Tuesday, February 5, 2013

GMO bills take center stage, hemp bills get airing, teachers move closer to strike, doctor shortage tackled, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

genetically modified Hawaii
GMO courtesy photo illustration
Environmental groups are urging state lawmakers to require all genetically modified food to carry boldface labeling. Associated Press.

More than 12-hundred people signed up to testify at the Capitol yesterday on a House Bill that would require the labeling of food containing genetically engineered materials. Hawaii Public Radio.

State lawmakers are continuing to wrestle with how to attract more physicians to rural areas where primary care is limited. Star-Advertiser.

A slew of proposals to legalize gambling in the state is back on the table this year, but lawmakers have yet to focus on the issue. Star-Advertiser.

Two state Senate committees have given initial approval to allow privately funded industrial hemp research. Star-Advertiser.

State legislators seem more inclined to toughen up ethics laws and improve government transparency this session compared to previous years. Civil Beat.

At a rally at the state Capitol last week, 1,000 public school teachers wore red. On Monday, some told us they're seeing red over the drawn out negotiations for a new contract, and the word "strike" is being tossed out more often. Hawaii News Now.

The state has agreed to make two dozen improvements to school safety at the Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind as part of a $5 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit that alleged years of sexual abuse of students at the Kapahulu campus. Star-Advertiser.

Senate President: 'Bloated' Bureaucracy at University of Hawaii is Making Tuition Unaffordable. Hawaii Reporter.

University of Hawaii scientists are being recognized with an honorable mention award for their video showing living coral under a microscope. Associated Press.

State briefs 2/5. Associated Press.

Oahu

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has been on the job just over a month, yet he still has several key cabinet appointments to make. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation has completed all of the fieldwork for the archaeological survey required before work can resume on the $5.16 billion elevated-rail mass-transit project, HART said Monday in its email newsletter. Pacific Business News.

Outreach finds rental units for the chronically homeless. Star-Advertiser.

Special life-saving equipment on all of the Honolulu Fire Department's trucks has failed in recent years and been the subject of a manufacturer's recall. Hawaii News Now.

A Pavement Condition Report issued by the city’s Department of Facility Maintenance in December shows the sad state of Oahu’s roadways. KITV4.

There's a movement to make Iolani Palace look more like a palace. KHON2.

Two Ewa Beach schools are repairing several restrooms after one or more thieves made away with toilet flushing mechanisms, sink drainage pipes, metal plates on the floor and other fixtures. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

A residency training program starting in Hilo with the goal of increasing rural family doctors statewide could get a needed infusion of funds in this year’s legislative session. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Police Department expects to start enforcing the state’s “move over” law soon, but wants to make sure the public knows about the law before officers start writing tickets. Tribune-Herald.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie will select one of two candidates announced Monday to represent the Big Island on the University of Hawaii Board of Regents for a five-year term beginning in July. Tribune-Herald.

A juvenile Hawaiian monk seal with respiratory troubles transported Friday from the Big Island to Oahu has reportedly died. Big Island Now.

Maui

Work has begun on two fenced enclosures in the West Maui Mountains that aim to attract two threatened native seabirds to protect them from predators and to encourage them to nest with techniques including broadcasts of their calls. Maui News.

The Hawaii Republican Party will be holding caucus meetings on Saturday. 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.

An affiliate of Dallas-based Lantern Asset Management was the highest bidder in a foreclosure hearing in Honolulu for the former Ritz-Carlton fractional and time-share project at Kapalua Resort. Maui Now.

Kauai

A Kaua‘i Community College student is attempting to introduce a recycling program that would ship waste to the Mainland annually, with hopes that it would pay for itself over time. 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.