Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hanabusa to challenge Schatz for U.S. Senate, labor contracts take bite out of Hawaii budget, Abercrombie signs emergency contraception bill, PLDC is pau, state pays $5.75M for sex abuse at Deaf and Blind School, petroglyphs vandalized, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

U.S. Senate candidates
Brian Schatz, Colleen Hanabusa vie for U.S. Senate
U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa has decided to challenge U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz in the Democratic primary next year, according to a source close to her campaign. Star-Advertiser.

A national Democratic source told Civil Beat this morning that Rep. Colleen Hanabusa informed the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in Washington D.C. that she will be challenging Sen. Brian Schatz in next year’s special election.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa will challenge U.S. Senator Brian Schatz in the 2014 Democratic primary, Hawaii News Now has learned.

She hasn’t filed the papers, but sources close to Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa’s camp say it’s official.  She will go head-to-head with Senator Brian Schatz in next years Democratic primary. KHON2.

Sen. Mazie Hirono will be breaking bread with President Barack Obama over at his place tonight. Civil Beat.

State House and Senate budget negotiators said Monday that new contracts for public-sector labor unions would likely limit their options for spending on tax incentives and new state programs. Star-Advertiser.

The latest draft of the Hawaii state budget removes funding for about 200 vacant positions in state agencies and sets aside about $15 million to compensate for federal budget cuts. Associated Press.

House and Senate leaders have made significant policy decisions, unveiling them during the fifth conference committee hearing on the state budget Monday evening at the Capitol. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a bill Monday that repeals the Public Land Development Corp., satisfying persistent public outcry over the land agency, which has been overwhelmingly criticized for its broad power to develop state land. Associated Press.

Nearly two years after signing Act 55, which created the Public Lands Development Corporation, Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a repeal of the controversial law Monday. Garden Island.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed a new law requiring hospital emergency rooms to offer emergency contraception to female victims of sexual assault. Associated Press.

Legislators and activists were all smiles Monday as they packed into Gov. Neil Abercrombie's ceremony room at the state Capitol to watch him sign into law a bill that ensures sexually assaulted women will have access to emergency contraception anywhere they seek emergency care. Star-Advertiser.

The occasion on Monday was the signing of House Bill 411, which ensures that female sexual assault victims are provided "accurate, unbiased information" about and access to emergency contraception when receiving care at hospitals. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers are considering a proposal that would effectively change the way developments are planned throughout the state, by no longer requiring developers to complete archaeological studies prior to beginning construction. Hawaii News Now.

Time is running out for Hawaii lawmakers to negotiate a bill that would make the state shield law permanent before it expires June 30. Civil Beat.

A federal judge gave final approval Monday to a $5.75 million settlement to a class-action lawsuit that claims students at the Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind physically and sexually assaulted other students. Star-Advertiser.

A former U.S. defense contractor’s Chinese girlfriend might have coaxed top secret national security information from him, according to documents filed in federal court Monday. Civil Beat.

The number of youth locked up in the state's Juvenile Detention Facility while their cases are handled in Family Court has plummeted 43 percent in the last three years, reflecting a drop in youth arrests and a concerted effort to reduce unnecessary detention. Star-Advertiser.

About 55 percent of the youth in the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility are from the neighbor islands, even though those islands account for 30 percent of the state's population. Star-Advertiser.

Visitor traffic from two of the larger business meetings of the year has given Waikiki hoteliers an opportunity this month to carry strong rates into the start of the slower "shoulder" season and bolster neighbor island traffic. Star-Advertiser.

More than one billion people in 192 countries were expected to participate in Earth Day activities today… marking the 43rd year of focusing on environmental awareness. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said this week that he won’t accept a raise proposed by the city’s salary commission, but he didn’t mention that he has a side job as a member of Territorial Bancorp’s board of directors that pays more than some city workers make in a year. Pacific Business News.

Landscape planter boxes may soon prevent the tents of (de)Occupy Honolulu members from returning along the Beretania and King street sidewalks at Thomas Square. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, City Council Chairman Ernie Martin and Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation officials are in Washington, D.C. this week to update federal officials about the progress of the $5.16 billion elevated-rail mass-transit project, the mayor’s office said in a statement. Pacific Business News.

Construction on the city’s $5.2 billion Honolulu rail project ground to a halt last August after attorneys from the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation representing Paulette Kalekini convinced Hawaii Supreme Court justices that the city violated environmental laws. Hawaii Reporter.

Many hikers still not deterred despite posted violations at Mariner's Ridge trail. KITV4.

Zero to Three Court focuses on children neglected or abused during their most vulnerable years, from birth until age 3. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Vandals have damaged 26 of 167 petroglyphs in a lava field located off trail in the Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park’s Kaloko area. West Hawaii Today.

The University of Hawaii’s Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy came up short this week, when the school’s lack of permanent facilities cost it points in an accreditation evaluation. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Island hunters are again expressing concerns over the state’s aerial sheep eradication. West Hawaii Today.

A fight is brewing for control of Hawaii Nui Brewing LLC about a week after the Hilo beer maker filed for bankruptcy. Star-Advertiser.

Maui

The Fairmont Kea Lani resort on Maui sponsored a community reef clean-up event recently in celebration of Earth Day, hotel administrators said. Maui Now.

Maui attorney Steven Songstad has been disbarred from practicing law, based on multiple ethical violations in 14 cases, according to a Hawaii Supreme Court order. Maui News.

Beginning on Monday, April 22, some bus stops in West Maui will be out of service due to HonokĊwai road repairs and related road closures. Maui Now.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and a cast of executive-level supporting players came to Maui on Wednesday, April 10, for a session billed as "Cabinet in Your Community." Maui Weekly.

Kauai

A project aimed at revitalizing an ailing watershed got a big boost Sunday from volunteers who braved flash flood advisories to battle a silent but deadly enemy. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i Police Department is supporting the statewide and national campaign for “Distracted Driving Awareness Month.” Garden Island.


Molokai

For 28 years, the Native Hawaiian Library has quietly served Molokai, offering programs and resources to children and adults while enduring as a place of learning and discovery. Molokai Dispatch.