Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Honolulu to tear down Natatorium, Hawaii Legislature passes $23.8B biennium budget, preschool vouchers moves to ballot, shield law dies, newspaper readers go digital, WWII bomb found in Maui field, Gabbard tours schools, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Waikiki Natatorium (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Mayor Kirk Caldwell today announced a partnership to develop a public memorial beach at the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium. Star-Advertiser.

Is a 45-year fight finally over? Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell say the walls of the Waikiki Natatorium will be torn down. Civil Beat.

The Natatorium in Waikiki was built in 1927 as a tribute to those who served in World War I. Hawaii News Now.

Both chambers of the Hawaii Legislature unanimously passed a $23.8 billion biennium budget Tuesday, sending the bill to fund state operations to Gov. Neil Abercrombie for final approval. Associated Press.

The Hawaii State Legislature today voted unanimously in both the House and Senate to approve the state budget for the upcoming FY2013-2015 biennium. Hawaii Reporter.

The State Legislature unanimously approved the Executive Operating and Construction Budgets today. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Hawaii House and Senate separately passed dozens of bills Tuesday touching on issues ranging from energy to education, starting a marathon session by passing a $23.8 billion budget and largely putting off the toughest decisions to the end of the day. Associated Press.

Voters will decide in November 2014 whether public money should be used for private preschool, the linchpin of Gov. Neil Abercrombie's early education initiative. Star-Advertiser.

Voters will decide next year whether Hawaii’s constitution should be amended to let the state use public money for private preschool. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's news media "shield law," a measure that has been praised nationally for including emerging forms of digital and online media in affording journalists a measure of protection from having to reveal confidential sources in court, is due to expire in two months after lawmakers failed Tuesday to approve an extension. Star-Advertiser.

Barring some last-minute legislative maneuver, Hawaii’s shield law protecting journalists from disclosing confidential sources and turning over their notes will expire June 30 since lawmakers failed to agree on a bill to renew it Tuesday. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii House has amended a bill to extend the state shield law for the next two years to keep existing source protections for journalists, including those who work for digital newspapers and free publications. Associated Press.

A bill designed to streamline the process under which severely mentally ill people can be ordered to get outpatient psychiatric help got final approval from lawmakers Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

People who bring guns from out of state may need to undergo a background check. It’s one of many bills passed out of the legislature Tuesday. KHON2.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is visiting low-income, low-performing Hawaii schools targeted for education reforms under a $75 million federal grant. Associated Press.

The Hawaii Government Employees Association’s Unit 13, which represents some 8,100 professional and scientific employees, has rejected the state’s two-year contract offer. Civil Beat.

A Hawaii Government Employees Association unit that represents professional and scientific employees has rejected a two-year contract offer from the state. The union announced this evening that 55 percent of the 8,100 worker unit voted against the offer. Star-Advertiser.

Whenever the state and counties reach a new contract agreement with one of the public employee unions, it is news, and lots of people are interested. Civil Beat.

Young candidates hope to start a generational change in Hawaii politics in next year's election, but it could as likely turn into a last stand by old-guard Democrats that cements our political status quo for another decade. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for May 1. Associated Press.


Circulation for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s print edition declined in the past year, while the newspaper’s paid online subscriptions and branded editions pushed average total circulation up by 28 percent, according to figures released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Pacific Business News.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser's total average weekday circulation jumped nearly 28 percent in the past year, lifting it to 21st place among the nation's top 25 daily newspapers. Star-Advertiser.

Doctors trump CEOs for highest pay in Honolulu, according to a new analysis in which the top six highest-paying jobs in Hawaii’s largest city were from the medical profession. Pacific Business News.

Honolulu International Airport badly needs more plant quarantine inspectors' positions reinstated to deal with the nearly four million boxes of produce, seafood, flowers and plants that are inspected there every year, officials from the state Department of Agriculture said. Hawaii News Now.

Federal labor authorities are proposing $49,000 in fines against the owner of the five-star Halekulani hotel in Waikiki for 14 "serious" safety violations discovered during a routine inspection. Star-Advertiser.

The Aloha Stadium is looking for people who can fill 150 part-time jobs that need to be passionate about the games and showcase excellent customer service. KITV4.

Detectives have determined that the female who reported finding a baby at Sandy Beach on Sunday night is the baby's mother, a Honolulu Police Spokesperson tells Hawaii News Now.


U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, will serve as the keynote speaker on Saturday, May 11, for the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s commencement ceremony. Tribune-Herald.

The county’s planning director and Board of Appeals acted in violation of the Kona Community Development Plan and failed to uphold the county’s duty to protect natural resources in awarding a planned unit development permit to a South Kona developer, a 3rd Circuit Court judge ruled last week. West Hawaii Today.

Council members gave a preliminary nod to code changes that would allow the county to cut down trees on occupied property if the trees pose a danger to public safety or a neighbor’s property and the lot owner refuses to mitigate the dangers. West Hawaii Today.

County Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter served on a council subcommittee that steered $40,000 to a nonprofit where she is a board member and her child receives services. West Hawaii Today.

Recent thefts of unattended equipment have impacted scientists’ ability to monitor and predict volcanic activity in Puna. Tribune-Herald.

A $5 million class-action federal lawsuit accusing national supermarket chain Safeway of profiting off the reputation of Kona coffee while selling a product containing little Hawaii-grown coffee has been settled after nearly two years of litigation. West Hawaii Today.

Two Big Island resorts have been chosen by the venerable travel destination company Frommer’s as among the top 10 honeymoon destinations in Hawaii. Big Island Now.

More money will be needed to complete the makeover of Lanakila Housing units. Tribune-Herald.


An unexploded ordnance believed to be a World War II aerial bomb was discovered Monday morning in a Puunene cane field, police said. Maui News.

Authorities called in an emergency disposal unit to Maui after reports that a 2-foot unexploded piece of ordnance was found Monday morning in a Puʻunene cane field. Maui Now.

In the fall of 2015, Maui Waena Intermediate School hopes to add a new eight-classroom building to its campus, which will relieve overcrowded classrooms and boost the curriculum. Maui News.

The Lahaina Division of Motor Vehicle and Licensing satellite office will be closed from Monday to May 15 as it relocates to its new space at the Lahaina Gateway Center. Maui News.


At 6:15 p.m. on Saturday — 100 years and four days after its first gleam at passing ships — the Kilauea Point Lighthouse will briefly cast its protective beacon across the waters of the Pacific once more. Garden Island.

The plans to bring back to life the iconic Coco Palms Resort in Wailua received a fatal blow Tuesday, when the Kaua‘i Planning Commission affirmed an order to revoke permits to rebuild the hotel that has been shut down for more than 20 years. Garden Island.

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