Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hawaii GOP seeks probe of Senate president, Stryker Brigade to stay in Hawaii, Maui raises property taxes, clams coming to Kauai, Honolulu's Ala Wai studied, quiet hurricane season predicted, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Ala Wai Canal: A $100 Million Problem. Complete series on the history and future of the Ala Wai. Civil Beat.

The Central Pacific, which includes the Hawaiian Islands, probably will experience another season of below-average tropical cyclone activity, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center announced Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s hurricane forecasters are calling for a relatively quiet tropical cyclone season for the Central Pacific Ocean Basin. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii’s wet season, which runs from October through April, was the driest wet season in 30 years, the National Weather Service in Honolulu said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The head of the U.S. Army in the Pacific said Hawaii is expected to keep its 22,500 active-duty soldiers as the Army downsizes, but it makes sense to re-evaluate whether the Stryker Brigade should keep its 320 armored vehicles or revert to a light infantry unit without Strykers. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Republican Party on Wednesday urged the state Ethics Commission to investigate whether state Senate President Donna Mercado Kim violated the ethics code when she called the University of Hawaii president last spring about her son's law school application. Star-Advertiser.

Even if the Senate president did not exert pressure on the university president, Kim may have violated the State Ethics Code and the Senate's own rules with just the phone call itself. Civil Beat.

As the University of Hawaii searches for a new president, critics are revisiting concerns about the relatively few local hires in top positions at the university. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s office announced Wednesday that $48.3 million will be spent to improve public housing throughout Hawaii, including $25.8 million for non-routine repairs, maintenance and renovations statewide. Pacific Business News.

Two years after tests first indicated the presence of a sexually transmitted disease in a handful of Hawaii Island cattle, state officials imposed a statewide quarantine order requiring testing of new dairy and beef bulls brought to the state and moved from one herd to another. West Hawaii Today.

KHON-TV is advising viewers of the Fox network affiliate or its CW network affiliate via Oceanic Time Warner Cable that the stations may be blacked out for most of Hawaii on May 31 if negotiations for a new retransmission contract are not successful. Star-Advertiser.

State 5/22. Associated Press.

State roundup for May 23. Associated Press.

Oahu

A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought against the city of Honolulu by members of a protest group that has been camping on the sidewalks around Thomas Square. Star-Advertiser.

In the last three years, the University of Hawaii has spent $1.3 million on repairs and upgrades to College Hill, the presidents' home that UH President MRC Greenwood has chosen not to live in. Hawaii News Now.

The James Campbell Co. is looking to sell 516 acres of mostly undeveloped land in West Oahu known as Kapolei West, a potential mixed-use residential and commercial master-planned community that would connect the City of Kapolei with Ko Olina Resort. Pacific Business News.

The city's aging Neal S. Blaisdell Center could be a site of one of three proposed 700-foot residential towers under a draft plan proposed by a state agency regulating development in Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

For the more than 20,000 people who live there, there’s only one way in and out of Mililani Mauka. After years of traffic headaches, there are some options on the table to ease the frustration. KHON2.

Hawaii

Hikes in property taxes, park fees, bus fares and vehicle registration and weight taxes will balance Mayor Billy Kenoi’s proposed $394.3 million 2013-14 budget, a 7.9 percent increase over this year. But there’s still a wild card in the mix: Two major public worker unions have yet to complete collective bargaining agreements. West Hawaii Today.

All the right factors need to be in place for Hawaii County to successfully convert Alii Drive to one-way traffic in the downtown area, community members and business stakeholders told officials Wednesday in North Kona. West Hawaii Today.

Last June, the Department of Education launched a small pilot program in Kona on the Big Island, testing just how well GPS tracking systems, with real-time data, would streamline bus service. And it worked beautifully. KITV4.

The Hilo Brewfest, scheduled for June 1 from 2-6 p.m., will take place on the grounds of the Wainaku Executive Center and will feature sample beers from 20 different breweries. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

A resolution that would increase property tax rates for majority of island residents and businesses was approved by the Maui County Council Wednesday morning. Maui News.

Maui Tea Partier In D.C.: IRS Scrutiny 'Chilling' Civil Beat.

Updated tsunami evacuation maps have been released by the Maui County Civil Defense Agency. Maui Now.

While developers of the 670-acre Honua'ula golf community have made efforts to meet a number of the 30 conditions set by the Maui County Council when the project's zoning was approved in 2008, some community groups said on Tuesday that many critical conditions have still not been met. Maui News.

Kauai
Community voices opposition to ‘danger zone’ Corps seeks larger safety area during live target practice. Garden Island.

For the first time in decades, the state Department of Health has approved the growing waters and sale of shellfish by a local grower. Health officials approved the permit for Sunrise Capital, doing business under the name Kauai Clams. Hawaii News Now.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources announced Friday the opening of archery, muzzleloading rifle and high-powered rifle hunting seasons for feral goats on the island of Kauai. Garden Island.