Watching and reporting about Hawaii politics and government.

2:51 p.m. DBEDT: Economic Growth to Slow

In its third quarter economic report today, the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism predicted that most Hawaii economic indicators “will grow more slowly than previously forecasted for the rest of 2011,” though “normal growth” is forecast for 2012, according to a press release:

Overall, Hawaii’s economy, measured by real GDP, is now projected to show a 1.3 percent increase in 2011, down 0.3 percent from the 1.6 percent growth forecast last quarter. At this time, that growth is expected to increase to 1.8 percent in 2012.

“The slow growth of our economy here in Hawaii, coupled with the uncertainty and slowdown of the U.S. and Japanese economies are a wakeup call for us,” said DBEDT Director Richard Lim. “We must continue to shift Hawaii’s economy to a more independent and sustainable foundation.”

The full DBEDT report is available here

2 p.m. $13 Million for Native Hawaiian Housing

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced at the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement convention in Waikiki this morning that the federal government has awarded Hawaii a $13 million block grant for new Native Hawaiian housing.

Donovan — who will formally make the grant announcement this afternoon in Kapolei along with Hawaiian Home Lands, Dan Inouye and Colleen Hanabusa — noted that 11 percent of Hawaiians live in poverty and 35 percent lack a high school degree.

“For too long you have lacked a federal partner who is committed to Hawaiians,” Donovan said. “I recognize that affordable housing is key.”

Donovan is also scheduled to tour a veterans center this afternoon in Kapolei with members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation.

Earlier today Donovan met with Inouye, the four county mayors and the governor at Catholic Charities in Honolulu. The meeting was closed to the press.

$1.5 Million for Native Hawaiian Financing

The U.S. Department of Treasury today announce more than $1.5 million in awards “to help community-based financial institutions provide affordable loans and financial services to Native Hawaiian families.”

The awards — which were announced at the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement convention — are part of a total $11.8 million awarded to 35 Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities across the country.

Hearing Set for Nakasone Appointment

The state Senate will come back in session beginning Monday to consider the confirmation of Karen Nakasone to the First Circuit Court.

Nakasone was appointed by the governor, who once again did not release the other names recommended for the position by the Judicial Selection Committee. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser is suing to obtain the names.

Micronesian Delegation at UH Hilo

A delegation from the Federated States of Micronesia Congress will visit FSM students and citizens beginning at 3 p.m. at the Pacific Islander Student Center (Campus Center 307) at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

The delegation includes the FSM Congress Chair of Education, Senator Joseph Urusemal of Yap; Committee Member Paliknoa Welley of Kosrae, and two others (one from Pohnpei and one from Chuuk).

Live Blogging from a Pot Trial

Kauai Council moving back to Historic County Building

Big Isle water rates to rise

Enforcement tweak could curb Maui rental strife

Council backs 2-year permit for Lahaina TVR

Kona Judiciary Complex sites considered

Thirty Meter Telescope hearing venue changes

Hawaii County fire chief candidate withdraws

Pros, cons of proposed Wailuku parking structure meeting topic

Live blogging of Hilo religious pot-use trial

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