Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hawaii gets $17M for road repair, bill would keep candidates' hands off ballots, Public Safety mulls how murderer escaped, AP students increase, deaf fight for services, Maui mayor seeks water rate hikes, Kauai county prosecutor breaks hip, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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he state of Hawaii will be receiving $17 million in disaster relief funds to repair roads and highways. Associated Press.

Senator Mazie K. Hirono, Senator Brian Schatz, and Representative Tulsi Gabbard announced today that Hawaii will receive $17 million for disaster relief. Hawaii Reporter.

Senate Bill 827 would prohibit candidates from physically handling or possessing absentee ballots and voter registration forms. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie may be asked to sign legislation that would give the state Senate reasons to impeach him. Civil Beat.

Conflicting testimony by the current and former directors of the State Ethics Commission before a Senate committee earlier this month exposed different perspectives on the interpretation of a key conflict of interest provision and of the ethics laws more generally. Civil Beat.

Deaf people and advocates are fighting to preserve state-funded interpreter referral and independent living services, saying they are vital to helping members of the deaf community operate in the hearing world. Star-Advertiser.

The percentage of Hawaii students taking Advanced Placement courses increased faster than the national average, and students scored higher than last year, while still trailing their national counterparts. West Hawaii Today.

More than 1 million federal employees, including thousands of workers in Hawaii, will likely be forced to take unpaid furloughs starting in April because of the $85 billion in spending cuts that will go into effect March 1 if Congress doesn’t act. Pacific Business News.

19,000 Hawaii Defense Workers At Risk Of Being Furloughed. Civil Beat.

Seven years after the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands became the world’s first oceanic no-fishing marine reserve, Hawaii’s example is being followed by countries ranging from Great Britain to Chile, giving hope that the huge areas they are protecting will become invaluable food banks as the world’s oceans are inexorably fished out and the global catch continues its 30-year-old decline. Honolulu Weekly.

Are Hawaii Schools Doing Enough to Prevent Youth Sports Concussions? Civil Beat.

It took a full presidential term, a re-election, and the work of a determined journalist before President Barack Obama agreed to a one-on-one interview with a television news crew from Hawaii. KITV4.

Oahu

Union fights Council on nonresort lodging: A bill allowing limited service hotels in lower density, mixed-use neighborhoods of West and Central Oahu was sent back to the City Council Planning and Zoning Committee for retinkering on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

A proposal to build a canoe hale and park could end the controversy over what to do with eight city-owned parcels in Haleiwa. Star-Advertiser.

Public safety officials are trying to piece together how murder suspect Teddy Munet escaped from corrections officers behind the Circuit Court building in Kakaako on Wednesday morning. More than 11 hours later, Munet, 29, was arrested without incident by Honolulu police on Waimanu Street — about eight blocks away — after a tip was called into 911. Star-Advertiser.

This is the second time in less than four months that a prisoner has escaped from circuit court. Officials say, yes, it's definitely a concern, but if inmates are desperate, they'll try anything. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu City Council heard testimony on Bill 2, 6, and 7, which all look to give power to the police to regulate and remove people or property that are "nuisances to the public." KHON2.

On a quiet hillside above Haleiwa town, Seneca Klassen is planting cacao seedlings on the last of his 14 acres, next to trees he planted a few years ago that are now laden with the nubby pods that yield chocolate. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

More homeowners could soon be moved away from Puna Geothermal Venture with the help of Hawaii County. Tribune-Herald.

Keaukaha residents will have to endure another two months of heavy traffic as the sewer project that has rerouted drivers from Kalanianaole Avenue faces delays. Tribune-Herald.

Cultural Learning Center to Replace Former Keauhou Beach Hotel. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui

Mayor Alan Arakawa on Wednesday called for water rate hikes of 5 percent across the board, noting repairs and upgrades that are long overdue for the county's aging water system.  Maui News.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa delivered his State of the County Address before an auditorium of guests at the HP Baldwin High School Auditorium in Wailuku on Wednesday night. Maui Now.

A 6-3 vote by the state Land Use Commission found the landowners of Pi'ilani Promenade, Maui Outlets and a housing project in violation of the original order granted in 1995 that converted the land from agricultural to urban use. Maui Weekly.

Kahana Sunset apartment owners worry about the next big winter storm. Perched near the water's edge at Keonenui Bay in Napili, the 4.5-acre, six-building apartment complex has had some close calls with destructive surf since the 79-unit resort was built in 1971. Maui News.

Kauai

Kaua‘i County Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar has suffered a broken hip. Kollar reported Wednesday that he is presently out of the office to take care of a broken hip, but that he remains in close contact with his staff on a daily basis, according to county spokeswoman Beth Tokioka. Garden Island.

Nancy Pflueger said she doesn’t know who signed the joint federal income tax returns filed for the years 2003 through 2006 for her and her husband, but that the signatures on the documents are not hers. Star-Advertiser.

Lanai

Lanai majority owner Larry Ellison, who met face-to-face for the first time with Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa on Tuesday aboard the billionaire’s yacht off the coast of the Pineapple Isle, revealed new development plans for Lanai, which he reportedly bought for an estimated $500 million last June. Pacific Business News.

Molokai

When the Kalaupapa post office wasn’t shut down last year, the small, isolated community considered it a big victory. The patients and staff at the former Hansen’s Disease settlement recently celebrated again as they learned their post office – a vital communication lifeline for the area – will extend its operating time by two hours a day, a rare deal in this unstable time for the United States Postal Service. Molokai Dispatch.