The the State of Hawai’i, Office of the Legislature, has released the following list of Bills of Interest that are scheduled to come beore the state Legislature’s various committees Wednesday and Thursday this week:
|RELATING TO FUNDS.Addresses the auditor’s recommendations regarding the transfer of non-general funds to the general fund.|
|RELATING TO TAXATION.Repeals the temporary limit on the amount of itemized deductions that may be claimed by certain taxpayers.|
decision making: Requires businesses in the State to collect a fee for single-use checkout bags provided to a customer; Requires the department of the attorney general to establish a working group to coordinate services for survivors of human trafficking in new and existing communities;
Decision making: RELATING TO ELECTRONIC INFORMATION.
Eliminates the requirement to post hard-copy notices of public meetings with the office of the lieutenant governor; requires all government agencies, boards, commissions, and committees to post electronic copies of their agendas, minutes, and related documents online and transmit electronic copies, rather than hard copies, of meeting notices to persons who request notification.
RELATING TO ANATOMICAL GIFTS.
Requires a person to whom an anatomical gift passes to accept the gift if it is medically suitable for transplantation, therapy, research, or education
RELATING TO ANIMAL CRUELTY.
Requires specified persons who won, control, or have custody or control of ten or more dogs over age four months with intact sexual organs to meet minimum standards of care to ensure the proper treatment and care of dogs and the dogs’ offspring. Prohibits any person from owning or having custody of more than thirty dogs over age of one year with intact sexual organs.
RELATING TO DOMESTIC RELATIONS.
Amends various statutory provisions to reconfirm and clarify the original intent of Act 1 (2011) that civil union partners shall have all the same rights, benefits, protections, and responsibilities under law as are granted to those who contract, obtain a license, and are solemnized pursuant to chapter 572. Makes various housekeeping amendments to statutes to assist with the implementation and interpretation of Act 1, including with respect to property held as tenants by the entirety, establishment of parent-child relationships, and adoption. (Proposed SD1)
RELATING TO PERSONAL INFORMATION.
Allows the scanning and retention of personal information contained in a Hawaii identification card or driver’s license by certain specified entities for limited purposes. (SD1)
RELATING TO KAKAAKO.
Allows two lots in the makai area of the Kakaako community development district to be developed as residential properties that are exempt from public facilities fees; provided that at least twenty per cent of the unites are designated for residents in low- or moderate- income ranges.
RELATING TO GEOTHERMAL RESOURCES.
Differentiates between “geothermal resources exploration” and “geothermal resources development”. Designates “geothermal resources exploration” and “geothermal resources development” as permitted uses in all state land use districts and conservation district zones. Repeals geothermal resource subzone provisions under state land use law. (SD1)
RELATING TO GAMBLING.
Establishes a gambling commission that is exempt from section 26-34, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to perform a comprehensive analysis of the social and financial costs and benefits of different types of gambling and their impacts on the State in order for legislators to make informed policy decisions regarding gambling. Appropriates funds to perform the analysis. (Proposed SD1).
Decision making on several bills including: tattoo artists, vocational licensing
REQUESTING THE EXTENSION OF THE PROMPT PAYMENT TASK FORCE TO DEVELOP RECOMMENDATIONS TO ADDRESS ISSUES THAT AFFECT PROMPT PAYMENT FOR GOODS AND SERVICES PURCHASED THROUGH NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS, INCLUDING HUMAN SERVICE NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS THAT DELIVER PIVOTAL GOODS AND SERVICES TO INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES, COMMUNITIES, AND OTHER SMALL BUSINESSES.
|REQUESTING THE GOVERNOR TO RECOGNIZE LOCAL KOREANS BY DIRECTING THE PLACEMENT OF A COMMEMORATIVE PLAQUE DESIGNATING THE FORMER SITE OF THE KOREAN CHRISTIAN INSTITUTE.|
|REQUESTING THE GOVERNOR TO RECOGNIZE LOCAL KOREANS BY DIRECTING THE PLACEMENT OF A COMMEMORATIVE PLAQUE DESIGNATING THE FORMER SITE OF THE KOREAN BOARDING SCHOOL FOR BOYS AND THE KOREAN METHODIST CHURCH|
RELATING TO INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY.
Clarifies that the information technology steering committee shall consist of thirteen members: four members to be selected by the senate president, four members to be selected by the speaker of the house of representatives, and four members to be selected by the chief information officer, with the chief information officer to serve as the chair.
Submitting for consideration and confirmation to the Public Utilities Commission, Gubernatorial Nominee, MICHAEL CHAMPLEY, for a term to expire 6-30-2016.
RELATING TO AERONAUTICS.
Prohibits the department of transportation from assessing landing fees upon air carriers that provide interisland service, except between the most populous island in the State and any other island in the State.
Decision making: RELATING TO THE PUBLIC TRUST LANDS.
Conveys Kakaako Makai lands to Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and resolves all disputes and controversies, and extinguishes, discharges and bars all claims, suits, and actions relating to OHA’s portion of income and proceeds from the public trust lands for the period November 7, 1978 through June 30, 2012
RELATING TO OPIHI HARVESTING AND POSSESSION RESTRICTIONS.
Establishes a ban on taking or harvesting opihi statewide, subject to open and closed sessions and traditional gathering rights and practices. Prohibits the taking or harvesting of opihi for non-commercial purposes in an amount greater than one quart with shells attached or one half pint without shells per day. Requires the department of land and natural resources to submit an annual report regarding effectiveness and enforcement. Establishes until 06/30/17 a moratorium on the harvesting of opihi on Oahu.
RELATING TO FORECLOSURES.
Implements the 2011 recommendations of the mortgage foreclosure task force, and other best practices, to address various issues relating to the mortgage foreclosures law and related issues affecting homeowner association liens and the collection of unpaid assessments. Repeals the nonjudicial foreclosure process under part I of chapter 667, HRS. Makes permanent the mortgage foreclosure dispute resolution program and the process for converting nonjudicial foreclosures of residential property into judicial foreclosures. Repeals the provision excluding participants of the dispute resolution program from converting nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings to judicial actions
REQUESTING THE HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY TO STUDY THE FEASIBILITY OF DEVELOPING A HOTEL ABOVE THE HAWAII CONVENTION CENTER FACILITY.
decision making: RELATING TO LAND USE.
Repeals the prohibition on agricultural tourism activities in the absence of a bona fide farming operation. Repeals the prohibition on ordinances that allow overnight accommodations in agricultural districts. Authorizes short-term rentals of thirty-one days or less, for any one stay within a county; provided that the appropriate county has adopted an ordinance that specifically authorizes such use in agricultural districts.
RELATING TO PUBLIC LAND LEASEHOLDERS RIGHTS.
Requires the board of land and natural resources to seek input from existing lessees as part of its evaluation to determine whether to award a lease to a renewable energy producer.
For more information on bills and hearings: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/
Lumber, boats and other debris ripped from Japanese coastal towns by tsunamis last year have spread across some 3,000 miles to areas halfway across the North Pacific, and could wash ashore on remote islands north of Hawaii any day now.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates the first bits of tsunami debris will land at small atolls northwest of the main Hawaiian Islands this winter.
NOAA’s tsunami marine debris coordinator, Ruth Yender, said Tuesday that agency workers looking for the debris are boarding Coast Guard flights that regularly patrol the archipelago.
NOAA is also asking scientists stationed at Midway and other atolls to look for it. Yender says so far no debris confirmed to be from the tsunamis has landed on U.S. shores.
Electrical service has been restored to customers along Lahainaluna Road as of 9:48 a.m. this morning.
MECO apologizes for any inconvenience this situation may have caused and thanks customers for their patience and understanding.
At approximately 7 a.m. this morning, a vehicle pole accident resulted in a loss of power to approximately 800 customers on Lahainaluna Roadand laterals including Lahainaluna High School, Lahaina Intermediate Schooland Princess Nahienaena.
Repairs were made to the damaged pole and lines and power was restored shortly before 10:00 a.m.
Tsunamis generated by the magnitude-9 earthquake in Japan last March dragged 3 million to 4 million tons of debris into the ocean after tearing up Japanese harbors and homes.
Scientists believe ocean currents are carrying some of the lumber, refrigerators, fishing boats and other objects across the Pacific toward the United States.
One to 5 percent of the 1 million to 2 million tons of debris still in the ocean may reach Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon and Washington and British Columbia, said University of Hawaii senior researcher and ocean current expert Nikolai Maximenko.
That’s only a portion of the 20 million to 25 million tons of debris the tsunamis generated altogether, including what was left on land.
Maximenko plans to discuss Tuesday at a news conference his latest estimates for where the debris is and when it may wash ashore. Last year, his team estimated debris could arrive in Hawaii in early 2013.
Some debris appears to have already arrived in the U.S., like a half-dozen large buoys suspected to be from Japanese oyster farms found in Alaska late last year.
Nicholas Mallos, conservation biologist and marine debris specialist for the Ocean Conservancy, said many of the objects are expected to be from Japan’s fishing industry. The conservancy is hosting the news conference.
Fishing gear could harm wildlife, such as endangered Hawaiian monk seals, if it washes up on coral reefs or beaches.
“The major question is how much of that material has sank since last year, and how much of that remains afloat or still in the water column,” Mallos said.
It’s unclear whether items like refrigerators will make it across because there’s little precedent for such things in the ocean.
Computer models created by the University of Hawaii indicate the debris is spread far apart across thousands of miles from the eastern coast of Japan to an area some 1,000 miles north of the Hawaiian Islands.
“The debris field is largely dispersed over a large area. And because of that dispersion, we can no longer rely on satellite imagery to track the debris,” Mallos said.
Industrial employment grew by a half percent over the past 12 months, according to a trade publisher’s new report.
The 2012 Hawaii Manufacturers Directory, published by the Illinois-based Manufacturers’ News Inc., reports that the state gained 139 industrial jobs between Dec. 2010 and Dec. 2011, the first gain since 2007, when the company began reporting on Hawaii’s industrial employment.
Food products are the state’s largest industrial sector in terms of employment, but the directory noted expansion at Cyanotech and the opening of Big Island Carbon, both on Hawaii Island.
HONOLULU (February 28, 2012) – Better Place today announced activating the largest electric car charging network in Hawaii, offering drivers free charging via more than 130 charge points through the end of 2012. The network allows drivers to charge their electric cars at convenient locations on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island that include hotels, resorts, office buildings, shopping centers, parking garages, businesses and public venues.
“As more Hawaii drivers experience the benefits of electric cars, it is important to have the network that gives people convenient access to charge their cars,” said Brian Goldstein, director of Better Place in Hawaii. “The Better Place network of Charge Spots on four islands offers more public charge points per capita in Hawaii than any other state. Our multi-island network is another step toward making sustainable transportation a reality in Hawaii and moves us toward achieving the state’s goal to reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels by at least 70 percent by 2030.”
“As electric car adoption grows, we are excited to see the Better Place charging network in place and ready to support the Aloha State’s growing number of Nissan LEAF™ drivers,” said Brendan Jones, director, Nissan EV Marketing, Sales and Strategy, Nissan North America Inc. “Nissan understands the importance of locations to plug in when it comes to making EVs more convenient and enabling drivers to take full advantage of all electrified transportation has to offer.”
To use the network, drivers can sign up for a free membership and see an interactive map of Charge Spot locations at www.betterplace.com/hawaii. New members will receive a welcome kit with a membership card, giving them access to all Better Place Charge Spots across the state, and a guide to using the network. Membership includes free network access for 2012. Beginning January 1, 2013, drivers will have the option to sign up for an affordable Better Place membership plan.
“Our vision is a world no longer dependent on oil, so for a limited time we are offering free membership to early electric car champions who can both help enhance the network with feedback from their own experiences and encourage more people to switch to electric driving in the country’s most oil-dependent state,” said Goldstein.
The Better Place network offers the public convenient locations to charge electric cars that are compliant with the current standard for plug-in vehicles in North America – such as the Nissan LEAF, Chevy Volt, and Mitsubishi i and other vehicles in the future – as a supplement to a primary charging location at home or work. The network is intended to support charging for periods of up to four hours, rather than overnight or long-term charging.
Over the past year and a half, Better Place has been working with businesses and property owners to install charging infrastructure across the state, as well as completing a project that included Chevy Volts, with funding in part from the State Energy Office at the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT) and the U.S. Department of Energy.
“Chevy Volt customers have the freedom to drive their electric vehicles wherever and whenever they want,” said Britta Gross, General Motors Director, Global Energy Systems and Infrastructure Commercialization. “We applaud Better Place’s initiative to open its charging network to new Volt customers in Hawaii, who will benefit from the ability to drive on pure electricity more often.”
In April 2011, Better Place installed its first Charge Spots in Hawaii in the parking structure of the Sheraton Waikiki/The Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Today, there are also Better Place Charge Spots at five Starwood hotels and resorts on Oahu, Maui and Kauai.
“As the first Hawaii hotel to install charge stations, we are pleased to expand our partnership with Better Place to offer our guests – both visitors and kamaaina – convenient locations to recharge their electric cars, while helping our Islands become more environmentally sustainable,” said Keith Vieira, senior vice president and director of operations for Starwood Hotels & Resorts in Hawaii and French Polynesia.
Last year Enterprise Rent-A-Car began adding electric cars to its fleet on Oahu, enabled by Better Place Charge Spots at the Enterprise site next to the Honolulu International Airport.
“Since we installed our first charging station and began renting electric vehicles last year, the demand from both visitors and kamaaina has continued to increase,” said Paul Kopel, vice president and general manager of operations for Enterprise Rent-A-Car Hawaii. “More people are discovering the convenience of electric cars, and the addition of Better Place’s charge stations at our locations on Maui, the Big Island and Oahu will help meet the needs of EV renters.”
In March, Better Place will host a series of public events around Hawaii to increase awareness of electric cars and the Better Place charging network. We invite current electric car owners and those interested in learning more about electric cars to join Better Place and its partners for charging demonstrations. “Drive Electric Days” will be held as follows: Drive Electric Maui, March 9, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Kihei Town Center (Foodland Kihei); and Drive Electric Big Island, March 17, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kona Commons Shopping Center. Better Place also will be in the Hawaiian Electric Company booth at the First Hawaiian International Auto Show in Honolulu, March 30 to April 1.
Copyright © 2015 - Island News Technologies, LLC - All rights reserved