Friday, October 16, 2009

'Barbarian' princess stirs controversy, energy projects emerge, and other top Hawaii news

The 29th annual Hawaii International Film Festival launched yesterday at the Sheraton Waikiki's RumFire with a spirited news conference that included Q'orianka Kilcher, star of the much-debated "Barbarian Princess," a feature film premiering to a sold-out Hawaii Theatre tonight.

The premiere Friday night is sold out. But the Hawaii International Film Festival has added another showing of the Princess Kailuani Movie, Barbarian Princess.

Sempra Generation of San Diego announced Friday that it is taking over the wind generation project at Ulupalakua originally proposed by Shell Wind but in abeyance for several years.

More than 30,000 doses of the H1N1 flu vaccine have been shipped to Hawaii, but only the most at-risk people will be eligible for the drug, health officials say.

Fire and police officials are investigating an early-morning fire Wednesday that gutted a senior center building under construction at the Hale Mahaolu Ehiku complex in Kihei, causing an estimated $1.5 million in damage.

A new contract with the state's largest public workers union will bring "substantial" savings, but not enough to prevent the first round of layoffs for about 750 state workers, Gov. Linda Lingle said yesterday.

The labor savings from collective bargaining will not be enough to close the state's budget deficit, Gov. Linda Lingle said yesterday, adding that the state would not immediately resort to a second round of layoffs to help make up the difference.

While saying she was pleased that the Hawaii Government Employees Association reached a tentative agreement Wednesday with the state and the four counties, Mayor Charmaine Tavares warned that the county faces a steep challenge next fiscal year.

The University of Hawaii hopes to see utility savings by closing buildings during the winter and spring breaks if Hawaii Government Employees Association members approve a new two-year contract.

The joint venture between go! and Mokulele airlines began Thursday with a few glitches

The lines for free meals around Hilo just keep getting longer.

The rules are different here, several members of the Hawaii County Board of Ethics said Wednesday as they considered Mayor Billy Kenoi's proposal to tighten the ethics code.

For the second time in as many months, the county Board of Ethics has found that Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole broke the county's ethics law.

The agreement between the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative and Pacific West Energy to potentially bring a 20-megawatt biomass-to-energy project to Kaua‘i is a “major” advancement and “something we’ve been working on for years,” but “several steps” still remain, KIUC President and CEO Randall Hee said Thursday.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Hawai'i has put the Hawaii County Council on notice that police helicopter flyovers for marijuana eradication are believed to be in violation of the Hawaii Constitution, the state's medical marijuana law, and the county's Lowest Law Enforcement Priority of Cannabis Ordinance.

Local advocacy groups are awaiting a response from the Federal Communications Commission on a challenge filed last week to stop a shared services agreement involving three local television stations

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