Friday, February 8, 2013

Steven Tyler, other stars to testify on paparazzi bill, marijuana tax, GMO labels, minimum wage bills advance, lobbyist John Radcliffe profiled, Honolulu rail transit study pau, PUC dings Maui development, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Aerosmith's Steven Tyler courtesy photo
Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler plans to attend a legislative hearing in Hawaii today on a bill that bears his name and would limit people’s freedom to take photos and video of celebrities. Associated Press.

Aerosmith’s lead singer Steven Tyler has submitted written testimony on the so-called “Steven Tyler Act” named in his honor — and he plans to attend a legislative hearing in Hawaii on Friday morning at the state Capitol. Civil Beat.

More than a dozen celebrities, including Steven Tyler, Mick Fleetwood, Britney Spears and Neil Diamond, have submitted testimony to Hawaii's Legislature supporting a bill named for Aerosmith frontman Tyler that would limit anyone's ability to photograph to take video of celebrities in the Islands. Pacific Business News.

Britney Spears, Neil Diamond, Avril Lavigne, Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac, Tommy Lee of Motley Crew, Fred Coury of Cinderella, Frankie Banali of Quiet Riot, Darren Dizzy Reid of Guns N Roses, actresses Margaret Cho and Kat Von D, and several members of the Osborne family including Jack, Sharon, Kelly and Ozzy, have all come together for a common cause. Hawaii Reporter.

Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler is expected to make a special appearance in Hawaii Friday. But not for a concert. He's looking to gain fans at the State Capitol, to support a bill that would let celebrities sue people for taking certain invasive photos. KHON2.

As much a fixture in the state Capitol as the most senior representative or senator is John Radcliffe, who can be seen entering committee room after committee room to urge legislation on behalf of his numerous clients. Star-Advertiser.

Legislation to raise Hawai’i’s minimum wage has been on the fast track this session …passing key committees in both Houses this week. Hawaii Public Radio.

Labeling genetically modified food in Hawaii gains ground. Two bills pass through committees KITV4.

Proposal to Tax Marijuana at 15 Percent is Opposed by Some Legalization Advocates. Hawaii Reporter.

A bill requiring a prescription to purchase anything containing psuedoephedrine will likely not advance beyond a Monday committee hearing, Sen. Josh Green says. West Hawaii Today.

State lawmakers have steered a new course in dealing with a perennial issue of requiring motorcycle and motor scooter riders to wear helmets. This year bills would encourage but not mandate helmet use by offering lower motor vehicle registration rates to riders who choose to wear them. Star-Advertiser.

Hamstrung by the Hawaii Labor Relations Board’s inaction, teachers are looking to the Legislature for help in their fight for a new contract. Civil Beat.

Two bills that would allow the transition of Hawaii’s public health facilities to private status — and open the door for a potential takeover of multiple facilities by mainland nonprofit Banner Health Systems Inc. — are working their way through the Legislature. Tribune-Herald.

A bill that would allow condominium owners and others to power their homes with electricity generated by a community-based renewable energy facility was shelved by a House committee Thursday after lawmakers said the concept needs further study. Star-Advertiser.

The Army laid out a worst-case budget scenario Thursday that includes the potential need to make about $175 million in cuts in Hawaii this fiscal year by reducing training, maintenance and base support — even as two brigades prepare for deployment to Afghanistan. Star-Advertiser.

Tourism officials are planning to issue a brochure later this year to raise awareness among tourists about potential perils while enjoying Hawaii. Associated Press.

Matson Inc. lifted its profit in the fourth quarter to cap a strong year of earnings driven largely by higher shipping rates in China and a windfall of extra shipping volume in Guam. Star-Advertiser.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released its second annual report Thursday, detailing how millions of seniors and people with disabilities with Medicare paid less in prescription drugs and had improved benefits in 2012 thanks to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Garden Island.

The state Department of Health is offering grant money for projects to clean up marine debris, with an emphasis on debris originating from the March 2011 tsunami that devastated Japan. Hawaii News Now.

Some community advocates would like to see the state try a 3-year pilot project to shelter the homeless families using the Native Hawaiian concept of a kauhale system, a village or sorts. KITV4.

State roundup for February 8. Associated Press.

Oahu

City Councilman Stanley Chang wants an audit of the Division of Motor Vehicle, Licensing and Permits in the wake of continuing long lines at the agency's offices. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu rail officials say they've completed the fieldwork on the transit project's archaeological survey, bringing them a step closer to restarting construction after a lawsuit stalled that work last year. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu's housing market received a sales jolt in January as low interest rates, attractive prices and demand from many first-time buyers helped push the number of single-family home purchases up 30 percent. Star-Advertiser.

Executives of the firms awarded the largest contract in state history will update transit officials here next month on the companies' financial health as work on the city's 20-mile, $5.26 billion rail project moves forward. Star-Advertiser.

Those living in public housing are being forced to choose: Light up and lose your lease. KHON2.

Waves could hit 20-24 feet on North Shore today. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

A show of hands Thursday evening in Waimea revealed near-unanimous support for Mayor Billy Kenoi’s request to allow the county to take over Hapuna Beach State Park and Mauna Kea State Recreational Area. West Hawaii Today.

Police are asking for the public’s help in locating one or more persons responsible for four thefts of parchment coffee — coffee beans still inside the hull — from two companies in Kaʻu. Tribune-Herald.

A 42-year-old Hilo man has pleaded not guilty to stealing taro plants from a state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands beautification project in Panaewa. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The state Land Use Commission on Thursday ruled that a current proposed retail center and housing development in north Kihei are not in compliance with conditions imposed on the property when its former owners received a land reclassification from the panel in 1995. Maui News.

Maui County is among a short list of communities throughout the US that will receive technical assistance from the US Environmental Protection Agency in meeting sustainability goals. Maui Now.

Andaz Maui at Wailea, a 15-acre luxury resort in Maui’s Wailea resort area, is set to open this summer, some six years after its predecessor on the property closed. Pacific Business News.

Bowlers are on "pins and needles" because the landowner of the 6-decade-old Maui Bowling Center - the only bowling alley on Maui - has put the property up for sale. Maui News.

Kauai

A WorkWise Kaua‘i program is designed to streamline support for employees of companies experiencing a massive layoff or closing. Garden Island.

Molokai

The owners of Molokai Ranch have backed out of plans to lease thousands of acres of land to a large-scale wind farm developer. Civil Beat.