Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hawaii flower sales wilt, homeless could be sent to Mainland, Biden stopping in Hawaii, state to get two new cutters, county shorted HI-5 funds, Maui wind turbines removed, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News
Tropical flowers at farmers market (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Dry weather, pests, vog and lackluster customer demand took a toll on commercial growers of ornamental plants in Hawaii last year, pushing the sector of the state's farm industry into a fifth straight year of lower sales. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers hope to save taxpayers millions of dollars in welfare costs by shipping some of the state’s estimated 17,000 homeless back to their families on the mainland. Civil Beat.

Vice President Joe Biden will reportedly stop in Hawaii this weekend after a six-day trade and diplomatic trip to India and Singapore. Associated Press.

Al Gore has endorsed Brian Schatz for U.S. Senate. Who cares? When it comes to the media, at least, quite a lot of people. Civil Beat.

In Hawaii, there are certain instances when someone can legally stand their ground, but generally the state’s self-defense law is in agreement with the sentiments expressed by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who said citizens have a duty to retreat from an attacker if they can do so safely. KITV4.

More than 70 cost-free charging stations for electric and hybrid vehicles – that were installed with the help of about $580,000 in federal stimulus funds – cannot be used by thousands of early adopters of emissions-free vehicles. Civil Beat.

A new study by the University of Hawai'i Cancer Center finds young people who want to quit smoking are turning to e-cigarettes. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

The Coast Guard's seventh and eighth new National Security Cutters — ships whose construction was in doubt last year — will be funded and based in Honolulu, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

The nonprofit company dedicated to helping those with developmental disabilities and now under scrutiny by the federal government currently has contracts to run janitorial and cafeteria services in Hawaii with the Navy and the Army totaling more than $9 million, the two military branches told the Star-Advertiser.

Oahu is on pace to record more pedestrian fatalities than in any year since 2008. Star-Advertiser.

Christopher Deedy’s former college roommate testified Monday that the State Department special agent ordered five beers at five different bars before the 2011 fatal shooting at a McDonald’s restaurant in Waikiki. Star-Advertiser.

Call volume over water bills hits 1,200 a day. KITV4.

The fees from the small number of city employees who park in the city's nearly-empty new parking garage fail to bring in enough revenue to pay for the building's annual upkeep, never mind its expensive mortgage, Hawaii News Now has learned.

The state agency regulating development in Kakaako has scheduled two additional public comment sessions on two condominium towers planned for Ward Centers. Star-Advertiser.

Friends, colleagues and fans are pouring out their aloha and sharing stories of Don Gordon, a former Hawaii Public Radio jazz show host and impresario who died Sunday afternoon. Star-Advertiser.

The median sales price of an existing business in Honolulu during the second quarter was $265,000, a drop of 14 percent from the same quarter last year, according to BizBuySell.com. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

Hawaii County residents are paying an extra half-cent fee every time they buy a drink in a HI-5 bottle or can, but the county is seeing less of its money coming back from the state to operate its redemption centers. West Hawaii Today.

A combination of federal and state belt-tightening — as well as increased competition from other nonprofit organizations for vital grants, with the number of applicants in Hawaii roughly doubling — served to cut various sources of program funding for the Big island Substance Abuse council this year, resulting in the organization shutting down on July 1 three of its offices in Kealakekua, Waimea and Oahu. Tribune-Herald.

A U.S. Geological Survey scientist has adapted a Hawaii-born method of measuring coral growth. West Hawaii Today.

At $1,833 Hilo residents pay the highest average amount of rent than anywhere else in the country. A family of four needs a combined income of more than $87,000 a year to live comfortably. Hawaii News Now.

Maui
After nearly five years of operation, the wind turbines atop the Maui Ocean Center building in Māʻalaea have since been removed, company officials announced. Maui Now.

With boxes of bike helmets, an electrocardiography machine and pairs of vision-impaired goggles - adults and children alike, were educated and entertained Saturday during the 2nd annual Summer Safety Fair at Maui Mall. Maui News.

The Haleakalā park road and summit area above the 9,740 foot elevation will be closed to vehicles, pedestrians, horses and bicyclists through Thursday, July 25, park officials said. Maui Now.

Kauai
Traffic violation numbers have dipped this past year and Kauai Police Department officials attribute the decline to effective enforcement and safer driving habits. Garden Island.

Koloa Plantation Days in full swing. Garden Island.