Hawaii Legislature’s Refusal To Restore All TAT Monies Brings Maui County Council, Mayor Together

612px-Piggy_bank_china

Watching the Maui County Council interact with Mayor Alan Arakawa these days, sometimes you wonder if they would ever agree anything, including the time of sunset or the number of days left before the 2014 election. So it was actually nice over the weekend to see that members of the council who’ve largely disagreed with the Arakawa Administration for the last two years–over such matters as the demolition of the old Wailuku Post Office and the … [Read more...]

What You Need To Know About The Drones In The Skies Over Hawaii

Maui-Time_08-01-13_cover

By Malia Zimmerman Drones are used to target America’s enemy combatants on foreign soil, to roll across Mars in search of signs of life, to scale mountains or plunge to ocean depths to find and eliminate invasive species and to retrieve information for government, news or detective agencies. They can be nano-sized and purchased for under $50 or be as large as a 737 airliner and cost millions of dollars. As technology progresses, the … [Read more...]

How The War Between Kona Brewing Co. and Maui Brewing Co. Over What It Means To Be A Local Beer Spilled Over Into The Hawaii State Legislature

MauiTime_03-07-13_cover

You don’t have to spend more than five minutes in a bar on Front Street or in the Kihei Triangle or any of the big Ka‘anapali and Wailea resorts before a visitor (usually a male) walks in, scans the bar taps and then asks the bartender what “local beers” they have. A decade ago, that usually spurred said bartender to offer a glass or bottle of whichever Kona Brewing Co. label the establishment sold. It was a simple, easy, straightforward … [Read more...]

Will Maui’s Speaker Emeritus Joseph Souki Drop ‘Emeritus’ From Title?

'Dip in Water, See What Happens'

Seems there's a chance that a group of "dissidents" in the state House of Representatives are attempting to replace Speaker Calvin Say with Maui's own beloved Speaker Emeritus Joe Souki, says today's Maui News. And Souki is taking it at least somewhat seriously: "I think it depends at this point on how much I really want it," said Souki, who was approached over the phone by anonymous House members saying they had 18 votes for him. "If the … [Read more...]

Will Hawaii State Legislature Exempt Task Force Members From Code Of Ethics?

Hawaii-State-Legislature_Mauifeed_15-38_Kerry Gershaneck_CC

Investigative Reporter Ian Lind published a great blog post today listing a bunch of state bills that have passed their third readings. Making the list was HB 2175, a dandy of a bill introduced by 14 representatives. The bill’s quite simple, really: it exempts individuals (except those who are already state employees) who get named to special Task Forces by the governor or the Legislature from having to comply with the state Code of Ethics. Hot … [Read more...]

Hawaii Legislature, Governor Abercrombie Give Akaku Some Long-Awaited Security

jpeg

Akaku's long battle for security and survival against public and private forces determined to bring down public access in Hawaii may finally be over. (Read MauiTime's 2008 cover story here.) Here's a release from the station announcing the signing of HB112, which "exempts Akakū and Hawaiiʻs other public access stations from a bidding process that could have enabled outside operators to run Hawaiiʻs community television stations." Congrats, … [Read more...]

Hawaii Lawmakers Pass Transgender Protection Bill

Gay Marriage Rally

Civil unions grabbed all the headlines, but another, no less controversial bill related to the LGBT community is still moving through the legislature. HB546, which would make it illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of “gender identity or expression,” cleared both the House and Senate, and now awaits Gov. Abercrombie's signature. The bill enjoys support from gay and civil rights groups and major labor unions including the AFL-CIO … [Read more...]

Reviving The Superferry…On Your Dime?

superferry_final_FP

To say the Hawaii Superferry was flawed is like saying the Titanic had minor iceberg issues. The litany of problems—legal, environmental, cultural—that made the boat a colossal boondoggle and ultimately led the state Supreme Court to order it out of the water in early 2009 have been well documented. At the same time, no one denies that a well-run, carefully launched and financially viable inter-island ferry service would be a boon for … [Read more...]

By the Numbers: Borders Bankruptcies and Lingle Vacation Bonuses

Lingle-Vacation_14-36_Numbers

3,224 Number of bills introduced this session by the Hawaii legislature 5,995 Number of bills introduced last session $345,684 Money owed to members of the Lingle Administration--including almost $17,000 to Lingle herself--for unused vacation time, according to figures submitted by Gov. Abercrombie’s office 201 Number of Borders bookstores set to close nationwide by the end of April; the company filed for bankruptcy … [Read more...]

Hawaii Lawmakers Are Considering Some Familiar Legislation. Will Any Of It Pass?

14.33.Cover

Every legislative session is defined more by failure than triumph. Hundreds of bills are introduced each year, and most are snuffed out quietly in committee, killed once they reach the floor or impaled by the Governor’s veto pen. Of course, no legislative death is permanent—there’s always another session to tweak and reintroduce a bill and hope the winds of fate and political will have shifted. The 2011 session is no exception. Lawmakers on … [Read more...]