Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Endangered monk seal dies from fishhook, UH tuition rises, DHHL resists new director, Hawaii taxes crimp Expedia profits, tsunami watch was a mistake, NOAA center to be named for Inouye, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

DLNR NOAA courtesy photo
Hawaiian monk seal DLNR courtesy photo
A juvenile monk seal that died after it was spotted off Hawaii island having trouble breathing had ingested a fishhook, according to a necropsy conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries. Star-Advertiser.
DLNR NOAA courtesy photo
Fishhook shown in x-ray

Federal and state officials say the seal known as RK68 died a slow and painful death. KITV4.

A Hawaiian monk seal that died Friday likely swallowed back in August the fish hook that caused its death, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration official said. West Hawaii Today.

Environmental and solar-energy interests urged state lawmakers Tuesday to gradually reduce the state's generous solar tax credit and undo the temporary rules imposed by the Abercrombie administration that many believe have undercut the growing solar industry. Star-Advertiser.

A bill that would allow inspections of vessels and catch containers belonging to permitted fishermen in West Hawaii waters is gaining momentum in the state Legislature. West Hawaii Today.

Nearly half of the nine-member commission that oversees the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands opposes Gov. Neil Abercrombie's choice to head the department, saying Jobie Masa­ga­tani is divisive and has worked against the interests of the agency's Native Hawaiian beneficiaries. Star-Advertiser.

Recent controversies over how the University of Hawaii spends its money have prompted several bills that would make the university's Board of Regents more accountable to the public. The Senate and House Higher Education committees on Tuesday passed some of them. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers are investigating the rising cost of tuition at the University of Hawaii and are pushing to reform the system’s board of regents. Associated Press.

Tuition increases at all 10 campuses of the University of Hawaii System are scheduled to bring in about 50-million dollars more over the next 4 years.   But … as HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports … U-H administrators told state Senators in a joint committee session today… students and/or parents will likely have to pay more in the future. Hawaii Public Radio.

On Tuesday, February 5, at a legislative hearing, teachers wearing white and red tee shirts that read “Teachers Taking a Stand: You cannot put students first if you put teachers last”, told House Economic Development Committee members they support a plan to raise the General Gross Income Tax by 1 percent with revenue set aside for their pay raises. Hawaii Reporter.

Soaring hotel bookings pushed revenue higher at Expedia Inc., but the online travel agency’s fourth-quarter profit fell 90 percent because of money it set aside to appeal a tax dispute in Hawaii. Associated Press.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Pacific Regional Center under construction in Honolulu will be renamed the Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center in honor of the late Hawaii senator, Inouye’s office said Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii residents received mixed messages about a tsunami scare after a powerful earthquake in the South Pacific on Tuesday. The destructive waves that reportedly claimed lives in the Santa Cruz Islands did not reach Hawaii, but a bulletin issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center caused some confusion. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii was not under a tsunami warning, but for a few minutes, Hawaii was mistakenly under a tsunami watch. KHON2.

The Hawaii State Public Library System’s website at www.librarieshawaii.org went offline due to technical difficulties Tuesday and library officials are unsure when it will be back up. Star-Advertiser.

Island Air has hired a restructuring expert and a global law firm specializing in bankruptcies that could pave the way for the company to file for Chapter 11 reorganization. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for February 6. Associated Press.

Oahu

A nonprofit group set up to help Kirk Caldwell pick appointees and to put on inaugural events will make public the names of its donors in response to media inquiries. Star-Advertiser.

Residents fear dangers of planned bypass road. The project, expected to take 16 months, raises concerns of more accidents and sand erosion. Star-Advertiser.

Clothes line bill asks for right to dry in public housing projects. KITV4.

The city last week seized more than three dozen items, including chairs, a sofa, coolers, a rug, a mattress and a Christmas tree stand, from Occupy Hono­lulu and homeless campers who use the sidewalks on the makai side of South Beretania Street at Thomas Square. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

A Hawaii County Council committee Tuesday put a preliminary stamp of approval on a game commission that looks markedly different from the group that worked to get the concept into the county charter. West Hawaii Today.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie will proclaim Wednesday Digital Learning Day in Hawaii and commend Keaau Elementary and Middle Schools’ students, faculty and staff for leading the state’s progress in the adoption of a common core digital curriculum, including use of digital devices assigned for students’ personal use. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island legislators are trying to get half a million dollars to fund coffee berry borer research. West Hawaii Today.

State Sen. Josh Green won re-election last November with enough cash left over to fund his campaign nearly four more times. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Legal action is being taken against Wailuku Main Street Association Inc./Tri-Isle Main Street Resource Center for nearly $10,000 of unpaid back rent and other fees, according to a filing in 2nd Circuit Court. Maui News.

The sitting Maui County member on the University of Hawaii Board of Regents is seeking another five-year term as the Regents Candidate Advisory Council on Monday released the names of three candidates for the post. Maui News.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday released an analysis of the estimated costs for the proposed critical habitat for 135 plant and animal species in Maui County. Maui News.

Kauai

The Kaua‘i County Council’s Planning Committee unanimously voted Tuesday to approve Bill 2439, which would create a special account where civil fines levied by the county Planning Department would be deposited. Garden Island.

The Garden Island Resource Conservation and Development and its work with endangered birds got support from DuPont Pioneer when it was presented with a grant for $7,050. Garden Island.

Lanai

Larry Ellison, the billionaire majority owner of the island of Lanai, is willing to “freely invest” an additional $10 million or more in the island’s water infrastructure without recovery of any of the cost and/or a reasonable rate of return from customers. Pacific Business News.