Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hawaii governor calls special session on gay marriage, Honolulu council clears way for rail, Kauai council defers GMO vote, Maui-Oahu electric pipeline possible, media asks Hawaii Supreme Court for lower court transcripts, more news from all the Hawaii Islands

Hawaii Deputy Attorney General Anne Lopez, Attorney General David Louie, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announce gay marriage special session, courtesy photo
Hawaii Deputy Attorney General Anne Lopez, Attorney General David Louie, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announce gay marriage special session, courtesy photo
Saying he believes the votes are there to pass a bill to legalize gay marriage, Gov. Neil Abercrombie is calling the Legislature into a special session next month. The bill, as proposed, would take effect Nov. 18, when the state would begin issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples. Star-Advertiser.

The state where the same-sex marriage movement began some 20 years ago is poised to grant full marriage rights to gays and lesbians. On Monday Gov. Neil Abercrombie ordered the Hawaii Legislature into special session Oct. 28. Shrugging off any political consequences to his 2014 re-election, Abercrombie said "marriage equity" is "the right thing to do." Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Monday called for a special legislative session to move forward on a bill that would legalize gay marriage. If lawmakers pass a bill, Hawaii would join 13 U.S. states and the District of Columbia in allowing gay marriage. The special session is scheduled to begin Oct. 28. Associated Press.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Monday called the Hawaii Legislature back in for a special session next month to consider legalizing same-sex marriage. Abercrombie made the announcement about the Oct. 28 special session during a news conference in his office at the state Capitol in Honolulu, accompanied by state Attorney General David Louie and Deputy Attorney General Anne Lopez. Pacific Business News.

Months of speculation are over, Governor Abercrombie called a special session on same-sex marriage Monday afternoon. The Governor says it's the right thing to do and he believes he has the support needed in both the House and Senate to pass a bill that would make Hawai'i the 14th state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage. Hawaii News Now.

Get ready: the Governor is calling the legislature into special session on October 28 to consider same-sex marriage. Hawaii Independent.

After decades of discussions, the stage has been set for Hawaii lawmakers to legalize same-sex marriage. “Virtually every angle, virtually every variation of a view with regard to marriage and equitable treatment for those engaged in marriage has been aired,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. KHON2.

Governor Neil Abercrombie called for a special session to begin Oct. 28 to address the issue of marriage equity. The announcement was made during a news conference that was streamed live on the governor’s website this afternoon. Maui Now.

The State House and Senate have been called to a Special Session next month to deliberate and address a bill on marriage equity. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie has called a special legislative session next month in an attempt to move forward a bill that legalizes gay marriage.KITV.

The same-sex marriage debate has been going on for more than two decades and is likely to heat up between now and Oct. 28, when a special legislative session will begin. KHON2.

Under Section 10 of Article III of the State Constitution, Gov. Neil Abercrombie has called both houses of the state Legislature to convene in a special session on Oct. 28 to address the issue of marriage equity. Governor's Office.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding the special session on marriage equity. Governor's Office.

A $1.5 million grant that the 2013 Legislature agreed to set aside for a private Hawaii Catholic school is unconstitutional, according to a recent memo from the state deputy attorney general addressed to Senate President Donna Mercado Kim. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Energy Office plans to strengthen its case for connecting the Oahu and Maui electrical grids via an undersea cable by submitting a study to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission on Monday, which points out that this grid-tie is, without a shadow of a doubt, strongly in the public interest for the state to pursue. Pacific Business News.

After several years of record high enrollment, the number of students at the University of Hawaii's 10-campus system dropped this fall to 59,288, echoing an overall national decline in college attendance in 2012. The university said 1,345 fewer students enrolled for the current semester, down 2.2 percent from last fall. The decrease, UH said, follows rec­ord-breaking enrollments in each of the last five years. Enrollment had grown by 17 percent since 2007. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for September 10. Associated Press.

Oahu

A pair of overnight H-1 freeway closures later this month will kick off a massive, nearly yearlong project to repair and repave the state's most heavily used highway through the heart of Hono­lulu, state officials announced Monday. Crews will completely close the H-1 eastbound from Likelike Highway to Ward Avenue from 8 p.m. Sept. 22 to 4 a.m. Sept. 23, according to the state Department of Transportation. Star-Advertiser.

Two Honolulu City Council committees held separate special meetings Monday to push out two resolutions that would allow construction of the city's $5.26 billion rail project to restart as early as Monday. The Council Zoning and Planning Committee unanimously approved Resolution 13-208, giving the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation a special management area use permit and shoreline setback variance to proceed with construction. The Council Intergovernmental Relations and Human Services Committee, meanwhile, approved Resolution 13-203, authorizing an agreement among the state Department of Transportation, the city and HART that allows the city to develop sections of the rail line on state property from the Kamehameha Highway portion of the project in Pearl City to the Ala Moana area. Star-Advertiser.

Students say portable P-1 is the hottest classroom on Campbell High School's campus. At mid-morning the thermometer had already hit 90 degrees. Hawaii News Now.

A state development permit granted last month for a high-rise condominium on a former Comp­USA store site in Kakaako is being challenged by condo owners in a neighboring tower who say that land is reserved primarily for commercial use. The association of owners at One Waterfront Towers petitioned the Hawaii Community Development Authority, which regulates development in Kakaako, to hold a quasi-judicial review contesting the agency's approval of the proj­ect called The Collection. Star-Advertiser.

The judge in U.S. State Department special agent Christopher Deedy’s murder trial is once again coming under fire for how she handled the high-profile case. The  Honolulu Star-Advertiser and Hawaii News Now are asking the state Supreme Court to force Ahn to release those transcripts, saying the judge violated the U.S. Constitution by holding closed-door court proceedings. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

Puna Councilman Greggor Ilagan is relocating his district office to the old Pahoa Police Station, a move that will save the county $22,000 annually but displaces community groups and eliminates for several months a satellite site for public council meeting participation. West Hawaii Today.

State officials aren’t planning to open up wide swaths of Kiholo State Park to the public, a planning document says. West Hawaii Today.

Deutsche Bank and Kennedy Wilson, the lenders in control of the Kona Village Resort’s insurance payout, are refusing to pass that cash along to the resort, CEO Pat Fitzgerald said Monday. The move forced Fitzgerald and the Kona Village Investors to notify the resort’s remaining two dozen employees their last work day would be Sept. 17. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii’s at-risk teens should have a variety of new opportunities available to them by this time next year, says Hawaii Youth ChalleNGe Academy Deputy Director Gary Thomas. That’s because work at the state- and federally-funded program’s new campus within the Keaukaha Military Reservation National Guard Facility is now under way and is expected to be complete by July 2014, he said, making it possible for the academy to relocate from its current home on the grounds of the Kulani Correctional Facility. Tribune-Herald.

If efforts to control the little red fire ant on Hawaii stay as they are, the island could see damages of nearly $170 million a year, as well as 33 million sting incidents a year. That’s according to University of Hawaii planning student Mike Motoki, a presenter at the 21st annual Hawaii Conservation Conference held recently in Waikiki. Civil Beat.

Maui

Enrollment at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College dropped 6.3% in the fall 2013 semester compared to the same time last year, officials said. Maui Now.

While most children look forward to the weekends, some may not. There may be no school — but there may be no food as well for those children Saturdays and Sundays, a Maui Food Bank official said. Maui News.

Kauai

A Kauai County Council committee clashed Monday with representatives of seed companies over the disclosure of the types and use of pesticides. The Economic Development, Sustainability, Agriculture & Intergovernmental Relations Committee heard testimony on Bill 2491, which would regulate pesticide use and genetically modified crops by agribusinesses. The committee deferred a vote on the bill until Sept. 27 for further review. Star-Advertiser.

A day after a march in Lihue drew several thousand people in support of Bill 2491, the Kauai Economic Development Committee resumed working toward a compromise between the blue shirts, opposed to the bill, and the red shirts, supporting the bill. Garden Island.

Bill 2491 went through the first round of amendments at the Kauai County Council Wednesday. The bill passed first reading June 28, and has since gone through a lengthy public hearing, one committee meeting and a few executive sessions. By late afternoon, the council’s Economic Development Committee threw a slew of potential amendments up for discussion. Garden Island.

The state of Hawaii has effectively forsaken its responsibility to ensure that biotech companies are not risking public and environmental health, several members of the Kauai County Council said Monday, so it was up to the county to pick up the slack. Basically, the state has done a bad job of enforcing landmark federal environmental laws, according to the councilmembers who spoke at a hearing on a bill before the council’s Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee that would increase regulation of genetically altered crops and pesticides. Civil Beat.