Thursday, October 22, 2009

Return of the humpback whales, abandoned fishnets power homes, other top Hawaii news

A pod of humpback whales was spotted yesterday morning off the coast of West Maui, the first reported sighting statewide marking the beginning of whale season, according to an official with the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

Molokai residents flew to Oahu to protest a federal agency's removal of a nearly blind Hawaiian monk seal from waters off Kaunakakai.

A pair of federal lawsuits filed on behalf of special education and other students have the potential to keep some public schools open tomorrow despite the state's plan to furlough teachers on 17 Fridays, attorneys for the plaintiffs said yesterday.

At the public school in Manoa where President Barack Obama, parents are planning to join hundreds of parents across the state to protest at the State Capitol on Friday, the first day of public school teacher furloughs.

Just last month Hawaii's teachers agreed to take 17 furlough days. But already, an area school is using strategy to help students survive the cuts.

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann yesterday awarded the first construction contract for the city's planned $5.5 billion elevated commuter rail line.

Abandoned fishing nets and other derelict fishing gear recovered in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands is powering homes on Oahu.

Hawaii County should attempt to sell 737 acres in Paauilo mauka to help finance government operations, according to an initial 5-4 vote by a County Council committee Tuesday.

Working late into Tuesday evening, the Hawaii County Council Finance Committee was scheduled to get its first look at a critical audit of the county Department of Public Works.

Aerosmith concertgoers said they expected to experience one of the band's best concerts ever Tuesday night, especially since members of the rock band were under court order to perform on Maui after they canceled a concert here two years ago.

The Hawaii Supreme Court affirmed Tuesday that Maui County Council Member Sol Kaho'ohalahala is a resident of Lahaina - not Lanai, the island from which he holds the council's residency seat.

A land deal years in the making came to fruition Wednesday when the Kaua‘i County Council unanimously approved a plan that will secure 138 oceanfront acres on the Ninini Coastline near Lihu‘e Airport for public use in perpetuity

Road repairs, flooding and drainage issues, and traffic safety were among the pressing issues addressed when Mayor Billy Kenoi spoke with the residents of Holualoa recently.

Sen. Daniel K. Inouye today becomes the third-longest-serving senator in U.S. history, a landmark for the powerful lawmaker who has held a seat in Congress for as long as Hawaii has been a state.

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