Monday, February 20, 2012

End of earmarks: Hawaii Legislature considers streamlining, revenue enhancers. Teachers edge toward contract. Secrecy in government, mixed martial arts, wind power, electric cars and other news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Legislature (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
State House members are moving a package of related bills — what they are calling a matrix — to position Hawaii for economic recovery. Star-Advertiser.

Organizations and agencies in Hawaii that have relied on federal funding through earmarks are making painful adjustments, including layoffs, as the loss of $321 million settles in across the islands. Star-Advertiser.

The union representing Hawaii's public school teachers has reached a tentative agreement on a key element of the state's Race to the Top grant that has recently been put in jeopardy because of unsatisfactory progress on promised reforms. Associated Press.

For nearly a decade, the state has automatically deleted emails on computers in the Hawaii governor's office and all administration departments after just 60 days. Civil Beat.

Spending by so-called independent-expenditure-only committees in Hawaii is nearly impossible to track. But that could change this year if the state's campaign finance watchdog agency gets its way. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers are considering changes to mixed martial arts laws so that other disciplines that use striking can be held to the same safety requirements as mixed martial arts. KITV4.

A Creeping Attempt To Shut Down Hawaii Court Records. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has appointed Honolulu attorney Lorraine Akiba to serve as a commissioner on Hawaii’s Public Utilities Commission. Pacific Business News.

The lowest gasoline prices in Hawaii, at discount stations on Oahu, are now more than $4 a gallon, while gasoline is now selling for well over $5 a gallon on Molokai. Hawaii News Now.

State roundup for Feb. 20. Associated Press.

Pearlridge Center on Sunday opened the first in a series of electric vehicle charging stations that will let people charge their vehicles for free while they shop, a feature that will be provided at Kahala Mall on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

First Wind broke ground Friday on construction for Kawailoa Wind, Hawaii's largest wind project, with 69 MW, or enough power for 14,500 homes. Hawaii Reporter.

A California company with ties to the development of Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk has bought land in Waikiki previously slated for a hotel, time share or residential condominium tower. Star-Advertiser.

Nearly 30,000 people are registered to participate in the Great Aloha Run Monday. KHON2.


Moisture and sub-freezing temperatures brought a wintry mix of snow and rain to Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa summits, causing delight along with danger and a road closure Sunday. Stephens Media.

Congresswoman Mazie Hirono spent roughly 25 minutes Sunday wandering Alii Drive, where she perused merchandise, met residents, posed for photos, and talked story with vendors at the Kokua Kailua Village Stroll. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County's next budget unveiling is just around the corner, but Mayor Billy Kenoi is still a bit coy about the plan's likely provisions. West Hawaii Today.

University of Hawaii at Hilo students who live on campus told the Tribune-Herald on Sunday that they would be willing to pay higher housing fees. Tribune-Herald.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released its comprehensive conservation plans to guide management of its Kealia Pond and Kakahai'a national wildlife refuges for the next 15 years. Maui News.

Maui County Council members advanced bills Friday to spend money on water projects, to complete construction of a veterans center on Molokai and to help fund affordable housing projects. Maui News.

When Randy Piltz was a candidate for Maui mayor in 2010, one of his major themes was the need for improvements to the permitting process. Maui Now.


Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. joined Kaua‘i students and county workers to help feed homeless people on the island. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank set a goal for this year’s Island Wide Spring Food Drive at $100,000 and 100,000 pounds of food for Kaua‘i’s hungry. Garden Island.

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