Monday, March 15, 2010

Maui County cuts public access to save a buck, program for addict mothers losing funds while sterilization draws debate, Star Bulletin owner puts property for sale, county parks not maintained, restaurant inspections targeted, more Hawaii news

With Hawai'i's unemployment rate hovering at the highest level in three decades, Gov. Linda Lingle will offer $10 million to help businesses hire new workers by covering half of the workers' health care premiums for one year.

It was a war of words at the state capitol and Governor Linda Lingle took the first shot.

A bill moving through the Legislature would allow the Health Department to use the fees it gets from restaurants to hire more inspectors and put food violation records online.

Funding is in jeopardy for a clinic that has provided prenatal care to 200 pregnant women struggling with addictions and has delivered 82 babies with good results.

The one-woman show that is Project Prevention completed a three-day stint in Honolulu last week, generating 37 calls to the toll-free line and debate about Barbara Harris' unconventional approach to stopping substance-exposed births by paying drug addicts and alcoholics $300 to obtain long-term birth control or be sterilized.

Oahu Publications, Inc.(OPI) is selling the assets used in connection with the publication of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin newspaper, including the Star-Bulletin masthead and the URL,, and related land, buildings and production assets.

Maui County's budget shortfalls have led to another cutback - television coverage of county boards and commissions.

Akaku: Maui Community Television and other public-access television stations would not have to compete for their contracts under a bill moving through the state Legislature.

The United Public Workers union announced that one of its units, which represents 9,000 blue-collar workers, overwhelmingly approved a new contract agreement with the state and counties.

Hanalei Bay might be touted as the best beach in America, but the bathroom facilities would likely be rated the worst, said Kaua‘i resident Jeff Tucker.

Plans by China's Hainan Airlines to provide service between Beijing and Honolulu appear to be running behind schedule again.

Embattled Honolulu City Councilman Rod Tam said he will introduce a resolution to eliminate the discretionary fund allowance given to council members to avoid the same problems he has encountered.

Police cited 167 Big Island drivers in the first two months of the new ban on using cell phones and hand-held electronic devices while driving.

The parking lot at Pu'u Pua'i Overlook in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park will be closed Monday, March 15, through Wednesday, March 31, for repaving.

Hundreds of beer enthusiasts ascended upon Kailua-Kona Saturday, taking in the views while enjoying a few cold brews to support local nonprofits.

Aging in 22-ounce bottles at the Kona Brewing Company is a very green beer.

For 17 years, the Friends of Moku'ula have dug through red tape to unearth ruins linked to Hawaii's ancient monarchy - and what many consider to be the greatest archeological find in the entire state.

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