Friday, March 13, 2015

Senate panel rejects Ching, state economy grows, homeless targeted at Honolulu airport, Ways and Means chair Tokuda has a side job, Kauai dairy opponents prepare lawsuit, NELHA brings in the bucks, secret Trans-Pacific Partnership meetings held, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Tourists in Waikiki © 2015 All Hawaii News
The state Council on Revenues adjusted its projection of state tax collections upward by about $55 million for the current year on Thursday, but House Finance Chairwoman Sylvia Luke said she will still budget cautiously because the state is still spending more money than it takes in. Star-Advertiser.

Lower oil prices, a strong construction market and a thriving tourism industry prompted the Hawaii Council on Revenues to slightly upgrade its fiscal forecast for the state Thursday. Civil Beat.

Following a grueling day-and-a-half of tough questions and tense discussion, a Senate committee Thursday rejected Gov. David Ige's choice of Carleton Ching as chairman of the state Board of Land and Natural Resources. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David  Ige couldn’t save his nominee, Carleton Ching, to head the state Department of Land and Natural Resources from rejection as Senate Water and Land Committee members voted against recommending his approval. Civil Beat.

The Senate Committee on Water and Land rejected the nomination of Carleton Ching to chair the Department of Land and Natural Resources Thursday afternoon. Hawaii News Now.

A panel of Hawaii lawmakers is recommending that the Senate should reject Gov. David Ige’s nominee to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Members of the Senate Committee on Water and Land voted 5-2 to recommend rejecting nominee Carleton Ching on Thursday. Associated Press.

Senate committee rejects Carleton Ching nomination on 5-2 vote. Members cite Ching’s lack of understanding, expertise. KITV4.

The state Senate Committee on Water and Land voted Thursday against Gov. David Ige’s controversial nomination to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources. KHON2.

The Senate unanimously confirmed two more of Gov. David Ige's Cabinet members on Thursday: Douglas Chin as state attorney general and Nolan Espinda as director of the Department of Public Safety. Star-Advertiser.

Sen. Jill Tokuda, the chairwoman of the state Senate's powerful Ways and Means Committee, which plays a key role in deciding who gets state funding, has been serving as a paid consultant for the Daniel K. Inouye Institute. Star-Advertiser.

The House Finance Committee cut about $72 million this week from the University of Hawaii's budget request for the upcoming fiscal year. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige has nominated Keith "Keone" Downing, Ulalia Woodside and Christopher Yuen to the seven-member Board of Land and Natural Resources. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Congressional Delegation has announced that the U.S. Department of Education will allocate more than $47 million in Title I, Part A Grants to local educational agencies in Hawaii, Honolulu, Kauai and Maui counties for the 2015-2016 school year. Maui Time.

Hawaiian Telcom's earnings fell 24.8 percent in the fourth quarter as it invested in its infrastructure to add more customers for its television and high-speed Internet services. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: Adult Care Online Reports: Comforting The Afflicted. A reporter's persistence helped pressure the Department of Health to live up to its statutory obligation to post adult care home inspections. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Soil tests on an empty plot of land on Sand Island where Mayor Kirk Caldwell has proposed relocating up to 100 homeless people indicate that the area is safe for human habitation, according to Fenix Grange, a supervisor in the Hawaii Department of Health’s Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response Office. Civil Beat.

A major change is coming to make Honolulu International Airport safer and more secure. It has to do with publicly accessible areas, where many people have been sleeping or camping out overnight. KHON2.

Hawaii

The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority’s economic impact on Hawaii increased significantly from 2010 to 2013, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization researchers found. West Hawaii Today.

A new analysis of the economic impact of NELHA’s Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park at Keahole Point on Hawaii Island finds that the total economic impact of the park has surged by 40 percent between 2010 and 2013. The Economic Research Organization at the University of Hawaii (UHERO) report says the benefit to the greater Hawaii economy was $123 millio in 2013. Civil Beat.

A company owned by garbage hauler Pacific Waste Inc. is moving forward on long-held plans to build a waste conversion system in West Hawaii. BioEnergy Hawaii LLC announced Thursday that it is negotiating for land near the West Hawaii Sanitary Landfill at Puuanahulu for a resource recovery site. West Hawaii Today.

BioEnergy Hawaii LLC, a Kailua-Kona based developer of waste treatment and alternative energy systems, plans to build a $50 million facility on the Big Island that will divert about 70 percent of the solid waste destined for the landfill and convert it to recyclable materials, the company said Thursday. Pacific Business News.

A community forum was held in Hilo Wednesday night on the subject of the Trans-Pacific Partnership – a proposed regional regulatory and investment treaty involving twelve countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region currently in negotiations. This week, those negotiations are reportedly being conducted, behind closed doors, at the posh Waikoloa resorts. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County has broken ground on a project aimed at easing traffic on Kinoole Street while providing a new route between the University of Hawaii at Hilo campus and the downtown area. Tribune-Herald.

Over 10,000 acres of native forest in South Kona are being protected from development under an agreement between landowners and the state and federal governments. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said Thursday previous landowners had won county approval to build 500 residential lots and an Arnold Palmer golf course on the land. Associated Press.

Parking has never been an easy or safe thing at the head of the Kaawaloa Trail where Napoopoo Road meets Highway 11 in Captain Cook. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

A nascent Maui-based line of vegan, organic, gluten-free, soy-free and GMO-free food products has proliferated around the state and now is expanding to California. Star-Advertiser.

Civil Air Patrol pilots and former members called for the reinstatement of the now-disbanded 57th Kahului squadron during a heated town hall meeting on Monday at its former Kahului Airport headquarters. Maui News.

Kauai

Oregon-based environmental attorney Charlie Tebbutt filed a notice of intent to sue those behind the proposed $17.5 million, 578-acre dairy in Mahaulepu Valley. The notice includes eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and says it is for ongoing violations of the federal Clean Water Act. Garden Island.