Monday, December 23, 2013

Obama's Christmas vacation, Hanabusa gears up Senate campaign, Mufi's misdeeds, Fuddy memorial service, firefighter raises, and more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

basketball game
Obama and Frostpaw the Polar Bear at the Oregon St/Akron basketball game, Not the White House courtesy photo
President Barack Obama and the first family eased into their annual island Christmas vacation Sunday by taking in a basketball game, the sport Obama often turns to to briefly escape the demands of politics and the White House. Star-Advertiser.

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

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

The 113th Congress is on track to be one of the least productive and most partisan in U.S. history, but Colleen Hanabusa is looking ahead — to August 2014, actually. That's when she hopes to win Hawaii's Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate. Civil Beat.

The state Supreme Court has handed former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann the last thing he needs as he plots a political resurrection — a stinging reminder to voters of what they don't like about him. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii counties must again prepare to dish out raises to employees, this time to local fire fighters. After binding arbitration, the Hawaii Fire Fighters Association was awarded a series of salary bumps over the next several years that will cost the counties millions of dollars. Civil Beat.

Amid skepticism, lawmakers at a briefing Friday appeared to cautiously welcome an unconventional University of Hawaii plan to begin to deal with a nearly half-billion dollar backlog in repairs and maintenance at its campuses. Civil Beat.

The voices of the choir rose inside the cavernous Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa Saturday for the one voice that was missing: that of state Health Director Loretta Fuddy, who lent her soprano to the choir every Sunday. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Health Connector said it is working closely with the state Insurance Division to see how the federal government’s recent modification to the exemption policy affects Affordable Care Act Implementation. Pacific Business News

Oahu

Unite Here Local 5 said in a statement issued Friday afternoon that it has filed a lawsuit against the owner and developer of Turtle Bay Resort over the company’s planned expansion of the North Shore property. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

There were six cases of officer misconduct serious enough for termination this year, a big jump over last year, when there was only one such incident, according to an annual report submitted Friday to the Hawaii County Police Commission. West Hawaii Today

Next month, students, faculty and administrators of the University of Hawaii at Hilo Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikolani College of Hawaiian Language will celebrate a new chapter in the school’s evolution as they bless their newly completed Hale ‘Olelo building. Tribune-Herald.

The Food Basket’s move to a warehouse on Holomua Street just more than two years ago might have a short shelf life. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

A Paia businessman with a history of run-ins with neighbors and Maui County building and zoning inspectors has run afoul of them again. Maui News.

Kauai

Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture says it will cost $1,800 to review public records related to its investigation into whether Syngenta's pesticide spraying on Kauai sickened students and faculty at Waimea Canyon Middle School several times between 2006 and 2008. Civil Beat requested the case files in October to get more details about the four-year investigation.

The Kauai Department of Water will hold a community outreach meeting next month to discuss its newly-named “Water Plan 2020 Kahili Horizontal Directional Drilled Well” project. The meeting is from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 27 in the Kapaa Middle School dining room. Garden Island.