now.

Kauai

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources reopened the Na Pali Coast State Park to the public Monday after shutting it down for three weeks while law enforcement searched for a suspect who allegedly threw a 31-year-old Japanese visitor off a cliff.  Star-Advertiser.

Upset with the transfer of Makaweli Poi Mill to Lehua Poi Company, former workers have not reapplied for employment at the new mill, and their former customers — the taro farmers — are boycotting the mill as well. Garden Island.

Several computers were discovered stolen from Kapa‘a Elementary School after students and administrators returned from winter break. Garden Island.