Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Hawaii scientists create glow-in-the-dark pigs, Obama vacation, Hee attempted Senate coup, same-sex marriage battle continues, fishing limits set to start Thursday, Larry Ellison's Lanai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

University of Hawaii
UH engineers neon pigs courtesy photo
A technique developed by reproductive scientists from the University of Hawaii medical school helped scientists create ten piglets that glow green under black fluorescent lights. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii
Glowing green pig
Read the UH news release about transgenic pigs here.

At least 248 same-sex couples married this month under a new state law, and they should not have a legal challenge lingering over them, state attorneys argued Monday. The lawyers filed court papers asking a state judge to throw out a lawsuit challenging the Marriage Equality Act that made Hawaii the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama enjoyed a morning round of golf followed by a visit to the beach Monday afternoon, joining his family at Pyramid Rock Beach at Marine Corps Base Hawaii after finishing 18-holes at the Mid Pacific Country Club early Monday afternoon. The Obamas left the beach at about 4:30 p.m.and spent the rest of the evening at their rented Kailua vacation home. Star-Advertiser.

How President Barack Obama spent the third day of his holiday vacation in Hawaii on Monday. Associated Press.

The Presidential vacation continues in full swing. Day three of the first family's vacation and the President took on his second round of golf. Word spread fast in Lanikai and before you know it a gallery appeared. Hawaii News Now.

It's not news to anyone that when the president comes to town, he comes with a ton of security. But when the president comes to a small island in the middle of the Pacific -- a small island that is already home to the nation's second worst traffic -- his security apparatus is a bit more noticeable. Huffington Post.

The Hawaii State Teachers Assocation announced Monday it is backing Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa in her challenge against U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz while supporting state Rep. K. Mark Takai's bid to replace Hanabusa. Star-Advertiser.

Word from Hawaii state Senate circles is that Clayton Hee sought support from his colleagues in late autumn to topple Senate President Donna Mercado Kim and Vice President Ron Kouchi. But he fell well short of the 13 required votes. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Health is restricting the use of electronic smoking devices known as "e-cigarettes" on its properties. The ban will take effect Jan. 1. Star-Advertiser.

It can cost a local high school student as much as $1,032 to enroll in a single University of Hawaii course as part of a college jump-start program offered to eligible public school students across the state. Civil Beat.

The state teachers union says it will lobby legislators next year to fund pre-kindergarten classes at public schools in an effort to preserve teaching jobs and help a set of children who will be too young to enter kindergarten. The Hawaii State Teachers Association lists the initiative among its legislative priorities for the session that begins Jan. 15. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Health Connector, the online marketplace created by President Barack Obama's signature health care law, has extended through today the deadline to sign up for medical insurance to take effect Jan. 1. The Connector said it was following a decision by the Obama administration to delay Monday's deadline by one day to "accommodate the high demand in last-minute enrollments" for individuals and families seeking coverage on Jan. 1. It was the second time the deadline was pushed back. Enrollees originally had until Dec. 15 to enroll for coverage starting Jan. 1. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu
State transportation officials followed through Monday on their plans to erect concrete barriers to block vehicles from parking at one of the North Shore's most popular beaches. Meanwhile, some in the community are preparing to sue to have those barriers removed. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Film Studio will be able to move forward with some much-needed repairs, thanks to the release of an additional $3.5 million in state funds announced Monday. The money is in addition to $1.7 million Gov. Neil Abercrombie released last fiscal year for improvements at the facility near Diamond Head where the TV series "Hawaii Five-0" is filmed. Star-Advertiser.

A space to make our own. A Kaka‘ako haven for creatives leads off our series on the new spirit of island industry. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaii
Stiff new penalties and prohibitions against scuba spearfishing and the taking of various species in West Hawaii waters are hallmarks of a package of new rules that go into effect Thursday. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Electric Light Co. announced that none of the six bids met its technical and cost-of-power requirements, and will ask each of the companies to submit additional information for a contract for another 50 megawatts of geothermal power on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

High surf Friday and Saturday caused damage at two West Hawaii boating facilities. Efforts are now underway by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to assess and rectify the situation. West Hawaii Today.

The state Public Utilities Commission has approved an agreement by Hawaii Electric Light Co. to purchase up to 10 percent of the isle’s energy needs a year from a bioenergy plant in Pepeekeo that remains under construction. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island students interested in science, technology, engineering and math will have a chance to apply for new scholarship and grant funds next year, pending the construction of what is poised to be one of the world’s largest telescopes atop Mauna Kea. Tribune-Herald.

Maui
Socrates Buenger has done something extraordinary in the film industry — outfoxed one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. Buenger's gone from a starstruck child running errands for crew members on movie sets in Los Angeles to become chief executive officer of the largest sound stage in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration head Kathryn Sullivan, who was also the first American woman to walk in space, made more than a dozen site visits in Hawaii last week but said Thursday that being able to see humpback whales off Maui's shores up close was "one of the standout and fondest memories" of her trip. Maui News.

Six Maui resorts earned honors in the 2014 Gold List annual reader’s survey conducted by Condé Nast Traveler magazine. Maui Now.

Kauai

The Kauai County Council approved a resolution that will guide a county study of large agriculture impacts on Kauai. If the “Environmental and Public Health Impact Study” is done correctly, Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura said the county is in a position to break new ground. Garden Island.

A retired police lieutenant has refiled a civil suit against the County of Kauai, Kauai Police Department, Chief Darryl Perry and Assistant Chief Mark Begley. Retired Vice Lt. Eric Shibuya is seeking damages for an alleged punitive transfer and resulting meritless investigation. Garden Island.

Lanai

Larry Ellison’s purchase of the majority of Lanai was one of the top stories for 2012, and the billionaire CEO of Oracle Corp. continued to make news in 2013 with his plans for Hawaii’s Pineapple Isle. Pacific Business News.