Monday, June 24, 2013

More Hawaii children in poverty, Gabbard in spotlight, Hanabusa, Schatz battle for Senate, Waikiki homeless at issue, unsanctioned trails claim hikers, UH contract woes continue, Ellison to build tennis stadium on Lanai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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The number of children growing up poor in Hawaii has continued to climb, with the families of about 1 in 6 keiki living in poverty, according to new data from the University of Hawaii Center on the Family. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard was featured on ABC's This Week "Sunday Spotlight," where she talked about contributions women have made in the U.S. military, the need to put an end to military sexual assault, and her time in office as a Hawaii representative. Star-Advertiser.

Should Colleen Hanabusa defeat Brian Schatz in the U.S. Senate race, she will owe her ascension largely to lingering affection for Daniel Inouye, the most powerful figure in the state's modern history. It would suggest that the late senator is so influential that he can win victories from beyond the grave. But if Schatz prevails, it could signal the end of an era of a kingmaker in Hawaii politics, and the beginning of a less predictable period. Civil Beat.

Burned by high-technology tax incentives that many tax policy experts thought were too generous and ripe for abuse, state lawmakers have chosen to resurrect a pared-down research and development credit to reward scientific experimentation. Star-Advertiser.

The Public Utilities Commission Finally Generates Some Sparks. Civil Beat.

Signs that Hawaii's superheated solar energy market is beginning to cool have some photovoltaic installation companies pulling out all stops with giveaways and other promotions to drum up new business. Star-Advertiser.

Educators May Give Poor Marks to New Teacher Evaluation System. Civil Beat.

Three Hawaii colleges have committed to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2013 Food Recovery Challenge to further reduce food waste on campuses. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i is home to over 12,000 native plant species, with 90% found nowhere else in the world. Hundreds of these plants are endangered and teeter on the brink of extinction. Hawaii Public Radio.

State roundup for June 24. Associated Press.

Oahu

A 70-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman died this weekend after separate falls from unsanctioned hiking trails on Oahu, and several other hikers were rescued. Star-Advertiser.

It’s the number one complaint by tourists who come to Oahu — the homeless situation in Waikiki. The visitor industry is so important to our state’s economy that tourism officials are now working with the city and state to find a solution. KHON2.

The Royal Order of Kamehameha I will bestow the order of Honorary Alii Knight Companion, 7th degree, on Roman Catholic Bishop Larry Silva, in an investiture ceremony, 6 p.m., June 25, in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in downtown Honolulu. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

University of Hawaii at Hilo administrators maintain that their campus will be ready to receive a new crop of students in a new dorm building this fall, despite an ongoing investigation into UH’s procurement process for capitol improvement projects. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Work on the 1.8-meter Pan-STARRS 2 telescope atop Haleakala that will focus on near-Earth objects "has been going very well," with the telescope expected to be operational next month. Maui News.

Nearly one in four bridges in Maui County is structurally deficient and in need of significant repairs or replacement, according to a recent study by Transportation for America. Maui News.

Changes in honey-production regulations, signed into law by Gov. Neil Abercrombie last week, will benefit home-based, uncertified honey producers, also referred to by local beekeepers as the "renegade honey guys," according to a handful of Maui beekeepers. Maui News.

Police Chief Gary Yabuta issued a statement Friday afternoon, responding to an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit alleging that enforcement of Maui County's sign ordinances violates the public's constitutional right to free speech. Maui News.

A state budget bill, signed into law this week, significantly increases funding for forest protection in Hawaiʻi, state officials said. Maui Now.

Kauai

The administration signed a contract Wednesday morning for a Lihue Bypass Road feasibility study, only to take a lashing from some members of the Kauai County Council in the afternoon for putting money down on a project they believe will likely never go through. Garden Island.

New changes will soon be coming to Kauai High School following the release of $134.7 million in capital improvement projects identified by legislators as key projects needed to stand up the state’s economy and aging public schools. Garden Island.

Lanai

Oracle Corp. CEO and Lanai majority owner Larry Ellison is bringing his love of tennis to the Pineapple Isle with plans to build a 50-acre tennis academy in town, Pacific Business News has learned.

Molokai

Larry Helm, a well-known native Hawaiian activist, former political candidate and military veteran on the island of Molokai, has died after a battle with cancer. Hawaii Reporter.