Thursday, September 3, 2009

National report: Hawaii roads and bridges are dangerous; Lingle administration vows to help

A report by a national trans- portation research group released on Wed- nesday confirmed what most Hawaii drivers already know: roads and bridges in Hawaii are in bad shape and traffic is awful.

The Lingle administration is renewing efforts to get lawmakers to approve a "holistic" and "aggressive" $4.2 billion program for highway and traffic modernization, safety and education, state Transportation Director Brennon Morioka said yesterday.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono joined AARPHawai‘i for a health care town hall Wednesday, and “civility, aloha and dignity” prevailed in lieu of the division, fear and fighting that has plagued similar meetings across the country this summer.

The head of the state agriculture department said Wednesday she's located funds to cut in half the number of agriculture inspectors who may be laid off because of the state's budget crisis.

An attempt to give Hawaii County's auditor fiscal independence faltered Tuesday when a proposed Charter amendment was postponed at the request of its author.

The county's plan to sell lands seized in Hamakua for back taxes is a fire sale, community members warned the County Council Tuesday.

Weary and hungry from a meeting that ran nearly 111/2 hours, Hawaii County Council members voted to postpone their discussion on a bill that would provide greater transparency to large land sales by the county.

Five County Council members went on a lobbying expedition to Honolulu in April, assuring state lawmakers they would "quickly pass" a resolution asking for a reprieve from the state's new Clean Elections Law, according to an amended lawsuit filed Tuesday by West Hawaii Today.

Two 13-year-old boys were arrested after a 12-year-old girl told police Monday she was held against her will on the grounds of the Kamehameha Schools Kapalama campus from early Friday to early Monday and repeatedly sexually assaulted.

Tuesday marked the first day the Maui County Parks and Recreation Department - technically - put into place controversial rules meant to free up more space at Maui's most crowded beaches.

Tourists and workers were assured Tuesday that the Maui Prince Hotel will operate continuously through foreclosure, although there will be some loss of jobs.

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