Monday, February 11, 2013

Hawaii fishermen fight new rules, audit pans school cafeterias, big raise for Maui mayor, Ellison pushes Lanai development, Kealakekua Bay reopens to kayakers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii fisherman (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Hawaii fishermen say they are being pushed to the limit by a barrage of proposed federal and state laws that threaten their livelihood. Civil Beat.

Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald is asking state lawmakers for $90 million to construct a new Kona courthouse on Hawaii island, funding for a military veteran treatment program and 16 additional deputy sheriff positions for courthouse security. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers will make decisions on several key bills this week as deadlines for bills looms ahead. Associated Press.

Heeding widespread outrage over the Public Land Development Corporation, Hawaii lawmakers are poised to sign off on legislation that would repeal the act that created it just two years ago. Civil Beat.

An internal Department of Education audit has found an "unacceptable" lack of oversight, monitoring and accountability of the state's $92 million school food services program. Star-Advertiser.

Same-sex marriage is shaping up to be a hot-button issue at the state capitol.KHON2.

While Gov. Neil Abercrombie is floating a hike in the hotel room tax as one way to raise state revenue, the visitor industry is panning the proposal. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii has been getting a bad rap in recent reports for not providing mental health records to a national database used by gun dealers to check on buyers. Civil Beat.

According to the 2012 Point-in-Time Count, there are nearly 6,300 homeless across the state. A proposed house bill would establish a program that helps those not from Hawaii return to their home state and reconnect with their family. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii lawmaker backs off bill to create a sports task force. Pacific Business News.

The state Senate and the House are working together in crafting legislation that would prohibit those convicted of animal cruelty from owning a pet — and even living in a house where there is a pet — for a period of one to five years, depending on the severity of the conviction. Garden Island.

A different kind of fish tagging. GMO fish could have mandatory labeling by next summer. Garden Island.

State roundup for February 11. Associated Press.

Oahu

The city of Honolulu has fined a Manoa woman $57,000 and continues to add penalties of $100 a day for illegally storing piles of furniture and other household items on a strip of land next to the house she rents, a situation residents say has divided the affluent community. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell today announced his latest round of cabinet appointments Saturday. Hawaii News Now.

The commanding officer and executive officer of the submarine USS Jacksonville, based at Pearl Harbor, were relieved of duty Sunday because the sub's periscope struck a vessel last month while operating in the Persian Gulf, Navy officials said. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources will hear testimony Tuesday at 11 a.m. concerning the long-debated, $1.3 billion Thirty Meter Telescope project planned for the summit of Mauna Kea. Tribune-Herald.

Three kayak rental and tour companies could be back in business in Kealakekua Bay as early as the end of this week. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Mayor Alan Arakawa will see a 19 percent jump in his salary from $114,030 to $135,696 annually beginning in July. Maui News.

A bill to privatize public hospitals, including Maui Memorial Medical Center, came under fire last week from public union leaders and members, and two state House committees recommended establishing a nine-member task force to study the proposal's feasibility. Maui News.

Lanai

Economic development on Larry Ellison’s island of Lanai continues to move full speed ahead with projects beginning as early as the end of this year and the addition of about 10 senior managers to Lanai Resorts LLC, which is headed up by Lanai-native Kurt Matsumoto. Pacific Business News.

Molokai

Molokai Ranch has called off a deal for a proposed wind farm on its west Molokai land. Hawaii Public Radio.

The south shore of Molokai boasts one of the largest fringing coral reefs in Hawaii, providing a home for fish, a draw for tourism, shelter from ocean storms, and sustenance for the local economy. Coral is fragile, though, and biologists fear these valuable organisms could be extinct by the year 2100. This is why the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) proposed to list 66 species of coral as endangered or threatened, an action that could protect the island’s reef. Molokai Dispatch.