Thursday, December 10, 2009

OHA wants ceded land $$, Elections Office retooling, hunkering down, babymaking for the recession

"We are closing a decade -- a difficult decade," Office of Hawaiian Affairs chairperson Haunani Apoliona said.In OHA's annual State of OHA address, Apoliona said she'll petition lawmakers for a process for the state to pay back money it owes for making money off ceded lands.

The state Office of Elections hopes to complete as early as next month the first major revision since 2000 of the rules governing how elections are held in Hawaii.

Due to the recession and the state's projected $1 billion budget deficit through June 2011, state House and Senate leaders have canceled plans for the usual pomp on Opening Day in January.

Funding for everything from the historic Royal Hawaiian Band to nonprofit programs could face the chopping block in the search for ways to tackle a $140 million Honolulu city budget deficit.

After losing tens of millions on bad loans to California homebuilders, Central Pacific Bank is shutting down its Mainland operations.

Foreclosures in Hawaii rose again in November for the 29th straight year-over-year increase, as resort areas of the neighbor islands continue to push the statewide rate higher.

Honolulu Marathon week officially kicked off Wednesday with the opening of the Marathon Expo.

Two Big Island power plants made the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's newly-released list of the state's top 10 industrial polluters for 2008.

The 12 destinations Frommer's announced earlier this month included many places that a less adventurous American traveler would hesitate to go -- like Tunisia, Cuba, Vietnam, India -- and Hawaii Island.

Property tax increases aren't out of the picture for Hawaii County residents, Mayor Billy Kenoi said Tuesday evening.

Jan McEwen, who has bachelor's and master's of science degrees, will be out of a state job, again, this month. This time, she is going to collect unemployment and use the time to write a book about gardening, she said Tuesday.

Nearly 200 acres of pristine watershed will be preserved with the purchase of Kawaikapu Ranch lands in southeast Molokai by the Molokai Land Trust.

A ban on the use of handheld electronic devices while driving seemed destined for passage out of committee Wednesday before being deferred at the final moment amid safety concerns.

The humpback whales are back in Hawaiian waters! If you scan the ocean carefully, you may see them spout or breach.

Between 2000 and 2005, the teen birthrate in Hawaii decreased from 46 to 36 births per 1,000 15- to 19-year-old females. But in 2006, the year for which the most recent data is available nationwide, a 14 percent jump in Hawaii’s teen birth pushed it back up to 41 percent. National Kids Count Project

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