Showing posts with label Sen. Josh Green. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sen. Josh Green. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Making medical marijuana mainstream, Hawaii tradewinds less frequent, electric rates increase, special funds scrutinized, Honolulu on the hook for mismanaged nonprofit money, Hawaii Island courts lack sheriffs, Closed for 20 years, Coco Palms still a tourist draw, Godzilla, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii medical marijuana roadside sign (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Gov. Neil Abercrombie is likely to sign two bills on his desk aimed at making marijuana a more mainstream medicine, according to Sen. Josh Green, D-Kona, a physician who, as chairman of the Senate Health Committee, has been working on reforming the state’s 13-year-old medical marijuana law. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of a Hookena medical marijuana patient who was arrested at Kona International Airport when he tried to take his pakalolo on a flight to Honolulu. In a 30-page ruling issued Friday, the Supreme Court majority ordered a lower court to acquit Geoffrey Woodhall, stating that state law, while unclear and contradictory, nonetheless allows for the transport of marijuana by individuals carrying a state “blue card” certifying they are medical marijuana patients. West Hawaii Today.

Experts say the island breezes, called tradewinds, are declining, a drop that's slowly changing life across the islands. Associated Press.

Hawaii regulators have issued three orders affecting rates and the ratemaking process for Hawaiian Electric Co. and its subsidiaries, Maui Electric Co. and Hawaii Electric Light Co., in response to increased frustration by ratepayers for high electric rates and poor customer service. Pacific Business News.

The typical monthly electric bill on Oahu went up $3.13 and $3.17 on Hawaii Island as Hawaiian Electric Co. increased a supplemental fee it gets to pay for a shift to more renewable energy and greater energy efficiency. Star-Advertiser.

The state House Finance Committee is re-evaluating the use of special funds in the months leading up to the next legislative session. Associated Press.

State health officials say they're looking into hepatitis A infections that have struck at least three adults, including one person on Oahu who was hospitalized. All three consumed frozen berry products from Costco and became ill sometime between early and late May, officials said. Star-Advertiser.

Since retiring from the Senate, Daniel Akaka has largely stayed out of the public eye. However, he issued a statement today mourning the passing of former colleague, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, with whom he served for over three decades. Civil Beat.

More than a dozen Hawaii public schools are receiving state of the art lab equipment, thanks to a program out of UH Manoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine. Hawaii Public Radio.

State roundup for June 4. Associated Press.


Potential kickbacks, conflicts of interest and mismanagement of federal grant funds mean the city of Honolulu will have to pay back nearly $8 million it gave to an embattled nonprofit in Central Oahu that serves the elderly and developmentally disabled adults. Civil Beat.

How much in city operational dollars should go to Oahu nonprofit groups and how such funds should be divvied up are at the core of a clash between Mayor Kirk Caldwell and City Council leaders before Wednesday's final vote on the city's $2 billion operating budget. Star-Advertiser.

Two bills Honolulu City Councilman Joey Manahan is pushing would require helmet wearing when skateboarding on city streets and sidewalks, malls, parks and public places.  One of the measures carries a $25 fine per citation. Hawaii News Now.

A Shinto shrine in Kalihi is being threatened with legal action for posting a YouTube video of what it calls the brazen theft of $1,000 worth of amulets representing good fortune. Star-Advertiser.

Tesoro Hawaii's plan to lay off most of its Kapolei refinery workers, which was delayed last month as the company negotiated with a potential buyer, was set in motion Monday with a first group of employees getting notices that they would lose their jobs within three weeks. Star-Advertiser.

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures confirmed Monday what local actors, hopeful extras and industry insiders have been whispering about for months: The latest remake of the "Godzilla" franchise will be filming in July at several Oahu locations. Star-Advertiser.

This summer, if you want to know whether the Ala Wai Canal meets the state’s standards for safe recreational use, you'll probably have to test it yourself. That is because the city plans to stop testing one of the most heavily used inland bodies of water in the state for dangerous bacteria levels even though the canal is among the most polluted. Civil Beat.


A combination of vacations and sick workers left West Hawaii’s four courts with just one sheriff Monday morning. The severity of the shortage Monday was just indicative of a broader problem, West Hawaii attorneys and court officials said. Department of Public Safety officials said they were bringing sheriffs from Hilo to Kona to fill in the gaps, but acknowledged that they have had trouble for years filling all of the West Hawaii vacancies. West Hawaii Today.

Waikoloa has been put on the map, literally. The West Hawaii community was added to the Federal Aviation Administration’s flight maps last month, after previously being designated as a settlement. Tribune-Herald.

Utility customers will see a 1.6 percent increase to their Hawaii Electric Light Co. (HELCO) bills as the result of annual adjustments approved last week by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. Tribune-Herald.


An Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal team safely removed a grenade on Monday from the shoulder of Hansen Road, which was reopened after being closed for about a day, police said. Maui News.

Firefighters remained at the Central Maui Landfill Monday morning, battling a compost fire reported Sunday afternoon that has delayed residential trash collections and closed the landfill and recycling operations. Maui News.

Maui County fire fighters are still on the scene at the Central Maui Landfill Refuse & Recycling Center, where a blaze at the EKO Compost site has closed down operations today and possibly tomorrow. Maui Now.

At first glance, it isn't readily apparent how Maui County's reviving economy is affecting the islands' real estate market, which struggled through the recession with low prices and a glut of foreclosed properties. Maui News.


In an effort to increase awareness about its recycling programs, Kauai County launched its “What Goes Where” campaign Monday. Garden Island.

Armed with a machete and a heck of a sense of humor, Bob Jasper gives visitors and locals a snapshot of the property that helped put Kauai on the forefront of Hawaii’s visitor industry decades ago. “Coco Palms has got to be the most famous hotel in the South Pacific,” he said. “It has been shut down for over 20 years and folks still want to see it.” Garden Island.


Big Wind was the nickname for the state’s energy plan that included 200-megawatt wind farms on both Molokai and Lanai to supply energy to Oahu via an undersea cable. In the latest plan, Molokai Properties Limited , also known as Molokai Ranch, had planned to lease 11,000 acres of land to wind company Pattern Energy to build 70 400-foot tall wind turbines. But that plan fell through when the Ranch called off the deal in February, announcing their decision not to renew the lease agreement. Molokai Dispatch.

Young Brothers, Limited, the intrastate cargo company serving Hawaii, released its numbers for their first quarter of this year, and the findings could reflect how Molokai is doing economically. Molokai saw a slight increase in its general and agricultural outbound cargo and a minimal decrease in inbound freight.  Meanwhile, larger islands showed more notable decreases. Molokai Dispatch.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Group sues for Obama Hawaii vacation records, Oprah's Maui garden spotlighted, GMO ban heard in Hawaii County, $5M for rapid transit art, senator gives lobbyist his parking space, teachers withdraw complaint, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii troops
Obama with Hawaii troops, courtesy photo
Aloha, U.S. Secret Service - you've been served. About those vacations to Hawaii, we want to know how much they're costing taxpayers. Watchdog Group files lawsuit to obtain records detailing taxpayers’ cost for Obama Family’s Hawaiian vacation. Hawaii Reporter.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association has officially withdrawn its complaint with the Hawaii Labor Relations Board, but it didn’t go as smoothly as Gov. Neil Abercrombie would have liked. Civil Beat.

The Abercrombie administration’s push to modernize the state’s online services is showing results in two agencies that are keys to assuring accountability in government. Civil Beat.

The hottest item on the University of Hawaii Board of Regents’ agenda Thursday will be discussed behind closed doors. Planned talks about the university’s presidency are scheduled for executive session — the part of the meeting when members of the public are asked to leave the room. Civil Beat.

John Radcliffe, one of Hawaii's biggest lobbyists with 30 clients — including the American Chemistry Council, the Hawaii School Bus Association and Corrections Corporation of America — has an "in" that most members of the public don't: Sen. Josh Green lets Radcliffe park in his Senate-assigned stall. Civil Beat.

Two erroneous mailings to 250,000 Quest health insurance members will cost state taxpayers $176,254. Star-Advertiser.

The baggage fees paid to Hawaiian Airlines last year turned out to be the difference between a profit and loss for the state's largest carrier. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu City officials, with $5 million to spend, formally launched a search Tuesday for artists to create original, Hawaiian-themed works for display along Honolulu's future rail transit line. Star-Advertiser.

Labor costs are rising for the city of Honolulu, putting Mayor Kirk Caldwell at odds with the City Council over whether to cut costs or raise revenues. Civil Beat.

City Council members are saying “thanks, but no thanks” to a Salary Commission recommendation to raise their pay. Star-Advertiser.

State Department of Education  blames consultant for school building slowdown. Hawaii News Now.

City Council members want the Honolulu Police Department to look at the idea of allowing gun owners to obtain firearm registrations and permits at the Kapolei and Kaneohe police substations to reduce long lines. Star-Advertiser.

The Pentagon said Tuesday that shipyard employees, including several thousand workers at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, are excepted from 11 furlough days that other civilian defense employees must take between July 8 and the end of September. Pacific Business News.

Well-known local musician, Weldon Kekauoha, a Grammy-nominated and Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning musician, says he and his family were discriminated against at a luxury Waikiki hotel. KHON2.

The Hawaiian Humane Society rescued  Tuesday more than 40 purebred Pomeranian puppies and adults from "extremely filthy" living conditions at a longtime breeder's Halawa house. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii Island residents are likely to see their property taxes rise more than 10 percent this year, but only seven came out Tuesday evening to voice their opinion at the only public hearing on the issue. West Hawaii Today.

Genetic engineering opponents turned out in force Tuesday before the Hawaii County Council to support a bill that could determine the future of agriculture on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park announced Tuesday that it has adopted a finalized plan to protect the park’s ecosystem from damage by non-native ungulates, or hoofed species. Tribune-Herald.

A second former Department of Environmental Management employee pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning to felony and petty misdemeanor charges for allegedly stealing diesel fuel from pumps at the Waimea baseyard. West Hawaii Today.

Work on Queen Kaahumanu Highway isn’t likely to start until September now, Rep. Denny Coffman said Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.


Some Maui residents have gotten a taste of fresh organic produce from a farm started by Oprah Winfrey. Now a broader audience has gotten a taste (visually) of the operation that Winfrey representatives would say little about six months ago. Star-Advertiser.

Oprah Winfrey enlisted Bio-logical Capital's Hawaii operation to create a sustainable farm on some 16 acres of land she owns in Upcountry Maui last summer, and now she's showing off her harvest in next month's issue of O, the Oprah Magazine. Pacific Business News.

While some public high schools in Maui County have seen significant improvements over the past few years in the number of graduates enrolling in a two- or four-year college, most high schools in the county still fall below the state average, according to a recent study. Maui News.


Church building sports center for youth, adults. Garden Island.

Kauai Chamber Directory 2013. Garden Island.