Monday, January 31, 2011

Hawaii pins hopes on Chinese tourism, shoreline surveillence drones planned, Maui lawmakers seek tropical fish ban, schools lack AC, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Interisland Renewable Energy Program
State and federal officials are holding public meetings starting tomorrow on an environmental study of the proposed transmission of wind energy from Maui County to Oahu by undersea cable. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Co. announced Friday that it has tested 100 percent renewable biofuel in a petroleum oil-fired steam turbine generator at the Kahe power plant near Kapolei. Pacific Business News

The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a High Surf Warning, effective from midnight Sunday night until 6 a.m. Tuesday for the north and west facing shores of Kauai and Niihau and for the north facing shores of Oahu, Molokai and Maui. Hawaii News Now.

Collecting reef fish for sale in the aquarium trade would be banned or restricted statewide under bills introduced by Maui legislators. Maui News.

Bills proposed by Maui lawmakers would set bag limits and size restrictions for uhu and goatfish caught in waters off Maui. Maui News.

A measure creating a school board directly appointed by the governor is heading for a vote in the full Senate. KHON2.

With gas consumption projected to decrease in coming years, lawmakers are looking for a new way to pay for roads — taxing drivers based on their mileage. Civil Beat.

A self-storage entrepreneur is protecting more than 2,000 acres of Hawaii agricultural land from development. Associated Press.

The first chartered direct flight full of high-spending Chinese tourists touched down at Honolulu Airport yesterday with 263 passengers eager to shop and see the islands through the Chinese New Year over the next six days. Star-Advertiser.

A China Eastern Airlines A-340 touched down at Honolulu International Airport at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, becoming the first-ever direct charter flight from China to Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii tourism officials and politicians greeted the first direct charter flight from China Sunday. KITV4.

The state and a private contractor are installing extensive new security and surveillance measures at harbors and shorelines that include planned use of unmanned aerial drones, according to public records. Hawaii Reporter.

Wright: The U.S. is making a killing off the killing in Afghanistan. Hawaii Independent.

The U.S. Army is taking responsibility for "miscommunication" it said fueled the recent public outcry over its proposal to conduct high-altitude helicopter training on Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Tribune-Herald.

Over the past decade, the state has installed air conditioning in just three schools. Star-Advertiser.

As part of a push to extend services to more native Hawaiian children statewide, Kamehameha Schools spent $102 million on educational outreach programs last fiscal year, up from $57 million in 2006. Star-Advertiser.

The state is due to hold a public hearing this week on efforts to avoid and minimize harm to nene and other endangered birds during the planned construction of a new development at Kauai Lagoons Resort in Lihue. KHON2.

A state agency collaborating with a community advisory council has sketched its vision for developing state land in Kakaako next to Kewalo Basin. That was no easy task, but now comes the hard part: paying for delivery. Star-Advertiser.

First-ever State of the County addresses Mayor Billy Kenoi delivered have drawn mixed reactions from County Council members, several of whom wanted a budget forecast. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii County Council will get its first look at a redistricting plan Tuesday, when a bill by South Kona Councilwoman Brenda Ford is scheduled to be heard by the Committee on Governmental Relations. West Hawaii Today.

Every year researchers and scientists send thousands of island bugs to the University of Hawaii’s insect museum. Hawaii Public Radio.

Molokai Dialysis Facility is preparing to upgrade their facilities to better suit special case patients, so they’ll no longer need to travel off-island for dialysis treatments.Molokai Dispatch.

Watching a whale breach off Ahukini Landing was the perfect way to wake up Saturday, said Lani Broadbent, part-time resident of Wailua and Maryland. Garden Island.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Obama birth certificates could go on sale, Maui drivers flout cellphone ban, HECO strike looms, Native Hawaiians learning law, Kauai mayor ends furloughs, EPA praises bag bans, more Hawaii news

Hawaii Mayor Billy Kenoi Photo (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Mayor Billy Kenoi gave his first State of the County address Thursday morning in Kona, pointing out the positives despite a still-ailing economy. Hawaii 24/7

Moving to dispel claims that President Barack Obama was not born in Hawaii, his supporters in the state's legislature have introduced a bill that would allow anyone to get a copy of his birth records for a $100 fee. Associated Press.

Hawaii now has its first network of commercial charging stations for Nissan Leaf electric cars. Pacific Business News

The Abercrombie administration is starting to make good on the governor's promise to bring all state prison inmates incarcerated on the mainland back to Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Hospitals would be barred from denying care to rape victims who refuse to undergo forensic examinations under a proposal being pushed by the Women's Legislative Caucus in the state Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

The Women’s Legislative Caucus of the Hawaii State Legislature has proposed a package of bills and resolutions that include a number of measures related to sexual assault, including removal of the statute of limitations on prosecuting rape cases. Hawaii Reporter.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie asked Dr. Neal Palafox to withdraw his nomination as director of the state Department of Health, but the governor's staff has declined to publicly disclose the reason. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has appointed the director of two executive branch offices. Associated Press.

Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. has signed a bill restoring funding in various county departments, ending all county employee furloughs for the remainder of the current fiscal year. Associated Press.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. signed a bill Thursday that restores funding in the various county departments and ends all county furlough days for the remainder of the current fiscal year. Garden Island.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is praising Maui and Kauai counties for banning plastic shopping bags. Associated Press.

Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann hopes Hawaii County will follow the lead of Maui and Kauai, whose mayors and county councils were praised Thursday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. West Hawaii Today.

A proposed biofuel plant in Ka'u will not be built in Pahala town; officials are instead looking at acquiring land near the Pahala Transfer Station. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Department of Health on Thursday issued an updated list of recall items involving the First Commercial Kitchen investigation. KITV4.

The demand for new Army and Air Force housing is driving a rebirth in the local construction industry. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii tourism officials are counting on sunshine and momentum from the NFL play-offs to bring big bucks to our islands.Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii is one of the top four states in the nation when it comes to debt and pension burden, according to a new report from Moody’s Investors Service. Hawaii Reporter.

The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) and its Policy Center have adopted a project to increase understanding on a variety of legal cases moving through the court system involving Native Hawaiian trust assets. Hawaii Independent.

As bad as the landfill spill was, the decision to release contaminated stormwater into the ocean was necessary to prevent something even worse — a catastrophic structural failure, a top state Health Department official told Civil Beat. Civil Beat.

They're not striking yet, but Hawaiian Electric employees gathered Thursday to get ready for such an event. KHON2.

A trust representing unsecured creditors in the Hawaiian Telcom bankruptcy case is suing three former top executives of the company to recover about $2.5 million in severance and other payments paid to the officers before the company filed for bankruptcy in late 2008. Star-Advertiser.

Although some drivers denied they had been talking on cell phones and most had hung up before reaching a police checkpoint, officers ticketed 26 motorists for cell phone violations last week in Wailuku. Maui News.

A Naalehu man has filed an ethics complaint against Hilo Councilman Donald Ikeda. West Hawaii Today.

Bill Dorman has been appointed as Hawaii Public Radio’s News Director. Hawaii Public Radio.

Brother honors astronaut's memory. Hawaii News Now.

Developer Jesse Spencer and his supporters turned out for a meeting of the Maalaea Community Association on Tuesday night to advocate for his Ohana Kai Village project and protest the association's legal action against it. Maui News.

The U.S. Army has suspended animal-eradication efforts within its Pohakuloa Training Area due to a dispute with state wildlife administrators, who maintain recent aerial shoots were unauthorized. Tribune-Herald.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hawaii tourism up, Honolulu foreclosures surge, judiciary seeks money, mystery surrounds top doc's resignation, food companies fight recalls, more news from the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii tourism begins 2011 with renewed momentum from last year's turnaround; however, it's still expected to fall short of the industry's 2005, 2006 and 2007 banner years. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie is proposing a significant increase in the vehicle weight tax.KITV4.

Abercrombie: Projection of Deficit Was 'Considerably Less' in October 2010. Civil Beat.

A group of nine Hawaii senators held hands, bowed their heads and sought God's blessing today, signaling that they'll still pray despite a vote last week to abandon official invocations. Associated Press.

Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald is asking state lawmakers to approve a judiciary budget that includes $16.2 million to end the two-days-a-month furloughs for about 1,800 court workers on July 1. Star-Advertiser.

The state’s budget crunch is slowing the wheels of justice as $19.7 million of cuts over the past two years a factor in doubling processing times for uncontested divorces and the median age of pending civil cases rising by 40 percent over a year earlier. Hawaii Reporter.

Dr. Neal Palafox on Wednesday pulled out of the running for a cabinet position that required a senate advise and consent process.KHON2.

Interim Hawaii Health Director Dr. Neal Palafox abruptly quit Wednesday, the first of new Gov. Neil Abercrombie's Cabinet appointees to leave.Associated Press.

Gov. Abercrombie is proposing a change to the state retirement law that would dramatically reduce the pensions for many government workers -- particularly police officers. KITV4.

Foreclosure activity in the Honolulu metropolitan area rose by almost 40 percent last year compared to the year before, according to a new report from RealtyTrac. Pacific Business News

After more than three decades running Hawaii’s largest sports complex, Aloha Stadium officials are running out of options to solve their most vexing problem: reversing years of decline at the facility that will take center stage this weekend (Jan. 30) for the NFL Pro Bowl. Honolulu Weekly.

The city has cleared the final major environmental hurdle for it to begin construction of Honolulu's rail project.Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Rail Transit Project received a key permit approval today from the Honolulu City Council that allows the project to begin early construction activities.Hawaii Independent.

State Department of Health officials said a Waipahu food production plant was shut down because of a failure to do the required testing of products for acidity, an indicator of whether conditions are ripe for botulism. Star-Advertiser.

A recall involving food manufacturer First Commercial Kitchen has outraged many local entrepreneurs.KHON2.

Two Big Island companies whose products are listed in a statewide recall say they don't even use the company shut down by the Health Department this week. West Hawaii Today.

A day after a recall of more than 100 locally-made products, health officials are still trying to figure out which brands should be on the list.Hawaii News Now.

A document has come to light, showing that the operator of the Waimanalo Gulch landfill and the city were fined $424,000 last year for design failures at the landfill. Hawaii News Now.

With cast-off household items piling up on curbsides, Oahu's landfill will remain closed yet another week, city officials announced yesterday.Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro is urging the Legislature to adopt several changes to state criminal law. Associated Press.

A University of Hawaii researcher was elected president of a prestigious coral research group. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Challenge(s) of Geothermal. Big Island Weekly.

State agriculture officials got permission Tuesday to begin field testing a pesticide that may control the coffee berry borer. West Hawaii Today.

An agreement announced Tuesday between the Hawaii Medical Service Association and Healthways won't cost HMSA subscribers extra and may lead to rate reductions, company representatives said. West Hawaii Today.

Wailea association puts end to a court battle over parking. Maui News.

Four months after the workshop that Mayor Billy Kenoi's office said would yield a pedestrian safety plan, the plan is still a work in progress. Tribune-Herald.

The new Safeway store in Hilo is opening in two months, officials confirmed, and the company is now accepting employment applications.Tribune-Herald.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gay judge nominated to state Supreme Court, civil unions bill advances, Abercrombie seeks pay cuts, not furloughs, Akaka loses committee chairmanship, pesticides sought to curb Kona coffee beetle, landfill woes continue, more Hawaii news

Photo (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
A measure creating same-sex civil unions in Hawaii has cleared its first hurdle. Associated Press.

A proposal to allow couples — same- or opposite-sex — to enter into a civil union took its first step in the state Legislature as lawmakers appear ready to move quickly on the issue. Star-Advertiser.

The senate judiciary committee held the first hearing on what will likely be a handful of different civil unions measures introduced this session. KHON2.

Last year there were flag wavers, sign holders on the street, and songs of victory and defeat. But this year the first public hearing of a civil unions bill was minus fanfare. Hawaii News Now.

The state Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday passed a bill to provide civil unions, offering benefits and responsibilities identical to marriage, for unmarried couples.KITV4.

Gay Supreme Court Nominee Hopes To Inspire Youth. KITV4.

Sabrina Shizue McKenna, a longtime state judge and former University of Hawaii women's basketball player who was born in Tokyo and raised by a single mother, was nominated to a 10-year term on the Hawaii Supreme Court yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

Abercrombie Testy In Naming McKenna. Civil Beat.

Senior Family Court Judge Sabrina McKenna, 53, has been nominated by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to serve on the Hawaii Supreme Court. Hawaii Reporter.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s pick of Sabrina S. McKenna as his first judicial appointee — to the Hawaii Supreme Court no less — gives momentum to groups that have been lobbying for years to get more women promoted through the Judiciary’s ranks. Pacific Business News

Furloughs won't fly under Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, but pay cuts for government workers might. Associated Press.

A state Senate committee has approved legislation that would grant a governor the authority to nominate members of the state Board of Education. Associated Press.

Food security, sustainable energy, Native Hawaiian culture a priority for Hawaii non-profits. Hawaii Independent.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka will move from chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee to lead the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, a loss of influence for the state's junior senator. Star-Advertiser,

Hawaii fourth and eighth graders have performed below already low national scores on a national science assessment. Associated Press.

Half of Hawaii eighth-graders and nearly 40 percent of fourth-graders in public schools tested "below basic" proficiency in science on a national assessment, according to results released yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

Board of Education member Lei Ahu Isa resigned yesterday, saying she wanted to give the governor the chance to make his first BOE appointment. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Health says levels of the carcinogen hexavalent chromium in Honolulu's water supply are low and the city's water is safe to drink. Associated Press.

Your tap water is safe. That was the message Tuesday from state health officials after chromium 6 test results were made public. KHON2.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday issued an order to Waste Management, Inc., with the company agreeing to take immediate steps to clean up recent releases of waste and contaminated stormwater and prevent future releases from the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill on Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

The operator of Oahu's only landfill has one week to come up with a plan to avoid a repeat of the events that sent storm water with medical waste and other trash into waters at the edge of Ko Olina Resort. Star-Advertiser.

The Environmental Protection Agency today ordered the immediate clean up of contaminated storm water at the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill. KITV4.

While the future of Waimanalo Gulch Landfill is uncertain, another landfill nearby is embarking on an innovative project. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Big Island unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in two years, according to data released Monday by the state Department of Labor. Tribune-Herald.

State legislators will consider two bills taking a different approach to new regulations on open water fish farming. West Hawaii Today.

The state Agriculture Department is taking a step toward bringing in pesticides used worldwide to control the coffee berry borer. West Hawaii Today.

The state Department of Health is warning people not to eat more than a hundred local food brands, but the recall list isn't accurate. Hawaii News Now.

After successful participating last year, the crews of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Cutters Kittiwake and Ahi are currently stationed in Honolulu, scheduled to participate in Ka Molokai Makahiki games this weekend. Molokai Dispatch.

In little more than three weeks on the job, acting Maui County Prosecuting Attorney John D. Kim already has improved morale in the office and helped reduce a backlog of felony cases in 2nd Circuit Court, attorneys told Maui County Council members reviewing his nomination Tuesday. Maui News.

Targeting major highways as well as some well-traveled neighborhood roads, Maui police issued nearly 700 citations to speeding drivers during five days of stepped-up enforcement last week.Maui News.

Ten University of Hawai‘i at Manoa undergraduate students will be spending the Spring 2011 semester as legislative interns in the offices of state representatives and senators, and one will serve as an intern in the city Department of the Prosecuting Attorney. Garden Island.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie talks tax hikes, spending cuts in first state of the state address, Innocence Project works on Maui, civil union bill in the works, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, warning that the state is at risk of an economic collapse, called yesterday for spending cuts on public workers, welfare and health care for the poor and new taxes on pensions, alcohol, soda and time shares to balance the budget. Star-Advertiser.

"The truth is that our canoe, which is our beloved Hawaii, could capsize," Gov. Neil Abercrombie said in his inaugural State of the State address. Hawaii News Now.

Raise taxes and cut spending -- Governor Neil Abercrombie announced his ideas for tackling a massive budget deficit in his first state of the state speech. KHON2.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie proposed in his first State of the State address Monday a soda tax and cuts in public benefits to help a state government on "life support" for an "under-resourced and often dysfunctional democracy." Associated Press.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie called for the creation of a tax for sodas and other drinks with sugar in them and he wants to hike taxes on alcohol for the first time in 12 years. KITV4.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Monday dribbled out a few components of his economic plan during his first state of the state address, ending his 46-minute speech to a standing ovation and a lot of questions about how it's going to work. West Hawaii Today.

The governor campaigned with the promise of not raising taxes. In his State of the State address Monday, he called for raising five taxes or fees. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, facing a $771.9 million budget gap in the next two fiscal years, is proposing a number of politically tough measures that will hit state workers, big soda drinkers and needy families as he looks to solve Hawaii’s fiscal problems. Hawaii Reporter.

In his first State of the State address Monday, Gov. Neil Abercrombie laid out a dire budget scenario and the potentially painful steps to recovery, including tax increases and benefit reductions. KITV4.

Governor Neil Abercrombie delivered his first State of the State address today before a joint Legislative session. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie is proposing a soda tax and cutbacks in public benefits to help the state recover from what he describes as a government on "life support" for an "under resourced and often dysfunctional democracy." Associated Press.

Full text of Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s first State of the State address on Monday. Hawaii Independent.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has always been one to speak his mind. In his long political career, he has never held back, even if his fiery words landed him in trouble. Pacific Business News

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, faced with an $800 million state budget deficit, on Monday opened the door to using tourism revenues as one path to closing that yawning gap. Associated Press.

Hospitality industry executives said Hawaii's economic recovery could backslide if the state raises taxes on tourists or diverts tourism marketing dollars to other programs as Gov. Neil Abercrombie proposed in his State of the State address. Star-Advertiser.

A group advocating for better accounting disclosures says Hawaii isn’t meeting its balanced budget requirement because it hasn’t funded $12.8 billion of pension and healthcare benefits owed to state workers as they retire. Hawaii Reporter.

A Senate bill that would allow the governor to appoint new Board of Education members without candidates first being vetted by an advisory council moved forward yesterday, with support from the unions that represent teachers and principals.Star-Advertiser.

In his state of the state address, Governor Neil Abercrombie outlined education as his top priority and appealed to lawmakers to give him the authority to appoint a school board. Hawaii News Now.

Senators in the Education Committee met Monday to take the first vote on the measure to allow Governor Neil Abercrombie to appoint school board members. KITV4.

Not specifically mentioned in Governor Abercrombie’s State of the State address -- civil unions, granting marriage rights to same-sex partners. KHON2.

Less than three months after voters backed most candidates that support civil unions, lawmakers tomorrow begin the process of vetting another bill, with expectations high among those who hope to have the bill passed. Star-Advertiser.

With passionate supporters and opponents of the proposed civil union measure expected to show up in force Tuesday at the Hawaii State Capitol for the 9 a.m. hearing of SB232, Sen. Clayton Hee, D-Kahaluu, is preparing for the worst. Hawaii Reporter.

The Hawaii State Senate’s Committee on Judiciary and Labor will hear Senate Bill 232, relating to civil unions, this Tuesday. Hawaii Independent.

Sunshine Market vendors frustrated with plastic bag ban. Garden Island.

Hawaii's unemployment rate is remaining at 6.4 percent for the sixth straight month, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. KITV4.

A planned $59 million upgrade of Aloha Stadium is being put on hold while the state restudies the future of the aging facility. Star-Advertiser.

Stricter rules for medical waste disposal is the way to keep syringes and vials out of coastal waters, Leeward Oahu residents who attended a hearing about the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill debris spill said yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii County can't borrow its way out of debt, which is why local government should shrink, cut labor costs and end its "culture of entitlement," County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong said Sunday. Tribune-Herald.

A Maui man imprisoned for a vicious attack is getting a new trial thanks to new DNA testing. Hawaii News Now.

When Alvin Jardine III's convictions were vacated and he was released on bail last week in a 20-year-old rape case, it was the first victory of its kind for the Hawaii Innocence Project. Maui News.

Traveling more than 200 miles above the Earth and going 17,500 miles an hour, NASA astronaut Daniel Tani never tired of watching the Earth go by in the window of the International Space Station. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. was in Washington, D.C., last week attending the 79th Winter Meeting of The U.S. Conference of Mayors, a news release states. Garden Island.

Tutu and Me may be a traveling preschool program, but it just found a second location to call home on Molokai. Molokai Dispatch.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hawaii lawmakers face civil unions, medical marijuana, appointed education board, state of the state, school librarians checking out, bank profits up, garbage battle continues, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Photo (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs spent $3,192,547 on lobbyists for the Akaka bill — legislation that has failed to pass since it was first introduced 10 years ago. Civil Beat.

Governor Neil Abercrombie will deliver his first State of the State address Monday morning. KHON2.

Hawaii Public Radio will carry Governor Neil Abercrombie's first State of the State address to the Hawaii legislature on Monday. Hawaii Public Radio.

Civil Union Bills to be Heard Tuesday. Hawaii Reporter.

A state Senate committee is set to consider legislation that would grant the governor authority to appoint members of the state Board of Education. Associated Press.

Medical Marijuana Expansion Proposed. Senators Want More Patients To Have Easier Access To Medical Pot. KITV4.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono says more than 20,000 seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries in Hawaii have received $250 checks to help cover the gap in their prescription drug coverage. Associated Press.

Honolulu officials are asking a state commission for an extension on a deadline to shut down the city-owned Waimanalo Gulch Landfill. Associated Press.

City Council members Stanley Chang and Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo hope to get answers this morning on how to prevent future disasters at the city's only landfill like the Jan. 13 release of unknown amounts of medical waste onto Oahu's Leeward beaches. Star-Advertiser.

The Environmental Protection Agency and state Department of Health and have opened an investigation into the January 13 landfill breach that sent an estimated 7.5 million gallons of contaminated water and an unknown amount of toxic soil, trash, fecal matter and human medical waste into west Oahu’s ocean waters. Hawaii Reporter.

Keeping up with maintenance difficult for government. West Hawaii Today.

State Rep. D. Mele Carroll and three other Maui candidates could be fined for failing to file required campaign spending reports for the 2010 election.Maui News.

Kahuku Wind (KW), the first wind farm Oahu has seen in over 20 years, will be going live in February when the clean energy goes directly into the grid to Oahu’s homes and businesses. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaiian Airlines on Friday announced a corporate restructuring that involves eliminating 30 nonunion jobs and creating approximately 50 new ones. Pacific Business News

Following a public meeting last August, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will be holding a second public hearing regarding proposed amendments to the rules and regulations of the State Land Use Conservation District. Molokai Dispatch.

Big Island school librarians are increasingly checking out, without any renewals in sight. Tribune-Herald.

There's a proposal to create a campground for the homeless at Sand Island state park. KITV4.

Bank of Hawaii, second largest Hawaii bank, has logged a $40.6 million fourth quarter profit, up $100,000 from the same quarter a year earlier despite lower revenue, and cited a slowly improving Hawaii economy. Hawaii News Now.

Ocean lovers can spy on parrotfish, monitor water quality and participate in other scientific research through a program that aims to enlist the community to help protect a West Maui reef. Maui News.

Kaua‘i Community College is offering an all-new training program in the fundamentals of tropical agriculture. Garden Island.

A former B-2 stealth bomber engineer from Hawaii convicted of selling military secrets to China is due to be sentenced in federal court on Monday. Associated Press.

A Florida man who pleaded guilty to federal charges of bilking four Hawaii investors out of $250,000 and scores of others in a Ponzi scheme is set to be sentenced. Associated Press.

A Maui man who spent nearly 20 years in prison in the rape of a woman during a burglary is getting a fresh chance at freedom after his original convictions were overturned based on new DNA evidence. Star-Advertiser.

A circuit court jury found the woman who beat a peacock to death not guilty of animal cruelty late Friday afternoon.KITV4.

Vidinha Stadium received a major makeover over the last several months. Garden Island.

With no confirmed sightings of Kimberly Jacobs since her 2008 disappearance, many who knew the Waikiki woman say the time had come to accept that she is gone. Hawaii News Now.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hawaii lawmakers gamble on revenue generators, Abercrombie names homeless czar, Senate suspends prayer, car sales up, more news

Photo courtesy DLNR
Wildlife biologists and volunteers surveyed Hawaii's native and migratory waterbirds this week. Associated Press.

Legalized gambling is back on the legislature's agenda as one way to attack the state budget deficit. KITV4.

A state lawmaker has unveiled legislation to study the pros and cons of Hawaii joining a multistate lottery. Associated Press.

The Hawaii State Senate is ending the practice of opening each day’s floor session with an invocation, defusing a possible lawsuit regarding the separation of church and state. Hawaii Reporter.

Charges were dismissed in Wahiawa district court Thursday against four men involved in controversial north shore shark tours.KITV4.

Stressing his commitment to end homelessness in Hawaii, Governor Neil Abercrombie today announced the appointment of Marc Alexander as the Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness. KHON2.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie yesterday appointed Marc Alexander, the former vicar general of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu, as his homeless coordinator, a sign the governor will reach out to the faith-based community as partners. Star-Advertiser.

The Rev. Marc Alexander has resigned his priestly ministry and has accepted a new job, according to Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva. Hawaii News Now.

The reports cards are in...and Hawaii's earning mixed grades for tobacco control policies. KHON2.

Hawaii's ethics code is too loose, some lawmakers say. So loose, that a politician can receive income from a firm or lobbyist doing business before the Legislature without disclosing the financial relationship. Civil Beat.

Members of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery (PASS) attended the opening of the 2011 Hawaii Legislature, keen to support anti-human trafficking bills that are part of legislation to be debated this session. Hawaii Independent.

With more whales expected to migrate to Hawaii this season, experts anticipate more entanglements. Hawaii Public Radio.

The process of finding a new landfill on Oahu officially began today. KHON2.

A new online offering of campus crime reports aims to keep students at the University of Hawaii at Hilo informed and out of danger. Tribune-Herald.

The University of Hawaii's Board of Regents have extended President M.R.C. Greenwood's contract. Associated Press.

Pahala resident Gwen Sorensen wants police to ensure their dispatchers are properly trained to handle every type of emergency situation the island could possibly throw at them. West Hawaii Today.

Their airplanes aren't the only things with wings. Some say the pilots who fly them have wings as well. West Hawaii Today.

Seven families on Molokai are about to own their own houses for the first time. Molokai Dispatch.

Television reporter-turned state Department of Transportation spokeswoman Tammy Mori will return to the airwaves, rejoining KHON-TV Monday, Jan. 31. Star-Advertiser.

New vehicle registrations in Hawaii rose 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 over the fourth quarter of 2009, according to the Hawaii Auto Outlook report released this morning. Star-Advertiser.

After the storms that passed through the Hawaiian Islands in the weeks before Christmas, most people have now heard of the "Pineapple Express" and the heavy rain and snowfall it caused in California. Star-Advertiser.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Legislative discord, TV blackout, mark new Hawaii session, Say retains speakership, surf's up, Eddie could go, woman in court for bludgeoning peacock, look out for tangled whale, more news from the Hawaiian Islands

The clerk of the state House of Representatives on Wednesday barred live television coverage of an afternoon session at which the speaker was elected after a two-month struggle among House Democrats. Associated Press.

State House Speaker Calvin Say yesterday overcame a leadership challenge that had divided majority Democrats for two months, but he agreed to give dissidents a greater share of leadership posts and committee chairmanships. Star-Advertiser.

State Senate president Shan Tsutsui set the stage for the 2011 Legislature, saying lawmakers will tackle the economy, education and energy self-sufficiency. Hawaii News Now.

The state House on Wednesday afternoon had a leader after a public dispute over who should be speaker. KITV4.

Rep. Calvin Say (District 20 – St. Louis Heights, Palolo Valley, Maunalani Heights, Wilhelmina Rise, Kaimuki) will remain as Speaker of the House for the Twenty-Sixth Legislature, which includes the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions. Hawaii News Now.

For two and a half months, Calvin Say could not muster the required 26 votes to win another two-year term as speaker of the Hawaii House of Representatives. Civil Beat.

The 26th State Legislature conducted its opening day festivities with music and song today. At the same time there was a cloud of uncertainty and tension in the lower House due to unsettled differences. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Hawaii House of Representatives today announced that Rep. Calvin Say (District 20 - D)will remain as Speaker of the House for the 26th Legislature, which includes the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions.Hawaii Independent.

Governor Neil Abercrombie today appointed of Georgette “Jo” Jordon to represent House District 45.  Jordon fills the seat left vacant by Maile Shimabukuro who was appointed to the district’s State Senate seat. KHON2.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa has been appointed to House committees that handle military and environmental policies. Associated Press.

A scientist from the University of Hawaii has helped discover 16 pairs of supermassive black holes in merging galaxies. Star-Advertiser.

The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau could go. Star-Advertiser.

While some are planning for the possibility of damage from huge surf scheduled to arrive early Thursday morning, many more are looking forward to just seeing the beauty and power of these big waves. KITV4.

To help alleviate traffic congestion and protect public safety, the city and event sponsor will provide off-site parking and bus transportation if the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau big wave surf contest is held soon at Waimea Bay. Hawaii News Now.

Dark now, but with 30 foot surf expected to pound the coast, the City is prepared at a moments notice to activate if necessary. KHON2.

Federal and state officials on Wednesday asked Hawaii boaters to help them search for an entangled humpback whale that's dragging about 60-to-80 feet of line and a buoy. Associated Press.

The road to the summit of Haleakala reopened at 11 a.m. Wednesday after being closed earlier because of snow, slush and ice on the roadway, a park official said. Maui News.

Hawaii programs that assist the homeless are receiving $10.2 million from the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development. Pacific Business News

With two new interventional cardiologists on staff, Maui Memorial Medical Center recorded its first angioplasty just three days into the new year. Maui News.

A South Kohala developer is still in violation of a Land Use Commission decision, state planning officials say. West Hawaii Today.

A Makaha Valley Towers condominium owner who used a baseball bat to bludgeon a peacock to death should not be on trial because peafowl are pests and the state doesn't require a permit to kill them, her attorney told jurors yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

KITV 4 News has learned an elementary school secretary was arrested in a theft case Wednesday, the same day a Kapolei man was sentenced after he admitted to stealing thousands of dollars from a Little League baseball team. KITV4.

Fire Chief Darryl Oliveira said he'll consult with county Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida before taking any action concerning a Pahala fire captain convicted of a 2005 hit-and-run death. Tribune-Herald.

Opponents to Honolulu’s rail transit project say the city’s clearing of a key Federal Transit Administration hurdle won’t stop them from trying to derail the program. Hawaii Reporter.

With Honolulu's Rail Transit Project cleared for construction, job-seekers lined up today hoping to score one of the thousands of rail-related jobs. KHON2.

Residents have been turned away at the propane pump in recent weeks, left without needed fuel for stoves and other home appliances. Garden Island.

An army has to train if it wants to avoid unnecessary casualties. And American troops stationed in Hawai'i face a narrowing set of options for training. Kaho'olawe has been returned, much the worse for wear, to the native Hawaiians. Big Island Weekly.

Homeowner watches as lava overtakes house. Star-Advertiser.

Longtime Molokai rancher James “Uncle Jimmy” Duvauchelle has been managing land on Molokai’s west end for 40-plus years – seeing the island turn from green to brown and the economy dwindle.. Molokai Dispatch.

A 32-year-old Kealakehe Intermediate School teacher, recently charged with abuse and unlawful imprisonment of a child, has been put on indefinite "department directed leave," school officials said Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

The Kaua‘i Fire Department is inviting public comment on the relocation of the Kekaha lifeguard tower. Garden Island.

If you haven’t noticed, we’re in a full-tilt transformation away from conventional cars. Honolulu Weekly.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hawaii train is coming, 1k inmates may be released, Legislature opens in disarray, councilman recovering from heart attack, Army helicopter plan panned, lava consumes home, coffee production dips, more news

The City of Honolulu has leapt over a major hurdle by winning federal approval to construct its commuter rail project. Associated Press.

The city expects to break ground on Honolulu's rail system in March, moving ahead with construction of the $5.5 billion transit project after receiving final environmental approval from the Federal Transit Administration.Star-Advertiser.

The Federal Transit Administration issued a Record of Decision for Honolulu's rail transit project Tuesday. The document affirms the project has met all the requirements of the environmental review process as required by the federal government. Hawaii News Now.

Video: After years of preparations and studies, the federal government approves Oahu's rail transit project. KITV4.

The checklist city officials must complete before they can start construction on Honolulu's $5.5 billion rail project is shrinking. Rail planners Tuesday afternoon got the word from Mayor Peter Carlisle, who is in Washington D.C., that the Federal Transit Administration issued a Record of Decision approving the project. Civil Beat.

The Federal Transit Administration has given the City & County of Honolulu the green light to proceed with its $5.5 billion rail transit system. Pacific Business News

The Honolulu Rail Transit Project passed a major hurdle yesterday. Hawaii Independent.

Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann is recovering from a heart attack and surgery at The Queen's Medical Center on Oahu. West Hawaii Today.

State House Democrats, unable to agree on leadership, were on the brink last night of allowing internal differences to affect opening day of the state Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

George Fontaine is among the 51 Hawaii House Representatives waiting to learn where their offices will be, what committees they will be serving on, who will hold chairman and vice chairman positions and what their office budget will be. Hawaii Reporter.

The state Legislature opens today, but law-makers have been busy for the last couple of months, preparing for the first session in eight years under a Democrat governor. Garden Island.

A civil unions bill is likely to resurface this year. KHON2.

Prisons May Release Up To 1,000 Offenders. Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s pledge to bring home 1,900 Hawaii inmates in mainland prisons had lawmakers worried about how they would pay for the new prison space required. KITV4.

"Our department stance is, why are we going to pay somebody else to do our jobs?" said Jodie Maesaki-Hirata, interim director of the State Department of Public Safety. Hawaii News Now.

The perennially cash-strapped Hawaii Health Systems Corp. won’t need an emergency cash infusion to make it through the remainder of this fiscal year. Hawaii Reporter.

Medical services, school repairs and energy projects will be among the priorities of lawmakers from Maui's rural districts in the upcoming legislative session. Maui News.

The eight Republicans in the Hawaii House want to prevent new taxes unless they have overwhelming support, promote home solar power installations and reduce the cost of medical lawsuits. Garden Island.

A military plan to run helicopter training exercises from Pohakuloa Training Area to landing zones on Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa is encountering opposition from national parks and environmental and native rights groups.
 West Hawaii Today

Two humpback whales — one of them dragging a net and a buoy — were spotted off Na Pali Coast on Tuesday, prompting immediate response from the United States Coast Guard and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Garden Island.

The federal government plans to host a public hearing in Honolulu this week on whether a small population of dolphins living near Hawaii be placed on the endangered species list. Associated Press.

How long Waimanalo Gulch Landfill will remain closed depends largely on whether heavy duty plastic liners designed to prevent leaching were compromised by last week's storm. KHON2.

The city is in the process of collecting thousands of gallons of storm water from the Waimanalo Gulch landfill and then sending it right down the drain. Hawaii News Now.

Disagreement over how members of an appointed school board should be chosen could delay implementing a voter mandate to do away with an elected board. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its annual summery report of crop production. One Hawaii crop hit particularly hard was coffee. Hawaii Public Radio.

Consumers in Hawaii want safe food, but there is a gap between the amount of regulation food purchasers want and the food safety rules that Hawaii's farmers are willing to implement. Star-Advertiser.

Federal regulators have given Sirius XM Radio Inc. permission to temporarily establish a 2,000-watt transmitter in Hawaii. Associated Press.

A meeting was held Tuesday night on a planned affordable housing project for seniors in the master-planned community of Mililani Mauka. KHON2.

Disney is looking to hire 1,200 employees for its new resort. KITV4.

A wind farm on Lanai came one step closer to becoming a towering reality last week. Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) and Castle & Cooke announced reaching an agreement on electric rates and benefits to residents once wind power is up and running on the island. But grassroots organizations and community members on the island say the wind farm deal is “not inevitable.” Molokai Dispatch.

The Nature Conservancy has received a $10,000 grant from the Monsanto Fund for its conservation work on the island of Molokai. Molokai Dispatch.

A former supervisor for the City of Honolulu is headed to prison for a year after pleading no contest to charges he collected overtime pay for work he didn't perform. Associated Press.

Chef Michael Symon doesn't know just yet what will be on the menu this weekend during the James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. West Hawaii Today.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oahu awash in garbage, MLK honored, whale watchers wanted, state bar rethinks rules, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric power slated, more Hawaii news

The humpback whale sanctuary is looking for volunteers to help it count whales on Kauai, Oahu and Hawaii islands. Associated Press.

Federal scientists say more humpback whales means more collisions between Hawai‘i boaters and the giant endangered species. Associated Press.

Medical waste and other trash continued to soil Leeward Coast beaches yesterday, washing ashore in spots farther down the shore from where the debris was initially found. Star-Advertiser.

Twelve members of the mayor’s Landfill Site Selection Committee will meet this Thursday at Honolulu Hale to begin the process of recommending an alternative site to Waimanalo Gulch Landfill, which is scheduled to stop accepting solid municipal waste by July 31, 2012. KHON2.

It's monthly bulky item pickup time but don't expect some of these items to go anywhere anytime soon -- the temporary landfill closure has led to refuse rejects.KHON2.

Leeward beaches near the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill, including the lagoons at Ko Olina, remain closed Monday. Test results from ocean water samples taken Thursday show "very high" bacteria levels. Hawaii News Now.

The temporary closure of the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill in Nanakuli has resulted in a bulky trash pile up in some Oahu neighborhoods. KITV4.

The heavy rain is gone but all that water left behind is producing another problem more mosquitoes.  And now there are fewer state workers to help control the pests. Hawaii News Now.

In the wake of the controversy over its negative rating of chief justice nominee Katherine Leonard, the Hawaii State Bar Association has amended its rules to allow for the disclosure of the reasons for its "qualified" or "unqualified" findings for judicial nominees. Star-Advertiser.

Since trying "natural farming" last year under the guidance of a folksy South Korean master farmer known as Han Kyu Cho, Delos Reyes said production on his 10-acre plot has doubled — and demand is growing even faster. Star-Advertiser.

Plans by the Castle and Cooke development company to build a 400 MW industrial wind power plant on Lanai has resulted in heated contention with the island’s residents. Hawaii Independent.

Citing the risk of $200 per barrel oil by 2013, a new report to the Hawaii Legislature by the Geothermal Working Group warns of the urgency of reducing Hawaii’s dependency on imported oil and the potential of geothermal energy to play an expanded role in the state’s energy repertoire. Pacific Business News

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative is proposing the state's first significant expansion of hydroelectric power generation in decades with a series of planned projects that could provide nearly 20 percent of the island's power needs. Star-Advertiser

Hawaii is still by far the most diverse state in the country, but recent trends show the islands inching toward the U.S. mainland in race, citizenship and language. Civil Beat.

Marching in the Martin Luther King Jr. parade in Waikiki yesterday with her family, Latashia Ingram said she wanted her 8-year-old son to appreciate King's struggle and sacrifice for equality and justice. Star-Advertiser.

Hundreds of people honored the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday on the streets of Waikiki. KITV4.

A pivotal figure in the civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. challenged Americans to come together for the better of the country, a message that rang true Sunday for West Hawaii residents and visitors. West Hawaii Today.

The owner of a cattle-ranching company caused a public outcry more than a year ago after revealing plans to fence off a popular access to Lepe‘uli, also known as Larsen’s Beach, a pristine strip of sand on the North Shore. Garden Island.

Foreign Pest Saves The Wiliwili Tree. Hawaii Public Radio.

Senate President Shan Tsutsui said his new leadership role should not prohibit him from advocating for his constituency on Maui. Maui News.

Members of Hawaii Island's all-Democratic legislative delegation will report to work Wednesday hoping to find money to expand schools and parks, help farmers and ensure food safety. Tribune-Herald.

News that a lawsuit alleging the state failed to support beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Homes Act is revived came too late for one of the plaintiffs. Tribune-Herald.

A council that advices the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on coral reefs in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument is due to meet this week. Associated Press.

Sirius XM may start providing its subscription radio service in Hawaii following a milestone Federal Communications Commission approval last month. Hawaii Reporter.