Monday, November 4, 2013

Gay marriage special session resumes today, Hawaii agency seeks Roundup regs, state knew a year about molasses leak, GMO debate simmers on two islands, Abercrombie tapped for climate change panel, OHA chief recovering from stroke, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii state Capitol (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
A state House Republican has asked for a temporary restraining order to block Gov. Neil Abercrombie from signing a same-sex marriage bill into law and prevent the state from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto has set a hearing for Thursday on the request, which raises separation of powers issues between the branches of government. Star-Advertiser.

It was a historic week in Hawaii. Governor Neil Abercrombie called a special session of the Hawaii State Legislature to review SB1, a bill that would make Hawaii the 15th state to allow same sex marriage. HuffPost Hawaii.

After early speculation that the Legislature's special session to legalize same-sex marriage could be wrapped up in as few as five days, democracy is proving to be not so tidy — and that's a good thing. Star-Advertiser.

Suspicious activity during Saturday night's public hearing on a controversial same-sex marriage bill has prompted officials to change their procedures. Capitol officials confirm they're investigating who took a list of registered names and numbers from the check-in desk Saturday. Hawaii News Now.

500 people yet to testify on same-sex marriage bill. KHON2.

Civil Beat is hosting a live blog and chat for the special legislative session convened to address same-sex marriage.

Hawaii’s Environmental Council, the advisory arm of of the state’s Office of Environmental Quality Control is proposing mandatory sampling of, and studies on, glyphosate, the key ingredient in Mosanto's Roundup herbicide. Civil Beat.

In spite of the ongoing budget battles in Washington, the federal government appears to have spent more than $20 billion in Hawaii for the third straight year in 2012. Civil Beat.

The $10 Billion Question: How Much Does D.C. Really Give Hawaii? Civil Beat.

President Barack Obama has appointed Gov. Neil Abercrombie to serve on the President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. Hawaii Reporter.

Nani Coloretti, a 1987 ‘Iolani School graduate, was nominated last week to a top U.S. Treasury job. Coloretti, whose nomination needs U.S. Senate confirmation, was picked by President Barack Obama Wednesday to be chief financial officer in the Department of the Treasury. Star-Advertiser.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Chairwoman Colette Machado is expected to make a full recovery after suffering a stroke Friday night. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for November 4. Associated Press.

In brief | State 11-4-13. Associated Press.

Oahu

The fact that both the state and Matson had known about a leaking molasses pipeline for more than a year would quickly become a public embarrassment for the DOT. It turned out the state knew the leak had never been fixed shortly after the spill was reported, but lied to the media and lawmakers about it. DOT officials later said they misled the public because they weren't sure what they were legally allowed to say. Still, the misstep has worked to undermine the credibility of the very state agency that is supposed to oversee shipping. Civil Beat.

More than 30 families living in the former plantation camp known as Kahuku Village V have been told they may be evicted. Star-Advertiser.

A judge is expected Monday to consider a North Carolina man's claim that he can't get a fair trial in Hawaii because of negative publicity over a bungled Stevie Wonder concert. Associated Press.

Residents in Kakaako are urging developers to slow the pace of new building plans. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu is talking to other landowners in West Oahu about acquiring property for a new high school and church campus after a deal with the University of Hawaii West Oahu could not be worked out. Pacific Business News.

Over nearly a quarter century at Punchbowl, cemetery Director Gene Castagnetti was an ambassador for veterans and host to three U.S. presidents, three South Korean presidents, two Japanese prime ministers, the emperor and empress of Japan, the president of the Philippines, prime minister of Australia, a U.S. secretary of defense and multiple consuls general. Star-Advertiser.

A Connecticut family wants the return of the remains of a family member killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor nearly 72 years ago. The New Haven Register reports that Tom Gray is fighting the Navy to retrieve the remains of his second cousin, 3rd Class Fireman Edwin Hopkins.  Associated Press.

Longtime surfer Buttons Kaluhiokalani has died after a battle with lung cancer. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

Farmer: Transgenic corn is key to dairy’s survival. Tribune-Herald.

There’s more than one way to slice the debate over genetically engineered food. The introduction of transgenic crops into the food supply 17 years ago has produced an abundance of opinion on the controversial issue, with the gulf between the two sides often seeming as immense as the Pacific Ocean. Tribune-Herald.

The Ka‘u District Gym and Shelter — a $16.9 million state-funded project — is taking shape in Pahala. West Hawaii Today.

Pahoa Cash & Carry to close after 75 years. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The Maui County Council gave its initial approval Friday to spend $1.5 million on the design of a new building on the site of the Old Wailuku Post Office on the corner of Wells and High streets. Maui News.

Maui County Council members gave initial approval Friday to a bill lauded by animal lovers and animal rights organizations to clarify and strengthen animal control requirements. Maui News.

Much has been written about Moku'ula, the sacred royal island once moated by the 17-acre Loko o Mokuhinia freshwater fishpond with its archaeological treasures now buried under a former baseball field in Lahaina. Maui News.

Kauai

Officials declined to elaborate Saturday on details of the investigation regarding the mayor receiving threats following his veto of Bill 2491 on Thursday. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council will hold a special meeting on Thursday to officially receive the mayor’s veto. From there, the council will decide on the fate of Bill 2491, including whether or not the six-member board will consider overriding the mayor’s decision in as early as two weeks. Garden Island.

Kauai Island Utility Cooperative has received approval to charge additional fees for about 3,000 customers who opted not to use a standard smart meter on their home or business. Garden Island.

Lanai

Billionaire landowner Larry Ellison's plan to build a third luxury hotel on the undeveloped windward side of Lanai has drawn great community concern but nevertheless made it into the island's draft plan finalized Sept 30. Maui News.