POSTED: Sunday, October 11, 2009

County exemptions OK, Lingle says

Gov. Linda Lingle says she has no specific concerns about the exemptions Hawaii's four counties want in a tentative labor agreement with the Hawaii Government Employees Association.

The state says it has definite plans to furlough its workers for 18 days this fiscal year. The agreement also calls for 24 furlough days for both the state and county in 2010.

On Friday Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann said the counties want the option to furlough county workers, if necessary, for up to 18 days this year.

Lingle yesterday in an informal meeting with reporters while she was attending a farmer's rally in Hawaii Kai said she hoped the state, counties and the HGEA could conclude their negotiations in the coming week.

State law calls for the state and counties to negotiate together, Both Lingle and Hannemann have said they think the law should be amended to permit the government entities to negotiate separately with the public worker unions.

“;Our issues are different,”; Lingle said yesterday. “;Let every county negotiate on its own and let the state negotiate on its own.”;

Kakaako site of sewage spills

About 8,250 gallons of waste water were discharged behind 909 Kapiolani Condominiums, near Ward Avenue and Waimanu Street, about 1:30 p.m. yesterday, the state Health Department's Clean Water Branch reported .

About 4,950 gallons spilled into storm drains that empty into Kewalo Basin, according to the report from Jennifer Doi. The area was secured and signs posted advising the public to stay out of the area.

UH to stage open house Saturday

The University of Hawaii at Manoa will hold a half-day open house Saturday for high school juniors and seniors and other students interested in enrolling at UH.

The Manoa Experience 2009 will feature booths on various majors and programs, campus and dorm tours, entertainment, Rainbowtique prize drawings and food for sale.

The event begins at 8:30 a.m. and continues until 1:30 p.m.

To register, go online to manoa.hawaii.edu/admissions/manoa_experience.html. Free parking will be available in the visitor parking structure for registered participants. For more information on The Manoa Experience, call Merrissa Uchimura at 956-7137 or send e-mail to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Woman dies after house burns in Maui

A house guest believed to be from Washington state died yesterday in a house fire that injured another occupant and destroyed a single-story home in Upcountry Maui, according to a county news release.

Three people were at the Kini Drive home in Ulupalakua when the fire started after 1 a.m., said Maui County spokeswoman Mahina Martin in an e-mail.

Firefighters found the 1,000 square-foot home engulfed in flames and brought the blaze under control at 2:17 a.m. One woman escaped uninjured, while a man sustained burns to 40 percent of his body. He was flown to the burn unit at Straub Clinic & Hospital on Oahu.

Firefighters found the charred remains of a woman in the house. Martin said the woman is believed to have been a visitor staying overnight. Her name is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of her family.

Investigators estimated damages at $140,000. The cause of the fire remained under investigation, but preliminary reports indicate no foul play was involved, Martin said.