What they're saying about Hawaii

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Hawaii House kills Public Land Development Corp., economy hits a high note, absentee voting, preschool, hospital privatization advances, teachers union loses appeal, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii House of Representatives
The state House voted unanimously Thursday to repeal the Public Land Development Corp., foreshadowing the end of a state agency that many lawmakers now admit was a mistake. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii House of Representatives may be divided into factions and parties, but on Thursday it showed unanimity in repealing one of the most controversial state laws in recent memory. Civil Beat.

Members of the state House of Representatives unanimously voted Thursday to repeal Hawaii’s heavily criticized state land development agency. Associated Press.

The PLDC was supposed to fast track the development of public lands something that would pad the state coffers. Voters expressed their outrage from the Big Island to Kauai. KITV4.

The Hawaii House of Representatives unanimously passed HB1133, which would repeal the Public Land Development Corporation (PLDC). Hawaii Reporter.

All members of the State House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly yesterday to abolish the Public Agency it had a part in creating last session to generate revenue by developing State-owned land. Hawaii Public Radio.

There was a time when the name Mililani Trask brought to mind phrases such as "native sovereignty" and "Hawaiian activist." So it's surprised many to see that the longtime Hawaiian rights advocate and attorney is championing the controversial Public Land Development Corp. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's economy is poised to grow this year at its fastest pace since 2005, buoyed by continued strength in the visitor market and a long-awaited turnaround in the construction industry, according to a forecast scheduled for release today by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization. Star-Advertiser.

A University of Hawaii economic report says construction this year will join tourism in propelling the state economic recovery. Hawaii News Now.

Hiring flattens out across Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Absentee voting is gaining in popularity, so much so that Hawaii's governor has proposed all mail-in voting. The Legislature is considering the governor's idea. Civil Beat.

Legislation aimed at allowing the privatization of Hawaii’s public hospitals continues to advance, with legislators working to address some of the issues which have drawn criticism from employees who fear their jobs could be in jeopardy. Tribune-Herald.

President Barack Obama’s push this week for universal early education could breathe new life into Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s mission to provide a state-funded preschool program for all Hawaii’s 4-year-olds. Civil Beat.

The state appeals court affirmed Thursday a 2011 Circuit Court ruling against the teachers union in its labor dispute with the state. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and the state Department of Health launched a multimedia campaign Thursday to steer teenagers away from soda and other sugary drinks and toward healthier choices such as water. The $275,000 "Rethink Your Drink" campaign, funded by the state's share of tobacco settlement money, will run through May and include television, radio, print and movie theater ads. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii drivers paid more at the pump on Thursday than they did a week ago, with the average statewide price of a gallon of regular unleaded coming in 7 cents higher, according to AAA Hawaii’s Weekend Gas Watch. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii State Senate today confirmed Theodore I. Sakai as Director of the Department of Public Safety.  Sakai has been serving as the interim Director of Public Safety since June 1, 2012, when he was appointed by the Governor. Hawaii Reporter.

State roundup for February 15. Associated Press.

Oahu

The Honolulu City Council is renewing efforts to clear Oahu sidewalks of tents and other belongings of homeless people and others with two bills scheduled to get their first airing at a meeting Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

City officials would be able to slap bigger fines on people who ignore repeated requests to clear weeds, garbage and other waste on their property, under a bill advanced by the City Council Zoning Committee on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

In the face of community opposition, Mayor Kirk Caldwell may relocate a lifeguard substation that was originally planned for Waikiki’s limited waterfront area to Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

Hundreds of thousands of people, but no bathrooms. That's the situation for city bus riders at the Alapai Transit Center in Honolulu. KHON2.

The Coast Guard expressed frustration Thursday about a third laser strike on its Oahu-based aircraft in the last five months, saying people need to be aware of the risk to its aircrews. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Army National Guard ceremoniously broke ground Thursday on a more than $100 million readiness center for the 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team at Kalaeloa. Star-Advertiser.

Rockne Freitas has been tapped to lead the University of Hawaii at West Oahu as the campus prepares to boost enrollment and expand facilities in coming years. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The perennial question of whether corporation counsel has a conflict of interest representing both the mayor and County Council will again be debated by County Council members Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

The state Ethics Commission has levied a $10,000 fine against William Eric Boyd, an employee of a charter school in Hilo, for ordering and approving purchases for the school from his family business. Star-Advertiser.

If you live in West Hawaii and you receive a cancer diagnosis, there’s a good chance you’re going to cross paths with Dr. Anthony DeSalvo. West Hawaii Today.

Interisland shipping company Young Brothers, Ltd. reported a nominal increase in cargo volume to the neighbor islands last year, but steadily rising amounts of agricultural products. West Hawaii Today.

State officials say many trees in mature koa forests of East Hawaii are losing their leaves due to a sudden, sharp increase in a native moth population. KHON2.

Maui
The Maui AIDS Foundation raised $19,000 during their signature Mardi Gras Maui event held over the weekend at the King Kamehameha Golf Course. Maui Now.

The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa has entered a partnership with Maui Electric Company as part of a renewable energy pilot project. Maui Now.

Kauai

The recently released 2013 Transparency Report Card gave the Kaua‘i County Council a perfect A-plus score, topping the entire state when comes down to online government transparency. Garden Island.

After coming out of an executive session Wednesday evening, the Kaua‘i County Council approved an additional $75,000 to be used by the administration in private attorney fees to defend itself in a civil case filed by Councilman Tim Bynum. Garden Island.

The Department of Water has extended its deadline for public comment and feedback on its water system development fee to March 8. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i Police Department Special Services Team will get some extra help from a high-precision sniper rifle. Additionally, police trucks and SUVs will be equipped with a top-of-the-line digital radio system. Garden Island.