State roundup for April 1


Hawaii Gov. makes water, land panel appointments

HONOLULU (AP) — Gov. Neil Abercrombie is announcing nominations for the Board of Land and Natural Resources and the Commission on Water Resource Management.

The governor is appointing Ulupalakua Ranch operations manager James Gomes of Maui to the Board of Land and Natural Resources.

Gomes has served on the Maui Cattlemen’s Association board and on the Maui County Liquor Commission.

The governor is appointing “Kamana” Beamer and Milton Pavao to the water commission.

Beamer is the director of the First Nations Futures Program and an assistant professor at the University of Hawaii Hawaiinuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge and William S. Richardson School of Law.

Pavao retired in 2011 as manager and chief engineer for the Hawaii County Department of Water Supply.

All three appointments are subject to state Senate confirmation.

Rapid-fire rescues for Honolulu fire dept.

HONOLULU (AP) — Three hikers have been plucked from danger in two rescues that happened minutes apart on Oahu.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the first rescue was of a man in his 40s who was hiking on the Diamond Head Crater trail when he started getting dizzy and lightheaded.

Fire Capt. Gary Lum says the man was airlifted off the trail around 1:40. Friday. He says the man had a pre-existing medical condition, which may have affected him.

Within moments of that rescue, the Fire Department helicopter was dispatched to retrieve two hikers who were stranded on the rim of Koko Crater because of unstable soil. They were put down on the ground shortly after 2 p.m.

Man arrested in Oahu car ramming

WAIPAHU, Hawaii (AP) — A 48-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after allegedly running down another man with his car in Waipahu.

Hawaii News Now reports the 23-year-old is in serious condition after the Friday night incident. According to police, he and a 48-year-old man were arguing when the older man got into his vehicle and rammed him. An officer on patrol witnessed the attack and made the arrest.

Hawaii Senate committee approves open data bill

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii senators are moving forward a bill to require the state to post more information online.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee approved the bill Thursday with amendments.

The bill would require state departments to make reasonable efforts to make sure all data sets are available online.

The state won’t be liable for incomplete or inaccurate data. But the bill would require departments to conduct quarterly progress reports to ensure that progress is being made.

Hawaii rates third worst in the nation for providing online access to government spending data, according to a report by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund released earlier this week.

The report says Hawaii’s websites are limited, hard to use and are missing important information on government spending.

Hawaii Senate committee approves feral bird bill

HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Senate judiciary committee has approved a bill aimed at regulating feral bird feeding.

The proposal would make feeding feral birds a nuisance and authorize the director of health to investigate and prohibit the feeding.

The committee softened the House version of the bill that made feeding wild birds a violation of the penal code.

Numerous people and animal rights groups said they oppose criminalizing bird feeding.

Pearl City resident Shigeko Mukai testified that her neighbors’ insistence on feeding wild birds causes an unbearable odor.

She says bird droppings have littered her property on a daily basis for more than 10 years.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Clayton Hee says there is no doubt about the problem but he believes it is a health issue, not a criminal one.

 

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