Friday, February 22, 2013

Hilo High School cancels peace activist presentation, Kona coffee growers fined for 5-yr-old pickers, Legislature seeks to ban employers from getting social media passwords, skimming from pension fund puts Hawaii in the red, six sue Catholic Church, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hilo peace protest (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Hilo High School has cancelled a presentation by anti-war activist Jim Albertini following objections raised by the school librarian, parents and others. Tribune-Herald.

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would prevent employers from requesting or requiring employees or job applicants to hand over log-in and password information for their personal or social media accounts. Star-Advertiser.

FACT CHECK—Abercrombie: Critical Public Services Have Been Restored - Half-True. Civil Beat.

The public pension system for state and county workers would have been about 95 percent funded had the state not diverted money from the fund in decades past, the pension administrator said this week. Star-Advertiser.

Ask a state or county worker if there are too many government employees in Hawaii, and the answer will likely be ‘no!’ Hawaii Reporter.

Several Hawaii lawmakers are pushing for a bill requiring more background checks for gun owners in the state along with a firearms buyback program. Associated Press.

Six Hawaii residents have filed suit against the the Diocese of Hawaii, the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, the Congregation of Christian Brothers of Hawaii and the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary alleging sexual abuse. Star-Advertiser.

The biggest challenge for many Hawai'i residents who want to install solar water heaters or rooftop systems is the up front cost—which is why state lawmakers and industry experts are working on a way for more people to benefit from clean energy and it's savings by getting it with no money down. Hawaii News Now.

As the debate over how to allow a path toward citizenship for America’s 11 million illegal immigrants continues in Washington, Hawaii residents are worried that a related immigration issue — family reunification — will fall by the wayside. Civil Beat.

According to the latest U-S Census … immigrants comprise about 20 percent of Hawai’i’s population and workforce. But for many … especially the 35-thousand or so undocumented immigrants … the road to citizenship is a long and lonely one. Hawaii Public Radio.

State Public Safety Director Ted Sakai said he is taking steps to ensure no other inmate escapes from the custody of corrections officers in the same manner as murder suspect Teddy Munet, who fled while getting out of a van at Circuit Court in Kakaako Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii regents voted unanimously Thursday morning to place restrictions on paid leave taken by executives. Tribune-Herald.

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents approved a plan Thursday to name four UH buildings or programs after the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye. Star-Advertiser.

With Hawaii facing the prospect of losing both its oil refineries, Gov. Neil Abercrombie issued an executive order this week creating the Refinery Task Force. Civil Beat.

State roundup for February 22. Associated Press.

Oahu
The University of Hawaii Board of Regents on Thursday named Rockne Freitas to serve as chancellor of the University of Hawaii West Oahu campus for a three-year term. Pacific Business News.

Boxes of data and equipment have yet to be unpacked, and desks wait to be occupied, but research and collaboration are well under way at the new University of Hawaii Cancer Center in Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

A bill aimed at allowing Oahu residents to keep more chicken hens in their yards isn't ready to hatch just yet. Star-Advertiser.

More than 350 Pearl Harbor shipyard workers could be laid off as the Navy faces a funding shortfall due to a budget stalemate, officials said. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

A community college for West Hawaii moved a step closer Thursday when the University of Hawaii Board of Regents approved “repurposing” money left over from an Oahu project to pay higher-than-expected construction costs. West Hawaii Today.

Some of Kailua-Kona's well-known coffee growers and producers are being required to pay more than $100,000 in back wages and penalties for labor violations, including failing to pay minimum wage and putting 5-year-olds to work picking coffee. Star-Advertiser.

Developers seeking a subdivision code variance through a planned unit development would need to hold a public meeting before filing an application and wait for another public meeting after the planning director considers the request under proposed changes to the county code. West Hawaii Today.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono talks with Ernest Matsumura, the East Hawaii Community Development Corporation Board chairman and building owner, during a tour of his property Wednesday afternoon. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Four Hawaii beaches, including No. 1 Kaanapali Beach on Maui, are among the top 10 beaches in the United States, according to TripAdvisor’s 2013 Travelers’ Choice Beach Awards. Pacific Business News.

About 100 veterans and residents told new U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on Wednesday about the difficulties of receiving medical attention and the "revolving-door process" for veterans being treated by doctors and nurses. Maui News.

Kauai

The Kaua‘i County Council’s Public Works Committee on Wednesday approved a bill that exempts certain agricultural structures from seeking county building permits. The bill aligns with Act 114, signed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie last summer, following a law passed by the state Legislature. Garden Island.

A bill that would put a reserve fund in the county budget survived a motion for a four-month deferral, after the proposal got stuck on a 2-2 decision by the members of the Kaua‘i County Council’s Finance Committee Wednesday. Garden Island.

Defense Witnesses in Jimmy Pflueger's Federal Tax Fraud Trial Include Well Known Politicians. Hawaii Reporter.