INOUYE TO HOLD HEARING ON STIMULUS
HONOLULU - U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye is planning a hearing on how federal economic stimulus dollars have been spent in Hawaii.
The Senate Appropriations Committee, which Inouye chairs, will hold the session on Wednesday, starting at 9:30 a.m., at the state Capitol.
Inouye is to question government officials and private sector representatives.
Among the witnesses is state Department of Transportation chief Brennon Morioka. His agency has or will spend a large portion of the more than $1 billion slated for the state.
Also expected to testify are representatives of the U.S. Pacific Command and other state and federal agencies, as well as Hawaiian Electric Co. and other firms.
* * *
UNIONS, HOTELS TO BEGIN NEW CONTRACT TALKS
HONOLULU - Hawaii hotel workers and owners are due to begin new contract negotiations next week.
Unite Here Local 5 is seeking a three-year contract and opposes a proposal to make employee credit checks part of the hiring process.
Contracts for the bulk of the 6,500 Local 5 hotel workers in Hawaii expired Wednesday.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii executive Keith Vieira says he doesn't want to negotiate proposals in the media.
But he says rising health care costs would be a concern. He also says workers are coming off lucrative contracts.
Hotel owners say their businesses have not fully rebounded from recent steep declines.
Most of the hotels involved are in Waikiki, but also include the Sheraton Maui.