Friday, June 12, 2009

Top Hawaii Headlines: Friday morning edition

Hawaiian royal societies paid tribute to King Kamehameha yesterday in a ceremony steeped in tradition and which served as a reminder of the man who united the Hawaiian Islands.

Congress began deliberations yesterday on the "Akaka bill," which would create a process for Native Hawaiian self-governance, as Hawai'i's congressional delegation sought to confront arguments that the legislation is "race-based."

Granting native Hawaiians the chance to form their own government, like those established by many of the nation's 562 American Indian tribes and Alaska natives, would break new ground and eventually be ruled unconstitutional, critics of the proposal said yesterday.

Flu and furloughs will further weaken Hawaii's struggling economy and cause income and jobs in 2009 to take their biggest plunge in 40 years and push recovery into 2011 or 2012, according to the latest quarterly update released today by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization.

Federal officials are planning to expand the critical habitat for an endangered native seal to Johnston Island and the main Hawaiian Islands, in light of the marine mammal's decline in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

The Honolulu City Council set the day for a special election to fill the late Councilman Duke Bainum's seat.

Hawaii County's acquisition of 3 acres from a private landowner for the new Makalei Fire Station is complete and "everything is ready to go," Mayor Billy Kenoi said Wednesday.

A new greenwaste company protesting a county decision to extend a contract with the county's current vendor may have prompted government officials to rethink the renewal.

One of county government's most prolific Web surfers worked for the councilman who requested an investigation into employees' Internet abuse.

Fourteen Big Island schools are providing free lunches to all children under age 19 this summer.

Three Maui County teen-agers and the anti-tobacco movement they're leading in Hawaii were tapped for a national award recognizing their campaign against cigarettes and tobacco advertising aimed at them and their peers.

Two Kaua‘i County Council members want to know why the chair of the seven-member legislative body, Kaipo Asing, and the county clerk, Peter Nakamura, continue to stifle their requests.

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