Thursday, March 20, 2014

AG lawsuit says Plavix ineffective for Hawaii ethnicities, Honolulu judge denied second term, Maui mulls beach smoking ban, United could lay off hundreds, Honolulu solar panel owners going rogue, public campaign funding bill dies, Kona could get movie production center, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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A park advocacy group says Honolulu isn’t going far enough to fix up the most treasured “jewel in the crown” — Hanauma Bay. Civil Beat.

The state attorney general is suing the manufacturers of a blockbuster prescription blood thinner who he says covered up evidence that the pricey alternative to aspirin would be ineffective for much of Hawaii's population. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s attorney general is suing the makers of a widely prescribed blood thinner he says a significant portion of the state’s population has difficulty metabolizing. Associated Press.

A lawsuit filed today by the State Attorney General against the makers of Plavix alleges that they marketed a drug in Hawaii that they knew would not work for up to half of the population. Hawaii News Now.

Today, Attorney General David M. Louie filed a lawsuit in the First Circuit Court pursuing civil penalties and disgorgement of profits for deceptive and unfair marketing practices related to the blockbuster antiplatelet drug Plavix. Hawaii Reporter.

The State of Hawaii is taking a major drug company to court. Yesterday, Attorney General David Louie filed a lawsuit for unfair and deceptive marketing practices related to the drug Plavix, which has been sold on the islands since 1998.Hawaii Public Radio.

A bill that would have changed campaign finance laws for state elections in Hawaii died in the state Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, halting its progress unless the group decides to hear the bill again this session. Associated Press.

Two bills expected to be approved by the Senate Judiciary and Labor committee Thursday represent the kind of legislation that demonstrates lawmakers can get tough on crime. House Bill 2205 would remove the probation option for sentencing people convicted of habitual property crimes. House Bill 2034 would eliminate the statute of limitations on first- and second-degree sexual assault of a minor under the age of 14 Civil Beat.

A bill moving through the Hawaii Legislature would give the state director of transportation the authority to set motor vehicle inspection rates and make other changes to the inspection program. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii’s public school system isn’t planning to ask for more time to carry out ambitious reforms that won the state a $75 million federal grant. Associated Press.

Defining instructional hours to allow for greater flexibility is the one thing everyone agrees HB1675 needs in order to be effective. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaii Senate
Kim
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union has endorsed Hawaii state Senate President Donna Mercado Kim for the 1st Congressional District seat.Civil Beat.

With the March 31 deadline to sign up for health coverage looming, the Hawaii Health Connector announced Wednesday thousands of Hawaii residents could be eligible for no-cost health coverage or tax credits. Tribune-Herald.

The United States has been at the forefront of growing genetically modified crops. But in Europe, the technology has met with a great deal of opposition. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hundreds of United Airlines employees could be laid off as the air carrier re-evaluates its ground operations at three Hawaii airports. KITV4.

The Hawaiian Electric Company is exploring the use of liquefied natural gas for power generation. Tribune-Herald.

On Tap at the Hawaii Legislature: March 20. A selective list of bills, resolutions, hearings, briefings and events for Thursday at the state Capitol. Civil Beat.

Oahu

A controversial Circuit Court judge is losing his job after complaints from lawyers about his on-the-job performance, a rare "firing" of a judge. Sources said the Judicial Selection Commission will not retain Oahu Circuit Judge Patrick Border for a second 10-year term when his term expires April 7. Hawaii News Now.

With Oahu in a solar power crunch, homeowners are going rogue, turning their panels on without permission from Hawaiian Electric Co. KHON2.

A bill aimed at making it easier for shoreline property owners to put up retaining walls may set a dangerous precedent and cause harm to Oahu's beaches and other coastal areas, city planning officials and environmentalists say. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Police Department is teaming up with Hawaii’s politically powerful police union to oppose legislation that would require police agencies to disclose the names of all officers disciplined for misconduct. Civil Beat.

Despite numerous signs warning of penalties for trespassing, 92 people have been issued citations at Sacred Falls State Park since the beginning of 2012, including the two that were issued to lost hikers Wednesday, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Star-Advertiser.

Developers proposing a condominium tower largely surrounded by midrise town homes and rental apartments on a parking lot in Kakaako sailed through an initial public hearing Wednesday, attracting hardly a speck of the dissent raised last year on a similar project nearby. Star-Advertiser.

After more than a decade's wait, H&M will open its first Hawaii location at noon March 27 in the Waikiki Business Plaza, with 31,000 square feet of fashion on two floors. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Kona-based United Airlines employees are disputing the company’s official statement about upcoming personnel changes at Kona International Airport. West Hawaii Today.

Nearly an acre of land in Hawi would be preserved as a community park under a proposal the Hawaii County Council Finance Committee supported Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

Kona movie production center in the works. West Hawaii Today.

County must redo Lono Kona sewer project hearing. West Hawaii Today.

Maui
County cuts fleet of vehicles taken home by workers. Water department tricky because of 1993 arbitration decision. Maui News.

Maui County Council members are considering a bill that would ban smoking, tobacco products and electronic smoking devices at county parks and beaches. Maui News.

House lawmakers from Maui today issued an announcement saying they have secured more than $460 million in capital improvement project funds, including $130 million for the construction of the long-awaited Kīhei High School in South Maui. Maui Now.

A larger than anticipated demand for a free Google internet seminar on Maui, prompted organizers to add a second session on Wednesday afternoon. Maui Now.

Kauai

Ron Horoshko seeks seat on County Council. Garden Island.

The FIRST robotics team is in its final days before leaving for the Hawaii Regional FIRST Robotics Competition at the Stan Sheriff Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Garden Island.

Molokai

Molokai Community Health Center, which is in the midst of an  $8.5 million capital campaign, will receive $500,000 from the state to help fund the renovations that will turn the old Pau Hana in in Kaunakakai into a wellness campus. Pacific Business News.

After starting a robotics program on a trial basis this year, students of Molokai Middle School (MMS) have swept the competition, placing first and third in the state. That qualifies them to compete in the 2014 VEX Robotics World Championship VEX IQ Challenge Division in California next month as well as the International VEX Summer Games in Honolulu. Molokai Dispatch.