Friday, March 21, 2014

GMO still hot Hawaii topic, Honolulu cops have sex with prostitutes, UH presidential finalists to be public, Kauai mayor seeks 3rd term, Hawaii wants piece of Obama library, birth control for chickens and more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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 Honolulu police officers have urged lawmakers to keep an exemption in state law that allows undercover officers to have sex with prostitutes during investigations, touching off a heated debate. Associated Press.

An effort to require labels on genetically modified foods in Hawaii was brought back to life in the state Legislature, but it died in committee on Thursday almost as quickly as it was revived. Associated Press.

State Rep. Jessica Wooley on Thursday unsuccessfully attempted to resurrect a proposal to require labeling for genetically modified food sold in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

In an attempt to get a GMO-labeling bill heard this session, Rep. Wooley turned to a legislative strategy that most would agree is, usually, a less-than-savory tactic. Hawaii Independent.

GMO’s and Pesticides in Hawai’i. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii lawmaker introduces chicken birth control measure. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii may end up working with Chicago as the process moves forward to choose a site for the Barack Obama Presidential Library. Hawaii officials Thursday acknowledged meeting with their counterparts from the Windy City regarding possible ways to collaborate in the building of the library complex. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz visited Civil Beat on Tuesday for a wide-ranging discussion on everything from climate change and college affordability to local values and his race against U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who is challenging him in the Aug. 9 Democratic primary.

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents voted today to make public the names of its top three presidential candidates. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's lone Republican senator is preparing to ask the federal government to investigate the state's use of $204 million in Affordable Care Act grants meant to fund the troubled Hawaii Health Connector. Star-Advertiser.

Another Dental Nightmare Renews Call for Stronger Oversight in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

A federal appeals court is giving a Hawaii man another chance to argue that he should be allowed to have a rarely given license to carry a gun in public. Associated Press.

Hawaiian Electric Co. expects a cost-savings of up to $500 million each year for its customers when it begins utilizing liquefied natural gas as a replacement fuel for power generation on Oahu, the Big Island, Maui, Molokai and Lanai, a top official from the state’s largest electric utility said Thursday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian Electric Co. has put online graphs that show how much solar and wind power is being generated on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii island throughout the day and how much the renewable sources contribute to total power consumption. The utility wants consumers to understand the variable nature of solar and wind power and the important role of the so-called "firm" power generated at HECO plants. Star-Advertiser.

United Airlines is looking at outsourcing neighbor island ground operations, which could result in the layoff of 223 employees at the Kona, Kahului and Lihue airports. Star-Advertiser.

On Tap at the Hawaii Legislature: March 21 A selective list of bills, resolutions, hearings, briefings and events for Friday at the state Capitol. Civil Beat.

Oahu


A bill making it easier for shoreline property owners to put up retaining walls and other structures is advancing through the Honolulu City Council, although some members said they want more information before they'll give it final approval. Star-Advertiser.

A controversial bill that would make it easier for homeowners to build retaining walls along their shoreline properties passed out of the Honolulu City Council’s Zoning and Planning Committee on Thursday. Civil Beat.

Renovations at Honolulu Hale are drawing major health concerns. There’s fear that city leaders and the general public may have been exposed to asbestos. KHON2.

State and city officials announced plans on Thursday to protect the Hāwea heiau complex and Keawawa wetland in East Honolulu. Civil Beat.

Construction on Farrington auditorium to start in summer. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The University of Hawaii at Hilo has received a second $5 million grant to study how plants, animals and microbes respond to climate change. Associated Press.

From courts to classrooms to Kona tourists, the Big Island stands to gain lots of funding from the budget passed last week by the state House of Representatives. Big Island Now.

Finance Department officials say a regular review cycle of all Hawaii County parcels, developed and unimproved, would realistically take at least 7.3 years. West Hawaii Today.

The first students could graduate from Hawaii Community College at Palamanui in 2017. West Hawaii Today.

Maui
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.

The library at Paia School is scheduled to reopen today after being used primarily as storage space for the last five years. Maui News.

Kauai

On the west side of Kauai, many acres of former sugar cane fields have been converted to a major testing area for genetically modified seeds. Hawaii Public Radio.

Two-term incumbent  Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., who was first installed in 2008, made good on that promise Thursday, when he filed his nomination papers with the Office of the County Clerk’s Elections Division. Garden Island.

‘A desire to be of service’ U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard honored at ‘Women of Inspiration’ Garden Island.