Monday, March 4, 2013

Feds delay Hawaii historic review, monk seal relocations, Honolulu mayor wants more taxes, 6.5% budget hike, lawmaker's racist comments still reverberate, busy week ahead for state Legislature, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Sequestration has given the State Historic Preservation Division a reprieve from a long-awaited federal review. SHPD, which is battling to retain its federal certification and funding, was supposed to face its day of reckoning this week. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Friday his budget planners have penciled in $25 million for a contingency fund to help state programs that are expected to lose millions of dollars in federal funding. Associated Press.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie wants state lawmakers to establish a $25 million fund to help pay for local shortages in federal funding due to the sequester, which went into effect Friday after President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress could not agree on a deficit reduction plan. Pacific Business News.

Federal officials on Friday said they’re temporarily giving up a plan to boost survival rates for juvenile Hawaiian monk seals by moving a few of them from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to the main Hawaiian Islands each year. Associated Press.

The Hawaii Legislature is anticipating a marathon of votes this week as state lawmakers race to meet Thursday’s first crossover deadline. Associated Press.

A battle has waged at the state Capitol for years between corporations, some farmers and businesses that stand behind the Food and Drug Administration's determination that genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, do not need cautionary labeling, and environmental groups, organic farmers and community members who strongly believe biologically engineered food is harmful for people and the environment. Sen. Clarence Nishihara (D, Waipahu-Crestview-Pearl City), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said he is not planning on hearing the labeling bill because he believes it would violate federal interstate commerce laws. Star-Advertiser.

A number of measures making their way through the current Legislative session aim to decrease Hawaii’s dependence on the mainland when it comes to food. Tribune-Herald.

After years of cuts, the state is gradually restoring adult mental health services and looking to streamline operations in an effort to rebuild a safety net that advocates say is failing too many. Star-Advertiser.

state representative Democrat
Faye Hanohano
Inflammatory remarks attributed to Rep. Faye Hanohano regarding the artwork in her Capitol office are the talk of the islands. But has Hanohano raised an important point? That art by Hawaii's indigenous people should be celebrated? Civil Beat.

State Representative Faye Hanohano, a Democrat from Puna who chairs the House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources, & Hawaiian Affairs, has apologized for racial slurs she made to state exhibition experts from the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts as they hung artwork her office manager requested in her capitol office on Monday. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii state Rep. Faye Hanohano certainly struck a chord with the wrong crowd at the Capitol building this week, firing off ethnic slang with the same fearless abandon as an ‘80s action hero spraying bullets. Big Island Now.

A scripted apology on the House floor might not be enough to get Rep. Faye Hanohano out of hot water. Workers complained that she went off on a racist rant about artwork in her office, managing to offend multiple ethnic groups in one tirade. KITV4.

Two state Senate committees plan to hold confirmation hearings next week to consider candidates for various Hawaii agencies nominated by Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Associated Press.

For the first time, the state will participate in National Invasive Species Awareness Week, observed from Monday to March 10. Tribune-Herald.

The Kaiser Foundation Health Plan's Hawaii region is reporting an operating loss of $600,000 in the fourth quarter of last year and a $1.6 million deficit for all of 2012. Pacific Business News.

It’s Your Money: Faulty Hose Sends Taxpayers' Dollars Down the Drain. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell's proposed budget includes a 6 1/2 percent increase over last year, but Caldwell says he's paying for promises he made on the campaign trail, even if those promises aren't cheap. KITV4.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Aina Haina Community Association are asking the city to stop grading work on property in Aina Haina owned by developer Jeff Stone until an archaeological inventory survey is conducted. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Board of Water Supply plans to spend an estimated $9.5 million on a 30-year master plan that will include an investigation of how climate change could affect the island's water resources and delivery system. Star-Advertiser.

A lot of people have been buying guns recently and that's putting a strain on Oahu's only public firing range. KHON2.

A marine mammal response team received a call on Sunday morning about a stranded humpback whale, but the calf was already dead by the time volunteers arrived in Waianae. Hawaii News Now.

Byron’s, bye-bye. Hawaii celebrates 47 years of fried Oreos, shrimp burgers, and late nights. Hawaii Independent.


The University of Hawaii at Hilo’s long-sought-after student housing complex, which is currently under construction and scheduled to be completed in August, is falling under intense scrutiny. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County could manage but not own the Banyan Drive area and two state parks under legislation amended last week. Tribune-Herald.


The governor has released $50 million for highway construction and improvements that will dramatically change how people maneuver around Kahului Airport. Maui News.

The relocation of the Harbors Maui District Office from the waterfront at Kahului Harbor to the historic Old Kahului Railroad Building along Kaahumanu Avenue has received $600,000 in funding. Maui News.

More than three dozen South Maui residents heard Saturday that the proposed Kihei high school is not having smooth sailing through the state Legislature. Maui News.

A public hearing is planned on Monday, March 4, 2013, for the Draft Habitat Conservation Plan proposed by Honuaula Partners LLC for the project formerly known as Wailea 670. Maui Now.

Selling $50 million worth of condominiums in a year isn't as astounding as $425 million in two months, but the sales team at a luxury Maui condo project is celebrating what one analyst said represents a leading edge of a broader recovery. Honua Kai, a 700-unit condo complex that opened its initial phase in the wake of the recession four years ago, reported $50 million in sales last year. Star-Advertiser.


A letter from the publisher: Change is inevitable, sometimes necessary and often a good thing. That is certainly the case with recent and ongoing changes here at The Garden Island.

After hours of testimony and questioning Wednesday afternoon, the council deferred for seven months a six-page resolution endorsing some 6,000 Kaua‘i ocean users who oppose to the expansion of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Garden Island

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