Friday, July 17, 2015

State budget office imposes 10 percent cutbacks, marijuana expo this weekend, UH's Lassner's term extended, lawmakers ask EPA involvement in Red Hill storage tanks, families feel burden of elder care, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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The Hawaii state Office of Budget and Finance is imposing a 10 percent restriction, amounting to some $200 million, on discretionary general fund spending across all state departments, including the University of Hawaii’s 10-campus system, for the fiscal year that started July 1, state officials said Thursday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii’s first cannabis expo opens this weekend at the Hawaii Convention Center. Hawaii News Now.

David Lassner will continue serving as president of the University of Hawaii system after receiving high marks Thursday from the Board of Regents on his first one-year performance evaluation. Star-Advertiser.

Advocates for the elderly in Hawaii are hoping a new study puts additional pressure on state lawmakers to pass legislation next session that helps overloaded family caregivers. Civil Beat.

One in four Hawai’i residents provides home care for elderly relatives, friends or neighbors.  That, according to state lawmakers who convened a working group today to look at care-giver training. Hawaii Public Radio.

The new U.S. commander of the Pacific Fleet assured allies Friday that American forces are well equipped and ready to respond to any contingency in the South China Sea, where long-seething territorial disputes have set off widespread uncertainties. Associated Press.

The result of almost two decades of jellyfish research in Hawaii waters has produced a product to provide relief from their painful and sometimes life-threatening stings. KITV4.

Oahu

Nineteen state lawmakers are calling for the Environmental Protection Agency to force the military to take more aggressive action to prevent further leaks at 20 underground jet fuel storage tanks at Red Hill that sit 100 feet above a major water aquifer. Star-Advertiser.


Wheeler Army Airfield expects to get 24 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters starting next spring amid ongoing budget uncertainty and a fight over Apaches the Army wants to pull from U.S. National Guard units to outfit active-duty units. Star-Advertiser.

It’s been a bumpy road recently for Nan Inc. in its bids to secure work on the Honolulu rail project, but the local firm has been awarded the latest contract to build stations for the island’s future transit line. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell says he is moving ahead with nine key projects to renovate and improve sections of Ala Moana Beach Park. The mayor says the city’s plans do not involve commercializing the park. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is postponing closures of the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail, but that means trail improvement work will also be delayed. Hawaii News Now.

Traffic worries along the west side of Oahu
are nothing new. State legislators as well as administrators from a number of agencies want to hear from you about how to ease traffic along the busy Leeward corridor. KHON2.

A number of Hawai’i Kai business and community groups are outraged over a federal proposal to regulate Maunalua Bay.   And they expressed their disapproval at a meeting Tuesday night. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii
Asked if they could see a single redeeming quality in a plan for a massive solar project in a residential area, a room full of Ocean View residents gave a resounding no on Thursday night. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Community College - Palamanui will be open for the first day of class on Aug. 24, Director Kenneth “Marty” Fletcher said Thursday. West Hawaii Today.

Several participants of the Mauna Kea movement that were arrested for blocking construction workers from reaching the Mauna Kea summit on June 24 appeared in court Thursday morning. Big Island Now.

Maui

Hundreds of South Maui residents will have their "3 Can Plan" curbside recycling reinstated next month, though they'll have to pay an extra $6 a month for the service, county officials confirmed Thursday. Maui News.

Maui Memorial Medical Center's cardiac unit got off to a slow, bumpy start and has not reached the volume of open-heart surgery patients initially projected when it received a permit from the state to operate in 2007. Maui News.

Kauai

A local marine biologist’s documentation of green sea turtles with torn and tattered flippers prompted state and federal scientists to gather on the North Shore this week to take a closer look. Garden Island.

Payment standards to accommodate Kauai veterans who are seeking affordable housing opportunities have risen slightly, according to The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Thursday. Garden Island.

Kahoolawe

An international group of environmental scientists is calling on the federal government to provide much-needed funding for Kahoolawe. Maui News.

A group of international environmental scientists is asking the federal government to provide funding for the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission restoration project. Associated Press.