Monday, February 18, 2013

Bag fee advancing in Hawaii Legislature, adult care industry lobbies to keep inspections secret, Hawaii court says online commenter can remain anonymous, Honolulu revisits commercial beach ban, Young Bros. seeks shipping increase, tsunami debris washing onto Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii KTA grocery clerks (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Gov. Neil Abercrombie's plan to raise money for watershed protection and invasive species control by charging consumers a 10-cent fee on disposable checkout bags or increasing taxes on multimillion-dollar real estate transactions is alive at the state Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Amid a downpour of last-minute criticism from the adult care home industry, Hawaii lawmakers further diluted a bill that would require the state to post online its inspection reports of facilities for the elderly and disabled. Civil Beat.

Representatives from three House committees are moving forward a plan to let Hawaii raise revenue by developing unused public school lands. Associated Press.

A bill that would require coverage and benefits for patients with autism spectrum disorders passed committee approval in the state House on Friday. Maui Now.

Let the solar wars begin. The Hawaii Solar Energy Association on Friday denounced the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization’s recently released report on the controversial solar photovoltaic tax credits. Pacific Business News.

A bill labelled “Draconian” by the county’s prosecuting attorney because it could result in government seizure of land for crimes such as harassment is being considered by the state Senate. Big Island Now.

Young Brothers Ltd. has filed a request with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission that would allow the interisland shipper to adjust its rates for the next three years using the cost of labor, cargo volume and inflation as the determining factors. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

In the 2012 elections, Hawaii saw one local dark money group emerge and play a major role in the Honolulu mayoral race. The Pacific Resource Partnership didn't have to disclose its donors and yet spent $3.6 million to defeat anti-rail candidate Ben Cayetano. Civil Beat.

The controversial law that banned commercial activities at city beaches and parks is being revisited. KHON2.

The city of Honolulu says a new Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division substation is needed in case the Waikiki Natatorium, which houses administrators and lifeguards covering Oahu's South Shore, is deemed unsafe. Star-Advertiser.

Since November 2011, the (de)Occupy Honolulu movement has been planted along a stretch on Beretania street. The Honolulu City Council is proposing two bills could that could pack up its tents and free pathways around Oahu for good. Hawaii News Now.

A Minnesota-based developer of housing for artists has partnered with a Hawaiian cultural group to build low-income rental apartment lofts on state land in Kakaako where artists can live and create and showcase their art. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The newspaper website commenter known only as “Taxedtodeath” won’t have to reveal his or her identity, a 3rd Circuit Court judge ruled Friday afternoon. West Hawaii Today.

The University of Hawaii is seeking ways to close an $8.8 million shortfall so it can begin construction of a long-planned community college campus in West Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

State wildlife officials say large swaths of koa forest on the Big Island are losing their leaves, and a sudden outbreak of a native moth is to blame. Big Island Now.

Police say the Waimea Foodland Super Market was evacuated for more than three hours Saturday morning after a grenade was found in the produce section of the store. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Community to initiate effort to rebuild play area in Haiku. Maui News.

A voluntary coral management plan, which was developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coral Reef Conservation Program, is the first in the state that comprehensively addresses how runoff is affecting deteriorating reef health. Maui News.

Mayor Alan Arakawa and three council members, including new Council Chairwoman Gladys Baisa, will make presentations at Tuesday's meeting of the Kula Community Association. Maui News.

Kauai

Without discussion, the Kaua‘i County Council passed in first reading a bill which corrects an oversight that has erased from the Kaua‘i County Code a late-night prohibition on alcoholic beverages at county parks. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i residents have seen a spike in the amount of debris — including pieces of refrigerators — on Kaua‘i’s beaches, and experts say it’s part of the Japanese tsunami debris making the unpleasant new waves. Garden Island.

Sen. Mazie K. Hirono kicks off a four-day Bringing Hawai‘i’s Voice To Washington listening tour Monday on the Garden Isle. Garden Island.

Molokai

This year marks 20 years of coffee production on the island of Molokai. Also in 2013, the entire coffee industry in the State of Hawaii celebrates 200 years of producing the crop. Coffees of Hawaii will host a free two-day festival March 15 and 16 at the plantation in Kualapu`u. Molokai Dispatch.

Fragile sand dunes of Moʻomomi on Molokai, once overrun with alien kiawe thickets, are blooming with new native growth. Molokai Dispatch.