Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lawmakers consider homeless zones, 1st Congressional debate draws interest, Kauai, Maui mayors cut budgets, gay cruise anniversary slated for Hawaii. more top state news

State law- makers are con- sidering a temporary solution to the con- tinuing problem of homeless campers living in some of Hawaii's most popular parks. They want the state to designate land for homeless safe zones.

The three leading candidates in the May special election for Congress differed sharply last night on the value of the federal economic stimulus package, with former Congressman Ed Case and state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa contending it was necessary to get through the recession while Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou argued it was too costly and ineffective.

Congressional candidates sought to set themselves apart from the pack last night as six of the challengers vying to replace Neil Abercrombie debated their positions on issues including health care reform, the national debt, public education and campaign finance reform.

The first debate for the six candidates running for Neil Abercrombie's congressional seat was held Monday night.

Debate video

Honolulu City Councilman Rod Tam, who will face a censure vote tomorrow, continued to use his city allowance to pay for meals with constituents and retirement party gifts even when he knew he was being investigated for possible abuses by the city Ethics Commission.

If Hawaii smokers think they are getting a deal buying cigarettes on the Internet, the state attorney general has some advice: Forget it.

Maui and Kauai plan smaller budgets in the next fiscal year, including plans for worker furloughs.

Mayor Charmaine Tavares presented her fiscal year 2011 budget Monday, and it includes increases in fees for water, wastewater, landfill tipping and auto registrations, as well as fare increases for the Maui Bus.

Following the state’s lead and attempting to keep its head above water during a weak economic climate, Kaua‘i County intends to furlough its employees two days per month.

The Kauai County Council’s annual budget deliberations, during which the heads of various county departments and agencies are grilled about their spending proposals, could once again take place with the cameras off.

A $36.7 million contract for Honolulu's planned train project failed to garner any competition.

The company that created the gay and lesbian cruise concept is commemorating its 25th birthday with a Silver Anniversary Cruise in Hawaii.

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