Friday, May 3, 2013

Hawaii Legislature adjourns sine die, Hanabusa announces U.S. Senate bid, Honolulu rail in the black, Hawaii Island mayor touts 10% tax hike, county employees charged with diesel theft, Maui resort blocks beach access, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

joinhands sing Hawaii Aloha
Hawaii Legislature sings Hawaii Aloha on closing day, photo courtesy Mileka Lincoln
Hawaii lawmakers touted the triumphs of this year’s legislative session as it came to a close Thursday at the Capitol. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers in the Hawaii Legislature say the 2013 session provided a smoother, more transparent legislative process than previous years, ensuring the success of key progressive legislation. Associated Press.

State lawmakers on the closing day of the 2013 legislative session revived two bills requiring greater disclosure from super PACs, although both appeared dead earlier in the week as a result of what legislators described as poor communication. Star-Advertiser.

The 2013 legislative session came to a close today, and leaders from both the House and Senate say this was one of the most cooperative and transparent sessions yet. Hawaii News Now.

The State Legislature adjourned its 60-day session today…following passage of a state budget and less than 10 percent of the bills that were originally introduced. Hawaii Public Radio.

On the last day of the 2013 legislative session, Democrats in charge of the Hawaii House of Representatives took the rare step of adding four more members to leadership posts. Civil Beat.

Although the Legislature failed to pass bills this session to fund the state's watershed protection initiatives by collecting a fee imposed on nonrecyclable bags or increasing taxes on expensive real estate transactions, the Department of Land and Natural Resources said it is satisfied with the level of funding lawmakers did choose to provide. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Legislature adjourned Thursday without taking further action on a bill that would have tweaked the law requiring police agencies to file annual summaries listing disciplinary actions taken against their officers. Civil Beat.

Before gaveling the session closed, House Speaker Joseph M. Souki acknowledged the work of everyone involved in the legislative process and summarized the session's accomplishments. Hawaii Reporter.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii says she plans to run against fellow Democrat and incumbent U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz in 2014, setting up a primary battle between two of the state’s four federal lawmakers. Associated Press.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa will emphasize leadership experience, and not the dying wish of the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Ino­uye, in her Demo­cratic primary challenge next year against U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa announced in a seven-paragraph letter on her web site that she'll run for the U.S. Senate next year, attaching her name to the Democratic primary that's sure to be a dogfight. Hawaii News Now.

On the day he died in December of 2012, Senator Daniel Inouye wrote a letter to Gov. Neil Abercrombie and reportedly asked that he appoint then-Congresswoman Elect Colleen Hanabusa to replace him in the U.S. Senate after his death. Hawaii News Now.

Civil Beat political reporter Chad Blair chats with U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in her Nuuanu home about her run for U.S. Senate against incumbent Sen. Brian Schatz. Will she give up her House seat to do it?

Hawaii Gas has withdrawn its application for approval to use liquefied natural gas in its utility gas system to allow both the Honolulu-based company and the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission to focus their resources on the review of feedstock supply agreements. Pacific Business News.

This year marks the 100th anniversary for film in Hawaii and with several major movies, such as “Jurassic Park 4” and “Godzilla,” planning to shoot scenes in Hawaii, the next 100 years is starting off with a bang. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

Honolulu rail officials reported a third-quarter turnaround Thursday on how much cash the massive project is collecting. They also offered a rosier forecast for how much its yearlong construction delay will cost. Star-Advertiser.

A campus that’s in disrepair. Students paying more. Even cuts in the classroom. So why is the University of Hawaii spending big bucks on recruiting for high-paid positions? And is it money well spent? KHON2.

Less than a week after Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed a new proposal aimed at going after owners of neglected city properties, Hawaii News Now found a city building with tall weeds and grass in front and lots of graffiti on it. Hawaii News Now.

A department store, cinema, hotel and 50 more retailers and restaurants have been added to plans for a first phase of the long-delayed Ka Makana Ali'i regional mall in East Kapolei. Star-Advertiser.

Up close and personal with the mayor. People went to Pearl City, to Mayor Kirk Caldwell's first town hall stop. KITV4.

Honolulu police explosives specialists responded to two more suspicious objects on different sides of the island Thursday, including what was determined to be "an incendiary device" near the Kahuku school complex. Star-Advertiser.

Native vegetation, which is being steadily killed off by invasives, now covers only 32 percent of Hawaii’s land. Our survival is at stake, as well. So how do we carefully take our next step? Honolulu Weekly.

Hawaii

Across-the-board property tax hikes of about 10 percent, along with increases in bus fares and vehicle registration and weight taxes, will fund a revised county budget proposed Thursday by Mayor Billy Kenoi. West Hawaii Today.

Two former Department of Environmental Management employees have been charged with felony theft for allegedly stealing diesel fuel from pumps at the Waimea baseyard. West Hawaii Today.

Thursday morning’s fire in Keaukaha helped to highlight a question that emergency responders are having trouble answering fully: Who exactly has a copy of the key to open the gates for the emergency evacuation route through Hilo International Airport? Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui County's finance director Wednesday passionately defended his request for six new Division of Motor Vehicle and Licensing positions, noting his current workers are burdened with new duties and that they need more help to service the public adequately. Maui News.

Gates restrict access to Honokeana Cove. About a month ago, Honokeana Cove Resort Condominiums put up gates that require an access code, which prevents nonguests from walking through private property. Maui News.

Three Maui historic preservation projects will receive Preservation Awards and two printed publications Preservation Media Awards from the Historic Hawai'i Foundation at the group's 30th annual Preservation Honor Awards ceremony May 31 on Oahu. Maui News.

Kauai

Since March 15, the Kauai County Council has been holding numerous sessions devoted to examining the requested departmental budget components. On or before May 8, the mayor may submit any modifications or changes he may seek in the budget, and by June 7, the council must enact the budget ordinance. Garden Island.

The Wailua portion of the Ke Ala Hele Makalae, or the path that goes by the coast, was supposed to be completed Tuesday — a month later than the original deadline. Garden Island.

Biotech seed company Syngenta will relocate about five employees to Kaua‘i from O‘ahu as part of a redistribution of research and development work, according to company spokesman Paul Minehart. Garden Island.