State workers feel the burn
Hawaii paying nearly twice market rate (to old boys) for solar power
The rate the state pays for solar power is not only more than what it would pay for traditional electricity, it's nearly twice what private consumers pay for solar energy in today's market. (no why would that be?)
The state negotiated a price when the cost of power was near its recent peak and locked it in for 20 years. It also failed to get a large number of competitive bids, which could have lowered the price, industry officials said. (gee I wonder which old-boy crony benefited from this?)
"The state is definitely paying too much for electricity at least on the airport projects," said Sean Mullen, president of solar power integrator Suntech Hawaii. "It's twice as high as it should be."
The state signed 20-year power purchase agreements with Hoku Scientific Inc. last fall. (There is your answer.)
Elections Office weighs closing dozens of precincts
A proposed cost-saving move by the state Office of Elections could have a negative effect on the islands' already low voter turnout rate, a key House lawmaker says.
To save on the cost of voting machines, the Elections Office has proposed closing 66 of Oahu's 212 polling precincts next year, shifting voters at those locations to nearby sites.
The consolidation would come in an election year with high interest in races for governor, Congress and possibly Honolulu mayor.
Isle GOP leader from 1978 accused of sex-harassment in Maryland
This Republican hasn't been involved in Hawaii politics for decades, but this is newsworthy in the eyes of Richard Borreca and the Star-Bulletin. Meanwhile where is the article on the convicted child molester Leon Rouse who works on the staff of Hawaii Democrat legislators every session? (No bias here, eh?)
Hawaiian Homes tweaks its focus to ‘build homeowners’
Where earlier in the administration of Gov. Linda Lingle the push was to fast-track preparation of lots for building of homes and getting beneficiaries on their land quickly, in order to pare dusty wait lists, the most recent site-selection meeting was scaled down, according to a DHHL press release, in order to give Native Hawaiian families more time to prepare for successful homeownership.
Where DHHL hoped to award 25 homes and 10 vacant lots, just 11 homes and five vacant lots went to beneficiaries earlier this month at the site-selection meeting.
As of last month, there were still 19,728 names on the statewide DHHL wait list for homes or land, and 1,473 names on the Kaua‘i lists, said Yonenaka, technically the DHHL Information and Community Relations Office administrator.
Hundreds 'live aloha' in Kuhio Park Terrace cleanup
The cleanup was a joint effort between the Institute for Human Services, Kanu Hawai'i and the Hawai'i Public Housing Authority....All equipment and materials used today were donated. Solid Rock Assembly of God church pitched in with lunch for everyone who worked.
Service aids 112 vehicles in 2 days
The free roadside assistance program, which began Wednesday, consists of six patrolling tow trucks that drive the busiest parts of H-1 and Moanalua freeways on weekdays during the hours of heaviest traffic.
Honolulu police halt recruiting, training classes amid job freeze
The 17 cadets who make up the Honolulu Police Department's 163rd recruit class that is graduating tomorrow night may be the last infusion of new officers HPD gets in a while. Recruitment of new officers has stopped, and no new training classes are scheduled because of a citywide hiring freeze implemented last fall as a fiscal belt-tightening measure, HPD officials said.
‘Time to grow up,’ judge tells old criminal-then gives him baby sentence
LIHU‘E — Gary Chmielewski, 61, who a prosecutor said has been in trouble with the law for two-thirds of his life, on Wednesday dodged significant jail time, at least for the time being.
Fifth Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe sentenced Chmielewski to five years of probation, 90 days in jail (with credit for time served), and “onerous conditions” attached to his probation, for an assault and terroristic threatening conviction.
Watanabe warned Chmielewski that if he doesn’t adhere to the terms of probation, she will sentence him to five years in prison.
“Time to grow up, Mr. Chmielewski,” Watanabe said.
The assault and terroristic threatening charges arose over an altercation with another man in which Chmielewski pulled a machete.
Lori Wada, first deputy prosecuting attorney, called Chmielewski the oldest active gang member in the world, saying for 40 of his 61 years he has been involved in “criminality” involving alcohol and violence. (and he'll be back out on the streets any day now)
Expert says elevated rail is best choice for Oahu
Doyle said Vancouver's decision to go to an elevated rail system has meant it can move passengers quickly, sometimes at more than 80 mph, without stopping for vehicular traffic.
"That was a huge blessing," he said.
Doyle said he was doubtful a ground-level rail system would be able to achieve anything close to the speeds of the SkyTrain.
Other speakers at the city's symposium include Chatham Olive, past president of the Sierra Club Charlotte chapter who was an advocate of the LYNX commuter rail system in North Carolina, and Joni Earl, the chief executive officer of the Sound Transit rail system in Seattle.
Rail spokesman Scott Ishikawa said while the city is still gathering information about the cost of the symposium, he knows it will cost much less than the nearly $60,000 for a 2007 annual meeting about rail.
Kailua Fourth of July fireworks show is back on
A group of volunteers trying to save the annual Fourth of July fireworks show at Kailua Beach Park says it has raised most of the money needed and that the show will go on.
Gramann said they’ve raised about $42,000 -- about 85 percent of what’s needed to fund the show, which has been a Kailua tradition since 1948.
Kihune to remain as trustee until successor named
A Probate Court-appointed trustee screening panel recently named three finalists for Kihune's post: Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Chairman Micah Kane, former DHHL Chairman Ray Soon and Anthony Ching, executive director of the Hawaii Community Development Authority.
A hearing on selecting Kihune's replacement is set for July 17.
UH West Hawaii Developer wants to delay building required road
Palamanui officials in March submitted a request to defer building a mauka-makai connector road north of Makalei Estates until either a third party comes in with financing for half the cost of the road or the county issues the subdivision's 600th residential building permit. Palamanui has begun some grading work at the site, which is north of Kaiminani Drive and mauka of Kona International Airport, but has not yet begun construction on any of the residential or commercial buildings, nor received permits for a 20,000-square-foot building to house the University of Hawaii Center at West Hawaii, part of the state's community college system.
Hawaii hardly alone when it comes to tax increases, study shows
A report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that 23 states have raised taxes since the start of January to help balance their budgets — and another 13 are considering doing so, Bloomberg News reported Friday.
Read study: http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=2815
Not Buying it: Poll shows most Hawaii newspaper readership down
Reports of the newspaper industry's death are greatly exaggerated, at least, in some cases, according to readership survey results from Scarborough Research.
Most newspapers' readership around Hawaii is down year over year, the survey shows.
Sampling 1,634 Oahu residents and projecting the results to a universe of 701,036 readers, readership of the daily and Sunday Honolulu Star-Bulletin is up more than 10 percent and 6 percent, respectively.
Gay Pride Festival seeks to 'educate' public
Love is love.
Whether it be love between a man and a woman or two people of the same gender was the theme for the second annual Gay Pride Festival held Saturday afternoon at King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel luau grounds.
"People need to recognize that we don't have a choice when it comes to who we love.... (no choice? really?)