Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Seven media takes on Ige's proposed budget, huge invasive coconut crab makes first appearance since 1989, Obama vacations in the rain, Health Department can't find Kauai's pollution source, Kenoi asks Obama to visit lava flow, Oahu's wealthiest to pay more property taxes, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Honolulu's Chinatown © 2014 All Hawaii News
After two weeks of handing out warnings, Honolulu police officers Monday began enforcing the city's expanded sit-lie ordinance in Chinatown. Star-Advertiser.

The cost of state government will rise to $12.6 billion in the fiscal year that starts July 1, an increase of about 4 percent over the current year, due largely to contractual requirements such as health benefits and raises negotiated by the previous administration, Gov. David Ige said Monday in unveiling his proposed budget for the next two-year cycle. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige unveiled his administration’s first biennium budget Monday, seeking almost $1.5 billion in new spending over the next two years. The governor said most of the increased costs are beyond his control — a result of contractual agreements with public-worker unions and actions the state made before he took office Dec. 1. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige has released the first draft of Hawaii’s $25.7 billion budget that covers the next two fiscal years. Ige released the budget Monday, which is the deadline to submit the document to the Legislature. Associated Press.

The Governor delivered the first draft of his 2015-2017 Biennium Budget today to the state Legislature as required by law. Hawaii Public Radio.

Gov. David Ige submitted his first budget draft to the state Legislature Monday three weeks after taking office. The $25.7 billion biennial budget maintains state programs at current spending levels without raising taxes. However, if not for a $665 million projected carryover from the current fiscal year, the budget would be in the red. KITV4.

No job cuts and no tax increase —  that’s according to Gov. David Ige who unveiled his first projected state budget Monday for the next two fiscal years. KHON2.

On a rain-swept Monday unfit for even the most avid golfer, President Barack Obama whiled his third day of vacation taking to the lanes rather than the links. Obama started the day by signing a disaster declaration for upstate New York, clearing the way for federal funds to be used to help the area recover from a major storm that deposited more than 7 feet of snow. Star-Advertiser.

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

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi is inviting President Barack Obama to view lava from an active volcano heading to Pahoa. Associated Press.

Mark Takai, the former state representative who will be Hawaii’s next congressman, has named Rod Tanonaka to be his chief of staff. Tanonaka will be based in the Hawaii District Office at the Federal Building in Honolulu. Civil Beat.

A federal judge has ruled that a California-based labor contractor must pay $8.7 million in damages to Thai workers who were exploited while working at Hawaii farms, but it’s not clear whether any of them will get the money. Associated Press.

Opinion: Hawaii is the healthiest state in the nation for the third year in a row — at least if you believe the United Health Foundation, the group that released its annual nationwide survey. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Oahu roads funnel about 112,000 residents into urban Honolulu daily for work, according to a state analysis of U.S. Census data that shows where jobs and residences intersect on the island. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism on Monday released data on “commuter adjusted” daytime population on Oahu. Civil Beat.

A bill that lets the city repave and maintain a new series of Oahu's private roads was allowed to become law by Mayor Kirk Caldwell without his signature Monday. But Caldwell administration officials, who had raised strong objections to the bill as it was moving through the City Council, said they won't be jumping at every opportunity to take on more responsibility when they've still got some 800 miles of standard city roads they've promised to pave over. Star-Advertiser.

As the City and County of Honolulu begin mailing out real property tax assessment notices this week, owners of non-owner occupied residential properties assessed at more than $1 million will pay near twice as much in taxes next year because of a new rate class. Pacific Business News.

According to Department of Agriculture officials, a recent coconut crab sighting is the first since 1989. The crustaceans can grow up to three feet in length. KHON2.

Hawaii

While the Big Island is expected to benefit from statewide expenditures in operating and capital improvement budgets proposed Monday by Gov. David Ige, there are just two specific projects, one in East Hawaii and one in West Hawaii, earmarked in his first spending plan. West Hawaii Today.

The June 27 lava flow hasn’t quite given Pahoa Marketplace merchants the Christmas miracle they are hoping for but it is giving them more time to prepare, watch and wait. The lava flow front remained about 0.4 miles from the shopping center and 0.6 miles from Highway 130 on Monday morning after advancing 70 yards in 24 hours. Tribune-Herald.

The end of the month will see a changing of the guard for a Big Isle school system complex that has seen more than its fair share of challenges lately. Mary Correa, the longtime Department of Education complex area superintendent for Ka‘u, Keaau and Pahoa, will retire Dec. 31 after 10 years in the position, and Keaau Elementary Principal Chad Keone Farias was tapped to fill her shoes. Tribune-Herald.

The summit areas of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii have been placed under a Blizzard Watch from Tuesday morning through Wednesday afternoon. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

More public education and enforcement of stricter fishing regulations appears to be working, according to the supervisor of the nearly year-old Community Fisheries Enforcement Unit and Makai Watch volunteers. Maui News.

Kauai

After three rounds of testing, the state Department of Health says it has been unable to pinpoint the source of pollution ending up in Waiopili Stream in Mahaulepu. Garden Island.

Cameras on drones have provided spectacular videos from Kauai, but residents are filing complaints when the unmanned aircraft fly too close. Associated Press.