Showing posts with label county council. Show all posts
Showing posts with label county council. Show all posts

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fisherman's Wharf demolished, unemployment back to pre-recession levels, group sues over ahi rules, military says marine exercises not hurting wildlife, sharks studied off Maui, Oahu to ease second homes, Hawaii council names new leaders, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

All Hawaii News
Fisherman's Wharf in better days
The iconic Fisherman's Wharf Restaurant building in Honolulu, which stood along Ala Moana Boulevard for nearly seven decades, was demolished on Thursday to make way for a redevelopment of the property. Pacific Business News.

courtesy Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Fisherman's Wharf, courtesy OHA

The former Fisherman's Wharf restaurant at Kewalo Basin was demolished Thursday morning as part of a redevelopment plan by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii hotels, which set a record of $4.06 billion in total hotel revenue for the first nine months of the year, achieved the nation's second-best average daily rate and revenue per available room behind New York. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent in October, from 4.9 percent during the same month a year ago, the state Department of Labor & Industrial Relations said Thursday. Pacific Business News.

The state's jobless rate declined in October for the third month in a row to hit a six-year low of 4.1 percent, matching its lowest level since the early stages of the recession. Star-Advertiser.

A new report from State Budget Solutions, a national nonprofit organization focusing on states’ fiscal responsibility, warns it’s time for newly elected state officials in Hawaii and throughout the country to address unfunded liabilities in the retirement system. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii’s holiday sashimi could be in short supply this year if conservation groups, including the Center for Biological Diversity, get their way in a lawsuit filed in federal court Thursday. Civil Beat.

Environmental groups on Thursday sued the National Marine Fisheries Service to challenge a new rule for fishing bigeye tuna, a popular species for sushi and fish steaks. Associated Press.

Environmental groups sued the National Marine Fisheries Service on Thursday to challenge a new rule for fishing bigeye tuna, a popular species for sushi and fish steaks. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Hawaii says it collected more than $6.5 million in fines and penalties this fiscal year. U.S. Attorney Florence Nakakuni says the collections included nearly $5.7 million from criminal cases and more than $800,000 from civil cases. Associated Press.

The head of Hawaii's troubled health exchange says he wants more oversight for the institution. Executive Director Jeff Kissel says he plans to expand the scope of some of the contractors that verify how well the Connector website is functioning. Associated Press.

A Department of Land and Natural Resources worker serving time for child pornography charges will soon be released from prison, and will go back to working for the state. At the time of his arrest earlier this year, Randy Honebrink was the education coordinator for the department’s aquatics division. KHON2.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is appointing an interim CEO to take the place of Mike McCartney, who is leaving office to become the new governor's chief of staff. Atlantis Adventures CEO Ronald Williams takes over on Friday. Associated Press.


Plans to ease up the rules to allow for more secondary dwellings on Oahu's residential lots got mostly positive public feedback at a hearing before the City Council Zoning and Planning Committee on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

A resolution allowing property owners to rent out ohana units — currently reserved for family members —  to the general public was moved forward Thursday by the Honolulu Zoning and Planning Committee. Civil Beat.

A Honolulu City Council Committee passed a Resolution today that would enable the Administration to develop rules to build more affordable rental housing for lower income residents. Hawaii Public Radio.

A plan to set aside city parking stalls for car-sharing vehicles has won a preliminary approval from the Hono­lulu City Council Budget Committee. Star-Advertiser.

A quarantine on the movement of pigs was issued for Oahu on Thursday following the outbreak of a serious swine disease never before seen in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Nuuanu Reservoir will be open for fishing for one day next month, the Board of Water Supply has announced. The board wants anglers to help remove fish from the reservoir in advance of an improvement project slated for mid-2015. Star-Advertiser.


A West Hawaii majority emerging from the Nov. 4 election is poised to name Kona Councilman Dru Kanuha chairman and Hamakua Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter vice chairwoman. West Hawaii Today.

Red Cross volunteers will be going door-to-door on Friday to survey Pahoa residents in the immediate evacuation area of the June 27 lava flow. West Hawaii Today.

Lava activity along the upper reaches of the June 27 flow has remained “fairly consistent” during the last few days, Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said Thursday. Breakouts were as close as 4 miles from Apa‘a Street that morning with little to no activity seen closer to Pahoa. Tribune-Herald.

Puna lava flow breakouts develop near abandoned geothermal well site. Hawaii News Now.

Since early September, UH-Hilo’s Spatial Data Analysis and Visualization Laboratory has worked in partnership with Civil Defense and the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory to fly an unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone, outfitted with a high-resolution camera to map the flow. Tribune-Herald.

Conventional wisdom holds that shield volcanoes like Mauna Loa and Kilauea don't blow their tops like Mount St. Helens. But new research is bolstering the little-known fact that Kilauea can explode and did so to deadly effect as recently as 1924. Star-Advertiser.


A total of 24 tiger sharks off of Maui are now being tracked with satellite tagging devices as researchers with the University of Hawaiʻi continue to study their movement following an increase in the number of unprovoked shark bite incidents last year. Maui Now.

An unprecedented spike in shark attacks over the past two years prompted state officials to fund a study to tag and track the movement of tiger sharks in the waters off Maui. Hawaii News Now.

The state Land Use Commission declined Thursday to schedule a hearing or issue a declaratory order to address neighbors' complaints about development of the Central Maui Sports Complex. Maui News.

The Maui Planning Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved needed zoning changes to move the long-awaited West Maui Hospital and Medical Center one step closer to reality. Maui News.


The U.S. Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor says community concerns that the Rim of the Pacific maritime exercise and Kauai’s Pacific Missile Range Facility are negatively impacting marine life are unfounded. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council, by a 4-2 vote, passed a measure on Wednesday that will separate agricultural lands on Kauai into three categories — pasture, diversified agriculture and biotech research — when county officials are calculating real property tax assessments. Garden Island.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hawaii House leadership fight brings in the GOP, senator backs off support for Public Land Development Corp., Honolulu tower could be state's highest building, Hawaii County Council nixes hens in town, Maui publisher arrested, Kauai Council chooses chairman, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaii House Speaker Calvin Say (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
State House Republicans have agreed to organize with Rep. Joseph Souki and a dissident faction of Demo­crats, sources say, potentially giving Souki and the dissidents the majority necessary to topple House Speaker Calvin Say. Star-Advertiser.

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Say (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Democrats in the State House of Representatives outnumber Republicans 6-to-one…following a number of key victories in the general election.    HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka presents the first report of a two-part series that profiles the new faces in the State House. Hawaii Public Radio.

State Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, one of the driving forces behind the Public Land Development Corp., said Tuesday he would be open to a repeal of the law because of what he believes is inconsistent implementation. Star-Advertiser.

Emboldened by wins on Election Day, local advocates for same-sex marriage say Hawaii may be one of the next states to legalize it. Civil Beat.

The State Ethics Commission has been making headlines, but is it making headway in ushering in higher standards of ethical conduct? Civil Beat.

A consultant's report examining ballooning costs of public school bus service was described as "comprehensive" Tuesday, but not made public because state officials said they needed more time to review it. Star-Advertiser.

The algae problem at one of the State Capitol's two reflecting pools is the worst workers there have seen in more than six years, creating a smelly problem. Hawaii News Now.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. said Tuesday that its Sheraton Hotels & Resorts brand has completed more than $230 million in renovations to four of its Hawaii Sheraton properties in Waikiki and on the Big Island, Maui and Kauai. Pacific Business News.

Here's a look at what's closed on Thanksgiving Day Nov. 22. KITV4.

State roundup for November 21. Associated Press.


Two companies vying to develop what would be the tallest building in Hawaii under a plan championed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie said they are willing to stay within the present 400-foot height limit if the proposed 650-foot tower is not approved. Star-Advertiser.

Residents of an old sugar mill plantation on Oahu’s North Shore have been waiting to take over ownership of the homes and land they've lived on for years. But the Florida developer has doubled the price, dashing hopes for many residents who are low-income descendants of plantation workers. Civil Beat.

It's a daily grind for thousands of commuters who ride TheBus. KHON2.

There are 288 parks just on Oahu alone. It takes a staff of about 400 people to clean, repair, and maintain those parks, sometimes it's just one person to handle 15 acres, according to City & County Parks & Recreation Director, Gary Cabato. A job that can seem insurmountable at times. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii's hotly contested political campaigns translated to millions of dollars for Honolulu television stations, a review of publicly available records on file at the stations shows. Civil Beat.


Hawaii Island residents won’t be getting the chance to raise their own hens and harvest their eggs in nonagricultural areas. West Hawaii Today.

The Pele Defense Fund filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging the state’s Ka‘u Forest Reserve Management Plan. Tribune-Herald.

Vehicle, motorcycle and pedestrian crashes, drownings and suicides are claiming Big Island lives at a rate higher than the rest of the state, according to a report released Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo Medical Center officials will be heading to the state Legislature next year, hat in hand, hoping for a solution to Hawaii Island’s physician shortage problem. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Outdoor Tours Inc., owner of the Naniloa Volcanoes Resort in Hilo, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization on Tuesday, citing debts of between $10 million and $50 million with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Honolulu. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Outdoor Tours Inc., the parent company of the Naniloa Volcanoes Resort, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization Tuesday morning in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Honolulu. Tribune-Herald.

The Mauna Lani Bay Resort and Bungalows is in the midst of a $30 million renovation plan, resort officials announced Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Despite reduced service, Waikoloa Elementary and Middle School hasn’t experienced any significant bus woes. West Hawaii Today.

The publisher of Maui Time Weekly was arrested this morning when police said he refused to comply with police instructions to leave and offended occupants of a vehicle while videotaping them during a traffic stop on Haleakala Highway. Maui News.

The publisher of a weekly newspaper on Maui said he was only doing his job as a journalist when he was arrested by police Tuesday morning while videotaping traffic stops. Star-Advertiser.

Some 300 members of the Lahaina community turned out Sunday for a grand reopening of the Lahaina Public Library after a remodeling project done without public funding. Maui News.


The next Kaua‘i County Council has yet to be sworn in, but its composition is already taking place. At a special council-elect meeting Tuesday, several roles were decided through a straw vote. Garden Island.

Dozens of teachers stood in front of Wilcox Elementary School Tuesday — before and after school — to rally in favor of a negotiated contract for teachers. Garden Island.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Hawaii veterans honored, F-22 Raptors powering up, state DLNR breaks law by promoting ballot measure, Maui council selects chairman, public funding a win for Hawaii County Council candidates, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl
Veterans Day is a federal, state, city and county holiday.  Government offices on each level will be closed.  Post offices, most banks and state libraries will be closed.  There will also be no mail delivery. KITV4.

Hawaii Air National Guard officials say the Hawaii squadrons that fly F-22 fighter jets have achieved a status that will allow them deploy. Associated Press.

Veterans Day ceremony at Punchbowl honors service members who fought for our freedom. KHON2.

Sunday, after months of construction and years of preparation, Vietnam battle maps were unveiled during the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl's annual Veterans Day ceremony — 50 years after what the U.S. government considers the official start of the war. Star-Advertiser.

The cemetery and memorial at Punchbowl cover a little more than 100 acres and is the final resting place for somewhere around 40,000 veterans. Arlington, by comparison, is more than 600 acres of winding roads and footpaths with some 300,000 burial plots. Civil Beat.

The mission to Afghanistan for Hawaii infantry Marines is gone, and so are the 50 to 85 Afghan role players who once populated a $42 million "infantry immersion trainer," a military version of a Hollywood set with fake buildings, markets, red poppies, barking dogs, "avatar" people projected on walls and 20 smell generators pumping out the aroma of everything from fresh-baked bread to decomposing bodies. Star-Advertiser.

A Schofield Barracks soldier died in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, on Friday, the Department of Defense said. Star-Advertiser.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources violated state law by advocating passage of a constitutional amendment on Tuesday’s general election ballot, Acting Attorney General Russell Suzuki said. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii’s fast-growing solar photovoltaic industry may be slowing down just a bit, thanks to changes to the state’s solar energy tax credit. Pacific Business News.

Statewide hotel occupancy fell slightly in September, but the industry is still seeing gains over recent years, with revenue per available room up for the 31st consecutive month. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for November 12. Associated Press.


Election officials have confirmed 24 out of 140 polling places on the island of Oahu ran out of paper ballots during the General Election on Tuesday, November 6. (See the list here - BALLOT INVENTORY ISSUES BY POLLING PLACE). Hawaii Reporter.

Scott Nago, Chief Election Officer, has released a public statement on Tuesday’s ballot shortages. Hawaii Independent.

Local radio personality and concert promoter Tom Moffatt has announced he’ll screen Elvis Presley’s Aloha from Hawai`i at the Blaisdell Arena on its 40th anniversary. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Hawaii State Department of Health has fined Globeteck Group Inc. $10,000 for asbestos regulation violations, officials said Friday. Pacific Business News.


When the new Hawaii County Council is sworn in at noon Dec. 3, it will mark a milestone for the comprehensive public funding campaign pilot program. A majority of the incoming council members have benefited from public campaign financing. Tribune-Herald.

Planning is under way for the long-sought Kealakehe Regional Park, and Hawaii County and project consultant Kimura International are going to the community to develop a final plan for the area. West Hawaii Today.

The number of tropical fish taken from West Hawaii’s waters in 2011 was as much as double the amount of fish taken from the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest reef, according to a recent study. West Hawaii Today.

Two recently launched websites are promising to provide visitors unprecedented perspectives on the health of coral reefs around Hawaii Island. Associated Press.


Less than a week after the general election, Maui County Council members have organized their leadership for the 2013-14 term, choosing Gladys Coelho Baisa as chairwoman and Bob Carroll as vice chairman. Maui News.

The Maui Council will operate under new leadership when the new council terms take effect on January 2, 2013. Maui Now.

Maui County is on the cusp of modernizing windward Haleakala's mile-long, 1930s-era, sievelike Waikamoi flume. Maui News.

Dry weather has left Upcountry reservoirs nearly dry, forcing the county Department of Water Supply to drastically reduce production at the Olinda Water Treatment Facility this week, according to an announcement. Maui News.

As the Kaua‘i County Council gears up for the upcoming state Legislature, issues such a prescription drugs, labeling of genetically modified foods, Transient Accommodation Tax and a few more resurface. Garden Island.

One of the greatest challenges facing the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Kalaheo is the need for increased social capital. Garden Island.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Navy buildup in Hawaii; Case-Hirono tied in poll, Matson lowers shipping cost; Pacific Biodiesel to create Big Island jobs; more endangered species for Maui; news from all the Hawaiian Islands

U.S. Navy
USS Hawaii, U.S. Navy courtesy photo
The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet said Monday the Navy will send its most advanced vessels and aircraft to the Asia-Pacific region as it builds up its presence by assigning most of its fleet there. Associated Press.

The Navy has completed the final environmental impact statement needed before it can proceed with plans to spend an estimated $578 million to build facilities to base the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

The public has almost a month to weigh in on Marine Corps plans to station MV-22 tiltrotor Osprey and H-1 Cobra and Huey attack-utility helicopter squadrons at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

With two months left before the critical primary election, the top two Democrats in the race to replace U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka remain neck-and-neck. Ed Case and Mazie Hirono each sit at 46 percent in a new Civil Beat Poll of likely Democratic primary voters. Eight percent are undecided. Civil Beat.

Hawai’i voters have elected only 5 U-S Senators since statehood in 1959. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii's largest ocean transportation company is lowering a fuel surcharge for shipping goods next week, but the move only partially reverses a February increase. Star-Advertiser.

State lawmakers want greater financial guarantees from firms that handle human resources for small businesses, but some worry that a bill before Gov. Neil Abercrombie would favor a few large firms that dominate the industry and push competitors out. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's sustainability is attractive to planners. Star-Advertiser.

A study released Monday shows that for the last three years, high school students in Hawai‘i have been making better health choices. Garden Island.

State News In Brief | June 12, 2012. Associated Press.


A Honolulu Police Department lieutenant in charge of a police team that's accused of drinking on the job while being paid overtime was fired by HPD for a previous incident and later got his job back, sources said. Hawaii News Now.

Hannemann Final Radio Show Prompts Opponent To Seek Equal Time. Civil Beat.

FACT CHECK — Caldwell: We Left Carlisle a 'Huge' Budget Surplus. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s largest charter school says its financial house is in order after an audit listed money management issues. Associated Press.

The former manager of the puppy mill that was uncovered in Waimanalo is being extradited from Las Vegas back to Hawaii. KHON2.

The Filipino Community Center in Waipahu is celebrating its 10th anniversary this week. Star-Advertiser.


The economic benefits generated by the state's largest ocean science and technology park are highlighted in a new study published less than two weeks after the state auditor issued a report critical of management practices at the facility. Star-Advertiser.

While the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority for more than three decades has provided researchers and fledgling businesses the chance to get their feet on the ground, it’s never completed an economic impact assessment — until now. West Hawaii Today.

The County Council’s attempts to add more transparency and exert more control over the annual operating budget were mostly blocked Friday by East Hawaii council members, who said the budget is the purview of the administration. West Hawaii Today.

Pacific Biodiesel Technologies plans to open its Big Island Biodiesel plant in the next two to three weeks after its grand opening ceremony on July 2 at the Shipman Business Park in Keeau. Pacific Business News.

The former medical director of Bay Clinic is suing the nonprofit health care organization, alleging that she was stripped of her authority and forced to resign after reporting the over-prescribing of narcotic painkillers by clinic physicians. Tribune-Herald.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed today to add 38 species found on Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe and Maui to the federal endangered species list. Maui News.

Hawaii's list of federally endangered species is the longest in the nation, and it could grow under a plan announced Monday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Star-Advertiser.


Kauai OHA Seat Is One Of The Year's Hottest Races. Civil Beat.

In an effort to reduce overtime expenses in fiscal year 2013, the county will be implementing changes next month in the operating hours at the Kekaha Landfill and the transfer stations. Garden Island.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Gov. Abercrombie too dizzy to greet Obama, blocks of Waikiki set for demolition, Hawaii pension plan overtaxed by OT, Hawaii County councilman leaves hospital, Paul Mitchell heir donates Kona waterfront, case dismissed against Kauai council, state to fence thousands of acres on Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Humpback whale NOAA courtesy photo
Humpback whale aficionados have an opportunity to help scientists keep tabs on a growing population in the nation's primary mating and calving grounds. West Hawaii Today.

President Barack Obama and his family spent a warm and sunny Tuesday afternoon at one of the most popular snorkeling spots on Oahu, where they released four green sea turtles into the water. Associated Press.

Some Americans are bothered by President Barack Obama's decision to take a million-dollar vacation to Hawaii during these tough economic times. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie suffered from dizziness on Friday, preventing him from greeting President Barack Obama when he arrived in Honolulu. KITV4.

Abercrombie's First Year, According To Abercrombie. Civil Beat.

Some 100 Hawaii clergy and other potential officiants have learned how to obtain online licenses to perform civil unions beginning just after midnight Sunday, offering a hint of the potential scope of civil unions in the islands. Star-Advertiser.

Shortly after the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day, Gary Bradley and Paul Perry will be among the first couples in the state to enter into civil unions as soon as a Hawaii law goes into effect. Tribune-Herald.

Trustees of Hawaii's public pension system are finalizing proposed legislation aimed at preventing employees from "spiking" their pay to dramatically boost retirement benefits. Civil Beat.

Hawai`i’s Filipino Cultural Center is the largest of its kind outside of the Philippines. Filcom is organizing statewide donations through three banks in Hawai`i to help provide disaster relief to typhoon survivors. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Professional and Vocational Licensing Branch will hold extended hours on Dec. 29 and Dec. 30 to accommodate those needing to renew their licenses before the end of the year. KHON2.

State roundup for Dec. 28. Associated Press.


The International Market Place, Waikiki Town Center and the Miramar at Waikiki Hotel will be demolished and redeveloped into a new three-level retail, dining and entertainment center beginning in 2013 — a long-awaited project expected to cost up to $300 million and revitalize an aging but iconic six-acre block in Hawaii’s main tourist hub. Pacific Business News.

A highly restrictive fireworks law has put a damper on the first New Year's Eve -- traditionally Hawaii's biggest annual fireworks celebration -- under the new city ordinance, say fireworks shoppers. Star-Advertiser.

The closure of two Oahu hospitals is having a ripple effect on the medical community. KITV4.

City Not Rushing To Implement "Sidewalk Law". KITV4.


A "rare treasure" of Hawaii island property containing spring-fed pools connected to Kiholo Bay in North Kona has been donated to The Nature Conservancy by the son of hairstyling company founder Paul Mitchell. Star-Advertiser.

The heir to a hairstyling and hair-care products dynasty has donated seven acres of land on the North Kona Coast to The Nature Conservancy. Tribune-Herald.

A Hawaii resident best known for manufacturing hair care products has donated seven acres of land on the North Kona Coast to the Nature Conservancy. KHON2.

Hawaii County Council meetings will not be held at the West Hawaii Civic Center until contractors make long-overdue fixes, Council Chairman Dominic Yagong said Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

North Kona Councilman Angel Pilago headed home Tuesday, after spending two days hospitalized on Oahu. West Hawaii Today.

The state is considering appealing a Big Island judge’s recent decision to allow a project in South Kohala to move forward. Civil Beat.

Maui residents are not holding back on spending money on fireworks for New Year's Eve. Maui News.

The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has awarded more than two dozen homesteads to Native Hawaiian families. Maui News.

A 45-day public comment period has started on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement filed for the proposed Kihei High School in South Maui. Maui Now.

The state is proposing the construction of an enclosure fence around approximately 2,350 acres of native remnant koa forest on the Leeward side of Haleakala. Maui Now.


A civil complaint against the Kaua‘i County Council brought by two of its council members was dismissed in 5th Circuit Court on Tuesday. Garden Island.

The last of the “five side-men” is leaving the Kaua‘i Police Commission. Garden Island.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hurricane Felicia expected to weaken, but Hawaii residents urged to be prepared

Hurricane Felicia continues to maintain Category 4 storm status this morning as it follows its westward trek across the Pacific.

From the Big Island to Kauai, residents are beginning to buy emergency items as Hurricane Felicia strengthens and moves northwest and closer to the Hawaiian Islands.

While forecasters keep watch over Hurricane Felicia as it grows in strength, it has been nearly two decades since Hawaii has seen a hurricane that caused significant damage.

Felicia maintaining strength but expected to weaken later today. The center of Felicia is located a little over 1,500 miles from Hilo. It is moving northwest at 9 mph.

If Hurricane Felicia stays on course and remains predictable, it should arrive in Hawaii on Sunday night or Monday morning but as a much weaker tropical storm or depression, said Glenn James, senior weather analyst at the Pacific Disaster Center in Kihei.

Senate President Colleen Hanabusa is expected to announce this month that she will run for the urban Honolulu congressional seat to be left vacant by U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who is running for governor.

It took the Hawaii County Council less than 20 minutes Tuesday to undo a reorganization that earlier this summer took almost an entire day to create and spurred a lawsuit on Sunshine Law violations.

The County Council wrapped up a months-long discussion about the role of democratic principles in county policy by promising Wednesday to work together going forward, but two resolutions to change the body’s rules were rejected by 4-3 votes.

Hawai'i's state and county workers who regularly order the same prescription drug are being required to get their refills from a Florida pharmacy, prompting complaints from workers and some of the pharmacies they previously used.

Faced with Native Hawaiians claiming an interest in the land, Hawaii County Council members Tuesday unanimously postponed acting on county administration's plan to sell thousands of acres in Hamakua to help balance the budget.

Separate measures supporting Hawaii County-owned dog parks and modifying the process of registering a mo-ped were advanced by County Council committees Tuesday.

Charles Vidinha, a 78-year-old Kaua‘i resident, was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on charges that on May 21 he killed an endangered Hawaiian monk seal, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Video contest publicizes election reform

HONOLULU -- Clean elections advocates have launched a video contest to get the word out about two initiatives currently being considered in the state Legislature.

First prize in the contest is a $100 gift card. Second prize is a $50 gift card and third prize is a $25 gift card. Rules are here.

The contest is sponsored by the Coalition to Stop the Tsunami – a group that includes Common Cause Hawaii, Kokua Council, Citizen Voice, Americans for Democratic Action/Hawaii, Progressive Democrats of Hawaii, Advocates for Consumer Rights and the Hawaii Pro-Democracy Initiative.

Campaign finance bills at issue during this legislative session include:

Big Island Fair Elections Pilot. This pilot project is for public funding of Hawaii County Council elections in 2010, and the following two elections. The House passed HB 345, which would delay the pilot to 2014. The bill is pending in the Senate.

Corporate Campaign Donations. Legislators want to allow corporations to donate more than $1,000 in campaign contributions, but opponents have stopped two attempts this year to raise the $1,000 limit. There could be a third attempt using SB 93 and/or HB 345, opponents say.