Monday, January 21, 2013

Road slated for Inouye honor, Hawaii cuts cash assistance, Molokai mulls waste-to-energy plant, House speaker wants legal marijuana, Zuckerman buys pricey Honolulu condos, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Saddle Road, Hawaii Island (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
State Sen. Malama Solomon, a Democrat whose district covers the north side of Hawaii Island from Kona to Hilo, has sponsored a bill renaming Saddle Road the “Daniel K. Inouye Legacy Highway.” West Hawaii Today.

The state of Hawaii is cutting financial assistance payments it provides to more than 5,500 people. Associated Press.

Even with news last week that Hawaii's unemployment rate dropped to 5.2 percent in December, its lowest since October 2008, the state is still a year or more away from regaining all the jobs lost during the recent recession. Star-Advertiser.

The Native Hawaiian Roll Commission hosted the Huli-a-Mahi celebration Sunday at Iolani Palace, said its chairman, former Gov. John Waihee. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiians honored Queen Lili'uokalani at Iolani Palace on Sunday. It's been 120 years since the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. KITV4.

The newly designated speaker of the state House of Representatives today introduced a bill that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Big Island Now.

State Reps. Cynthia Thielen and Mele Carroll want to limit Hawaii’s power to develop public lands. Associated Press.

Silversword
Scientists say the outlook is bleak for a rare Maui plant if current climate change trends continue. Associated Press.

Hawaii’s only state taxpayer-supported University, the University of Hawaii, increased tuition by 108 percent from 2006 to 2012, and over the next five years, tuition will rise again by 33 percent. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii Beverage Hui Opposes Soda Tax. Civil Beat.

It has been less than a month since U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz took office, and while he is still in temporary offices, he says he has settled in and is working to tackle big economic challenges facing the islands. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Oahu taxpayers will pick up a portion of the tab for President Barack Obama's visit to Hawaii over the Christmas and New Years holidays, specifically for police and ambulance escorts. Hawaii Reporter.

Mark Zuckerman, The world’s youngest billionaire, chairman and CEO of Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB), is buying several multi-million-dollar units in a 23-story ultra-luxury condominium under development called ONE Ala Moana, according to a source. Pacific Business News.

The city's exclusive vendor for handling police-initiated vehicle tows on Oahu could be evicted from the Kapolei lot serving as its headquarters because the company owes back rent dating to March and has failed to correct solid waste-related violations at the property, according to a lawsuit filed by the property owner. Star-Advertiser.

A plan to extend Kuakini Street across Lanakila Avenue to join with Keola Street could become a reality this summer. KHON2.

The findings in a federal report on the fireworks explosion that killed five men at a Waikele storage bunker in April 2011 raise concerns not just about a lack of federal rules and guidelines about the disposal of unused fireworks, but about inadequate oversight of employee safety procedures taken by large-scale contractors in general. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Citations for the use of cell phones and other electronic devices while driving on Big Island roads almost doubled in 2012 over the previous year. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

One of the unsuccessful applicants for the Central Maui state Senate seat vacated by Shan Tsutsui has filed a complaint with the state Democratic Party chairman about the process to name a successor, assailing the process as "blatant arrogance" and unfair. Maui News.

Kauai

A revamped two-dimensional look at how a tsunami would flood the Hawaiian islands is about to change it all, and with it, a rise in home insurance rates could be looming in the horizon. Garden Island.

Molokai

Aurora Renewable Energy, Inc. has proposed the first combined waste-to-energy/waste-to-product plant to the residents of Molokai as a means of becoming energy independent. Molokai Dispatch.

As the state continues toward its goal of 70 percent clean energy by 2030, Molokai is coming to the forefront of the renewable energy discussion. Hawaii Public Radio.