Showing posts with label contractors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label contractors. Show all posts

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hawaii Senate passes gay marriage bill 20-4, lawmaker sues to stop special session, religious exemption at issue for House, big pay raises for Hawaii County officials, Kauai mayor to decide GMO bill today, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

20-4 vote passes historic measure
Hawaii Senate passes gay marriage courtesy Senate majority
The Hawaii Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to approve a gay marriage bill, casting the decision as an important leg in the long march toward equality for gays and lesbians. The 20-4 vote sent the bill to the state House, where the House Judiciary and Finance committees will hold a public hearing today. If the committees amend the bill, which is likely in order to win over some House lawmakers worried about the scope of a religious exemption, then the bill would return to the Senate for another review. Star-Advertiser.

The state Senate passed a bill Wednesday legalizing gay marriage, sending the measure to more uncertain prospects in the House. After nearly two hours of discussion on the Senate floor on the merits of allowing same-sex couples to marry, the bill passed easily, 20-4, with one senator abstaining. The Hawaii Senate is dominated by Democrats, with only one Republican. Associated Press.

The tide of history flowed smoothly through the Hawaii Senate chamber Wednesday, where same-sex marriage legislation passed 20-4. Democrats Donna Mercado Kim, Ron Kouchi and Mike Gabbard voted "no," as did lone Republican Sam Slom. Democrat Glenn Wakai was excused because of a death in the family. Senate Bill 1 now heads to the House of Representatives, where the gay-marriage wave is sure to encounter rougher waters. Civil Beat.

Senators passed SB 1, the "Hawaii Marriage Equality Act of 2013", on their third reading Wednesday afternoon and sent it over the House where it passed its first reading, but not without a fight and a lot of political posturing.  Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Senate voted Wednesday to pass a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage, moving the issue over to the House, where two committees are expecting hundreds of people to testify at a Thursday hearing. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii State Senate today passed a measure to legalize same-sex marriage in the State of Hawaii. Hawaii Reporter.

Some House lawmakers want an exemption in the same-sex marriage bill that gives small businesses, especially those in the wedding industry, an "opt out" option. Hawaii News Now.

I was there the day the battle for same-sex marriages began in Hawaii. It was December 17, 1990. A KITV cameraman and I followed three homosexual couples as they marched ceremoniously down Beretania Street to the State Health Department to file for marriage licenses. Civil Beat.

In 1998, Hawaii voters approved an amendment to the state constitution that supporters said was against same-sex marriage. Today, supporters of gay marriage say the same amendment supporters their side. State Rep. Bob McDermott (R-Ewa, Ewa Beach, Iroquois Point) filed a lawsuit in state Circuit Court Wednesday to try to settle the question. Hawaii News Now.

At least one lawmaker is taking his fight against same-sex marriage to court. Rep. Bob McDermott filed a lawsuit to try and stop the special session. KHON2.

A number of people on both sides of the gay marriage debate say the current draft of Senate Bill 1, which would legalize same-sex ceremonies, infringes on religious liberty. Hawaii Reporter.

The Hawaii Department of Education announced today that it’s had to revise 37 high schools’ Strive HI scores after finding flaws in graduation rate data used in part to evaluate how well schools are closing the achievement gap. Civil Beat.

A national report praises Hawaii for being one of only a few states with a teacher evaluation system that ties teachers’ compensation to their performance. Associated Press.

An eyeless shrimp and 14 other Hawaii creatures and plants have been added to the endangered species list, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said. Associated Press.


A civilian procurement official for the Navy is facing criminal charges for allegedly steering federal work to government contractors that hired his wife. Federal prosecutors have charged 56-year-old William Nesmith of Ewa Beach with two counts of conflict of financial interest involving the awards of more than $15 million in naval contracts. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii's Department of Health will use a $2.1 million federal grant to run a three-year program expected to serve at least 120 people who are considered chronically homeless. Associated Press.

Oahu residents will have to fend off wild chickens on their own and gripe directly to police about noisy roosters because of a cost-cutting measure by the Caldwell administration. In a move to reduce spending, Managing Director Ember Shinn decided in late August or early September to not award an $80,000 contract for crowing rooster and feral chicken control services, city Customer Services Director Sheri Kajiwara told the City Council Budget Committee on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The city insisted Wednesday that its sewage system in Kakaako can handle new condominium tower projects in the area, but acknowledged that foul odors escaping the system are a problem that needs to be fixed. Star-Advertiser.

Architecture firm Perkins+Will said Wednesday that it opened its 24th worldwide office in Honolulu, to focus on work related to the city’s planned $5.16 billion rail transit project. Pacific Business News.


Double-digit raises are coming to 12 county officials Friday under a pay plan unanimously approved Wednesday by the Hawaii County Salary Commission. The salary plan, designed to make Hawaii County officials’ salaries more on par with those on other islands and to make sure no department head is making less money than his or her subordinates, adds from $10,218 to $17,598 to salaries of the 12 officials. West Hawaii Today.

Scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory have created a thermal image video of the lava lake in Halemaumau Crater that shows lava upwelling in the lake and spreading out like sheets of ice on the ocean. Star-Advertiser.

Ocean View Food Pantry reopens after short hiatus. West Hawaii Today.

Halloween in Lahaina will go on this year Thursday - without the legal protests of the past couple of years - as preparations are made for more than 30,000 revelers along Front Street. Maui News.

Maui County water officials called on Upcountry residents Wednesday to double their voluntary water conservation, reducing normal use by 20 percent, due to the dry weather conditions. Maui News.

A Maui County Council committee Tuesday recommended a new independent appraisal for Launiupoko lands the county administration wants to purchase for open space and park use, with the committee chairman calling the current appraisal "fundamentally flawed." Maui News.

To encourage Central Maui residents to exercise more every day, Maui County has teamed up with local groups to come up with a 20-year master plan that identifies areas in Kahului, Wailuku and Waikapu that could be made more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly. Maui News.


Gov. Neil Abercrombie abruptly withdrew the name of his nominee to the state Land Board after his pick for the Kauai seat said for personal reasons he no longer wanted to be considered, a development that was welcomed by critics who said a land developer shouldn't have been selected. Star-Advertiser.

Shawn Smith, general manager of land investment company Falko Partners, LLC, withdrew his nomination to the state Board of Land and Natural Resources Wednesday, state officials said. Garden Island.

The corporation overseeing Kauai’s two public hospitals will seek $7.3 million in emergency funding at a public hearing today before the state Legislature to keep the state-funded public health system afloat. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council, as well as many members of the public, are waiting anxiously to see whether Mayor Bernard Carvalho will veto the bill which requires biotech companies to disclose pesticide use and farmers to report any genetically engineered crops they are growing. The mayor has until Thursday (Oct. 31) to decide what he’s going to do with the bill. Civil Beat.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hawaii 'Mars' researchers come down to Earth, reapportionment foes appeal to U.S. Supreme Court, state spends $24M more on software bid, WWII vet fights for benefits, Honolulu asks feds for garage space, murder only choice for Deedy jurors, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News
Researchers emerge from HI-SEAS isolation dome (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
The Aloha State's unique and historic role in training for space exploration took another giant leap Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Six space researchers who spent four months in isolation in a bright white dome perched on the northern flank of Mauna Loa emerged Tuesday squinting into the sunshine and marveling at the clear air in their nostrils, the cool breeze caressing their flesh and the lava rock crunching underfoot. West Hawaii Today.

See photos of the crew and the habitat here

Hawaii's drawn-out process to settle on its political district boundaries isn't quite finished. On Friday, the plaintiffs who are suing the state Office of Elections over its 2011 reapportionment plan appealed their case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Civil Beat.

Advocates for immigration reform will bring half a birthday cake Thursday to the local offices of U.S. Reps. Colleen Hana­busa and Tulsi Gabbard, marking the anniversary of a federal policy offering undocumented youth a reprieve from deportation. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Human Services awarded a $90 million contract for software to comply with the Affordable Care Act to a multi-billion dollar consulting firm, KPMG, rather than a smaller company, EngagePoint, that has previously secured similar jobs in other states. But EngagePoint's bid would have cost taxpayers $24 million less. Civil Beat.

A World War II veteran is fighting to save his Social Security benefits after allegedly being called a traitor for protesting an over payment claim. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Supreme Court last week articulated an expansive view of the public’s “right to know” and the open meeting requirements of the state’s Sunshine Law that should make openness advocates giddy. Civil Beat.

A Hawaii scientist has found a fly species whose bulging middle legs bear a resemblance to the spinach-fueled forearms of the cartoon sailor Popeye. Star-Advertiser.


A multi-billion-dollar rail system faces another legal hurdle Thursday before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Hawaii Reporter.

Honolulu's City Transportation Director Mike Formby has appealed to a top Federal Transit Administration official to allow hundreds of city employees to park in a $19 million new parking garage that is nearly empty. Hawaii News Now.

The Department of Veterans Affairs plans to break ground around November on a project to put in 7,000 more columbarium "niches" for cremated remains at Punchbowl cemetery. Star-Advertiser.

The solar photovoltaic industry, one of the fastest growing sectors in Hawaii, may be showing signs of slowing down — July was the third straight month showing a year-over-year decline in permits issued on Oahu, according to new statistics collected by Marco Mangelsdorf, president of Hilo-based ProVision Solar. Pacific Business News.

After being battered by government officials and the media, a nonprofit at the center of a scandal involving millions of dollars in federal grant funds is fighting back. Civil Beat.

The jury in State Department special agent Christopher Deedy's murder trial will not have the option of convicting him on the lesser charge of manslaughter. Star-Advertiser.

Tucked behind Barber's Point, newcomer Road and Highway Builders has taken the unprecedented move of shipping in their business: 55,000 tons of crushed rock every three months. KITV4.

Some Kailua residents are upset about a state landscaping project they were never told about. The state chopped down a bunch of trees on a heavily used road. KHON2.

A Waikiki hotel is receiving more than $119,000 as a reward for installing energy efficient air conditioning systems and lights. Associated Press.


In written responses to an online survey, Hawaii Police Chief Harry Kubojiri said he is aware of his department’s “need to improve our visibility and response time.” Tribune-Herald.

The state Narcotics Enforcement Administration is flying marijuana eradication missions on the Big Island through today, a Hawaii Police Department spokeswoman said Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Public Radio’s decision to take over KAHU-FM means Ka‘u residents will end radio silence in the district. The Federal Communications Commission last week approved a transfer of ownership of the station from Ka‘u Community Radio Inc. to Hawaii Public Radio for the station, which airs at 91.7 FM. West Hawaii Today.


Following in the footsteps of his predecessor, the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz pledged Monday to continue pursuing the goal of federal government recognition of Native Hawaiians as an indigenous group, similar to Native Americans and Alaskans. Maui News.

Home of Maui's alii, capital of the Hawaiian kingdom, rest stop for whaling ships, missionary headquarters, plantation town, popular visitor destination — "there are so many layers to Lahaina's story, from ancient times to the present," said Theo Morrison, executive director of the nonprofit Lahaina Restoration Foundation. "It's one of very few places that have been significant in all of Hawaii's major historical eras." Star-Advertiser.

Despite its boisterous name and affiliation with rock 'n' roll's Gene Simmons, owners of the proposed Rock & Brews restaurant Monday assured Paia residents that they are "one of the most family-friendly restaurants." Maui News.

Maui hotel occupancy for June rose 2.3 percentage points over last June to 69.7 percent, the only island in the state to register a gain for the month, according to Hospitality Advisors and Smith Travel Research. Maui News.

A new solar array at the Maui Coast Hotel in Kīhei is expected to generate enough energy annually to reduce electric costs by 30%, according to a company announcement. Maui Now.


After two motions to withdrawal and amid threats of lawsuits Tuesday, the Kauai Planning Commission unanimously voted to contract a hearings officer for a contested case on the county’s request. The officer will hear a case regarding permits to accommodate tour boat activities at Black Pot Beach Park in Hanalei. Garden Island.

A retired car dealer who pleaded no contest to reckless endangerment in a deadly Kauai dam breach has billed the state $240,000. James Pflueger demanded the state pay for water it has been selling from his dam to local farmers for the past 20 years. Associated Press.

Last week’s incident involving a 74-year-old Kapaa resident operating a school bus under the influence was a first for Complex Area Superintendent Bill Arakaki. KPD reported Koth was not under the influence of alcohol. Garden Island.

Friday, June 14, 2013

No surprise: Hawaii more than half Asian, accused Army spy faces court martial, Honolulu rail could have double the cars, fewer trips, drones on the Big Island, federal court rules against Department of Education in Maui disabled student case, dead monk seal found on Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

census Asian majority
Honolulu Spam Jam (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
A state analysis of U.S. Census data released Thursday shows Hawaii has by far the largest share of Asians and the smallest share of whites in any U.S. state’s total population. Associated Press.

Immigrant families from Asia, a relatively high rate of interracial marriage and the fact that many white people who move to the islands are retirees are likely factors behind Hawaii leading the nation, by far, in the portion of residents of Asian ancestry, a population expert says. John Butler, associate dean of academic affairs at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Shidler College of Business, said the U.S. Census Bureau figures won't surprise most people here. Star-Advertiser.

Census: Hawaii Has Largest Share Of Asian Population. Civil Beat.

Asians account for more than half of Hawaii’s population, according to information released today by the US Census Bureau. Big Island Now.

An Army officer who worked for U.S. Pacific Command is on trial in Hawaii, accused of illegally possessing and passing classified national defense information, the Army revealed Thursday. Major's case is third in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

As a high-ranking Army intelligence officer, accused spy Seivirak Inson had immense access to the military secrets of the U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii. Now, the 43-year-old Major is facing court-martial proceeding for attempting to hand over some of those secrets to the Cambodian government. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii plans to undergo a substantial energy efficiency initiative that aims to more than double the energy efficiency in state and county buildings through additional energy savings performance contracting with the private sector. Pacific Business News.

An intensive year-long community planning process to assist the electric utilities in coming up with five-year energy plans for Oahu, the Big Island and Maui County needs more time, some members of the planning committee say. Civil Beat.

State roundup for June 14. Associated Press.


Rail officials are considering doubling the capacity of Oahu's future passenger trains to accommodate more people per stop — but the proposal would also halve the number of trains planned for the line. Star-Advertiser.

Beneath the feet of attendees at the historic Kawaiahao Church, there is a basement full of baskets, many of which are stacked atop one another. They contain the exhumed human remains of 660 long dead believers, and many of them have been there for years. The bones, or iwi, believed to date from the 19th century, were dug up from a broad plot of land on the side of the church. Civil Beat.

One dollar. That is the amount of compensation private contractor AC Kobayashi Inc. billed the University of Hawaii each month under a “Pre-Construction Services Agreement” to build the university’s new West Oahu campus. That’s $1, plus as much as $60,000 a month for reimbursable expenses over 18 months ending Dec. 31, 2010. Hawaii Reporter.

Two managers at Kapiolani Community College, including the woman who used to be in charge of investigating personnel complaints at UH's second-most-populated campus, have filed discrimination complaints against KCC Chancellor Leon Richards. Hawaii News Now.

Completing a two-year, $135 million construction project, Michaels Development Co. has delivered on its promise to renovate the once-dilapidated Kuhio Park Terrace, which even has a new name, the Towers at Kuhio Park. The mammoth face-lift — awarded to Michaels and its development partner Vitas Group in September 2009 — marks the first mixed-financed, public-private housing partnership in the state. Star-Advertiser.

A former Waianae public charter school clerk pleaded not guilty in Circuit Court on Thursday to felony charges that she stole $19,750 from the school. Star-Advertiser.

Plans to build a Foodland in Hawaii Kai suspended. KHON2.


A county project estimated to cost $50,000 ballooned to $146,913, leaving one would-be bidder crying foul. West Hawaii Today.

The highest bid at a foreclosure auction for more than 5,800 acres of sugar plantation land on the Big Island was $12.2 million and now a confirmation hearing for sale of the WWK Hawaii Holdings land is scheduled for June 27. Pacific Business News.

Hamakua Springs volunteering hundreds of acres for testing drones. KITV4.

There’s less than a month remaining until Independence Day festivities kick off in Kailua-Kona, culminating with a community parade and fireworks display over Kailua Bay. However, the Kailua-Kona Community Parade Association, the group that makes it all possible, still needs to raise about $5,000 to put on the annual parade and fireworks display for a fifth straight year, said Barbara Kossow, the association’s Independence Day activities and sponsorship coordinator. West Hawaii Today.

The future of Hawaii’s Volcano Circus remains to be determined six months after the Windward Planning Commission last tabled the matter of revoking a permit for its location in Kalapana Seaview Estates. Tribune-Herald.


The state Department of Education failed to provide a Maui special-needs student with a free appropriate public education when it excluded the boy's father from participating in a meeting that changed the student's school placement for the first time in six years, a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Education can't put the burden on parents to ensure that children with learning disabilities get what is due to them from the state’s public schools, according to a significant U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision issued Thursday. Civil Beat.

Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission members approved a nearly $2.9 million budget Wednesday for the fiscal year beginning July 1. And, while the spending plan continues operations for another year at a "bare minimum," according to commission Executive Director Michael Naho'opi'i, the budget doesn't address a new source of funding. That would be needed to stem the rapidly depleting remainder of a $44 million trust fund established for commission operations in 1994 during the federal government's cleanup of Kahoolawe. Maui News.

After months of searching for a qualified candidate to fill the newly created county auditor position, members of the Maui County Council Budget and Finance Committee on Wednesday unanimously supported the appointment of the man they think is right for the job. Maui News.

The Halemau'u trailhead parking lot will be closed Tuesday through June 25 while work is done on disabled accessibility improvements, Haleakala National Park officials announced. Maui News.


A Hawaiian monk seal found dead on Kauai’s Westside appears to have died of natural causes, according to Jamie Thomton of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Garden Island.

The Kauai Humane Society is closing on Saturdays, starting July 7, a move to help reduce operating costs, which have increased over the last three years. KHS is also laying off one position, and cutting back on part-time hours. Garden Island.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Abercrombie's priorities moving in Hawaii Legislature at session midpoint, Honolulu rail contractor addresses concerns, Speak pidgin and get a good job? No can. Lanai wind farm advances, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii House chambers
Hawaii Legislature
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie is seeing his legislative proposals for statewide preschool, natural resources and other issues gain momentum as House and Senate lawmakers hit a key deadline. Associated Press.

Gambling didn't make it this time around, but hundreds of other bills -- like same day voter registration -- still have a chance at becoming state law. Hawaii News Now.

The state Senate on Thursday brushed off another flare-up over the Public Land Development Corp. and moved a bill that would set up a new authority to coordinate development projects between government and the private sector. The Public-Private Partnership Authority would work with state and county agencies and private developers on projects that could bring revenue to the state. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Legislature in 2013 is poised to do something that it has failed to do for more than a decade: pass legislation ensuring that female sexual assault victims have access to emergency contraception. Civil Beat.

A bill that would prohibit employers from social media snooping passed the state House of Representatives this week and advanced to the state Senate. Maui News.

Hawaii lawmakers are considering two unusual bills unique to Hawaii that have scientists and environmentalists raving – one has to do with an indigenous bat and the other with a locally discovered microbe. Hawaii Reporter.

State hires private firm to defend against expected indictment over seabirds. State transportation lights affecting protected shearwater birds. KITV4.

Federal scientists have postponed plans to temporarily transfer some young Hawaiian monk seals from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to the main Hawaiian Islands as part of a population recovery program. Star-Advertiser.

Like it or not, Pidgin — the local creole language that traces back to Hawaii’s plantation era — has no place in the professional world, critics say. They argue that students need to speak English to get by in life. Civil Beat.

State roundup for March 8. Associated Press.


Executives of the firms awarded the largest contract in state history assured Honolulu transit leaders Thursday that they have the financial muscle to deliver a train operating system and rail cars on time and on budget despite recent hurdles confronted by their Italian parent company. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) Board Members were given a financial update from Ansaldo Honolulu Joint Venture, the Italian company that will build all the train cars and communication system. Hawaii News Now.

Hilton Hawaiian Village will play host to this year's annual National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems. But some of its members won't be coming to Waikiki, worried what image it will send in such tough economic times. KHON2.

A plan by the state Department of Transportation to rebuild two aging bridges on Farrington Highway could have cars driving right through Makaha Beach. Civil Beat.

A ban on spiked lug nut covers and other sharp objects that stick out from the wheel of a car is among the legislative proposals being pushed by the Hono­lulu Police Department this year. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell nominated Donna Y.L. Leong to be the city’s top attorney and take over the department of Corporation Counsel. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Board of Water Supply …which relies almost entirely on water rate charges and fees … got a head start in 2011 and will be embarking on an even more ambitious schedule of improve the city’s water delivery system. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu's condominium market last month was hot, but the single-family home market was not. Star-Advertiser.

The Howard Hughes Corp. expects to make a profit of $66 million from the ONE Ala Moana ultra-luxury condominium tower under construction behind Hawaii's Ala Moana Center shopping mall, the developer's CEO told shareholders on Tuesday. Pacific Business News.


The state Senate has passed a bill that would change how public funds are distributed to Hawaii County Council candidates. Tribune-Herald.

Several county department heads and purchasing agents have some ’splaining to do to the County Council next week. The council’s Finance Committee agenda shows change orders were authorized for five contracts during the first two weeks of January alone, extending completion dates and increasing contract amounts to the tune of $829,322. West Hawaii Today.

Windward Planning Commission members opted Thursday to prolong the debate over the proposed Kaumana campus for Connections Public Charter School. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County officials are aware of apparent duplications and a discrepancy contained in Bill 40, which includes the county’s proposed capital budget and six-year capital improvement program. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is working to have Japan Airlines fly 10 flights from Tokyo’s Narita airport to Kailua-Kona this summer in hopes strong ticket sales will lead the carrier to restore regularly scheduled service to the Big Island, an official said Wednesday. Associated Press.


Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa will join Council Chair Gladys Baisa in lobbying state lawmakers tomorrow in an effort to retain the county’s hotel room tax revenue. Maui Now.

Former South Maui Rep. George Fontaine was elected chairman of the Maui County Republican Party on Saturday at the party's county convention. Maui News.

Real estate, construction, politics and the development of Maui. Maui Weekly.

A bill to require county liquor commissions to define the term "dancing" in establishments that serve alcohol advanced Tuesday from the state Senate to the state House of Representatives. Maui News.


When Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. gives the Kaua‘i County Council on March 15 the budget for Fiscal Year 2014, he may not have to include a reserve fund in his proposal. Garden Island.

A 5th Circuit Court judge disqualified himself from the state’s case against Roland Sagum, after he was arraigned Thursday on second-degree theft charges. Garden Island.

Jennifer Luck, Kaua‘i Island Director for the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, will discuss what the future may have in store for the decaying Coco Palms Resort during the Wailua-Kapa‘a Neighborhood Association’s upcoming meeting. Garden Island.

When it comes to the fight against invasive plants and animals, the island of Kaua‘i is turning heads. Garden Island.


Castle & Cooke Inc. CEO David Murdock — who kept the rights to build a wind farm capable of producing up to 400 megawatts of renewable energy when he sold the majority of Lanai to Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison last June — is apparently moving ahead with his plans. Pacific Business News.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hawaii unions powerful, Honolulu mayor popular, health insurers profitable, no more money for nurses, new garbage trucks idle, overlooked utility poles make for pricey contract, Kauai gets federal seabird permit, more Hawaii news

Hawaii coastline (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
The Legacy Lands Conservation Program has awarded four grants totaling $4.5 million to protect lands on Oahu and the Big Island. Pacific Business News

The two largest health insurance companies in Hawaii rebounded in the first quarter to post their highest profits in at least three years due to rate increases and improved investments that helped boost earnings. Star-Advertiser.

Most voters believe labor unions have the strongest influence on the state's elected officials, a new Hawaii Poll shows, although Democrats are less likely to have that opinion than Republicans and independents. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie said the state cannot agree to pay more money to Maui Memorial Medical Center nurses because it is in a "fiscal crisis." Maui News.

Not a single steel rail has been laid for the Honolulu transit system and costs are already escalating. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii County is paying $229,000 to a construction contractor after a second engineering consultant failed to include utility pole relocation in the original project design. West Hawaii Today.

As wind company Pattern Energy moves forward with plans to develop on Molokai, First Wind, a company that had been in discussion with the community for several years, is not giving up without a fight. Molokai Dispatch.

It’s a matter of disclosure, practicality, and fairness—none of which Friends of Lanai say applies to the State’s Big Wind proposal. Hawaii Independent.

Reflections on leadership — and lack of it — in the 2011 session. Civil Beat.

New city garbage trucks collecting dust. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii County Council majority made clear Monday its displeasure with a $199,950 consultant contract comparing Hilo landfill expansion costs to trucking garbage to Puuanahulu. West Hawaii Today.

New polling data released yesterday shows Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle with a job approval rating of 64 percent, while 60 percent of those polled have a favorable opinion of him. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu mayor Peter Carlisle is busy dealing with rail critics and budgets woes, but his approval rating is still high after seven months on the job. Star-Advertiser.

Both deputy chiefs in the Honolulu Police Department will step down from their posts at the end of the month, the two men said last night. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu had one of the highest inflation rates in the nation last year, but economists say rising costs won't threaten the state's economic recovery. Associated Press.

It was a ground-breaking ceremony many believed was long overdue.  A memorial honoring Hawaii's law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. KHON2.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has given Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative a green light to “take” a certain number of endangered seabirds annually so long as the co-op adheres to its federally approved habitat conservation plan. Garden Island.

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a dispute over whether to identify students challenging a private school system's admissions policy that gives preference to those of Hawaiian ancestry.Associated Press.

Many Aiea residents got their first look at a major development in the middle of their community. KITV4.

West Hawaii's four council districts accounted for 76.8 percent of property values this year, up slightly from last year as property values countywide dipped 4.4 percent. West Hawaii Today.

Kaua‘i County Councilman KipuKai Kuali‘i responded Monday to some community concerns over a possible conflict of interest stemming from his participation in a certain departmental budget review meeting last month. Garden Island.

Never, ever expect gratitude is what Gov. Neil Abercrombie told University of Hawaii Maui College graduates on Sunday. Maui News.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Obama Hawaii vacation home illegal, Health Department defends water, schools want more money, eight vie for Sen. Kokubun's seat, Big Island council chair fights ethics charge, Colt Brennan's girlfriend sued in traffic crash, Maui library reopens, Kauai vandals hit state equipment, Hawaii Five-0 the people's choice, more

President Barack Obama's two-week stay at his Hawaii Winter White House was illegal under a long-standing Honolulu ban on short-term rentals. Civil Beat.

The level of a toxic chemical in Honolulu's drinking water found by an environmental research group is "not a huge problem," although government testing is continuing, said state Health Director Neal Palafox. Star-Advertiser.

Concerns over Oahu's drinking water surfaced in Bonnie Marsh's home after a mainland group's study claimed Oahu's water supply may be contaminated with high levels of Chromium VI, a suspected cancer causing agent. Hawaii News Now.

State health officials say a Honolulu water sample taken by an environmental group showed only natural levels of a carcinogen called hexavalent chromium. Associated Press.

A new year brings with it new budget wars in the Hawaii Legislature. Civil Beat.

The state schools superintendent said Wednesday that a new law requiring more instructional time in public schools is not possible for some schools and may be too difficult to implement at all this year. KITV4.

The Department of Education presented state senators yesterday with a "no frills" operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year that seeks $129 million to restore cuts and an additional $29 million for what was described as a wish list for tough times. Star-Advertiser.

Despite slightly improved revenue projections, the overall state budget picture remains very bleak, legislators were told today. Hawaii Reporter.

Remember Mufi Hannemann’s now infamous “Compare-and-Decide” mailer? Honolulu Weekly.

One state House member and a former Hawaii County Council chairman are among the eight qualified Democrats seeking appointment to Hawaii's 2nd Senate District. Tribune-Herald.

The 112th U-S Congress convened today on Capitol Hill. Ninety-six freshmen Representatives were sworn into office … including one from Hawaii. Hawaii Public Radio.

Colleen Hanabusa, the former state Senate president, was sworn in yesterday as urban Honolulu's new congresswoman. Star-Advertiser.

Interview: Former Congressman Charles Djou. Hawaii News Now.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye has been sworn into his ninth 6-year term, retaining his status as the longest-serving Senate incumbent. Associated Press.

The head of the environmental group Hawaii’s Thousand Friends complained Wednesday that the city wasn't clear enough about what sensitive areas would be affected by the proposed rail transit project. KITV4.

Almost 5,000 acres of West Molokai pasture lands would be preserved under a plan by Molokai Properties Ltd. Maui News.

A vote on a developer's agreement has spawned an ethics complaint against County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong. West Hawaii Today.

The County Council must be notified when the county administration changes the price of construction or service contracts, according to a bill lawmakers unanimously passed Wednesday. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii County Council will start getting regular reports about contract change orders. West Hawaii Today.

Traffic fatalities jumped by more than 25 percent last year on the Big Island, despite an increase in drunken driving arrests and a drop in major traffic crashes. Star-Advertiser.

Brennan's girlfriend Stream named in suit seeking tort damages. West Hawaii Today.

Maui accountant Lloyd Kimura pleaded guilty Wednesday to nine counts of bank and mail fraud and theft in an elaborate ponzi scheme. Hawaii News Now.

A handful of Waimea residents has filed suit against Hawaii County claiming the approval of a special use permit amendment to expand Parker School's campus and the subsequent dismissal of an appeal of that decision violated state and federal laws. West Hawaii Today.

A $1 billion project proposed by Waikiki giant Kyo-Ya Hotels and Resorts would see the first beach-side resort to go up in the area in over three decades. Hawaii Independent.

A battle over a planned oceanfront hotel and condominium tower next to the Moana Surfrider Hotel in Waikiki is moving to a city review board. Star-Advertiser.

A gun is fired under the watchful eye of Honolulu Police, aimed in the direction of the Hawaii Convention Center. KHON2.

Keokea resident Marjory Stone punched her right fist into the air as she cradled five books while approaching Kahului Public Library on Tuesday. Maui News.

Vandals cost taxpayers $10,000. Garden Island.

"Hawaii Five-0" was declared the best new drama on television at tonight's People's Choice Awards. Star-Advertiser.

Lights ... camera ... action! We’re so used to that instant action and glamour of the silver screen that it’s easy to overlook the many components that go into creating movies. Midweek.

There are not one but two storm fronts that will affect our state. KHON2.

"My dad started here in the 1950s," says Wes, on lunch break at the old Pepe'ekeo power plant. "I grew up around power plants and sugar cane." Big Island Weekly.