Monday, July 12, 2010

Our military might, fire blazes on Maui, audit blasts state sheriffs, priceless queen's chair left on steps, internet found lacking on isles, more news

The guided missile destroyer USS Chafee is scheduled to return home to Pearl Harbor on Monday. Associated Press.

Hawaii-based Marines for the first time yesterday began using robotic support vehicles designed to trail behind squads in unfriendly terrain to carry supplies and wounded Marines with no one at the wheel. Star-Advertiser.

The return of the military’s biennial Rim of the Pacific Exercise this month has environmentalists concerned. Garden Island.

Lt. Col. Christopher Faurot likened the Air Force's new F-22 Raptor fighter jet to the io, the hawk that has soared over Hawaii's forests and grasslands for thousands of years. Associated Press.

Four years after Molokai veterans began the process of building a veterans center, a group of fed-up veterans traveled to Maui last week to protest further hold-ups in obtaining their building permit.Molokai Dispatch.

Sunday night the Honolulu Symphony society board of directors announced its best and final Offer has been rejected by the musicians union. KHON2.

On Friday, the musician's union met with the symphony's board of directors to offer its second counter proposal since negotiations began in April. KITV.

Lax management and equipment problems have created a state Sheriff Division that could jeopardize public safety, a scathing audit concludes. Star-Advertiser.

We hear a lot of talk about the ballooning federal deficit. But what about the financial commitments the Hawaii state government has made to public employees? Civil Beat.

International Alzheimer's conference sails to Hawaii for first time. Hawaii News Now.

 State De- partment of Public Safety officials said last week that they hope to begin construction sometime next year on the $235 million first phase of a new multipurpose jail complex to replace the "overcrowded, dilapidated and inefficient" Maui Community Correctional Center. Maui News.

Maui fire quickly spreads near Happy Valley. Hawaii News Now.

Maui Civil Defense has requested the power be shut off in Happy Valley in order to protect firefighters fighting flames in the area. KHON2.

Towering flames consumed brush on a ridge above Happy Valley and below the Wailuku Country Estates on Sunday night, drawing spectators and bringing traffic congestion to nearby roads. Maui News.

George Yokoyama brings millions in government grants to the Big Island, and through his taxpayer-funded transportation service, he literally delivers the votes. Or at least the voters. West Hawaii Today.

When a donated antique chair was left on the front steps of the Academy Art Center at Linekona on Thursday, the art school thought it found a pretty new perch for its nude models. Star-Advertiser.

Kamehameha Schools announced on its website that it has admitted a non-Hawaiian student. KITV.

Officials make case for faster internet. Tribune-Herald.

The Department of Emergency Management will reveal its updated Tsunami Evacuation Zone maps for Oahu Monday. KHON2.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Raptor takes to Hawaii skies, Big Island pot ministry busted, biofuel program stalls with Lingle veto, new voting, campaign laws, casting call for Battleship, airline stays in Vegas, more

The Air Force plans to put the world's most advanced fighter jet on display in a brief aerial demonstration off the Waianae Coast. Associated Press.

The U.S. and 13 other nations conduct war games off Hawaii every two years. KITV.

Open casting call for the movie "Battleship" KHON2.

A new leaf blower ban is in effect after Governor Linda Lingle let it become law without signing it.KHON2.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has sided with the environmental law firm Earthjustice over a nuclear irradiation facility proposed near Honolulu Airport to treat fruits and vegetables for export. Star-Advertiser.

Kaua‘i was named Hawai‘i’s Best Island for the second year in a row by readers of Travel + Leisure magazine, according to a Thursday Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau press release. Garden Island.

State environmentalists have worked hard to educate the public about the potential dangers of introducing nonindigenous species into Hawaii's natural habitats. Star-Advertiser.

Workers at Maunalua Bay have cleared more than 1 million tons of invasive algae from the East Oahu bay over the past four months. Associated Press.

The Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve will remain closed to people for another two years, the state announced Wednesday. Maui News.

New campaign finance regulations allowed to become law this week by Gov. Linda Lingle should make it easier for the public to follow the race for something almost as important as votes in politics — money. Civil Beat.

Voters for the first time can sign up this year for permanent absentee voting. Star-Advertiser.

Democratic congresswoman Mazie Hirono is hoping to secure her third term in the U.S. House of Representatives. KHON2.

A plan to convert Big Island gorse, macadamia nut shells and other waste into biofuel took a step backward this week, with Gov. Linda Lingle's veto of a $40 million special purpose revenue bond. West Hawaii Today.

Perhaps you’ve seen those sleek and ubiquitous commericals airing during local TV newscasts lately? The ads trumpet Waikiki’s future while showing marvelous architectural drawings, then vaguely asking for your support. Honolulu Weekly.

Hundreds of Hawaiian Airlines passengers experienced an extended trip to Las Vegas. KHON2.

Big Island marijuana advocate Roger Christie, his partner, two employees of the Hawaii Cannabis Ministry and 10 people who allegedly supplied marijuana for the ministry are facing federal marijuana manufacturing, possession and distribution charges. Star-Advertiser.

Over the Independence Day weekend, one Puna roadside memorial went to pot -- literally. Tribune-Herald.

Two Honolulu police sergeants are under investigation for allegedly submitting false reports involving DUI cases. Now, it appears that drunken driving cases involving them are mysteriously getting dismissed. Hawaii News Now.

Matson Navigation Co. on Thursday announced it is dropping its fuel surcharge 2 percentage points. KITV.

Hawaii County is spending $3.9 million to install roofing, expand recycling, and make its Pahoa transfer station safer. Tribune-Herald.

Yet another new subdivision is being proposed adjacent to the long-planned, unlikely-to-be-built Alii Highway. West Hawaii Today.

Through midyear, Maui residential real estate sales activity has zoomed upward, although prices have not. Maui News.

Maui Humane Society last week announced it will alter some programs and services as a result of county budget cuts. Lahanina News.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Akaka Bill heading for vote, UH scientists predict oil spread, civil union veto could hurt tourism, Inouye talks stimulus funding, more Hawaii news

A vote in the U.S. Senate on allowing Native Hawaiians to form their own government could come this month following a deal between Hawaii's Democratic senators and the state's Republican governor. Associated Press.

The Akaka bill on Wednesday cleared a groundbreaking hurdle and now a vote could come down this month in the U.S. Senate. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Linda Lingle has agreed to strongly support a native Hawaiian federal recognition bill after U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka promised to insert changes to protect the state's regulatory power. Star-Advertiser.

The Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act, known as the Akaka Bill, could soon be on its way to a vote in the U.S Senate. KHON2.

Gov. Linda Lingle stood her ground on the Akaka Bill — and in the end it means she had her way. Civil Beat.

A team of University of Hawaii researchers has produced a long-range computer simulation with new details showing where the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could spread. Star-Advertiser.

The state is losing more than a half million dollars a year because it's leasing a building it already owns near Honolulu International Airport. KITV.

Despite the stakes for public education and the attention given to the issue by Gov. Linda Lingle, none of the candidates for governor has made the structure of the state Board of Education a significant part of their education platforms.Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Linda Lingle's veto of legislation to grant civil unions to same-sex couples is generating rumblings of a possible boycott of tourism-dependent Hawaii. Associated Press.

Civil Union Supporters Mount Hawaii Boycott. KITV.

Lawmakers are aware this is still a hot issue but are hopeful constituents don't lose sight of other legislative accomplishments this session. But that may be a tough sell. KHON2.

While many have voiced their opinion on House Bill 444, one gubernatorial candidate's stance remained unclear. Hawaii News Now.

Governor Linda Lingle has allowed the following 24 bills to go into law without her signature.  Six of the bills were on the Governor’s potential veto list that she submitted to the Legislature on June 21. KHON2.

Sen. Daniel Inouye (D) Wed- nesday heard from Hawaii agencies pleased with the millions they have received in federal stimulus money. KITV.

When Inouye conducted a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee at the Hawaii State Capitol Wednesday, a contingent of eight Capitol Police from Washington, D.C., lined the hall and the hearing room. They were backed up by three state sheriffs. KITV.

Maui County last to enact cell ban. Maui News.

Proposed new rules regarding conservation and coastal lands would allow for more land uses, like creating renewable energy, and for routine property maintenance, state officials said. West Hawaii Today.

Shoppers at Borders Books and Music in Hilo were greeted Tuesday by signs announcing that the store is closing. Tribune-Herald.

By continuing to chop rates, Maui hoteliers boosted occupancy to 60.5 percent in May, according to the Smith Travel Research statistics published by Hospitality Advisors in Honolulu. Maui News.

Vacation packages and Hollywood’s renewed presence on island are the most likely reasons for the recent improvements to certain economic indicators in the visitor industry, county officials said Wednesday. Garden Island.

Hawaii County will soon start allowing owners of more than 150,000 Big Island vehicles to renew their yearly registrations online, a senior administrator said Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

Stacy Jeffrey discovered aviation not through movies or books, but through a chance encounter with a set of French doors. West Hawaii Today.

She may be a political rookie, but Elle Cochran’s fiery ambition and enthusiastic personality prove she is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to campaigning for a seat on the Maui County Council. Molokai Dispatch.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Complete Hawaii coverage of civil unions HB444 veto, other Lingle vetoes. more Hawaii news

Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed a civil-unions bill yesterday after concluding it was the equivalent to marriage, which she believes should be reserved for a man and a woman. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's governor on Tuesday vetoed legislation that would have permitted same-sex civil unions, ending weeks of speculation on how she would weigh in on the contentious, emotional debate. Associated Press.

In announcing her veto of HB 444, Gov. Linda Lingle called it maybe the hardest decision she's made in eight years in office. Hawaii News Now.

Saying House bill 444 was essentially marriage by another name Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed legislation Tuesday that would have granted the same rights and benefits of marriage to same-sex couples. KHON2.

It was an argument, and people driving on Beretania Street couldn't miss it as they drove past the state Capitol about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. Civil Beat.

Governor Lingle's HB444 Statement: KHON2.

The ACLU and other pro-civil unions groups expect to file suit in state court within the next month or so, after Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed civil union legislation Tuesday. KITV

Supporters who wanted civil unions given the same status as marriage aren't happy with the Governor's decision, and vow to continue fighting. KHON2.

At least two of the three leading candidates to succeed Linda Lingle as governor say it should be up to a vote of the people to decide the issue of civil unions. Hawaii News-Now.

"I VOTE" was the message emblazoned on white T-shirts and buttons that hundreds of opponents to the civil-unions bill wore yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Linda Lingle on Tuesday vetoed House Bill 444, which took two years to be approved by the state Legislature and would have given same-sex and heterosexual couples the same rights and benefits as couples united by traditional marriage. Garden Island.

The civil unions bill may have gotten the most attention, but the governor also vetoed a number of other measures Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle has vetoed legislation that would have banned shark feeding, including by boat tours that offer a close-up look at sharks. KITV

Saying it could take funds away from other programs at a time when most state employees are making sacrifices, Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed a proposal to raise the salary cap for the state schools superintendent and provide performance bonuses for other top education officials. Star-Advertiser.

UH officials say a major security breach could impact an estimated 53,000 people. KHON2.

As dozens of women and children danced to the beat of Taiko drums Saturday at Kohala Hongwanji Mission's bon odori dance, Waimea resident Luana Cuyo said she could feel the spirit of her late stepfather. West Hawaii Today.

Firefighters responded to at least a dozen fires during the Fourth of July weekend, some of which were suspected to be caused by fireworks. Maui News.

Fires -- at least one possibly resulting from festive fireworks use -- broke out in each corner of Hawaii Island during the holiday weekend. Tribune-Herald.

“Voices of Maui: Natives and Newcomers,” a new book authored by award-winning Lahaina News columnist Norm Bezane, is being previewed on a YouTube video and will debut online and at selected locations in Lahaina this week. Lahaina News.

This week Governor Lingle has an opportunity to leave a historic legacy for Hawai’i. HB 1665 protects Hawaii’s history by prohibiting sale of government owned Hawaiian fishponds. Molokai Dispatch.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Today's the deadline for Lingle to act on civil unions, 30 other bills on veto list, trespassing census worker, no free lunch, fireworks cleanup, BBQ winners, more

Although ohia lehua is one of the most abundant trees in the Hawaiian Islands and dominates our forests, it is not often found in landscape settings. West Hawaii Today.

Tuesday is the deadline for the governor to act on more than 30 bills that are on her potential veto list. KHON2.

Gov. Linda Lingle is set to announce her highly awaited decision on a proposal to allow same-sex couples to form civil unions. Associated Press.

How big of a deal is Gov. Linda Lingle's decision on Hawaii civil unions today? Civil Beat.

The civil unions bill is to give same sex and heterosexual couples all the benefits of marriage under Hawaii law. KITV.

We're on the eve of one of Governor Lingle's most highly anticipated decisions KHON2.

The first-ever county employee furloughs coupled with vacancies in some Kaua‘i Police Department civilian positions will add up to suffering service, KPD Chief Darryl Perry said last week. Garden Island.

The number of low-income Hawaii children receiving free lunch during the summer through a federally funded nutrition program has declined sharply, a drop the state attributes to fewer participating organizations opting to serve a midday meal. Star-Advertiser.

In these divisive times, Census worker Russell Haas has come to expect some resistance when he goes door to door to count the residents of the rugged communities near Hawaii's Kilauea volcano. He didn't expect to get arrested. Associated Press.

Two Big Island teachers were named recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, Gov. Linda Lingle announced yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

Black Press, which bought the Honolulu Advertiser last month and turned it into the Star Advertiser, has bought 11 more newspapers in British Columbia. Hawaii News Now.

The fireworks fuse is burning toward July 14.  That's the next Honolulu city council vote on banning fireworks. Hawaii News Now.

Firecrackers are great, until you have to clean up afterward. Garden Island.

Ranch Says No Wind Negotiations Underway. Molokai Dispatch.

Mike Lindley and son Jackson will wake up Tuesday morning, to start their adventure, which includes 50 hikes in 50 states in 50 states. KITV.

Jake Newlon is the Big Island's sultan of smoke. Tribune-Herald.

Transair, which flies the mail into and out of Maui every day and flies commercial cargo at night, will begin a daytime Maui cargo stop Wednesday. Maui News.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Neighbor islands to decide governor's race, census worker trespassing, Honolulu faces $1.7M fine for dumping in waterway, more state news

With most polls showing a whisker- thin margin between the two main Democratic contenders for governor and some also showing the Republican candidate within striking distance, the neighbor islands are becoming popular destinations for statewide political candidates seeking that edge. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii County Democratic Party's picnic was the place to see and be seen Sunday evening, as both Democratic candidates for governor, at least five candidates for lieutenant governor and a handful of local candidates stopped by. West Hawaii Today.

Makawao's Paniolo Parade lived up to its election year tradition as a major draw for candidates Saturday, with enough campaign shirts, signs and paraphernalia to turn Baldwin Avenue into a moving political rally. Maui News.

Census worker Russell Haas has come to expect a little resistance when he goes door to door to count the residents of the rugged communities near Hawaii's Kilauea volcano. He didn't expect to get arrested. AP.

Gov. Linda Lingle in the first half of the year pardoned 11 people previously convicted of crimes.KITV

With several of its companies already occupied battling a large brush fire near Ko Olina, the Honolulu Fire Department responded to 26 fire calls between midnight and 9 p.m. today. Eight of the fires are believed to be fireworks related. Star-Advertiser.

This 4th of July weekend, many are honoring their loved ones who died fighting for the freedoms we enjoy today. But some feel no one's fighting for them when it comes to the upkeep of their veterans' memorial sites.Hawaii News Now.

Tens of thousands of people are at Ala Moana Beach Park. KHON2

Today we publish writings on the meaning of independence, 234 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, with its memorable words. Civil Beat.

Explosive devices wash up along a Waimanalo beach. KHON2

The city has been fined more than $1.7 million by the state Department of Health for unloading hundreds of truckloads of concrete slabs into a West Oahu stream area frequented by endangered Hawaiian birds. Star-Advertiser.

Construction on a permanent bypass around Paia town could begin in five years, under a plan by the state Department of Transportation. Maui News.

Hawaii state Rep. Karen Awana is the new treasurer for the National Caucus of Native American State Legislators. KITV.

The Big Island's lawmakers have had their say, and now they, too, await the governor's decision on civil unions. Herald-Tribune.

Kaua‘i is one of the last places on the planet to remain free of the varroa mite — a parasite which attaches to honey bees and feeds on their blood, eventually causing population demise, said Jimmy Trujillo of the Kaua‘i Beekeeper’s Association. Garden Island.

The population of Westside honey bees is in “worse shape” than other parts of the island, said Jimmy Trujillo of the Kaua‘i Beekeeper’s Association. Garden Island.

Ranch Attempts to Legalize Water System. Molokai Dispatch

A new monument at Kahekili Beach Park tells the story of Kaanapali Airport and the legendary Royal Hawaiian Air Service (RHAS). Lahaina News.

Friday, July 2, 2010

First furlough Friday for local governments today, Akaka told to hurry on Hawaiian recognition, Big Island papaya farmer hit hard by vandals, new cruise ship coming, more news from around the isles

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka has been advised he must act quickly on a native Hawaiian federal recognition bill or lose the chance to bring it to a vote before the November elections change the political composition of the Senate. Star-Advertiser.

There are two words in our language that can be used to mean independence: kuokoa and ea. Civil Beat.

Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona called yesterday for a "comprehensive, independent" audit of the state Department of Education and said if elected governor he would make sure schools get 90 cents out of every dollar that goes to the department Star-Advertiser.

It's already turning into a heated battle. The democratic candidates for governor continue to point fingers at each other. Hawaii News Now.

A bill banning all consumer fireworks advanced out of the City Council Public Safety and Services Committee by a vote of 3-0. A public hearing on the measure before the full Council is set for July 14. Star-Advertiser.

A Big Island farmer is devastated by the destruction of thousands of his papaya trees at the hands of vandals. Hawaii News Now.

The first image to come out of Mauna Kea's newest telescope doesn't amount to much, from a scientific standpoint.Tribune-Herald.

Carnival Cruise Lines said it plans to offer two California-to-Hawaii round-trip voyages next year and the year after. KITV.

Property tax rates for homeowners and other categories will go up, landfill tipping fees will increase and it will be a little more expensive to play a round of golf at the Waiehu Municipal Golf Course, starting today. Maui News.

First it was the state, now it's the city's turn. KHON2.

Starting Friday, residents will find most Hawaii County government offices closed on the first and third Fridays of every month, as the county struggles to balance its budget in a sour economy. West Hawaii Today.

In union-employer negotiation parlance, what the forced Friday off today for many county employees is known as is a “give back” or “concessionary takeaway.” Garden Island.

Mayor Charmaine Tavares announced that all County of Maui civil service and appointed employees, excluding uniformed police and fire department employees under separate collective bargaining agreements, will be furloughed 12 days in the next fiscal year, July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011. Lahaina News.

Wayne Meadows said he's at a satellite City Hall nearly every day for his business as an auto dealer, sometimes more than one in a day. By law he's allowed only two title transfers a day per location. KITV.

Plans are moving forward for two new condo projects in the Ala Moana-Kakaako Area. KHON2.

Ranch Attempts to Legalize Water System. Molokai Dispatch.

The state's Natural Area Reserve System would grow by 6,600 acres under a proposal to incorporate most of the former Kulani Correctional Facility for research and species preservation.Tribune-Herald.

Just as DW Aina Lea representatives are set to argue before the state Land Use Commission their project is moving forward, contractors working on the project say they haven't been paid in months. West Hawaii Today.

A lawsuit seeking to remove Lanai Council Member Sol Kaho'ohalahala from office will go to trial next month, after a judge on Wednesday said he would not make an immediate ruling on the case. Maui News.

Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. said he still intends to site a residential, adolescent, drug-treatment facility on the island before year’s end. Garden Island.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hawaii even less affordable, thanks to new tax hikes that go into effect today, more state news

New laws and more taxes, on Thursday morning, we'll all be waking up to a long list of tax hikes on water, cigarettes, and gas, and higher property bills. Hawaii News Now.

New laws effective today ban shark fin foods,charge fees for mixed martial arts events, increase cigarette taxes, raise payment for traffic abstracts and strip businesses and nonprofits of tax-exempt status if they do not file general excise tax returns. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii residents may hate July 1, the start of the new fiscal year, as much as they despise April 15. KHON2.

New cigarette taxes hitting Hawaii smokers Thursday make each pack cost 40 cents more, reaching an average of nearly $8. AP.

The state and city are raising fees for a number of services.KITV

County pools will be closed once a week starting Thursday, due to budget and staffing cuts that left the Aquatic Division without enough pool guards.. Maui News.

Fifth of Big Isle on food stamps. Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

Where's the Beef? No Reason to Oppose Civil Unions. Civil Beat.

Dear Gov. Lingle, Sometime between now and July 6, you will make your final decision on HB444, the civil-unions bill. Honolulu Weekly.

State tourism officials said Hawaii is seeing an increase in demand for summer travel, both in the domestic and international market. KITV

In January you'll have a new airline to choose from if you're traveling between Seoul and Honolulu. KHON2.

Hawaiian Airlines last week launched its first-ever, nonstop daily flights between Oakland and Maui. Lahaina News.

According to a high Army official, the Army never intended to remove depleted uranium ammunition remnants from Pohakuloa Training Area and Shofield Barracks, and it has no plans to do so for as long as the firing ranges at those facilities are still in use. Big Island Weekly.

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann's campaign for governor has questioned former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie's support for removing a federal ban on offshore oil drilling, pointing to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as an example of the danger.Star-Advertiser.

A new poll released Wednesday suggests Hawaii's Democratic Party is likely to take back the governor's office. Hawaii News Now.

A new poll shows both former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie and Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann ahead of Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona in hypothetical matchups for governor in November. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Charmaine Tavares will take until Tuesday to sign into law a bill that will make it illegal to use a cellular phone or other mobile electronic devices while driving. Maui News.

W.S. Merwin acknowledges that his relatively reclusive life on a former pineapple plantation built on the slopes of Haleakala on Maui will be disturbed by the Library of Congress’ announcement this morning naming him the country’s poet laureate. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiians want bridge work stopped, claim ‘obfuscation.' Garden Island.

Staking for construction of both a new Wailua Beach parking lot and a retaining wall that is part of the old cane-haul-bridge widening project could have alarmed some residents who may have thought it was for construction of the county’s coastal path, said a state Department of Transportation spokeswoman. Garden Island.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Waikiki Beach makeover, Big Island doctor shortage, electric vehicles and other Hawaii news of the day

The most popular beach in Hawaii is due for a partial makeover. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Linda Lingle is releasing a $140,000 appropriation for a training program on the Big Island to help relieve a worsening statewide physician shortage, especially in rural areas. Star-Advertiser.

Doctor Raymond Fodor has a problem not found on any X-ray. Hawaii News Now.

The status of Hawaii's physician shortage could reach critical condition in the next 10 years.KHON2.

Hawaii's largest bank is saying it hasn't taken a position on a civil unions measure pending on Gov. Linda Lingle's desk. KITV.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann yesterday brushed aside pointed criticism from the governor's chief of staff on the city's policy on homelessness, saying it's a "laughable joke" to say the city hasn't done enough to address the issue. Star-Advertiser.

The city set a July 19 as an eviction deadline for homeless families camped out near the beach at Maili Point. KITV.

The state is moving ahead with plans to begin charging nonresidents and commercial tour vehicles at least $10 per vehicle to park at Iao Valley State Monument. Maui News.

Hawaii is considered ideal for electric vehicles because the size of the islands limits driving distances and it has some of the highest gas prices in the nation. Civil Beat.

Timed to coincide with the arrival of a flotilla of ships from Pacific nations for the biennial Rim of the Pacific naval exercises, a U.S. Army Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile successfully intercepted its intended target during a test Monday night. Garden Island.

Next week, Hawaii will mark one year of extreme drought and it looks like there's no relief in sight. Hawaii News Now.

Lawmakers grilled state officials Tuesday over taxpayer dollars spent to put a damper on airport security fines. KHON2.

Officials at the Hawaii Department of Agriculture say a common pest is becoming more noticeable. KHON2

The Department of Water Supply needs to tighten its internal controls because an employee was able to steal more than $78,000, an audit released Monday says. West Hawaii Today.

A bill that makes numerous changes in the Puna Community Development Plan is headed to a County Council committee with a negative recommendation from the Windward Planning Commission. Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

A new transitional housing project in West Hawaii means more units available for families in need, but will provide less than half the number of units Hawaii County officials have said they planned to build at the site. West Hawaii Today.

Maunaloa Elementary School has passed the second of four hurdles in the community’s effort to keep the school open. Molokai Dispatch.

The Kaua‘i County Council has again deferred a bill that would allow farmers who meet certain criteria to build up to three farm-worker houses on their properties. Garden Island.

Patrons and friends of the 55-year-old Lahaina Public Library — which badly needs refurbishing — will get a chance to show their support next month, when the Royal Lahaina Resort and Rotary Club of Lahaina host a first-of-its-kind fund-raiser. Lahaina News.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Military might gathering off Hawaii for war games, $1B taxes lost in cash economy, telescope moves forward, Honolulu sewer settlement reached, more

Fourteen countries have converged in Hawaiian waters. KHON2.

Dozens of ships from 14 nations were parked two deep yesterday in Southeast Loch as the U.S. prepares for the start of Rim of the Pacific war games next week in and around Hawaii's waters. Star-Advertiser.

Another successful test for the Missile Defense Agency off Kauai. Around 9:30 Monday night, a target missile was launched from a platform in the Pacific Ocean, and then it was shot down by an interceptor missile. Hawaii News Now.

One billion dollars a year. That’s the estimated taxes in Hawaii that don’t get paid by contractors and waiters, accountants and attorneys, hairdressers and everyone else who hides all or part of their cash income. Hawaii Business.

A landmark settlement regarding Honolulu's sewers means big improvements are coming down the pipe, but it will also mean rate increases to pay for what's estimated to be more than a billion dollars of work. Hawaii News Now.

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents unanimously approved yesterday a plan to build the world's largest telescope at Mauna Kea's summit. Star-Advertiser.

A bill that would explicitly legalize hundreds of existing transient vacation rentals on agricultural lands is gaining ground. Garden Island.

Law- makers Want State Money To Ship Out Homeless. KITV.

Depriving taxpayers of lower burden. West Hawaii Today.

Public school students will not see teacher furlough days in the coming school year, but they will feel the pinch of budget cuts in other ways, Board of Education members warned. Star-Advertiser.

How would you like to be the boss and not have control over who's on your team? That's the situation Hawaii school principals say they find themselves in — and they're not happy about it.Civil Beat.

The state judiciary said it upgraded its online services to include a license-plate match in order to help people see records of their own parking tickets. KITV.

Like a tomato left too long on the vine, the Saturday farmers market at Eddie Tam has burst its skin and will have to be picked. Maui News.

A dentistry residency program is making pediatric oral surgery more accessible for Big Island keiki. Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

A civil defense siren that went off around 11:45 a.m. Monday was malfunctioning, said Mahina Martin, Maui County spokeswoman. Maui News.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Future of Mauna Kea telescope in the offing, Inouye now longest-serving member of Congress, publicly funded elections to be tested, fireworks laws in the works, more news from around the state

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents is deciding whether to build the world's largest telescope at Mauna Kea's summit. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Sen. Daniel Akaka becomes longest-serving member of Congress with death of Sen. Robert Byrd. AP

Maui County is moving forward with a contract to study the impacts of pollution on Maalaea's reefs, but some ocean advocates complain the project has been watered down. Maui News.

Numbers Don't Add Up at New Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

 SPJ awards are a reminder that the media world is changing. Ian Lind.

After feeding Hawaii for centuries, the future of many of the state’s ancient fishponds rest in the governor’s hands. Molokai Dispatch.

Health care leaders from across the state are meeting this week to discuss the worsening shortage of physicians in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser. AP

Nearly 19 months after he took office, Mayor Billy Kenoi has yet to fulfill his "commitment to implement a transparent tracking system" for building permit applications. Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

A Kilauea community facility seemed like a forward-thinking idea of providing entertainment, accessibility and sustainability to the whole island. Garden Island.

Lingle must now decide. The state and consumer advocates believe the system provides transparency, many licensed professionals contend it can unfairly harm reputations and have persuaded the state Legislature to limit disclosure to complaints that have been resolved and validated. Star-Bulletin

Hawaii's students won awards in an inter- national robotics com- petition this weekend. KHON2.

Hawaii is moving forward with its test run of publicly funded political campaigns this election year, despite a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling against a similar setup in Arizona. AP

A new poll shows, a majority of Hawaii residents are against a ban on fireworks. The poll won't officially be released until later Monday, but Hawaii News Now got an early look at the results. Hawaii News Now.

It's the 68th anniversary of this trail-blazing group of veterans. They were the first Japanese-Americans to fight in World War II. Hawaii News Now.

Each time they meet, the group is smaller. KITV.

Every lap walked, skipped or jogged Saturday night during Kailua-Kona's annual Relay for Life event helped to fund cancer research and local American Cancer Society programs all the while honoring survivors and those who've died from the disease West Hawaii Today.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will take a year to review the status of seven species of Hawaiian yellow-faced bees to determine whether they should be listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act, the federal agency has announced. Maui News.

Patrons and friends of the 55-year-old Lahaina Public Library — which badly needs refurbishing — will get a chance to show their support next month, when the Royal Lahaina Resort and Rotary Club of Lahaina host a first-of-its-kind fund-raiser. Lahaina News.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hundreds stand in solidarity as Hands Across the Sand joins Waikiki to Florida

 Waikiki Beach is usually so clean, on Saturday they had to bring in garbage bags to simulate the pollution. But the mood was as somber as if it had actually been this famed Hawaii beach besmirched by the massive BP oil gusher that is still polluting Florida beaches 4,000 miles away. Hundreds joined hands in the sand in solidarity to their Mainland beach goers with a Hands Across the Sand event sponsored by the Sierra Club Hawaii and other environmental groups.

Hands Across the Sand is spon- sored nation- ally by the Sierra Club and the Surfrider Foundation, joined by Greenpeace, 1SKY, Environment Florida, ecomb, and Urban Paradise Guild. You'll find more info here.

Search for bp oil spill

Friday, June 25, 2010

Homeless shuffle continues, Big Island land fund limited on ballot, Hawaii Five-O coming to former 'Tiser building, no solar panels for Kaunakakai, Lingle may veto big education pay raise, more state news

Since the city's homeless bans went into effect in April homeless people have been chased from parks and are now popping up in new spots, creating new tension. Hawaii News Now.

By now, Hawaii residents and visitors have become accustomed to seeing homeless people in parks and on streets, pushing their carts and carrying their belongings. Civil Beat.

Rim of the Pacific 2010 is underway, with navy personnel from more than a dozen countries in Hawaii. KHON2.

The Thirty Meter Telescope project faces a major test next Monday in Honolulu. Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

The defeat of a an unemployment and jobs benefits bill in the U.S. Senate Thursday will have financial consequences in Hawaii, especially for those who’ve been out of work for a while. KITV.

As the state's happiest group of newly unemployed celebrate the completion of 2010 census work in Hawaii, statisticians, policymakers and others are hoping that an improved participation rate will pay off in a better accounting of Hawaii's population and the economic benefits that go with it. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii school board is concerned that Gov. Linda Lingle (R) might veto a bill to increase the schools superintendents salary to up to $250,000. KITV.

Voters in November will have the choice of putting a minimum 1 percent land fund or no land fund at all in the county charter, after the Hawaii County Council on Wednesday fell one vote short of putting a 2 percent option on the ballot. West Hawaii Today.

The question of whether Hawaii County should earmark at least 2 percent of yearly property tax collections for land purchases won't be appearing on Big Island ballots this November. Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

Businesses and residents who want to install solar panels in the Kaunakakai area are out of luck. Molokai Dispatch.

From historic newspaper building to a classic TV remake CBS will transform the Advertisers building into a television set. Hawaii News Now.

The rapid decline of British Petroleum stock is being watched carefully by money managers in charge of Hawaii’s Employees’ Retirement System, the fund which pays pension benefits to state and county workers. KHON2.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann gave final approval to the city's $1.8 billion operating budget that is balanced in part on a property tax rate increase for landlords and others who own homes they do not live in. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii County Council and legislative staff have joined the county administration in adopting twice-monthly unpaid furloughs.West Hawaii Today.

Ninety-five percent of endangered hawksbill sea turtles nesting on the Big Island during the summer months prefer the island's southern black sand beaches and rocky coves, said Marine Turtle Research Program leader George Balazs.West Hawaii Today.

Operating Honolulu's fleet of more than 500 buses has gotten more expensive, and beginning Thursday, riders will be paying more to help offset fuel and maintenance costs. Star-Advertiser.

The Kaua‘i County Council passed Wednesday a resolution requesting Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. to consider including the council members in the implementation of the Kaua‘i Energy Sustainability Plan. Garden Island.

Maui United Way raised more than $1.1 million in its 2009-10 fundraising campaign, the nonprofit agency has reported. Maui News.

Well, the political season is in full swing with every square inch of billboard space taken up with signs — many of them there without permission of the property owners. Lahaina News.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Two named cyclones building in Pacific, civil union debate continues, various politicians in various trouble, Maui development, Big island road move forward, more

The eastern Pacific is a hot bed of storm activity right now and that's mainly because the ocean is very warm over there. A pair of cyclones are now spinning off the coast of Mexico, Hurricane Celia and Tropical Storm Darby. Hawaii News Now.

The National Weather Service has extended a red flag warning for Leeward areas of the Hawaiian Islands.KHON2..

The Hawaii Business Roundtable clarified yesterday that it has not taken a position on a civil unions bill, responding to internal dissent and under pressure from gay rights advocates for urging Gov. Linda Lingle to veto the measure. Star-Advertiser.

Why the Roundtable Quieted Its Civil Unions Storm. Civil Beat.

The state won't be able to delay future tax refunds quite as long as it did this year, under a bill signed into law on Wednesday. KHON2.

More serious questions came out Wednesday about the state Tax Department’s contract with a Canadian technology company called CGI. KITV.

The Hawaii County Planning Department won a court victory Tuesday that could set a statewide precedent for other counties that miss self-imposed deadlines. West Hawaii Today.

Nearly eight years after taking office, Gov. Linda Lingle is still excited about Hawaii's renewable energy projects. West Hawaii Today.

Charles Djou raised $1.4 million in his special-election victory for Congress in May and had more cash in the closing weeks of the campaign to outspend state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa and former U.S. Rep. Ed Case, his main Democratic opponents. Star-Advertiser.

A recent fundraising trip to Pittsburgh is again causing heartburn for the Democratic guber- natorial campaign of Mayor Mufi Hannemann. Star-Advertiser.

Former Congressman Neil Abercrombie's campaign for governor will pay a $50 fine for filing notice for an April fundraiser in Washington, D.C., several hours late. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Ethics Commission is allowing city councilman Rod Tam to pay thousands of dollars in restitution and fines interest-free over three years, after an ethics probe found he improperly billed the city for hundreds of meals. KITV

A proposed project to control the spread of strawberry guava is expected to receive a finding of no significant impact, according to a draft environmental assessment released today by state officials. West Hawaii Today.

Residents have until July 23 to comment on an Environmental Assessment concerning the release of a natural predator to control  strawberry guava in Hawai‘i, according to a state Department of Land and Natural Resources news release. Garden Island.

After reviewing petitions to list seven species of Hawaiian yellow-faced bees as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the documents present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing may be warranted, and will initiate a 12-month review of the species' status. Big Island Weekly.

Tired of the loss and damage over the years, residents on Oahu's north shore learned about some potential solutions from a special meeting in Haleiwa on Wednesday night. Hawaii News Now.

Now that Hawaii County has the authority to pass laws restricting or even banning the use of fireworks, officials are being careful on what steps they will take next. Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

The Maui Planning Commission got the first public look Tuesday at detailed designs for the long-debated - and for many - long-awaited Honua'ula 1,400-unit housing development in South Maui. Maui News.

North Hawaii residents soon will have an easier time registering motor vehicles, and area crime victims will receive more privacy when talking with prosecutors. HHawaii Tribune-Herald.

The Ane Keohokalole Highway took another step forward Tuesday, when a Hawaii County Council committee approved the donation of nine lots and 16 easements from adjoining landowners. West Hawaii Today.

An early-afternoon brush fire caused massive traffic tie-ups Tuesday in Kahului after police closed a section of Hana Highway because of poor visibility caused by smoke and dust. Maui News.

The Heart Center at Hilo Medical Center is currently operating without its full-time cardiologist. Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

With an adult day care center opening at Home Pumehana in August, caretakers on Molokai can breathe a sigh of relief. Molokai Dispatch.

Our story last week about the changes in Hawaii’s journalistic landscape–and a note here about how those changes affect readers of the Weekly–brought in a strong response from readers. Honolulu Weekly.

Public safety will not be jeopardized, and the public will be inconvenienced minimally under the Honolulu Police Department's furlough plan set to begin next week, Police Chief Louis Kealoha said yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai County officials recently announced a two-day per month furlough plan that will be effective July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011. Garden Island.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

HIV increasing in state, Lingle paves way for fireworks bans, Abercrombie fined for late campaign spending report, EIS opens door to scale insect release, more state news

More and more young people in Hawaii are testing positive for the HIV virus, according to the Life Foundation, the state’s largest anti-AIDS organization. KITV

Governor Lingle has signed a bill into law that allows the counties to enact their own laws regarding fireworks, as long as they're tougher than the state law. KHON2.

You'll have less time this year to get a fireworks permit before July Fourth. Not only does the holiday fall on a Sunday, but City and County offices will be closed on July 2 for furlough Friday. so the deadline is Thursday, July 1.. Hawaii News Now.

State lawmakers said Tuesday they are seriously considering a veto override if Gov. Linda Lingle (R) vetoes a bill calling for a cost-benefit audit of a privately run Arizona prison. KITV

The state is once again seeking approval to release a Brazilian scale insect into Hawaii forests to control the spread of the popular but environmentally needy strawberry guava tree. Star-Advertiser.

High salt levels in a South Kona well system have prompted health advisories from the county Department of Water Supply. West Hawaii Today.

 Neil Aber- crombie's gub- ernatorial campaign was recently fined by the Hawaii Campaign Spending Com- mission over late notice about a mainland fundraiser. KHON2

The June 14 release of the project's Final  Environmental Impact Statement  offers the most up-to-date list of homes and businesses that will have to move to make way for the train. Civil Beat.

The city is spending $400,000 in federal stimulus money on a mural and flowering trellises at two new transit centers. Star-Advertiser.

A Hawaii County Public Works employee is under investigation for allegedly hitting a Kona bicyclist Thursday morning while driving a county vehicle with a suspended license. West Hawaii Today.

New refuse carts are in preparation for Kauai County’s move toward automated refuse collection which is scheduled to start July 1. Garden Island.

University of Hawaii Maui College officials dedicated an array of photovoltaic panels Monday, saying the school is expanding its educational curriculum while installing renewable energy systems to reduce the college's energy costs. Maui News.

Geologists with the Hawaii Volcano Observatory flew over the Big Island's Pu'u O'o Crater Monday, getting good views of a new gas vent on the crater's east wall. KHON2.

A deal between the Kaua‘i County Council and developers of a South Shore project was supposed to offer its workers and the community 75 affordable houses in exchange for an approval to build 1,500 high-end units in Kukui‘ula, plus a golf course and shopping center. Garden Island.

Islanders going to bed late Friday or rising before dawn Saturday might see a partial eclipse of the moon if clouds don't obscure it. Star-Advertiser.

With less than a month left until the election filing deadline, 21 Big Island residents have entered County Council and state Legislature races, while 28 others have shown interest in joining them. Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

Citing “a desperate need to reduce county regulation that is currently strangling small businesses and holding back literally thousands of jobs,” Paul Laub is running for the West Maui seat on the County Council. Lahaina News.

Although poor first semester grades in Molokai High School’s (MHS) online courses prompted school officials to further examine the e-school program, second semester grades revealed significant improvement among students. Molokai Dispatch.