Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hawaii Tourism Authority predicts record year for tourists, teachers and state agree to mediation, marijuana advocates aim for respectability, pidgin taught in schools, military warn Legislature about budget cuts, $10M fairground coming to Kakaako, former Kauai lawmaker in court over rock removal, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii tourists, copyright 2013 All Hawaii News nclauer@earthlink.net
Polynesian Cultural Center (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
The Hawaii Tourism Authority expects a record 8.5 million visitors will come and spend $15.8 billion in 2013, according to new projections released Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii is unlikely to see growth in visitors from China like it did in 2012. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority highlighted the importance of the state’s meetings, conventions and incentives business, particularly to be held at the Hawaii Convention Center, during its 2013 spring marketing update on Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association and the state have agreed to enter into mediation talks to help reach a new contract agreement for public school teachers. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Education doesn't have a policy governing the use of Pidgin in the classroom, leaving it up to teachers to decide how to approach Pidgin. Civil Beat.

The Army, Navy, Marines, Hawaii National Guard and business leaders laid out for state lawmakers Wednesday the harmful effects sequestration and other budget cuts could have on a U.S. military that pumped $14.7 billion into the local economy in 2011 and accounted for more than 102,000 jobs. Star-Advertiser.

Military leaders and contractors say automatic federal spending cuts will have a snowball effect on Hawaii businesses and taxpayers. Associated Press.

New Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard broke ranks with Democratic leaders on Wednesday, voting for a House Republican budget proposal that authorizes funding for the rest of the fiscal year but leaves large sequestration cuts in place for now. Civil Beat.

Marijuana advocates in Hawai’i have announced the launch of two statewide coalitions to support the reform of local marijuana laws. Maui Now.

Lightening Up On Cannabis. The changing landscape of marijuana laws. Honolulu Weekly.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources has obtained the state procurement officer’s approval to purchase a herbicide that can target remote stands of Australian tree ferns, kahili ginger, and banana poka. What makes it even more unusual is the method of delivery: paintballs, shot from airguns by marksmen in helicopters or on the ground. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s longline fishing industry could lose the right to fish for tuna in a large swath of ocean south of the islands under new federal rules limiting the number of accidental catches that kill or seriously injure false killer whales. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

The Hawaii Community Development Authority's board of directors Wednesday approved a proposal for a year-round fairground in Kakaako with go-kart racing, a zip line, indoor skydiving and a surfing wave pool. Star-Advertiser.

An amusement park between downtown Honolulu and Waikiki is one step closer to becoming a reality … as the Hawai’i Community Development Authority approved the project’s permit application. Hawaii Public Radio.

FACT CHECK — Pine: Leeward Coast Has Longest Commute Times. Mostly True. Civil Beat.

The University of Hawaii is launching a new first-in-the world master of public health program concentrating in Native Hawaiian and Indigenous people, as its public health office takes steps to become a stand-alone school once again. Hawaii News Now.

More than 200 members of the union representing Kaiser Permanente Hawaii workers rallied Wednesday across the street from its Honolulu Clinic to protest the elimination of jobs. Star-Advertiser.

Japanese-American soldiers who fought in the Pacific and Europe during World War II will be honored over the next six weeks in a special Congressional Gold Medal exhibit and series of panel discussions beginning Saturday at Bishop Museum. Star-Advertiser.

Tenants at the Ala Wai Boat Harbor are in an uproar over the temporary shutdown of its only fueling dock. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

New clerk positions on both sides of the island are aimed at reducing wait times for people seeking to obtain or renew driver’s licenses, state identification cards and vehicle registrations. 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.

Bills supporting the privatization of Hawaii public hospitals on Hawaii Island and Maui continue to advance in the Legislature, making it through the halfway point in the session on Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Police Department is keeping the South Kona Police Station on the books with requests for nearly $6 million in general obligation bonds through 2015. West Hawaii Today.

Old Kona Airport Park users may soon have more places to escape the glaring sun and heat. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The saga of the troubled Montana Beach house is continuing, but perhaps there's an end in sight. Maui News.

Central Maui’s first leash-free dog park will officially open on Saturday, March 16 at Keopuolani Park in Kahului. Maui Now.

Kauai

The theft charge against former state Rep. Roland Sagum III, accused of taking rocks from an archaeological site on Kauai, stems from some misunderstandings, according to his attorney. Star-Advertiser.

The attorney representing former state Rep. Roland Sagum said he believes the rock-theft charges against his client are based on “some misunderstandings,” and Sagum would plead not guilty at his arraignment in 5th Circuit Court today. Garden Island.

A former Kauai politician will head to court Thursday to answer charges of disturbing and damaging a historic Native Hawaiian site. KITV4.

The County of Kaua‘i has given Serge and Jennifer Marcil the green light to move forward with producing a reality TV series about the Kaua‘i Junior Lifeguards program. Garden Island.