Friday, March 2, 2012

Waikiki sand project snarls, Honolulu, Hawaii mayors release staus quo election-year budgets, Senate honors 'Descendants' author, more solar for Kauai, new publisher for Pacific Business News, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Waikiki Beach sand groins (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
A monthlong sand-replenishment project undertaken to widen a stretch of Waikiki Beach will be more disruptive than initially planned, officials said Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Long stretches of the usually majestic Waikiki Beach will be turned into roads for dump trucks and other heavy machines over the next few months while the City makes changes to its plans for replenishing the beach between the Duke Kahanamoku Statue and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Hawaii News Now.

The state and visitor industry have to turn to an inconvenient plan "B" on the Waikiki sand project due to a sand-blowers shortcomings. KHON2.

Taxpayers are on the hook for $90,000 following a whistleblower lawsuit claiming state officials failed to comply with environmental laws when issuing dozens of permits for activities at the protected Papahānaumokuākea monument. Civil Beat.

The financial picture for the state's two largest health insurers significantly improved in the fourth quarter, as premiums caught up with actual medical costs after a series of rate hikes over the past year. Star-Advertiser.

Hundreds of kupuna marched at the state Capitol Thursday, fighting to keep Kupuna Care a priority. KITV4.

More steps have been taken to make good on HGEA's favored nations clause, but the state and counties don't yet know how budgets will be affected in this fiscal year. KHON2.

Good news for Hawaii’s fastest growing industry — the state has been ranked fourth for U.S. Renewable Energy Attractiveness. Pacific Business News.

Members of a dissident faction of Democrats who have long opposed Hawaii House Speaker Calvin Say argue that Say is behind new political boundaries that could force some of those dissidents out of office this year. Civil Beat.

Days after returning from the Academy Award in Los Angeles, Kaui Hart Hemmings was recognized by the state Senate for the success of her novel "The Descendants." Hawaii News Now.

Two weeks after emailing questions about email retention to the state's Department of Accounting and General Services — and 10 days after our article ran — we heard back. Civil Beat.

State roundup for March 2. Associated Press.


Mayor Peter Carlisle's $1.953 billion operating budget proposal for the next fiscal year would increase city government spending by $28 million compared with last year but does not increase real property tax rates or user fees. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Peter Carlisle's operating and capital budgets for next year are nearly flat, together up just 2.3 percent from this year's budgets. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle outlined his new spending plan on Thursday for the fiscal year that starts in July. The $1.953 billion dollar operating budget is $28 million higher than the current one. Hawaii News Now.

A bill allowing food trucks and other vendors to operate on city roads and highways for up to three hours at a time advanced from the City Council Transportation Committee Thursday afternoon.Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit CEO Daniel Grabauskas is now the highest paid city employee. Hawaii Reporter.

Mary Beth Lohman, publisher of Pacific Business News    since December 2009, is resigning. Advertising Director Bob Charlet will succeed her and become publisher on March 2. Pacific Business News.

A group of tech savvy designers in Honolulu wants to hear from people to help design new applications to improve life around the city. It’s called, Code for America. Hawaii Public Radio.


Mayor Billy Kenoi on Thursday unveiled an election year status quo budget that holds the line on property taxes, maintains monthly employee furloughs, eliminates the West Hawaii golf subsidy and again postpones advance payments on health care for retired employees. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Billy Kenoi is proposing to eliminate the county-operated lava viewing program at Kalapana to save $300,000 in the next fiscal year. Tribune-Herald.

The final settlement terms in the long-running Hokulia bypass saga will be revealed today. West Hawaii Today.


The more than 1.1 million visitors to Haleakala National Park in 2010 spent nearly $75 million in the park and on the island, and supported 861 jobs, a new National Park Service report showed. Maui News.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa is eager to grab a piece of the film industry saying the neighbor islands saw only $5 million dollars last year, compared to Oahu's $100 million. KITV4.

Officials with the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands led a presentation on the proposed Public Safety Complex in Puunene before the Council’s Policy Committee on Wednesday. Maui Now.

A nasty virus causing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain has flared up all over Maui, a state heath official said last week. Maui News.

Work on the $21.6 million Science Building at the University of Hawaii Maui College continues on pace for an August completion, in time for next school year. Maui News.


Kauai Island Utility Cooperative officials said Thursday that they plan to pursue a second major solar farm of up to 10 megawatts. Pacific Business News.

Within hours of the end of the fifth and final forum on Thursday for Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative Board of Directors candidates, the co-op announced its intent to build a second large-scale solar project in the 8 to 10 megawatt range. Garden Island.

An oversight in the final version of the Lydgate camping ordinance, which took more than six years to be approved, prompted the Kaua‘i County Council to revisit the rules once again. Garden Island.

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