Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hawaii flunks online transparency, Hawaiian art gets more attention following lawmaker's racist comments, 'Haolenesian' brand name born, Honolulu parks official got preferential treatment, no new council districts for Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

screenshot of http://stayconnected.hawaii.gov/
Hawaii government website http://stayconnected.hawaii.gov/

Hawaii was given an F in a new study on how well states stack up in providing online access to government spending data. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii received an “F” when it comes to government spending transparency, according to “Following the Money 2013: How the States Rank on Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data,” the fourth annual report of its kind by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund. Civil Beat.

If Gov. Neil Abercrombie were sitting in a classroom with the other 49 state governors, he would be among the bottom-three students regarding grades on online transparency of government spending, according to a report by U.S. PIRG Education Fund, a nonprofit organization that works to protect consumers and promote good government. Garden Island.

Should legislators be barred from holding fundraising events or soliciting money from lobbyists and interest groups while the Legislature is in session? Civil Beat.

A grudge by some legislators against the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts may still be on even after state Rep. Faye Hano­hano's apology for her racially abusive threats to SFCA staff for placing works by non-Native Hawaiian artists in her office. Star-Advertiser.

State lawmakers say they’re “cautiously optimistic” that the Hawaii Department of Education is moving in the right direction to rein in school bus costs and overhaul management of the branch so that it’s more efficient and accountable to the public. Civil Beat.

Three frequent visitors to Hawaii who are considering starting a business here want to trademark “Haolenesians” for the purpose of selling apparel bearing that name. Pacific Business News.

Even though State Civil Defense has not received any kind of alert about a potential threat from North Korea, Hawaii does have a plan in place. KHON2.

State roundup for March 27. Associated Press.

Oahu

A Transportation Security Administration manager fired from Honolulu International Airport has been reinstated, the fourth TSA manager to win a settlement or successfully challenge his firing after a baggage-checking scandal that resulted in the termination of 36 TSA employees. Hawaii News Now.

An Ethics Commission advisory opinion said that on at least 10 occasions over a one-year period in 2011-2012,  former Deputy Parks Director Albert Tufono sent emails to Parks Department recreation directors seeking permits to reserve city gyms and ballfields for teams and leagues that he coached, teams his sons played on and a hula halau in which his daughter was a student. Star-Advertiser.

A survey done late last fall found that 72.8 percent of District 2's roads were in "fair" condition or better. That's just about on par with the 72.2 percent of city roads islandwide that were in fair shape or better.Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

After West Hawaii Today questioned him about it Monday, Puna Councilman Zendo Kern said he is canceling a $500- to $1,000-per-person fundraiser planned for today in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

The kahu of a collection of North Kona churches is hoping state and county officials pay millions for what he claims is years of unauthorized use of church property. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Medical Service Association on Tuesday announced plans to build a new office building in Keaau. Tribune-Herald.

After nearly three decades of planning, lawsuits, Supreme Court action, community activism, bankruptcy, foreclosure, discussion and, finally, agreement, the development of Kohanaiki is nearing fruition. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

A few Maui teachers willing to speak on the record Monday about a tentative contract agreement with the state were positive but cautious. Maui News.

Wanting to lay a solid foundation for Maui County in years to come, Mayor Alan Arakawa unveiled his 2013-14 budget request Monday with a wish list of more than $105 million for infrastructure and facility improvement projects. Maui News.

A stakeholder meeting is scheduled for this week to discuss the proposed Central Maui Regional Park. Maui Now.

Kauai

On Monday, the Kaua‘i Charter Review Commission — in a 5-1 vote — tabled a proposal to divide county council seats into different districts. Garden Island.

The Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge will be closed for the third and final phase of the Kilauea Lighthouse restoration, starting Sunday and lasting a whole week, according to a press release from the Kaua‘i National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Garden Island.