Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hawaii Legislature recognizes fallen warriors, North Korea can't hit Hawaii, Senate passes higher budget than House, UH drops biolab plan, police rally opposes marijuana decriminalization, bomb threat closes Kauai courthouse, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Abercrombie courtesy photo
Gov. Abercrombie honors military at Medal of Honor ceremony, courtesy photo

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and state lawmakers on Wednesday recognized 19 Hawaii-based members of the U.S. military who died in defense of their country. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii state House and Senate held a joint session to honor military service members who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Associated Press.

No, North Korea can’t hit Hawaii. CNN.

Hawaii senators on Wednesday cut $140 million from Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s $23 billion biennium budget request, far less than the House did earlier this month. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Senate Ways and Means Committee has announced a two-year state budget proposal that funds some of Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s key initiatives, including early childhood education. Associated Press.

The state Senate Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday outlined the Senate's draft of the state's two-year budget, restoring money sought by Gov. Neil Abercrombie for early childhood education, cash incentives for entrepreneurs, and information technology that was left out of the House's version. Star-Advertiser.

The Senate Committee on Ways and Means passed House Bill 200 with amendments today.  The Senate’s version of the bill is approximately $141 M less in general funds than Governor Abercrombie’s budget proposal. Hawaii Reporter.

Democrat Calvin Say has hired a Republican candidate who tried to defeat one of Say's own political opponents just last year. Civil Beat.

Law enforcement officers joined community groups and individuals at a rally at the state Capitol on Wednesday to show their opposition to a bill that would decriminalize possession of up to 20 grams of marijuana. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Police officers took a stand in the Capitol rotunda Wednesday afternoon, over a bill that would decriminalize marijuana. KITV4.

State Senators unanimously approved the measure, a move the men and women in blue say is not OK. KHON2.

A pair of resolutions to be heard today by the state House of Representatives are calling for the Department of Health Director Loretta Fuddy to head up a task force to study atrazine’s effects on humans. Garden Island.

The future of growing food in Hawai’i rests on the ability of farmers to continue making a living.   According to one UH study, farmers receive only 19 cents out of each dollar spent on locally grown produce and vegetables.  The rest of the money goes to packaging, marketing, refrigeration and transportation. Hawaii Public Radio.

A new study confirms what many reporters and taxpayer watchdog groups already know: Hawaii’s public records are difficult to get. Hawaii Reporter.

About 20,000 civilian defense workers in Hawaii are expected to get a reprieve from the 22 furlough days that were expected through September under sequestration. Star-Advertiser.

CBS said Wednesday that it is renewing “Hawaii Five-0” for a fourth season. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

University of Hawaii Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple has decided to drop plans to build an expensive, controversial bio lab in Kalaeloa, a project officially known as the Pacific Health Research Laboratory. Hawaii News Now.

State health officials are trying to find the source of an E. coli outbreak on Oahu that has sickened nine people and hospitalized four. Star-Advertiser.

A highly infectious strain of the E. coli bacteria is continuing to spread on Oahu, but state health officials still can't pinpoint the source of the outbreak. Civil Beat.

With a 10-day supply of food in its Honolulu warehouse and the Easter holiday weekend approaching, the Hawaii Foodbank is putting out a call for canned goods and monetary donations. Star-Advertiser.

The Polynesian Cultural Center will hold a grand opening for two new attractions on Friday that cost the nonprofit organization more than $25 million to create. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

Mayor Billy Kenoi will get a $22,000 raise and other county officials will get up to 19.8 percent raises under a salary adjustment plan proposed Wednesday by the Hawaii County Salary Commission. West Hawaii Today.

Modernization efforts at the open-air, traditional Hawaii-feel Kona International Airport are on the horizon. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island hunters brought a reminder to the Hawaii County Council Wednesday about how voters here feel about aerial hunting and protecting hunters’ rights. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

More than three decades in the making, the Lahaina bypass highway opened to traffic Wednesday. Maui News.

Dozens of farmers, ranchers, gardeners and other residents voiced their disapproval during a County Council committee hearing on a bill that would give the water director, with the consent of the mayor, the power to impose higher rates during water shortages and to penalize those who violate drought directives. Maui News.

Dropping off your cardboard, newspaper and nonredeemable glass and plastic bottles at some neighborhood county recycling centers may become a thing of the past under a proposal by Mayor Alan Arakawa. Maui News.

County police departments across the state will increase efforts to deter distracted driving during an upcoming campaign that begins next week, officials said. Maui Now.

Kauai
An early morning bomb threat disrupted business for more than an hour at 5th Circuit Court Wednesday. Garden Island.