Monday, April 1, 2013

Hawaii Public Land Development Corp. faces key vote today, China to join Pacific war exercises, STD treatment not for gays, Schatz kicks off 2014 campaign, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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The Hawaii Senate Ways and Means Committee is voting Monday on a bill to repeal the Public Land Development Corp., one of several key bills being debated this week. Associated Press.

Hawaii lawmakers want to counter the state’s high rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea by letting doctors treat the partners of patients who have the sexually transmitted diseases without first examining them. But only the straight ones. Civil Beat.

China has accepted an invitation from the United States to participate, for the first time, in Rim of the Pacific naval exercises off Hawaii next year, the Pentagon said. Star-Advertiser.

Although the federal Veterans Administration has been taking heat nationally for a growing backlog and increased times to process disabled veterans benefits, the office in VA Secretary Eric Shinseki’s home state of Hawaii has been doing particularly poorly in processing claims in a timely manner. Civil Beat.

A measure to create a full public funding option for election campaigns is making its way through the state Legislature this session. KITV4.

Hawaii added 2,300 construction jobs in February, 8 percent more than in January, giving it the second-highest percentage growth among all the states. Pacific Business News.

April is environmental month at the Independent. To kick it off, we’re showcasing our environmental panel from the 2013 Ideas Summit. Hawaii Independent.

The 2014 election is still a ways away but US Senator Brian Schatz is already gearing up for his re-election campaign. KHON2.

State roundup for April 1. Associated Press.

Oahu

The state Department of Agriculture hopes to break ground next year on a long-stymied Central Oahu farm subdivision where 150 acres of former sugar cane land in Kunia owned by the state would be leased to small farmers at attractive terms often absent in the private market. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Fire and Emergency Medical Services departments are still sorting the pros and cons of a controversial proposed merger that has been championed by Mayor Kirk Caldwell as a life and money-saving opportunity. Civil Beat.

A smoking ban at some of Oahu's most popular beaches will likely become law. KITV4.

District 7's city roads were found to be in pretty decent shape compared with most other districts on the island. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Beginning the first week of May, the state Department of Transportation will begin putting the brakes on Highway 130 traffic by designating a new 45 mph zone along Hawaiian Paradise Park and Orchidland Estates. Tribune-Herald.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has picked the former head of the county Department of Water Supply to fill a vacancy on a state commission. Big Island Now.

Kona’s homeless grateful for free holiday meal, fellowship. West Hawaii Today.

It's the pride of Hilo and officials say the Merrie Monarch now has a venue worthy of its international acclaim. Hawaii News Now.

The coronation pageant for the mo‘i kane and mo‘i wahine, the king and queen of the Merrie Monarch Festival, set the tone for Hilo’s busiest week of the year. Tribune-Herald

Maui

The decision by Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison's Island Air to pull out of Kapalua West Maui Airport at the end of May has left a void at the airport that Mokulele Airlines - the only other carrier currently with regular flights into the airport - will attempt to fill. Maui News.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa has clarified his plans for the future of recycling amid “confusion and concern” regarding the status of county-funded residential drop-box recycling sites. Maui Now.

Construction on the state's 65-acre Central Maui Regional Park could start as soon as next summer with more than half of the park completed sometime in late 2015, state officials and consultants said Thursday. Maui News.

Kauai

Are Kaua‘i’s waters polluted? Carl Berg of the Kaua‘i Chapter of the Surfrider will answer that question Thursday during the free monthly lecture series on the Hawaiian Marine Environment presented by the Friends of the Hanapepe Public Library. Garden Island.

Final whale count matches February record. Garden Island.

Molokai

All this week, we’ve been looking at issues surrounding food in Hawaii. As we continue our series “Feeding Ourselves, Hawaii’s Food Future,” we turn to Molokai. Hawaii Public Radio.