Monday, November 18, 2013

Hawaii churches mull gay marriage rules, Honolulu state lawmaker takes sledgehammer to homeless shopping carts, Waikiki beachboys fight new fees, health exchange under fire, Kauai farmers prepare to sue to stop GMO and pesticide bill, Hawaii mayor wants $61M bonds, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

same-sex marriage in Hawaii
Hawaii, with love
In just about two week from now, same sex couples will be able to get marriage licenses here in Hawaii. But because of the religious exemption in the new law, some churches will decide not to perform those ceremonies. KHON2.

The special session to legalize gay marriage in Hawaii cost more than triple the estimate, but state lawmakers generally agree it was money well spent. The session, which opened Oct. 28 and ended Nov. 12, cost $76,800 on the legislative side, according to the House and Senate chief clerks. Civil Beat.

Winning Arguments: Hawaii Lawmakers' Speeches on Gay Marriage.Word clouds reveal the most frequently spoken words — and the least used.  Civil Beat.

Only 257 individuals in Hawaii have enrolled in health-insurance plans through the Hawaii Health Connector as of Friday, a spokesman confirmed to Pacific Business News.

State Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito is requesting that Hawaii’s insurance carriers continue health plans that faced non-renewal by the end of the year. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii state senators are criticizing CGI Group Inc., the company that developed Hawaii’s troubled Obamacare portal, for the construction and management of a tax-collection website. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii's first big shipment of Christmas trees from the Pacific Northwest arrived right on time over the weekend. Matson Navigation Co.'s first shipment of Christmas trees for consumers docked in Hono­lulu on Saturday, and the trees will be available for purchase at retailers' discretion as soon as agricultural inspections are completed, a company spokesman said. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for November 18. Associated Press

Oahu

In July 2012 state officials publicly launched an $82 million "PM Contraflow" project, with plans to include a 7.2-mile zipper lane on the H-1 freeway between Pearl Harbor and Waikele to help ease Ewa-bound rush-hour traffic. But months later, they now acknowledge, state Department of Transportation officials began to privately reconsider whether a zipper lane was the best use of taxpayer dollars to ease congestion along one of the most notorious commutes on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

A typically busy Sunday on Oahu roads produced a typically high number of traffic collisions across the island. From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., there were 87 traffic collisions on Oahu, according to the Honolulu Police Department traffic log. Star-Advertiser.

A state lawmaker, fed up with the lack of progress in solving Waikiki's chronic homeless problem and disgusted by the mess that comes with it, has taken matters into his own hands. And those hands are wielding a sledgehammer. Star-Advertiser.

Ocean recreation companies in Waikiki are protesting proposed new state fees and other rule changes they say threaten longtime beachboy concessions and other businesses. Hawaii News Now.

A memo from the executive director of the Honolulu Ethics Commission accuses the Caldwell administration of stonewalling investigations about possible corruption and employee misconduct at city hall. Civil Beat.

From fierce, life-sized bronze lion sculptures to dainty porcelain figurines, the art collection of Japanese real estate tycoon Genshiro Kawamoto is vast and varied. More than 500 pieces of Kawamoto's global art collection, furnishings and decor will go up for bid Saturday at one of his former Kahala properties. Star-Advertiser.

More than 80 percent of the buildings on the 101-year-old Manoa campus — or 209 buildings — have lingering repair and maintenance needs that will cost $407 million to fix. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii
On the heels of recent penny-pinching years that included budget cuts and property tax increases, Mayor Billy Kenoi is ready for the county to take on more debt. Kenoi, in a letter Thursday, asked the County Council to authorize $61 million in new bonds for 23 projects islandwide. West Hawaii Today.

A former Hawaii County Councilman has yet to serve a five-day jail sentence handed down in 2010 following his no contest plea to resisting arrest after a traffic stop in North Kona. West Hawaii Today.

Civil Beat is profiling Na Wai Ola and several other charter schools in and around the Hilo area as part of a five-part education series. Learning Hilo explores four of Hawaii's charter school "innovation laboratories" and how leaders offer less-than-traditional models, techniques and even challenging ideas to the rest of the public school system.

After years in development, Hilo Medical Center’s Family Medicine Residency Program is set to begin interviewing next week its first crop of applicants. Tribune-Herald.

With 3-D printing, and other computer-aided-design technologies, it’s not only possible but feasible for anyone with the desire to learn, according to Neil Scott, who works for the College of Education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. On Dec. 6, Scott is launching the state’s first commercial “makery” right in downtown Hilo, where some of the technology that is already changing the way manufacturing is done would be available for anyone to rent. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The Maui County Council today approved of a resolution authorizing a new independent appraisal of 186 acres of land at Launiupoko being considered for use as future park space. Maui Now.

With one council member calling the appraisal "significantly flawed," the Maui County Council on Friday approved a new appraisal for 186 acres in Launiupoko that Mayor Alan Arakawa's administration has negotiated to purchase for $13 million. Maui News.

For the first time since its inception 90 years ago, the state Department of Hawaiian Homelands is developing a policy plan that solely addresses its water kuleana rights and responsibilities. Maui News.

Kauai

Supporters of tighter reins on agribusiness expressed satisfaction Saturday at the Kauai County Council's decision to override Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.'s veto of a measure regulating pesticides and genetically modified crops. But representatives of Kauai's big farms vowed to challenge the law in court. Star-Advertiser.

Pesticide disclosure Bill 2491 is set to become law after the Kauai County Council voted Saturday to override Mayor Bernard Carvalho’s veto of the bill. Civil Beat.

Bill 2491 is headed for the Kauai County law books. The controversial bill’s five-month legislative saga closed a major chapter Saturday, when the Kauai Council voted 5 to 2 to override the mayor’s veto. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council has voted to override the mayor's veto of legislation that would require large farms to disclose the use of pesticides and genetically modified crops. The council's 5-2 vote Saturday means the bill vetoed by Mayor Bernard Carvalho becomes law and goes into effect in nine months. Associated Press.

Mason Chock is the newest member of the Kauai County Council. He will finish out the term of Nadine Nakamura, who left to work as the mayor's top aide. Hawaii Independent.

A hands-on project in a charter school on Kauai’s Westside may not feed the world, but it is aiming to grow an abundance of food by the end of the school year. Garden Island.