Monday, April 29, 2013

Hawaii Legislature enters final week, minimim wage hike dies, PACS must name top campaign donors, state employee firings secret, Hawaii needs more hotels, officials warn of Kauai drownings, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo Hawaii Senate majority
Hawaii Legislature conference committee, courtesy photo
Committees of negotiators in the Hawaii Legislature have approved funding for several new initiatives, including proposals to revitalize emergency funds, create a new school readiness program and establish a new entrepreneurship initiative. Associated Press.

After discussing a slew of election-related bills this session, lawmakers agreed on a bill that will require political action committees to disclose in all advertisements the names of the top three donors that contributed to the message. Star-Advertiser.

Minimum Wage Hike Legislation Dies in Conference Committee. Hawaii Reporter.

The Media Council of Hawaii has sent a letter to all Hawaii state senators and representatives urging them to vote against House Bill 622, the weakened media shield law. Civil Beat.

Some federal and state officials are supporting the idea of shortening the permits process for work on traditional Hawaiian fishponds to encourage more restorations. Star-Advertiser.

State officials say they've recently discovered a conflict in state law that requires them to leave the public in the dark about government employees who are guilty of certain types of misconduct. Civil Beat.

In the past two years, state workers have been suspended and fired for a range of misconduct, including harassment, theft and workplace violence. Civil Beat.

By 2030, more than a third of Hawaii residents will be neighbor islanders, a reality that observers predict will almost certainly have repercussions big and small for everything from the state’s economy to its politics. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii interests are significantly scaling back on federal lobbying, the result of changes in the political landscape that are making it tougher to get issues through Congress and secure dwindling federal dollars. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Mark Dunkerley says that the state needs to provide an even more diverse mix of hotels to accommodate visitors to the Islands, including those from China. Pacific Business News.

Oahu
A new proposal before the Honolulu City Council would add bus stops to the growing number of places a person can't smoke on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

For the first time in more than 60 years, fireworks didn't light up the night in Kailua last Fourth of July. Now a group of residents is raising money to make sure it doesn't happen again. Hawaii News Now.

An excess of fuel inside of a boiler is to blame for a stubborn fire that burned early Monday morning at the Pacific Biodiesel facility on Sand Island, according to sources at the scene. Hawaii News Now.

Ewa Beach residents are now officially ready for a natural disaster, said the National Weather Service. After the 2011 tsunami those living in the town felt that they were not fully prepared, so they took things into their own hands. KITV4.

Kahaluu Elementary principal selected as principal of the year. KHON2.

Hawaii

Just a few weeks after Mayor Billy Kenoi warned County Council members he was considering a property tax increase, the council will vote on forming a task force to consider the county’s real property tax rates and rules. West Hawaii Today.

It sometimes rains on the Veterans Day Parade parade in downtown Hilo, but never like this. The popular, annual November parade won’t be held this year due to the construction along Kamehameha Avenue, a key part of the six-year-old parade route, said the parade’s chairman and founder, Dan Kama. Tribune-Herald.

Leaders of the specialty coffee industry are traveling to the state’s largest agricultural district in May to learn about award-winning Ka‘u coffee. Tribune-Herald.

A lease of state land to a Colorado man nearly two decades ago has turned out to be a nightmare for Hawaii’s taxpayers. Big Island Now.

Maui

Maui County announced its selection of Anaergia Services of Carlsbad, Calif., for the county's Integrated Waste Conversion and Energy Project that will divert roughly 85 percent of waste from the Central Maui Landfill and produce renewable fuels. Maui News.

Honolua's Lipoa Point is one of few areas left in West Maui that has resisted commercial development, and now that state lawmakers have alloted $20 million toward its preservation, it is likely to stay that way. Maui News.

Maui received an "A" grade for air quality - the best in the state - in an American Lung Association national report that may raise the eyebrows of residents who have complaints about cane burning and dust from fallow fields. Maui News.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa announced the selection of Anaergia Services for the county’s proposed Integrated Waste Conversion and Energy Project. Maui Now.

Kauai

A spate of visitor deaths this year has officials wanting to educate tourists about the dangers. Associated Press.

Residents may be puzzled as to why Census workers are knocking on their doors — three years after the last decennial count, and seven years until the next one. Two basic Census Bureau surveys are the American Community Survey and the Community Population Survey. Participants respond quarterly for two consecutive years to household questions in one and employment or job search information in the other. Garden Island.

Dive tournament targets invasive species. Garden Island.