Monday, February 25, 2013

Hawaii humpback whales at risk in boat collisions, Abercrombie seeks to give startups $20M, Maui Four Seasons sued to keep beach access public, hotel rates up 13%, sequestration threatens state projects, police conduct scrutinized, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

NOAA courtesy photo
Hawaii humpback whale NOAA courtesy photo
A spate of collisions between vessels and endangered humpback whales has prompted some scientists to call for stricter rules — including boating speed limits — in the animals' winter migratory waters in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Sunday night, the White House released state-by-state summaries of what automatic budget cuts would mean. Hawaii faces the loss of funding — including for Head Start, vaccinations for children and law enforcement — as well as furloughs of members of the military. Civil Beat.

The White House has released a list of cuts that could affect Hawaii if sequestration cuts take effect Friday. Hawaii News Now.

The White House released a report today showing which Hawaii programs and jobs would be on the chopping block if sequestration, or automatic budget cuts, take place. KHON2.

Schofield Barracks and other Army installations in Hawaii would see their base operations budgets cut by $106 million, and funding for Air Force operations in the Islands would be cut by $15 million if the looming federal budget cuts take place, according to a report released by the White House Sunday that details how the cuts would affect each of the states. Pacific Business News.

The forecasted cuts to Hawaii's federal programs are detailed in the study "Under Threat: Sequestration's Impact on Nondefense Jobs and Services." Maui News.

Looking to drive entrepreneurship in an economy dominated by tourism and the military, the Abercrombie administration is willing to spend $20 million over two years to help local startup companies take ideas to market. Star-Advertiser.

For the past six months, Civil Beat has been revisiting the question of whether the public can trust that Hawaii’s police officers, with their extraordinary power over ordinary citizens, are being held accountable for their actions. Civil Beat.

The state Legislature is technically on recess, but Hawaii lawmakers aren’t taking a break. Associated Press.

It’s Your Money: Taxpayers Owe $550K After Kids Are Put in ‘House of Horror’ Civil Beat.

Hawaii hotels were 89.7 percent full last week, 2.3 percentage points higher than the same week in 2012 and the statewide average daily room rate rose nearly 13 percent to $235.52, according to a report from Hospitality Advisors LLC and Smith Travel Research. Pacific Business News.

Melting ice is causing a rise in sea level and the place where that will be felt the hardest is Hawaii, according to a new study out this month from a university in Italy. KITV4.

State roundup for February 25. Associated Press.

Oahu

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell will announce today a sweeping plan to fix and repave all city roads needing repair in the next five years. Star-Advertiser.

A searchable database of the 3,000 Oahu road segments scheduled to be repaired over the next five years. Star-Advertiser.

For more than a decade, some of the administrators and students at Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind covered up a terrible secret – young children between 12 and 16 years old were being terrorized - robbed, raped, sodomized and even gang raped on campus and on the school buses – not by employees, but by other children. Hawaii Reporter.

Thousands of items of clothing worn in the hit ABC television shows including "Lost," "the River" and "The Last Resort" were given to Goodwill. KITV4.

Hawaii

Relatives and friends — and Helene Hale had a lot of them — gathered Sunday night at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center to honor the life of one of Hawaii’s most remarkable women. Tribune-Herald.

A long-delayed replacement of Hilo International Airport’s cargo facilities is now under way, and East Hawaii officials say they expect it to provide a much-needed boost to the economy. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiian cultural and natural history was celebrated Saturday at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Enthobotanical Garden in Captain Cook. West Hawaii Today.

Hualalai Resort estate to be sold at auction. Pacific Business News.

Maui
A 2nd Circuit Court complaint has been filed to stop the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea from taking a public portion of Wailea Beach for its guests' exclusive use. Maui News.

A council committee will review a proposal on Monday that seeks the designation of 271,062 acres on Maui as critical habitat for endangered species. Maui Now.

Deer weigh heavily on isle. Maui News.

Kauai

Strong winter tradewinds are contributing to an increase in debris from the March 2011 Japa­nese tsunami reaching coastal areas off Kauai and other Hawaii islands, sometimes smashing against reefs and carrying suspected alien species. Star-Advertiser.

Volunteers were up on Kaua‘i, but whales were not Saturday, as the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary hosted the second of three Ocean Counts. Garden Island.

Carl Berg, chairman of the Surfrider Foundation of Kaua‘i, said recently that while Kaua‘i’s beaches and surf spots remained, on the whole, pretty clean, Kaua‘i’s rivers remain contaminated with bacteria. Garden Island.

George and Shirley Snead dutifully pay the monthly maintenance fee on their Kauai condominium. But recently they had to help pay such fees for other owners as part of what some call an unanticipated consequence of recent amendments to Hawaii foreclosure law. Star-Advertiser.