Monday, February 28, 2011

Hawaii hospitals get federal funds, internment camps, race at issue, Maui mayor seeks end to furloughs, UH-Hilo gets new pharmacy programs, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

2010 tsunami in Hilo
One Year Later: New improvements since the tsunami. KHON2.

The Hawaii Department of Human Services has distributed $10 million in federal funds to 15 private hospitals.Pacific Business News

Hilo Medical Center staffers put their job satisfaction and engagement at the very bottom when compared to other hospitals, according to a recent survey.Tribune-Herald.

Senator Dan Inouye believes partisan fighting in Washington will NOT derail Oahu’s rail project. Hawaii Public Radio.

The state of Hawaii should maybe take a look into its own unclaimed property program for lost cash as it scratches for more funding. Hawaii Reporter.

A pair of proposals now before the state Legislature could make Hawaii's food code compatible with this traditional Hawaiian food preparation practice. Star-Advertiser.

The number of Hawaii public school children eligible for free and reduced-cost lunch, a key indicator of poverty, has risen 20 percent -- or by more than 13,500 children -- since 2007. Star-Advertiser.

Demonstrators at the state capital voiced their concerns Saturday hoping lawmakers on Capital Hill hear their message. KITV4.

On Friday, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced the appointment of Deputy Director for the Department of Public Safety and Deputy Director of Behavioral Health for Department of Health. Hawaii Independent.

As the governor learned earlier this month, it isn’t as easy as it seems trying to rein in the cost of government —  especially when it comes to public employee retirement benefits.Garden Island.

Mayor Alan Arakawa has requested $1 million to end county furlough days starting in April. Maui News.

Mayor Billy Kenoi's strategy for closing a $40-million-plus budget gap remains a mystery to County Council members bracing for possible tax increases, service cuts and worker layoffs. Tribune-Herald.

For years they have been a hidden part of Hawaii's history. But now, there are efforts underway to preserve World War II era internment camps in the islands. All Hawaii News.

Race in Hawaii: Betcha Can't Pick Just One. Civil Beat.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources has approved a plan to build a large new telescope at the summit of Mauna Kea. Associated Press.

Some nominees to the county's Redistricting Commission apparently were approached by administrative officials and hadn't necessarily thought to apply for the position on their own. West Hawaii Today.

A new phase of repairs to the Diamond Head landmark is beginning, including fixes to a lookout area, a narrow ledge at the summit and construction of a new summit loop trail. Star-Advertiser.

Even as the cost of fueling up on Maui topped $4 per gallon for regular unleaded gas last week on Maui, Aloha Petroleum is developing a new gas station and a 2,000-square-foot convenience store next to Home Depot in Kahului. Maui News.

Nancy McPherson, the recently reinstalled Molokai planner, has returned to ensure projects are done correctly to Molokai standards – and efficiently. Molokai Dispatch.

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents has approved two new pharmacy degrees. Associated Press.

Officials with the Hawaii County Council are set to begin the process of determining how to divide $1.5 million among dozens of nonprofit groups asking for more than double that amount. Associated Press.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Hawaii population shifts to Neighbor Islands, Honolulu mayor gives dire forecast, state seeks to borrow rail funds, medical marijuana dispensaries advance, more Hawaii news

Waikiki street shows diverse population (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Hawaii's population grew by about 8.8 percent to 1,360,301 people, with Hawaii and Maui counties seeing the largest jumps over the past decade, according to 2010 census data released this week. Star-Advertiser.

Census numbers released Thursday could literally reshape political and education district boundaries around the state. KITV4.

On Oahu, residents are headed west, out of downtown Honolulu and toward the long-discussed "second city," the 2010 U.S. Census shows. Civil Beat.

Population on the Neighbor Islands grew faster than on Oahu during the course of the past decade, according to recently released U.S. Census data. Pacific Business News

Two of the three fastest-growing regions on the fastest-growing island of the state are in West Hawaii. It's a development that doesn't surprise many but underscores the need for a close look at population trends when new county council district lines are drawn this year. West Hawaii Today.

Puna recorded tremendous growth in the last decade, according to Census figures released Thursday, becoming one of the fastest-growing districts in Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

The state Senate Ways and Means Committee approved and sent to the full Senate a plan to "borrow" city rail transit money, with the promise to pay back far more by selling state bonds. KITV4.

Oahu would have 10 medical marijuana "compassion centers" under a bill expected to pass the state Senate next week. Another 11 dispensaries would be distributed among the neighbor islands. KITV4.

The Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission would get a dedicated source of state funding under a proposal moving forward in this year's Legislature. Maui News.

While lawmakers debate a permanent source of funding for Kahoolawe, other bills moving forward in the Legislature also would affect the former "Target Island." Maui News.

The Hawaii Legislature is taking a scheduled break from floor sessions as lawmakers work on the state's finances and visit with their constituents. Associated Press.

Now that the civil unions bill has been signed into law, what preparations are taking place before the law takes effect January 1, 2012? KHON2.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie canceled his trip to Washington because he is being treated for ear inflammation, his spokeswoman said. KITV4.

The National Park Service is holding public meetings over the next month to get input on internment camps in Hawaii during World War II to help it determine the best way to preserve these sites and share their history. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii has 15,722 applications for unemployment compensation of which 2,139 are first-time claims in the newest weekly report from the state Department of Labor & Industrial Relations. Hawaii News Now.

Shedding a number of "nonproductive" pieces of real estate and getting the city out of the business of managing affordable-housing properties would free up money and resources that could be put toward more important services, Mayor Peter Carlisle said. Star-Advertiser.

Two months ago Peter Carlisle became the 13th mayor of Honolulu. Today he delivered his first state of the city speech. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle opened his first State of the City address by practicing what he preached: After pledging to run an open and honest administration, the city’s 13th mayor launched into a sober assessment of the financial problems it is facing. Hawaii Reporter.

The Honolulu City Council moved yesterday in favor of the appointment of several City cabinet members. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaii County's civil suit against Hokulia's developer to complete the long-stymied Mamalahoa Bypass was ordered into mediation Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Proposed changes to Hawaii's hunting rules are being opposed by hunters, some of whom expressed their concerns during an informal meeting Wednesday evening in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

The state Health Department has lowered sulfur dioxide exposure thresholds on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

The cause of a small earthquake off East Oahu yesterday was not immediately known, but scientists suspect it might have been caused by fault lines or the weight of the islands on the earth's crust. Star-Advertiser.

BOE committee recommends Kaimuki school be closed. KHON2.

The Kaua‘i Planning Commission on Tuesday, following a recommendation from the Planning Department, denied cell phone carrier Spring/Nextel to install a 150-foot monopole resembling a pine tree next to Kaumuali‘i Highway, by Halfway Bridge. Garden Island.

Behind the numbers: Census shows state growth trends

Hawaii population map (c) 2011 All Hawaii News


Hilo 42,425 45,714 3,289 7.75%
Honokaa-Kukuihaele 3,895 3,925 30 0.77%
Kau 5,827 8,451 2,624 45.03%
Keaau-Mountain View 22,738 34,266 11,528 50.70%
North Hilo 1,720 2,041 321 18.66%
North Kohala 6,038 6,322 284 4.70%
North Kona 28,543 37,875 9,332 32.69%
Paauhau-Paauilo 2,213 2,588 375 16.95%
Pahoa-Kalapana 8,597 11,060 2,463 28.65%
Papaikou-Wailea 4,961 5,213 252 5.08%
South Kohala 13,131 17,627 4,496 34.24%
South Kona 8,589 9,997 1,408 16.39%
HAWAII COUNTY 148,677 185,079 36,402 24.48%

Ewa 272,328 323,118 50,790 18.65%
Honolulu 372,279 390,738 18,459 4.96%
Koolauloa 18,899 21,406 2,507 13.27%
Koolaupoko 117,994 115,164 -2,830 -2.40%
Wahiawa 38,370 41,216 2,846 7.42%
Waialua 14,027 13,046 -981 -6.99%
Waianae 42,259 48,519 6,260 14.81%
HONOLULU COUNTY 876,156 953,207 77,051 8.79%

Kalawao 147 90 -57 -38.78%

Eleele-Kalaheo 7,441 8,403 962 12.93%
Hanalei 6,348 7,828 1,480 23.31%
Kapaa 7,652 8,385 733 9.58%
Kaumakani-Hanapepe 3,438 3,771 333 9.69%
Kekaha-Waimea 5,125 5,561 436 8.51%
Koloa-Poipu 5,404 5,683 279 5.16%
Lihue 5,162 5,943 781 15.13%
Niihau 160 170 10 6.25%
Puhi-Hanamaulu 6,860 8,740 1,880 27.41%
Wailua-Anahola 10,873 12,607 1,734 15.95%
KAUAI COUNTY 58,463 67,091 8,628 14.76%

East Molokai 4,688 4,503 -185 -3.95%
Haiku-Pauwela 8,377 10,088 1,711 20.42%
Hana 1,855 2,291 436 23.50%
Kahului 20,134 26,328 6,194 30.76%
Kihei 19,843 23,677 3,834 19.32%
Kula 9,729 11,580 1,851 19.03%
Lahaina 17,967 22,156 4,189 23.31%
Lanai 3,193 3,135 -58 -1.82%
Makawao-Paia 18,370 20,219 1,849 10.07%
Puunene 12 8 -4 -33.33%
Spreckelsville 337 461 124 36.80%
Waihee-Waikapu 3,397 6,907 3,510 103.33%
Wailuku 17,623 20,729 3,106 17.62%
West Molokai 2,569 2,752 183 7.12%
MAUI COUNTY 128,094 154,834 26,740 20.88%

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hawaii civil unions become law with Abercrombie signature, Honolulu asks Rush Limbaugh to apologize, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii civil union photo (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Final approval of a proposal to legalize civil unions is a step closer to same-sex marriage in Hawaii, supporters say. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii has become only the 7th state in the nation to recognize civil unions for same-sex couples. KHON2.

A group of civil union supporters applauded wildly when Governor Neil Abercrombie signed Senate Bill 232 into law. They had gathered at the Queen Kapiolani Hotel to watch an internet feed of the bill signing. Hawaii News Now.

Civil union supporters gathered at several events across town to watch and celebrate as Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed the controversial bill into law. KITV4.

The bill-signing at the Hawaii governor's mansion was historic, triumphant and personal. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed same-sex civil unions into law, granting gay and lesbian couples the same state rights as married partners. Associated Press.

After a long, hard-fought battle, civil unions became law today in Hawaii. Hawaii Independent.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, proclaiming that diversity defines rather than divides people of the state, signed a bill into law legalizing civil unions for same-sex couples beginning next year. Hawaii Reporter.

Thinking back to 1998, Renae Hamilton says she can recall the bitter and divisive campaign she went through in trying to gain marriage rights for same-sex couples through the ballot box. Star-Advertiser.

Fifty supporters applauded and shouted in joy at the Queen Kapiolani Hotel after witnessing the governor, via live Internet feed, sign the landmark civil unions bill into law yesterday afternoon. Star-Advertiser.

It was a busier than usual Wednesday night at Hula's Bar and Lei Stand. Hawaii News Now.

Local gay rights groups are hailing the decision by President Barrack Obama to reverse a 15- year policy on the Defense of Marriage Act, what some refer to as DOMA. KITV4.

A Marriage of Convenience. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” --a complex and costly policy. Honolulu Weekly.

The state Senate has delayed the confirmation vote for William Aila, Jr. to lead the state Department of Land and Natural Resources after one senator expressed concerns about whether Aila adequately disclosed his commercial fishing license and aquarium fish permit. Star-Advertiser.

A Senate vote on the confirmation of William Aila as chairman for the Department of Land and Natural Resources is being delayed until next week because of concerns that he wasn't forthcoming to senators.Associated Press.

Kona coffee farmers will have new weapons in the battle against the coffee berry borer beetle: two pesticides containing a fungus that has helped keep this destructive pest in check in other parts of the world. West Hawaii Today.

Nine state lawmakers are traveling to the Big Island this weekend to see projects connected to environmental job creation and food and energy self-sufficiency. Associated Press.

After shutting down construction on its new site two weeks ago, the Molokai Community Health Center (MCHC) will be receiving $500,000 in state funds by the end February. Molokai Dispatch.

All islands remain under a flash flood watch today, as a lingering unstable weather system threatens more heavy rain and thunderstorms. Star-Advertiser.

The City Council approved a resolution yesterday urging conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh to apologize for mocking Chinese President Hu Jintao during his visit to Washington, D.C., last month to meet with President Barack Obama. Star-Advertiser.

Today the price of a barrel of oil hit $100 for the first time since 2008 and there's expected to be even more pain at the pump. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Electric employees have once again authorized a strike. KHON2.

The Honolulu’s Ethics Commission has begun gathering information about a complaint that claimed a deputy police chief arranged for officers to be paid overtime or change their schedules. He allegedly did so to allow them time to appear at a weekend open house for his son's Cub Scout troop. KITV4.

A decade in the making, the 2010 U.S. Census has finally made it to Hawaii. Civil Beat.

The most important county commission in 10 years narrowly escaped beginning its work without its West Hawaii members -- a full one-third of its membership -- thanks to missteps in Mayor Billy Kenoi's administration. West Hawaii Today.

Get ready to dole out a little more to keep county water flowing to your home or business. West Hawaii Today.

Several community members, mostly tourism and development industry professionals, attended a workshop Tuesday intended to clarify questions related to a law that could set strict parameters on the proliferation of hotels and vacation rentals on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Representatives of the proposed Kaiwahine Village said they would consider additional parking and plan to hire union carpenters if the 120-unit affordable housing project were approved. Maui News.

Life-changing isle programs face ax. Tribune-Herald.

Sailors slain by Somali pirates had ties to Maui. Maui News.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Honolulu rail project begins, land chief confirmation stalls over fish permits, Abercrombie defends budget, coqui frogs invade Oahu, Big Island biomass plant questioned, Maui hikers sue, more

Groundbreaking yesterday was a milestone in the battle to bring a rail transit system to Honolulu, a debate that has spanned more than four decades. Star-Advertiser.

Critics say it's all for show but rail supporters see today's ceremonial rail transit groundbreaking as an important milestone. Hawaii News Now.

Both supporters and critics of Honolulu’s proposed $5.5 billion rail projected flocked to North-South Road on the outskirts of Kapolei Tuesday for a large and elaborate groundbreaking ceremony, estimated to cost $30,000. KHON2.

After 45 years of talking about rail, the City and County of Honolulu Tuesday broke ground on its $5.5 billion, 20-mile project. Pacific Business News

Honolulu’s largest public works project broke ground Tuesday, capping more than four decades of work to bring the $5.5 billion rail project to fruition. Hawaii Reporter.

Politicians hate to talk about it. The media doesn’t cover it, unless they absolutely have to. It is a taxpayer’s nightmare. Yet it has come so far. It is the Honolulu Rail Transit project, aka TheRail. Hawaii Independent.

The National Weather Service has extended a flash flood watch for all Hawaiian islands until Friday morning as unsettled weather continues over the state. Star-Advertiser.

State House and Senate leaders questioned Gov. Neil Abercrombie and his state budget director yesterday about a new two-year budget draft, including what would happen if they reject the governor's tax revision and spending cut proposals to close a projected $700 million deficit. Star-Advertiser.

If anybody wants to try and manipulate the numbers for personal political agendas in order to try and score political points, let me tell you, this is one governor that's not going to put up with it," Gov. Neil Abercrombie warned lawmakers. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie told lawmakers Tuesday that the state is in a "terrible financial hole for which there are no easy answers." KITV4.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie is calling for partnership and collaboration with government employee unions as he seeks to reduce their pay. Associated Press.

Governor Neil Abercrombie and his budget director defended a $22.7 billion biennial budget plan before dozens of lawmakers. KHON2.

Hawaii lawmakers confronted Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Tuesday over his new budget proposal to expand government and raise taxes while the state is recovering from an economic downturn. Associated Press.

Hawaii Sen. Clayton Hee defers land chief decision until next week; Aila surrenders fishing permits. Civil Beat.

At least one state lawmaker is saying the recent increase in the number of coqui frogs found on Oahu highlights the need for more agricultural inspectors to check on cargo coming into the state and moving from island to island. Hawaii News Now.

Vigil held in opposition to civil unions on eve of bill signing ceremony. KHON2.

A fast-tracked bill setting up the process for appointing a Board of Education is expected to get to the governor's desk as early as next week. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii developers are struggling to sell affordable housing units, despite being given plots of state land to build on for free. Civil Beat.

The number of manufacturing jobs in Hawaii fell for the fifth year in a row last year but the rate of decline slowed. Associated Press.

The state Department of Health has revised its advisory levels for sulfur dioxide to be more protective of people with asthma. KITV4.

Ka'u residents had questions for Aina Koa Pono officials Monday night, ranging from the environmental impacts of the planned biofuel production plant on the district to what other plans the company has. West Hawaii Today.

The hikers' group Public Access Trails Hawaii-Maui is suing Haleakala Ranch and the state to force the reopening of the horse trail that was used to reach the crater until 75 years ago. Maui News.

In six years, a group of volunteers, working along with police and county officials, has transformed Kalama Park from "not a good place to go and hang out" to a place where families go for walks, bike rides, sporting events and picnics. Maui News.

In the interest of public safety the utility access road to the Nawiliwili jetty will be closed to the public this Thursday and Friday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. while the Kaua‘i Fire Department conducts its helicopter rescue operations training. Garden Island.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is holding statewide public hearings this month on proposed amendments and additions to its Hawaii Administrative Rules for the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation. Lahaina News.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hawaii Gov. Abercrombie seeks 11.8% budget hike, Kauai health-care checks bounce, newspaper loses union appeal, Maui fundraiser taking money with no results, more news from all the Hawaiian islands

Gov. Neil Abercrombie released a new two-year budget draft yesterday that increases spending to repair what he described as structural problems with state government and the "wreckage" left by the Lingle administration. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Neil Abercrombie believes the details in his 66-page financial plan will restore government functions and do away with a multi-million dollar budget shortfall. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Monday said he's asking for an $11.4 billion operating budget next year, an 11.8 percent increase over the $10.2 billion budget the Legislature passed last April. West Hawaii Today.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie hosted an unusual holiday news conference in his office Monday to describe how he intends to pay for a budget that increases by nearly half a billion dollars. KITV4.

Getting the state out of a massive budget hole will require a $700 million increase in state spending. KHON2.

Budget 101 With Prof. Abercrombie. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie came out with his own budget Monday, and this time he called for spending $730 million more over the next two years. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie unveiled on Monday his administration’s amended operating budget for the next two fiscal years. Pacific Business News

Gov. Neil Abercrombie is revising an intial two-year budget with an additional $728.6 million in spending that will be paid for with a mix of cuts and funding mechanisms, including measures that have had a lukewarm reception in the legislature. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie is getting ready to unveil a two-year state budget that includes $400 million in additional spending to restore a state government that he said was damaged by deep cuts made by the prior administration. Garden Island.

The governor is getting ready to release his budget but we already know 41 social service programs will lose state funding. Hawaii News Now.

State Wants To Reopen Kulani Prison. KITV4.

Hawaii should ease hunting restrictions to control ungulate populations that have "exploded" due to "inadequate" control measures, according to a bill before the state Legislature. Tribune-Herald.

A Hollywood production company is proposing to develop film studios on Maui and Oahu - if the state Legislature approves new tax credits for film infrastructure development. Maui News.

Lawmaker Caught Up In Foreclosure Mess. Civil Beat.

Overcome with frustration, seven current and former employees of a Kaua‘i home healthcare provider have come forward to say their employer is not paying them in a timely manner and banks are not cashing their paychecks due to insufficient funds. Garden Island.

A Maui charity raising money across the nation to build a 42-acre, $20 million post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury treatment center says it has little to show for the effort despite soliciting donations for the last several years. Star-Advertiser.

The National Labor Relations Board has upheld a 2008 decision against the Hawaii Tribune-Herald on allegations of unfair labor practices. Pacific Business News

A ceremonial groundbreaking will be held Tuesday for Honolulu's Rail Transit Project. KITV4.

The ceremonial groundbreaking of Honolulu’s $5.5 billion elevated rail system has done little to calm the debate among those who believe the project is a vital part of Oahu’s future and those who believe it may eventually bankrupt the city. KHON2.

County officials hope to begin repairing damage this week to two South Maui beach parks caused by the heavy rains last month. Maui News.

Keauhou Master Plan will be revised again, and the new president of Bishop Holdings Corp. vowed Thursday his commitment to "strengthening the area's cultural, educational and economic assets." West Hawaii Today.

The Asia-Pacific region can expect increased droughts and floods in the next 20 years — often in the same spots — as well as rising sea levels and more intense tropical storms, Honolulu academics told a gathering of scientists here Friday. Star-Advertiser.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hawaii economy rebounding, Abercrombie presents budget Tuesday, signs civil union bill Wednesday, former lawmaker recounts sex charges, Thirty Meter Telescope hearing set, more news from the Hawaiian Islands

Ohelo berries photo (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Ohelo flowers and berries are food for native forest birds and are part of the multilayered, healthy Hawaiian forest where every niche is filled with interwoven plants, from mosses and ferns to shrubs and trees of all sizes. Star-Advertiser.

One of Hawaii's most popular sight-seeing attractions reopened Saturday. Hawaii News Now.

State officials are forecasting Hawaii's economy to grow by about 2 percent this year, up from 1.4 percent last year as more tourists visit the islands and the construction industry recovers. Associated Press.

An increase in visitor arrivals, visitor spending and jobs - the state's latest forecast shows a stronger economic growth this year, than previously estimated. KHON2.

The Honolulu airport is starting to broadcast a Hawaiian-language greeting to arriving visitors. Associated Press.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie is planning to sign civil unions into law a day earlier than expected this week.KHON2.

Right now might not be the best time to talk about taking money out of the state's hungry general fund. But that's exactly what lawmakers are considering. Civil Beat.

Maui and Kauai already banned plastic bags and soon .. the ban could be extended to the entire state. KHON2.

Schools have a long way to go to meet new wellness rules for students, set to go into effect at the end of the school year. Star-Advertiser.

Former House Leader Galen Fox on His Crime, His Time and Being a Sex Offender. Hawaii Reporter.

Homeless Have Two Weeks To Move Out Of City Park. KITV4

Honolulu Deputy Prosecutor Scott Spallina recalls a case about a man beating his ailing father whose diaper was heavily soiled about two years ago. Star-Advertiser.

Jim Nabors, Jimmy Borges and Monica Mancini are among the entertainers scheduled to appear at a fundraiser for Mayor Peter Carlisle in April. Star-Advertiser.

This week, Mayor Peter Carlisle announced three new members have joined his Cabinet: Deputy Managing Director Chrystn Eads, Emergency Services Deputy Director Mark Rigg, and Planning and Permitting Deputy Director Jiro Sumada. Hawaii Independent.

R. Mark Browning has been named senior judge of the Family Court in the First Circuit in Honolulu effective March 4. Pacific Business News

The county saved taxpayers $1 million in the last six months of 2010 just by not filling job openings. Tribune-Herald.

The state land board is expected to vote Friday on approving the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope at a meeting in Honolulu. Tribune-Herald.

Kona will likely never be able to rid itself of the coffee berry borer, but through a multitude of attack mechanisms coffee farmers can learn how to control and live with the pest. West Hawaii Today.

For decades, researchers thought the last major colony of Hawaiian petrels in the islands nested on the slopes of Haleakala. Maui News.

Don Nelson, a businessman on Maui and former professional basketball coach on the Mainland, is proposing a $2 million wedding and event facility on a nearly 1-acre lot on the north side of the Nani Kai Hale condominiums on North Kihei Road. Maui News.

A 14-month-old girl sitting on the driver’s lap died in a three-vehicle crash Sunday afternoon on Kaumuali‘i Highway near Dynasty Court, county officials said. Garden Island.

Honolulu Police Department Major Carlton S. Nishimura has been indicted by a federal grand jury on criminal charges related to illegal game room operations. Hawaii Reporter.

Friday, February 18, 2011

People pooping on Waikiki beaches, Obama birth certificate not for sale, prostitutes visit Legislature, Honolulu police paid OT for Cub Scouts, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

East-West Center photo (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
The East-West Center is watching closely as Congress debates the organization's budget for the remainder of the federal fiscal year. The Republican-controlled House passed an amendment yesterday that would eliminate $10.7 million in funding for the 50-year-old Honolulu-based institution, which promotes understanding between the United States and Asia-Pacific nations. Associated Press.

People who come to Waikiki don’t dream of strolling in an outdoor latrine and encountering human feces. KITV4.

A proposal to sell copies of President Barack Obama's birth records to anyone for $100 is going nowhere in the Hawaii Legislature. Associated Press.

Against a backdrop of anti sex-trafficking signs, young girls and older women begged legislators for a law to punish pimps and others who profit from prostitution. Hawaii News Now.

Law enforcement and victims advocates still can't agree on whether Hawaii needs an anti-human trafficking law. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers heard testimony today from sex trafficking victims who said Hawaii needs to do more to protect people from slavery. Hawaii Independent.

The Senate is deferring action on a bill that would end Medicare Part B reimbursements for retired state workers, but a similar House measure is advancing. Associated Press.

Hundreds of youth, parents and other supporters are expected to rally and demonstrate at the State Capitol this morning to show their support for the Paxen Huli Ke Alo About Face! Family of Programs. KHON2.

Forecasters say this weekend could be wet, humid and voggy and cooling tradewinds may not return until next week. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie plans to sign a bill creating same-sex civil unions into law next week. Associated Press.

It was billed as an opportunity for Aiea and Pearlridge area residents to directly address the governor, the lieutenant governor, and several other elected officials. but it was the governor who did most of the talking. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie says he is speaking for the silent majority when he calls for an unpopular tax on pension income, ending Medicare Part B reimbursements for public-worker retirees and spending cuts to welfare and Medicaid to help balance the state budget. Star-Advertiser.

The Governor and Lt. Governor came to talk-story with residents out in Pearl City & Aiea, BUT the discussion quickly narrowed in on one issue. KHON2.

An ethics complaint has been filed after some Honolulu police officers were paid overtime and the schedules for others shifted so a Cub Scout pack could get a tour of the police academy on a weekend day when it's normally closed. KITV4.

The Hawaii County Council advanced a plastic bag ban Wednesday, but not before ripping out the enforcement and penalty provisions. West Hawaii Today.

With no fanfare and in the pre-dawn quiet, Pasha Hawaii's first interisland cargo delivery was expected in Hilo Harbor today. Tribune-Herald.

Pasha Hawaii is upping the ante in the competition for moving vehicles and heavy cargo to and around the Hawaiian Islands. Maui News.

Police were called out Thursday when about 50 protesters gathered on the steps of Kawaiaha'o Church Thursday morning to demonstrate against any resumption of construction on the grounds. Associated Press.

The Honolulu Liquor Commission appointed attorney Greg Nishioka as interim administrator of the agency for one year, filling a position that has been vacant since former Administrator Dewey Kim quit last May. Star-Advertiser.

Medical marijuana user Aukai Edens watched quietly from his wheelchair, as a group of children shouted “We want to be drug-free!” at passing cars on Rice Street. Garden Island.

Hawaii’s credit ratings may take a hit given changes being made by a major ratings agency in the way it looks at public worker pension obligations. Hawaii Reporter.

Bank of Hawaii is the target of a new lawsuit filed by customers who claim the bank improperly charged overdraft fees on debit card transactions. Pacific Business News

The city Neighborhood Commission rejected a proposal yesterday to postpone board elections for two years and save $210,000 to help balance the city's budget. Star-Advertiser

The Big Island's construction industry has not recovered from the recent recession. Tribune-Herald.

Infestation of varroa mites, small hive beetles and nosema spores have created major losses and problems for Big Island beekeepers. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii County Council on Wednesday passed a resolution asking Mayor Billy Kenoi to update the gas allowance for police officers, putting an end to the "open-mileage" policy for officers with the rank of captain and above. West Hawaii Today.

A South Maui gay couple applauded the state Senate's passage of the civil unions bill Wednesday, predicting it would lead to equal treatment for same-sex couples and an economic benefit for the state. Maui News.

Eight out of 10 Hawaii hotel rooms were full during the week ending Feb. 12, and most islands’ average room rates were higher than during the same week last year, according to a weekly report put together by Smith Travel Research and Hospitality Advisors. Pacific Business News

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hawaii celebrates civil unions victory, governor's inauguration cost $671,935, Honolulu airport in disrepair, Maui easing water policy, Kauai mayor off to Phillipines, short visit for Ivanka Trump, more

Gov. Neil Abercrombie inauguration photo (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Gov. Neil Abercrombie made good on a promise to make public a list of donors to his inaugural gala held back in December, even though its release is not required by law. KITV4.

Organizers of Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s inaugural ball raised $671,935 in private donations for the ball and other transition events, with the largest gifts coming from banks, law firms, unions, real estate developers and architectural/engineering firms, according to data released today by Abercrombie’s office. Hawaii Reporter.

Family Court Judge Sabrina McKenna promised to do her best after state senators unanimously approved her appointment yesterday to the Hawaii Supreme Court. Star-Advertiser.

A group of Native Hawaiians are planning a pre-dawn demonstration at Oahu's oldest church.Hawaii News Now.

Nearly 60 percent of Hawaii taxpayers could lose the deduction for state income taxes under Gov. Neil Abercrombie's proposal to streamline the tax code and help balance the budget. Star-Advertiser.

A proposal to expand tax credits for film and television production moved forward at the Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Gay partners seeking to pledge their love on Hawaii's sandy beaches soon will have their relationships recognized by law in the Rainbow State. Associated Press.

Since civil unions were brought back to the forefront at the Legislature in 2008, hearings and floor votes have been marked by spirited sign-waving, prayer rallies and mass canvassing from both sides. Star-Advertiser.

Until yesterday, Tim Earhart had never been to the Legislature to witness a hearing, floor vote or any other action related to civil unions.Star-Advertiser.

On the Senate floor the roll call vote tallied 18 ayes and 5 no's. That led to a celebration in the gallery. Hawaii News Now.

The Senate voted 18 - 5 on Wednesday to allow civil unions for same-sex couples. Here's how the senators voted. KHON2.

The Bridal Boutique on Cooke street opened its doors Wednesday night to a crowd of couples planning for their big day. KHON2.

What a difference a year — and an election — makes. Civil Beat.

Last year more than 18.4 million people flew through Honolulu International Airport and some saw the good, the bad and the ugly. Hawaii News Now.

Several public meetings are scheduled for next week on Oahu to explain an increase in retirement compensation for federal workers in Hawaii, Alaska and U.S. territories. Associated Press.

Eleven percent of the Big Island's 43,338 families are on a waiting list for federal Section 8 affordable housing. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii County Council Finance Committee Tuesday took its first steps toward tackling next year's budget by establishing an ad hoc committee to amend the annual budget expected from the mayor next month. West Hawaii Today.

County officials are ready to send the Laaloa Street extension out for bid, if only they had the money to build the road, Mayor Billy Kenoi said Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Ten applicants for each job opening at Safeway. Tribune-Herald.

Six weeks after moving into her office, Teena Rasmussen, the county's new economic development coordinator, said she is focusing on local events, enterprise zones and a made-on-Maui marketing campaign as top initiatives for her office. Maui News.

The Maui County Council's Water Resources Committee recommended approval Tuesday of some easing of the water availability policy (the "Show Me the Water" ordinance). Maui News.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. departed Wednesday on a cultural and economic visit to the Philippine Islands, a county news release states. Garden Island.

On a rare trip to the Islands, Ivanka Trump was on Oahu for less than 24 hours to reassert the Trump Hotel Collection’s commitment to Hawaii. Pacific Business News

In his State of the State address, Governor Neil Abercrombie proposed an increase in the alcohol tax and a fee on soda and other “similar drinks.” Hawaii Independent.

Big Island business owners say a proposed tax on alcohol that would help reduce Hawaii's budget shortfall is unfair. Tribune-Herald.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hawaii cops fight marijuana bills, military moving Poseidons to Kaneohe, grand hotels up for sale, civil union vote expected today, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Pending marijuana bills that could decriminalize possession and open the door for island dispensaries have spurred county officials to host an anti-drug rally Thursday. Garden Island.

After seeing more and more bills in the Legislature intended to liberalize marijuana use, Maui Police Chief Gary Yabuta said the department is taking a more "proactive stance" to show the public its opposition to marijuana by reaching out to Maui residents at public places. Maui News.

The Navy is looking at eliminating a West Coast base for its new P-8A Poseidon sub-hunting and surveillance planes, a cost-saving move that could shift more of the jets — and noise — to Kaneohe Bay, officials said. Star-Advertiser.

According to Bloomberg News, the government of Singapore is offering to buy the Grand Wailea and four other resorts that the Paulson & Co. group put into bankruptcy Feb. 1. Maui News.

The University of Hawaii continues to pay $5,000 a month so its president can rent a Waikiki-area condo while the Manoa mansion that served as home for her predecessors remains unoccupied and has been sparingly used since renovations were completed several months ago. Star-Advertiser.

Health Dir. Fired 2 Before He Resigned. KITV4.

Approval of a bill to legalize civil unions is taking a day longer than anticipated. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii State Senate is expected to vote today on historic civil unions legislation. If approved, the bill will move to the governor’s desk for his signature or veto. Hawaii Independent.

News that the state Legislature is close to approving civil unions gave some cause for celebration, while others said it will be a step backward. Tribune-Herald.

Questions And Answers On Civil Unions. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Senate confirmed two more members of Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s Cabinet on Tuesday. Pacific Business News

A five-day back-to-school tax holiday is being proposed by Hawaii lawmakers. Associated Press.

An effort to ban the sale of toy guns to minors was muzzled Tuesday morning when the measure failed during a Senate committee vote. Hawaii Reporter.

The Aloha Tower Development Corp., a state agency that was bashed for its inability to deliver on redevelopment of Honolulu’s waterfront, will be abolished under legislation pending at the state Legislature. Hawaii Reporter.

The city is considering a proposal to build a new hotel in Laie, but some residents are fighting back against the project. Hawaii News Now.

The head of the Federal Transit Administration said the FTA is expecting an updated financial plan on the rail project from the City and County of Honolulu. Hawaii News Now.

After Civil Beat investigation finds 18 short-term rental violations in 2010, City Council says it's time to revisit the law. Civil Beat.

Some residents on Lanai said their community's health is being neglected, while the state drags its feet on hiring a public health nurse. KITV4.

Recovery effort off Kauai for two missing people following aircraft crash. KHON2.

A passenger and pilot are still missing after the powered hang glider they were flying in plummeted into the ocean Tuesday morning off of Glass Beach. Garden Island.

Technicians from the Mayor's Office of Culture and the Arts will be conducting conservation treatment On the bronze statue of Duke Kahanamoku on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. KHON2.

The power cost adjustment charge on Hawaii County water bills could increase by as much as $15 during a two-month billing period. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong is renewing his battle to keep Hamakua lands under county ownership. West Hawaii Today.

Kaua‘i County has extended the deadline for real property taxes from Feb. 20 to Feb. 22, because county offices are closed on Sundays and Monday is a county holiday. Garden Island.

Hawaii Volcano Observatory geologists say some rocks from Kilauea's volcano summit vent have broken off and fallen into the lava lake inside the Halemaumau crater this week. Associated Press.

A creditor is seeking to repossess the 51-room Lotus at Diamond Head hotel from the Unity House labor union fund. Associated Press.

Donna Haytko-Paoa has been envisioning a fully-supported community college for Molokai for 20 years – science classrooms with Bunsen burners, and room for performance art. Molokai Dispatch.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hollywood seeks Hawaii tax credits, soda tax fizzles, Honolulu rail in Obama budget, Big Island wants gas taxes for private roads, parents fight school closures, more Hawaii news

Honolulu homeless photo (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
A legislative committee on Monday discussed the impact of homelessness on Hawaii's tourism industry. Hawaii News Now.

Dozens of bills designed to create affordable housing and help the homeless are flying under the radar at the Hawaii Legislature. Civil Beat.

The state Senate Health Committee advanced a bill yesterday that would increase the tax on alcoholic beverages but removed a provision that would have created a new soda tax. Star-Advertiser.

No stranger to filming in Hawaii, actor Cuba Gooding Jr. told lawmakers yesterday he would like to film more movies in the islands and urged them to approve expanded tax breaks for production companies. Star-Advertiser.

The head of Relativity Media, a major Hollywood production company, asked state senators Monday to support tax credits for media productions and studio construction and a training program for film production workers. KITV4.

The state Legislature is poised to give final approval today to a proposal to permit civil unions in Hawaii, sending it to Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who has promised to sign the measure. Star-Advertiser.

The authority to use gasoline taxes to fix private roads is a power Hawaii County Council members want and one only the state Legislature may grant. Tribune-Herald.

It’s a fairly common phrase: “Hawaii is a special place.” When it comes to gaming, that’s certainly so—only Hawaii and Utah bar gambling. Hawaii Independent.

Russell Kokubun is Hawaii's new agriculture head following his confirmation by the state Senate. Associated Press.

Included in the president’s spending blueprint is a $250 million request for Honolulu’s controversial $5.5 billion rail transit system. KHON2.

Discounting works in the hotel business. At least in the short term. Maui News.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined a Honolulu Japanese goods retailer just over $222,000 for selling and distributing unregistered pesticides and improperly labeled pesticide products. Associated Press.

Waste Management of Hawaii, operators of the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill, announced Monday that it expects the landfill’s stormwater diversion channel to be functional starting Tuesday. Pacific Business News

Twenty years after Molokai’s first flood maps were released, Maui County and federal agencies have presented a major overhaul of flood zones on Molokai.Molokai Dispatch.

Dozens of parents, teachers and community members crowded into a Board of Education meeting room yesterday to speak out against closing three small Honolulu schools, some saying that shuttering the campuses would be unfair given a recent decision to spare two Hawaii Kai schools. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) shut down Hapuna State Recreation area on Monday after a lifeguard spotted what is suspected to be an unexploded ordnance. KHON2.

Hawaii County's confusing bid specifications are delaying construction of the first of many covered play courts Mayor Billy Kenoi has pledged to build islandwide. Tribune-Herald.

Environmental benefits is the focus of the $2.9 million Pelekane Bay Watershed Restoration Project, but Melora Purell also shed light on economic factors Sunday during the Kawaihae Local Resource Council's monthly meeting. West Hawaii Today.

A controversial permit to fence off the easiest access to Lepe‘uli, known as Larsen’s Beach, was surrendered last month. Garden Island.

Stunts on Hawaii Five-0 are of movie caliber but to create the seamless transition from stunt double to actor is quite a task. Hawaii News Now.

Lynne Waters, recently hired as spokeswoman for City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro, has jumped ship from Kaneshiro’s staff to take a high-priced University of Hawaii public relations position, Hawaii Reporter has learned. Hawaii Reporter.