Friday, March 8, 2013

Abercrombie's priorities moving in Hawaii Legislature at session midpoint, Honolulu rail contractor addresses concerns, Speak pidgin and get a good job? No can. Lanai wind farm advances, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii House chambers
Hawaii Legislature
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie is seeing his legislative proposals for statewide preschool, natural resources and other issues gain momentum as House and Senate lawmakers hit a key deadline. Associated Press.

Gambling didn't make it this time around, but hundreds of other bills -- like same day voter registration -- still have a chance at becoming state law. Hawaii News Now.

The state Senate on Thursday brushed off another flare-up over the Public Land Development Corp. and moved a bill that would set up a new authority to coordinate development projects between government and the private sector. The Public-Private Partnership Authority would work with state and county agencies and private developers on projects that could bring revenue to the state. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Legislature in 2013 is poised to do something that it has failed to do for more than a decade: pass legislation ensuring that female sexual assault victims have access to emergency contraception. Civil Beat.

A bill that would prohibit employers from social media snooping passed the state House of Representatives this week and advanced to the state Senate. Maui News.

Hawaii lawmakers are considering two unusual bills unique to Hawaii that have scientists and environmentalists raving – one has to do with an indigenous bat and the other with a locally discovered microbe. Hawaii Reporter.

State hires private firm to defend against expected indictment over seabirds. State transportation lights affecting protected shearwater birds. KITV4.

Federal scientists have postponed plans to temporarily transfer some young Hawaiian monk seals from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to the main Hawaiian Islands as part of a population recovery program. Star-Advertiser.

Like it or not, Pidgin — the local creole language that traces back to Hawaii’s plantation era — has no place in the professional world, critics say. They argue that students need to speak English to get by in life. Civil Beat.

State roundup for March 8. Associated Press.

Oahu

Executives of the firms awarded the largest contract in state history assured Honolulu transit leaders Thursday that they have the financial muscle to deliver a train operating system and rail cars on time and on budget despite recent hurdles confronted by their Italian parent company. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) Board Members were given a financial update from Ansaldo Honolulu Joint Venture, the Italian company that will build all the train cars and communication system. Hawaii News Now.

Hilton Hawaiian Village will play host to this year's annual National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems. But some of its members won't be coming to Waikiki, worried what image it will send in such tough economic times. KHON2.

A plan by the state Department of Transportation to rebuild two aging bridges on Farrington Highway could have cars driving right through Makaha Beach. Civil Beat.

A ban on spiked lug nut covers and other sharp objects that stick out from the wheel of a car is among the legislative proposals being pushed by the Hono­lulu Police Department this year. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell nominated Donna Y.L. Leong to be the city’s top attorney and take over the department of Corporation Counsel. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Board of Water Supply …which relies almost entirely on water rate charges and fees … got a head start in 2011 and will be embarking on an even more ambitious schedule of improve the city’s water delivery system. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu's condominium market last month was hot, but the single-family home market was not. Star-Advertiser.

The Howard Hughes Corp. expects to make a profit of $66 million from the ONE Ala Moana ultra-luxury condominium tower under construction behind Hawaii's Ala Moana Center shopping mall, the developer's CEO told shareholders on Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

The state Senate has passed a bill that would change how public funds are distributed to Hawaii County Council candidates. Tribune-Herald.

Several county department heads and purchasing agents have some ’splaining to do to the County Council next week. The council’s Finance Committee agenda shows change orders were authorized for five contracts during the first two weeks of January alone, extending completion dates and increasing contract amounts to the tune of $829,322. West Hawaii Today.

Windward Planning Commission members opted Thursday to prolong the debate over the proposed Kaumana campus for Connections Public Charter School. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County officials are aware of apparent duplications and a discrepancy contained in Bill 40, which includes the county’s proposed capital budget and six-year capital improvement program. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is working to have Japan Airlines fly 10 flights from Tokyo’s Narita airport to Kailua-Kona this summer in hopes strong ticket sales will lead the carrier to restore regularly scheduled service to the Big Island, an official said Wednesday. Associated Press.

Maui

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa will join Council Chair Gladys Baisa in lobbying state lawmakers tomorrow in an effort to retain the county’s hotel room tax revenue. Maui Now.

Former South Maui Rep. George Fontaine was elected chairman of the Maui County Republican Party on Saturday at the party's county convention. Maui News.

Real estate, construction, politics and the development of Maui. Maui Weekly.

A bill to require county liquor commissions to define the term "dancing" in establishments that serve alcohol advanced Tuesday from the state Senate to the state House of Representatives. Maui News.

Kauai

When Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. gives the Kaua‘i County Council on March 15 the budget for Fiscal Year 2014, he may not have to include a reserve fund in his proposal. Garden Island.

A 5th Circuit Court judge disqualified himself from the state’s case against Roland Sagum, after he was arraigned Thursday on second-degree theft charges. Garden Island.

Jennifer Luck, Kaua‘i Island Director for the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, will discuss what the future may have in store for the decaying Coco Palms Resort during the Wailua-Kapa‘a Neighborhood Association’s upcoming meeting. Garden Island.

When it comes to the fight against invasive plants and animals, the island of Kaua‘i is turning heads. Garden Island.

Lanai

Castle & Cooke Inc. CEO David Murdock — who kept the rights to build a wind farm capable of producing up to 400 megawatts of renewable energy when he sold the majority of Lanai to Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison last June — is apparently moving ahead with his plans. Pacific Business News.