Friday, November 29, 2013

Hawaii lawmakers launch bipartisan Future Caucus, state offers preschool subsidies, Hawaii one of 13 'Turkey States,' Big Island seeks auditor, hunter reality show in DLNR crosshairs, Niihau residents want fishing limits, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

children preschool kindergarten
Hawaii peschoolers, courtesy photo



Families should be able to apply in March for a slice of the $6 million in additional preschool subsidies state lawmakers approved earlier this year to help a set of children who will be too young to enter kindergarten next year. Star-Advertiser.

For the next school year, kindergartners must be at least 5 years old by July 31. Roughly 5,000 children who will mark their fifth birthdays later than that will have to wait a year before starting kindergarten. Star-Advertiser.

A group of Hawaii lawmakers announced Wednesday the creation of a bipartisan caucus composed of county and state elected officials under age 40 that will work to improve government transparency and political involvement for young people. Hawaii Future Caucus members said in a news conference at the state Capitol that they hope to work on "common-sense" legislation to make the political system more inviting and accessible for younger generations. Star-Advertiser.

A new report from Truth in Accounting’s State Data Lab names Hawaii one of 13 “Turkey States” because the state spent more money than it received and racked up more debt for future taxpayers. Hawaii Reporter.

The countdown for Hawaii’s first same-sex marriages is fast approaching. And state officials are gearing up for some changes. As HPR’s Molly Solomon reports, several couples are expected to wed on Monday -- the first day Hawaii’s marriage equality law goes into effect.

Oahu

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has approved a zone change for a project that would add 3,500 new houses to Koa Ridge in central Oahu. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Co. and two solar energy trade associations said Wednesday that they’re working together to define criteria that will allow customers who committed to installing solar photovoltaic systems prior to the September rules changes to interconnect their systems at no additional costs for safety upgrades. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

Almost a year after county Legislative Auditor Colleen Schrandt resigned, the position has not yet been filled and it’s unclear how much, if any, auditing has actually gone on. West Hawaii Today.

A former executive assistant at Big Island Substance Abuse Council has filed suit against the substance abuse treatment organization alleging that she was wrongfully terminated for exposing financial misdeeds by BISAC’s former chief executive officer. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii officials said Wednesday they are investigating whether any state regulations were broken during the filming of the History channel’s television show “American Jungle.” Associated Press.

Tjaye Forsythe, one of the producers of the reality show, 'American Jungle,' fired back at the Department of Land & Natural Resources on Facebook hours after the state announced a criminal investigation into the show which is shot on the Big Island. Hawaii News Now.

The History Channel’s new series "American Jungle," which depicts clans of Hawaii hunters battling it out as they hunt down pigs, goats and cows, is angering some top state officials, including Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who has threatened legal action. HuffPost Hawaii.

Maui

The Maui Planning Commission recommended approval Tuesday of a change in zoning from interim to public/quasi-public for Lumeria Maui, an educational retreat at the former Fred Baldwin Memorial Home in Makawao. Maui News.

The Maui County Office on Aging will host an open house for the launch of its EnhanceFitness program in South Maui. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai

Will Kauai's Mayor Face Fallout After GMO, Pesticide Battles? Civil Beat.

Fishermen, primarily from Kauai, have been fishing in Niihau waters for decades, steadily depleting its residents of their primary food-source. The senate's Native Hawaiian caucus, along with the DLNR, intend to put a stop to that. Hawaii Independent.

A weather related anomaly that altered night harvesting operations for Kauai Coffee Company meant that neighboring communities heard a little more noise than usual. Garden Island.

Molokai

There are currently 355 registered business owners on Molokai and most of them are home based, according to Jennifer Hawkins, small business specialist at the Kuha’o Business Center. These businesses are regulated by the Maui County Council under a bill currently up for revision. But when the council visited Molokai last week, asking for feedback on how to best tailor these standards and encourage small businesses, many Molokai business owners revealed they never knew the ordinance existed. Molokai Dispatch.