What they're saying about Hawaii

Loading...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Abercrombie and Ige debate in Waimea, Moveon.org opens Honolulu office for Schatz, crowded field in Congressional District 1 debate, Chinese spy ship stirs ire, officials' disclosures delayed, counties' home rule rights in GMO case, Kulani prison wins lawsuit, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii 24/7 screen shot 2014
Abercrombie and Ige at Waimea forum, Hawaii 24/7 screen shot
Hawaii 24/7 streamed the forum between Governor Neil Abercrombie and Senator David Ige live Wednesday night (July 23) from Waimea School cafeteria.

Ige and Abercrombie Agree on Some Things in Waimea Forum. Leading Democrats for Hawaii governor see eye to eye on invasive species, Banyan Drive and unfunded liabilities. Civil Beat.

The gubernatorial debate was brought to the Big Island on Wednesday as Gov. Neil Abercrombie squared off against challenger state Sen. David Ige in Waimea. With few major policy differences, both sought to make the case for their leadership abilities and knowledge of neighbor island needs. Tribune-Herald.

State Sen. David Ige's approach to public service is rooted in three simple principles: Be open and honest in communication; be respectful and listen to all views; and do the right thing in the right way. Star-Advertiser.

MoveOn.org, a national progressive advocacy group, has opened an office in Honolulu to help coordinate a get-out-the-vote drive on behalf of U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz in the Democratic primary for Senate. Star-Advertiser.

Tuna, Conservation and the Race for the U.S. Senate. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa discuss the Obama administration's proposal to create the largest marine sanctuary in the world in Hawaii's backyard. Civil Beat.

Voters are beginning to cast their votes in Hawaii's primary election. Associated Press.

Honolulu City Councilman Ikaika Anderson stood out Wednesday as the only Democratic 1st Congressional District candidate to still fully support the U.S. Department of Interior's continuing to look at re-establishing a government-to-government relationship with Native Hawaiians. Star-Advertiser.

The most interesting moment in Wednesday night’s hourlong forum featuring the seven Democratic candidates trying to represent Hawaii in Congress for the next two years came when the moderator, KITV anchor Yunji De Nies, asked them who they’d vote for if they couldn’t cast a ballot for themselves. Civil Beat.

The state House has sought to intervene in the legal dispute over Rep. Calvin Say's residency, arguing that the House, and not the courts, has exclusive jurisdiction over the qualifications of its members. Star-Advertiser.

Twenty-Eight incumbent State House Democrats are running unopposed in the Primary Election and will automatically advance to the General Election, November 4th.  But one of them, former House Speaker Calvin Say, is being challenged in Court to prove his residency in his House District. Hawaii Public Radio.

The majority of the approximately 150 members serving on various state boards and commissions affected by the state's new financial disclosure law will not have their information made public until next year. Star-Advertiser.

The public won’t see the financial disclosure statements filed by most of the current members of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents, Public Utilities Commission, Hawaii Community Development Authority or 12 other powerful state boards until next summer at the earliest. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Health Connector, the state's Obamacare program, has been unable to produce a fully functional website since it launched in October. That's especially troubling, because CGI Group got $53 million for its creation and another $20 million for operation and maintenance. Hawaii Reporter.

The "soft power" side of China's participation in Rim of the Pacific war games was on display Wednesday on its hospital ship about 46 miles north of Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: Asia Matters: RIMPAC and Chinese Spies. Are we surprised that a Chinese ship is dogging U.S. forces during a major military exercise? Civil Beat.

The legislative session may be over, but good government groups are still sifting through bills that were introduced this year. Common Cause and the League of Women Voters of Hawai‘i are calling attention to the practice called “gut-and-replace” or “Frankenstein” bills. That’s where the contents are so drastically changed, they no longer resemble their original form. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii on the Hill, which showcased 48 local organizations' products, services and missions to congressional members and staff in Washington, D.C., concluded Wednesday night with a "Taste of Hawaii" exhibition, an invitation-only "open house" event at the Russell Senate Office Building. Pacific Business News.

State takes disciplinary actions against professional and vocational license holders. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations on Tuesday announced the award of six grants designed to strengthen local small businesses through training programs. West Hawaii Today.

Oahu

Oahu property owners unhappy over significantly higher tax bills based on a tax rate 71 percent above last year are demanding relief from the Honolulu City Council. Star-Advertiser.

Queen’s Medical Center West, which just opened in May with more than $100 million in renovations, is turning away dialysis patients on a daily basis, causing long waits in the emergency room and transfers across town, partly because an executive there said dialysis facilities are not “cost effective” there yet. Hawaii News Now.

Former military barracks at the old Barbers Point Naval Air Station might become affordable rental apartments as soon as April under a more than $10 million renovation plan detailed Tuesday at a public hearing. Star-Advertiser.

It’s day three and there’s already some confusion and fear over the state’s new food safety rating program. Some customers don’t know what the program is and which restaurants are safe. KHON2.

Framing the GMO debate through dance. Hawaiʻi-based dance theatre troupe Wai Company uses its medium to address GMOs with an informed and balanced portrayal. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaii

A judge cleared the way Wednesday for the state’s reopening of Kulani Correctional Facility. Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara granted the Department of Public Safety’s request for a summary judgment against Ohana Ho‘opakele, a Hawaiian group who sued to block the reopening of the minimum security prison 20 miles southwest of Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

County Council candidate Ron Gonzales says he is qualified to run in District 9, despite a persistent buzz on the coconut wireless that he doesn’t live in his district. West Hawaii Today.

Candidates for the House District 5 and 6 seats discussed how they would encourage agricultural efforts that range from cattle ranches to coffee farms and diverse market-garden operations. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Alexander & Baldwin's 600-unit housing project in north Kihei, targeted to working families, received initial approval for community plan amendments and zoning changes from the Maui County Council on Tuesday. Maui News.

The release of $500,000 by Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Tuesday and the anticipated release of another $1.75 million approved by the state Legislature will facilitate the new Lanai Community Health Center facility's groundbreaking, hopefully in September, with possible completion by the middle of 2015, said the executive director of the center. Maui News.

If you’re going to visit or do some camping at the Kipahulu District of Haleakala National Park, you better take a lot to drink because we just heard that there’s no longer any drinking water there. Maui Time.

Kauai

The question of whether or not counties have the authority to regulate pesticide use and genetically engineered crops was at the center of a federal court hearing on Wednesday challenging Kauai County’s new ordinance imposing buffer zones and disclosure requirements on biotechnology firms. Civil Beat.

The Kauai County Council on Wednesday rejected a proposed charter amendment to regulate the use of pesticides and growth of genetically engineered crops by large agri-businesses. Associated Press.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Obama records Abercrombie radio ad, Kauai GMO lawsuit in federal court today, hundreds die awaiting Hawaiian Home Lands lawsuit settlement, Kauai property owners get steep tax hikes, restaurants adjust to new health inspections, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii hotel pool party ©2014 All Hawaii News
Stronger hotel room demand in May broke a yearlong occupancy slump, helping Hawaii's hoteliers hit three monthly performance records while achieving the nation's highest room rates. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama has recorded a radio advertisement for Gov. Neil Abercrombie's re-election campaign, describing the governor as a partner who made "gutsy decisions" to tackle a state budget crisis and invest in early childhood education. Star-Advertiser.

Candidates for Hawaii Governor Jockey for Credit in Fixing State Pension System. Ige, Abercrombie, Aiona share views on plugging Hawaii's $27 billion hole in unfunded liabilities. Civil Beat.

There are less than 20 days left before the Primary Election, August 9th, and there are no polls to provide a point-in-time look at how political candidates are doing. Hawaii Public Radio.

Four years after the state was found liable for breach of trust in a class-action lawsuit, more than 2,700 Native Hawaiians or their heirs are still waiting for the state to pay damages for failing to deliver Department of Hawaiian Home Lands homestead lots on a timely basis. Star-Advertiser.

Two federal court rulings on health exchange subsidies won't affect business owners or residents in Hawaii, which has its own state-run exchange called the Hawaii Health Connector. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian Airlines Chief Executive Officer Mark Dunkerley said the company's financial performance is on an upward trajectory and that the second half of the year should be even better. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Some 40,000 gallons of raw sewage had flowed into Palolo Stream as of Tuesday afternoon as city workers scrambled to plug an overflowing manhole that had been polluting the waterway for 14-plus hours. Civil Beat.

City to halt free trash pickups for condos, non-profits in 2015. KHON2.

Oahu restaurants are working to improve the food safety ratings they received from the state. On Monday, health inspectors visited 12 restaurants and handed out six yellow cards and six green cards. KHON2.

The state Health Department is giving Kamehameha Schools 60 days to clean up three alleged illegal dump sites on its Kapalama Heights campus. Hawaii News Now.

Construction Boom Leaves Behind Residents With Greatest Housing Need. Just 5 percent of about 4,500 new housing units in Kakaako are affordable for low-income people, according to a state agency. One 204-unit building is the exception. Civil Beat.

Opinion: Bob Benyo, owner of the company cited for towing advertising banners behind a plane over Honolulu in violation of a 36-year old city law, is no neophyte blindsided by a local ordinance. So why has he provoked a legal and political confrontation over Honolulu’s ban on aerial ads? Civil Beat.

Hawaii

It was a crowded house at Tuesday’s forum for House and Senate hopefuls at Kealakehe High School in Kailua-Kona — crowded with candidates, that is. About 80 people listened to the contenders make their cases as the electorate prepares to thin the field next month. West Hawaii Today.

Sen. Malama Solomon and former Sen. Lorraine Inouye: Two Hawaii Island career politicians. Two women in agriculture. Two very different personalities. Star-Advertiser.

The county Department of Water Supply followed its regular policies and procedures in awarding spigot permits for commercial water haulers in Hawaiian Ocean View Estates, the county’s legislative auditor told the Water Board in a recent letter. West Hawaii Today.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee explains position on Thirty Meter Telescope. Hawai‘i Island Trustee Robert Lindsey tells the Independent why he pushed for OHA to withdraw from the Thirty Meter Telescope contested case. Hawaii Independent.

Heavy brush resulting from recent rains, followed by abnormal dryness, has created the ideal conditions for wildfire, and a Waimea-based nonprofit is urging residents to take precautions before the threat occurs. West Hawaii Today.

Maui
Maui County officials say they are looking for a new home for its motor vehicle division and some of its tax offices because the new owners of the Maui Mall want to rent space to commercial enterprises instead. Associated Press.

Maui County will have a little more time to find a new location for its Maui Mall service center, with mall owners agreeing to a one-year extension to 2016 with an option to extend the lease into 2017. Maui News.

The state Department of Health launched a new Food Safety Code program in Hawaiʻi that utilizes color-coded placards to indicate compliance status. Maui Now.

Kauai

The legal battle over GMOs continues. Today a U.S. district court judge will take up the case of a lawsuit filed by 4 large agribusinesses against the county of Kaua‘i. They’re suing to overturn a new law that would require them to disclose the presence and use of pesticides and genetically modified crops. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Kauai County Council’s decision to repeal the county’s annual Permanent Home Use tax credit last year, coupled with rate hikes, is bringing tax bill shock to many residents. Garden Island.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Kids Count ranks Hawaii middling, more sign on to Obamacare, Honolulu police and fire helicopters grounded by bankruptcy, Morita sued for bed and breakfast, Caldwell endorses Abercrombie, vets to help Takai, wave energy planned, feds to ban bee-killing pesticide in Hawaii wildlife refuges, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hula girls in Hawaii ©2014 All Hawaii News
Overall, the Aloha State placed in the middle of the pack, like last year, at 25th out of 50 states in rankings released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The KIDS COUNT Data Book gauges the welfare of kids using 16 measures in the categories of economic well-being, education, health and family/community. Star-Advertiser.

The rate of people without health insurance in Hawaii has dropped below 6 percent since the implementation of the federal health care law, state officials said Monday. Officials said at a joint House committee briefing that roughly 75,000 people in Hawaii don’t have health insurance, down from well over 100,000 last year. Associated Press.

The state Office of Information Management and Technology told lawmakers at a Monday briefing it plans to create a single portal at Hawaii.gov that will help direct consumers to either Medicaid, the government insurance program for low-income residents, or the Hawaii Health Connector, the troubled online exchange created by President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Star-Advertiser.

With the Aug. 9 primary fast approaching and the Nov. 4 general election not far behind, Civil Beat asked the top gubernatorial candidates what they thought about the issue of accessing public records in Hawaii. We interviewed the incumbent, Gov. Neil Abercrombie, and his Democratic primary opponent, state Sen. David Ige. We also talked to the expected Republican challenger this fall, former Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona. A spokesman for Hawaii Independent Party candidate Mufi Hannemann said the candidate couldn’t fit in an interview, and questions submitted to the campaign were not answered.  Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Monday endorsed Gov. Neil Abercrombie for re-election, stressing an improved relationship between Hono­lulu Hale and Washington Place. Star-Advertiser.

In a symbolic and theatric display, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Governor Neil Abercrombie met in the middle of the Punchbowl Street crosswalk Monday as a sign of unity between Honolulu Hale and the State Capitol. Hawaii News Now.

Opinion: Matters of church and the state are traditionally separated in the United States, but not always. There is a current push by some conservative Christians in Hawaii to urge pastors to speak out from the pulpit in support of gubernatorial hopeful James “Duke” Aiona and other so-called “family values” Republican candidates. Civil Beat.

Most of the candidates running for Hawaii’s First Congressional District – minus Senate President Donna Mercado-Kim -- appeared before a group of nearly 300 realtors today. Hawaii Public Radio.

19 days before the primary election, Congressional District 1 candidates participated in a forum, with one notable exception. Donna Mercado Kim had to pass due to a conflict with a scheduled commercial shoot. Hawaii News Now.

VoteVets.org and its Vote Vets Action Fund will blitz the television airwaves in the next week or so with $100,000 in advertisements in support of 1st Congressional District candidate Mark Takai, the national political action committee is expected to announce Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Federal wildlife refuges in the Northwest and Hawaii will phase out a class of pesticides that are chemically similar to nicotine because they pose a threat to bees and other pollinators key to crop growth. The region covering Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Hawaii is the first in the agency to ban neonicotinoids. Associated Press.

Oahu

Honolulu Fire Department and Honolulu Police Department helicopters remained on the ground on Monday with both departments suspending routine flight operations. The city made the drastic move after learning the company that’s been maintaining the police and fire helicopters is filing for bankruptcy, and is no longer insured. KHON2.

Those who want to restore the deteriorating Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium dominated a meeting Monday night designed to gather public input on what impacts the city must consider before it can proceed with an environmental study on the proposed demolition of the historic structure. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Health on Monday began posting brand new color-coded placards in restaurants across the state that will let diners know whether they have passed safety inspections. Pacific Business News.

Starting on Monday, the state Department of Health is posting new color-coded placards at Oahu restaurants to display health inspection status. Star-Advertiser.

The bill in July for a typical household using 600 kilowatt-hours a month went up from June by more than a dollar to $217.24, according to data released Monday by Hawaiian Electric Cos., the state's largest utility provider with service to Oahu, Maui and Hawaii island. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii first state to plug into wave energy. Power buoy to connect to Marine Corp Base Kaneohe. KITV4.

The University of Hawaii says the U.S. Navy is investing $9 million more in a Kaneohe wave energy development project. The university said Monday the funds will help the Manoa campus' Hawaii Natural Energy Institute conduct additional underwater surveys with its partner Sea Engineering Inc. Star-Advertiser.

A former guard at the Halawa Correctional Facility accused of smuggling methamphetamine into the prison is expected to plead guilty. Associated Press.

The war over aerial banners in Oahu's skies escalated Monday afternoon with Hono­lulu police arresting the pilot of an Aerial Banners North airplane at Dillingham Air Field. Star-Advertiser.

Gunky, rodent-filled brown water caused by last weekend's storm has kept untold thousands of people out of the ocean and cost Hale­iwa's Surf N Sea revenue in the form of lost kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The county Department of Finance is taking a dim view of a proposal by Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille to give some homeowners a bigger tax break on their primary residence. West Hawaii Today.

Golfers will get a look at proposed changes for the Hilo Municipal Golf Course at a meeting today. Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation staff will provide a presentation as well as seek input on the improvements now in the design phase. Tribune-Herald.

The first group of 21 inmates arrived this morning at the newly reopened Kulani Correctional Facility. Big Island Now.

Maui

The environment is the economy" is a refrain frequently heard in this year's campaigns. In the 2014 Primary Election, environmental issues are in the spotlight more than ever before. Maui Weekly.

A public meeting to discuss a plan to address an anticipated $13 million budget shortfall for state hospitals, including Maui Memorial Medical Center, will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday in the hospital's auditorium. Maui News.

Kauai

Hanalei resident Michael Sheehan is suing Hawaii Public Utilities Commission Chair Hermina Morita and her husband for damaging his property and polluting the Hanalei River, as well as the County of Kauai for conspiring to cover up the couple’s illegal activity. Garden Island.

A second water safety officer has filed a suit against the county and Kauai Fire Department for retaliation. The plaintiff, Carl Ragasa Jr., is with the Ocean Safety Bureau. He filed his complaint in U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii on July 7. He is represented by the Honolulu firm of Agsalda and Fukui. Garden Island.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Hawaii's largest newspaper endorses Schatz, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Haleakala, generate millions, Maui vacation rentals illegal, Kauai council to tackle GMO and pesticides, saving Ka'u hospital, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Ohia blooms at Kileaua volcano ©2014 All Hawaii News
A new National Park Service report for 2013 shows that the 1,583,209 visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park spent $124,937,400 in communities near the park. This spending supported 1,476 jobs in the local area. Tribune-Herald.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, haunted politically by an unpopular pension tax proposal, has sought to assure seniors he will not support taxes on pensions or senior benefits if re-elected. Star-Advertiser.

Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui is unlikely to appear at any public forums or debates with his top Democratic challenger, state Sen. Clayton Hee, before the Aug. 9 primary election due to scheduling conflicts. Star-Advertiser.

Giving birth on the islands is relatively cheap, but the high cost of goods and services makes raising a child here an expensive proposition. Civil Beat.

An exchange of letters between a Hawaiian political leader and a U.S. senator in 1897 reflects the central questions of today's Hawaiian sovereignty movement. Hawaii Independent.

The Hawaii Office of Veterans Services is surveying women veterans to determine how to better meet their needs. Associated Press.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Lori J. Robinson has been nominated to be the new commanding general of Pacific Air Forces, which would make her the first U.S. female four-star commander of combat forces, the Pentagon announced last week. Star-Advertiser.

The Star-Advertiser endorses Brian Schatz, who has held the seat since his appointment in 2012, for the Democratic nomination to the U.S. Senate.

Opinion: In this year's election, a big question is whether voters are ready to start transferring power to younger lawmakers who will have to live with the future we're building. Our state has lost a generation of potential leaders as the old have jealously clung to power, leaving many of our best and brightest waiting for their turn that never came. Star-Advertiser.

If residents of Hawaii are going to have affordable electricity, the state needs to break up Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc., the parent of the Hawaiian Electric Co., a former lawmaker contends. Hawaii Reporter.

As the largest animals on Earth, great whales play a role in maintaining Hawaii's ecosystems by bringing in nutrients from their migrations. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

A former campaign manager for Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell was one of several consultants working on the Pacific Resource Partnership’s 2012 political takedown of former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano. Civil Beat.

Kakaako is an ideal spot for Hawaii's growing homeless population. On a recent weekday, nearly 100 tents crowded the sidewalks and open spaces around the discovery center, the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine, the UH Cancer Center and other buildings and parks in the area. Star-Advertiser.

The former executive director of an organization that encourages people to adopt foster children has been charged with sexual assault involving two girls. Star-Advertiser.

Land use issues, road repairs and the financial health of the city top concerns among the two candidates challenging Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin for the Council District 2 seat. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

The need to keep Ka‘u Hospital operating as a “safety-net” facility was major topic of discussion during a public meeting Saturday of the Hawaii Health Corp. East Hawaii Board of Directors. Tribune-Herald.

The Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center had its door open for free on Saturday to celebrate its 23rd year and to put kids in touch with the awe-inspiring forces that shape the universe. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui-based mbloom Ventures LLC, which is partially funded with state funds, has been embroiled in controversy since it announced its investment in two companies founded by the fund’s general partners, Arben Kryeziu and Nick Bicanic. Pacific Business News.

Only a 10th of all short-term vacation rentals currently being marketed in Maui County are legal, according to the Maui County Planning Department. Maui News.

Tourism to Haleakalā National Park in 2013 generated more than $47 million in visitor spending and supported 536 jobs in the area, according to new data released by the National Park Service. Maui Now.

The number of visitors to Haleakala National Park and the spending and jobs supported by those visitors dropped significantly last year due to the 16-day government shutdown in October, a National Park Service report said. Maui News.

The Department of Health is warning residents and visitors to stay out of the waters contaminated with storm runoff. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai

A petition calling for the regulation of the use of pesticides and growth of genetically modified crops on Kauai could face its demise at an upcoming meeting Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The Kauai County Attorney’s Office is asking the County Council to approve $50,000 for special counsel services for the lawsuit aimed at blocking implementation of a county law targeting pesticides and genetically modified organisms. The council is expected to vote on the matter during its meeting Wednesday. If approved, the money would bring the amount spent on the case to $125,000 so far. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council will take up a measure on Wednesday that would let general election voters decide whether more taxpayer money should be allocated for public access and open space projects. Garden Island.

In all, there are 60 stretches of roads — distributed across Kauai between Hanalei and Mana — that are, either as a whole or in part, not formally owned by the state or the county, according to the county Department of Public Works. Garden Island.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Tropical Storm Wali to bring wet weekend, Schatz, Hanabusa, claim other lacks experience, RIMPAC lures prostitutes, hiring freeze at UH Manoa, eight want to be Maui police chief, state House sets Obamacare hearing, OHA won't fight Thirty Meter Telescope, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA 5 a.m. satellite image of Tropical Storm Wali near Hawaii

The first tropical storm in the Central Pacific could bring heavy downpours to the state this weekend.  The Central Pacific Hurricane Center said at 5 a.m. Friday, Tropical Storm Wali was located about 970 miles east-southeast of Hilo. It was moving northwest at 12 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour with higher gusts. Hawaii News Now.


Wali is weakening as it approaches Hawaii and is not expected to be a tropical storm for much longer. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz on Thursday night tried to undercut U.S. Rep. Colleen Hana­busa's main political strength — her legislative experience — by claiming that she often talks about her record in the state Senate because she has not been very active in Congress. Hanabusa countered by suggesting that Schatz has embellished his record in the Senate. Star-Advertiser.

Democratic Party U.S. Senate Candidates, Brian Schatz and Colleen Hanabusa, passionately debated policy points in their final statewide, televised prime-time debate before the primary election. Hawaii News Now.

 When the Rim of the Pacific maritime exercise is here, so are more prostitutes. Hawaii News Now.

House Committees to Hold Informational Briefing for Updates on Hawaii Health Connector. Hawaii Reporter.

A company aiming to provide easier access to sexually transmitted disease test results and other medical records announced a new name Wednesday after facing protests by Native Hawaiians for using the word hula. Associated Press.

Plumes of vapor from e-cigarette users can be seen all around Hawaii, on the beach, at the bus stop and even in restaurants. E-cigarettes are pervasive, sometimes controversial and, for now at least, unregulated. Civil Beat.

Oahu

The board overseeing Oahu's rail transit project has agreed to nearly $6 million in added costs as it rushes to acquire dozens of properties by the end of 2014 and aims to ensure all of the rail line's foundations are structurally sound. Star-Advertiser.

The Board of Directors for Honolulu’s $5.2 billion rail project approved an additional $6 million for two city contracts Thursday. But they didn’t do so easily, grilling city project managers and contractors about the necessity of spending more taxpayer money. Civil Beat.

Homelessness and high housing costs top the list of concerns of the four candidates running for the District 4 seat on the Honolulu City Council, perhaps the most competitive of four Council races this year. Civil Beat.

The University of Hawaii Manoa plans to place a hold on new hires. Chancellor Tom Apple said 50 to 70 positions will go unfilled this year as the university looks to reduce spending by $10 million. Hawaii News Now.

Ho Farms, a 50-acre farm on Oahu’s North Shore known for its speciality tomatoes, plans to move its headquarters to Central Oahu after more than two decades in Kahuku as part of effort to help revitalize the economy and agricultural production in the area, the state senator heading up the initiative told Pacific Business News.

Some 3,000 men and women are expected to try to become Honolulu Police Department officers during a recruitment drive slated to begin next week. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Candidates for Senate District 4 and County Council districts 1 and 9 laid out their platforms in Waimea Thursday night. In a speed-dating format, candidates moved from table to table and had face to face discussions with about 50 residents on topics ranging from roads to agriculture. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County is hearing mixed reviews from its effort to crack down on property owners suspected of abusing the agricultural tax break, according to the real property tax division chief. Tribune-Herald.

Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs have decided not to pursue a contested case hearing for the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT) project despite voicing concerns over the project during a meeting on Tuesday. Hawaii Independent.

It’s back to the drawing board for developers of Hawaii Island’s first Holiday Inn, after a County Council committee Thursday balked at their plans to construct signs ranging up to almost four times those allowed by the county sign ordinance. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Eight people have requested applications for the job of Maui County police chief, which will be vacant when Chief Gary Yabuta retires at the end of the month. Maui News.

The vessel Prodiver Maui sank in waters by Molokini Crater on Wednesday morning, July 17, the Coast Guard confirmed. Maui Now.

Kauai

The Kauai Humane Society may ban non-neutered dogs from Freddie’s Dog Park. Garden Island.

A Kapaa women who took an iPad that belonged to the County Council pleaded no contest to a second-degree theft charge on Thursday in 5th Circuit Court. Garden Island.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hawaii Supreme Court sides with media in court closing dispute, Honolulu rail to link airport, Waikiki, Maui mayoral candidate arrested at forum, China plays war games at RIMPAC, feds audit Hawaii Dems, RNC sees hope in Hawaii, Aiona unveils housing plan, last Hanabusa-Schatz TV debate tonight, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii Supreme Court ©2014 All Hawaii News
The Hawaii Supreme Court overwhelmingly ruled Wednesday that a circuit judge improperly denied the public and the media access to the first Christopher Deedy murder trial, in a decision that the plaintiffs' attorney says has wide repercussions for criminal proceedings statewide. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that a judge improperly closed her court and sealed transcripts during a murder trial against a federal agent. Associated Press.

The Federal Election Commission is auditing the Democratic Party of Hawaii after flagging multiple discrepancies with the party’s federal campaign finance reports during the 2012 election cycle. The commission voted in September to undertake the probe, and auditors are still gathering information from the party, sources familiar with the process say.  Star-Advertiser.

As part of its efforts to expand the map, the Republican National Committee is announcing that its putting additional staff in Hawaii and Oregon, two blue states the GOP hopes to put in play this November. Thanks to a divisive Democratic gubernatorial primary in Hawaii, the party committee thinks that seat may now be in play. CNN political ticker.

Former Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona would divert 25 percent of the money collected by the state’s corporate income tax to the rental housing trust fund, hoping to create a financing pool to build more affordable rentals. Star-Advertiser.

In the reporting period that ran from Jan. 1 through June 30, Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui raised nearly nearly three times what his Democratic primary challenger Clayton Hee did, or $356,000 to $122,000. Civil Beat.

Commentary: If the 2014 Hawaii races go the way the state’s elections usually do, here are the results: Brian Schatz wins the U.S. Senate Democratic primary.  Whoever wins that Democratic primary overwhelms the Republican challenger. The winner of the 1st Congressional District’s Democratic primary defeats Republican Charles Djou. In the 2nd Congressional District Tulsi Gabbard wins virtually by default against a Republican whose name no one remembers. Neil Abercrombie is re-elected governor. Civil Beat.

Hawaii News Now and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser will host the final statewide, prime-time debate between Democratic Party U.S. Senate Candidates 7 p.m. Thursday night, July 17, on all three Hawaii News Now stations: KGMB, KHNL and KFVE.

China has been boarding ships looking for mock pirates and contraband as it joins the world's largest maritime exercises for the first time. On Wednesday, Chinese sailors from the destroyer Haikou boarded the Coast Guard cutter Waesche for a drill checking cargo as part of Rim of the Pacific exercises the U.S. is hosting in Hawaii waters this month. Associated Press.

Commentary: As part of the joint military RIMPAC exercise, the U.S. Navy’s “Great Green Fleet,” along with warships from the 21 other participating nations, have fired on and sunk two retired U.S. naval vessels off the coast of Kauai. Hawaii Independent.

The state Land Use Commission is one member closer to being able to meet again thanks to Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s decision Wednesday to appoint Jonathan Scheuer on an interim basis. Civil Beat.

A Senate Committee continued its investigation of alleged misconduct at the State Hospital.   Top administrators were ordered to testify today under oath on a number of issues. Hawaii Public Radio.

Visitor arrivals by cruise ships for the first five months were down 26 percent from the same period last year, according to the latest monthly visitor statistics released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Pacific Business News.

Oahu
Oahu's future rail transit system will wind its way through the middle of Honolulu Airport — dropping off and picking up thousands of passengers and airport workers at a central station there, newly unveiled designs reveal. Star-Advertiser.

The city hopes to reconfigure the financial plan for the $5.2 billion Honolulu rail project to make sure that tens of millions of dollars in federal funds traditionally used to replace aging city buses and Handi-Vans isn’t diverted for rail construction. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) unveiled plans for the rail station at Honolulu International Airport and also revealed plans for adding bus routes to Waikiki. Hawaii News Now.

A measure now before the Honolulu City Council takes aim at commercial activities that are not allowed in a residential community. KHON2.

A former school clerk was sentenced to probation and jail Tuesday for stealing $19,750 from an Oahu public charter school. West Hawaii Today.

The defense attorney for federal agent Christopher Deedy on Wednesday attacked the credibility of the first officer to respond to the fatal 2011 shooting, hoping to undercut the officer's assertion that Deedy, the shooter, appeared intoxicated. Star-Advertiser.

Bob Benyo, president of Aerial Banners North, says he is ready to fight in court for his companyʻs right to keep towing advertising banners over Oahu. Civil Beat.

Kapolei residents will get some answers on how truckloads of contaminated dirt from Radford High School wound up in their neighborhood. Hawaii News Now.

It's rising behind a construction screen now and doesn't look like much, but when a new Walgreens on Keeaumoku Street opens in February it will be unlike any drugstore ever seen in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Former County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi was cleared by the Board of Ethics on Wednesday to represent a client before the Windward Planning Commission, ending six months of delays for a Hawaiian Acres farmers market. West Hawaii Today.

A bill expanding agricultural tourism was one of the first measures introduced by Puna Councilman Zendo Kern when he took office in late 2012. After numerous delays, it may become among his last to clear the County Council before he leaves. West Hawaii Today.

A maddening recording of a Comcast customer service phone call that went viral on the Internet this week was one of two concerns presented Wednesday at a public hearing in Hilo regarding the merger of Comcast and Oceanic Time Warner Cable. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui mayoral candidate Nelson N. Waikiki Jr. was arrested on Tuesday night following a mayoral candidate forum in Makawao. The 49-year-old was located at the Seabury Hall campus on Olinda Road, where he was placed under arrest for allegedly violating conditions of release on bail, police said. Maui Now.

Following his arrest Tuesday night after a candidate forum at Seabury Hall, mayoral candidate Nelson Waikiki Jr. appeared Wednesday morning in 2nd Circuit Court for a hearing on allegations that he failed to comply with conditions of his release in his criminal case. Maui News.

For the first time this election season, Maui residents heard from all six mayoral candidates, including incumbent Mayor Alan Arakawa, during a forum hosted Tuesday by Upcountry community associations. Maui News.

A one year report will be released on Friday for the state’s first community fisheries enforcement unit, which operates in the waters around North Maui. Maui Now.

Kauai

A lawsuit demanding Hawaii Dairy Farms complete an environmental assessment for its proposed dairy in Mahaulepu Valley has added fuel to a fiery situation. Garden Island.

It has been four years since County of Kauai officials acquired a 75-arce piece of land in Eleele from the McBryde Sugar Company to plan what some housing officials say is one of the county’s most ambitious affordable housing projects. But in the years since then, ground hasn’t been broken on the now barren land set aside for the project. Garden Island.

There’s a major energy transformation happening on Kauai. Garden Island.

The Fourth of July fire that torched a portion of the Coco Palms Resort was classified as undetermined Wednesday by those investigating the cause. Garden Island.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hanabusa-Schatz debate tackles elder issues, Abercrombie takes to a taxi, Ige criticizes move to limit debates, Honolulu paramedics get raises, RIMPAC showcases war machines, Maui councilman Hawaii's first NACo president, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

July 15, 2014 screen shot KHON2
Hanabusa Schatz debate, KHON2 screen capture
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa waded through Social Security, Medicare and other issues important to seniors Tuesday night in a mostly tame Democratic primary debate that had a few barbed edges. Star-Advertiser.

Seniors living on a fixed income were contrast with lawmakers taking big pay raises in a debate between U.S. Senate hopefuls. U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa was cheery as she delivered punchy jabs Tuesday night, as if enjoying the fight. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz looked miffed at times, but retained a polite, even demeanor. Associated Press.

Sen. Brian Schatz and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, the Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate, participated in a live debate Tuesday hosted by KHON2 and AARP.

Commentary: Who will do more to protect Social Security, Brian Schatz or Colleen Hanabusa? How Hawaii Voters Might Be Misled in US Senate Debate. Sen. Schatz and Rep. Hanabusa have pointed to their opponent's votes on entitlements, but not given the full story. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, caught up in an unexpectedly difficult Democratic primary against underdog state Sen. David Ige, has revived a populist image from his early days in Hawaii politics: the yellow Checker cab. Star-Advertiser.

Gubernatorial candidate David Ige criticized incumbent Neil Abercrombie for backing out of three of four debates sponsored by AARP on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island in a news release sent out yesterday. Hawaii Independent.

Cook Political Report, an independent, non-partisan newsletter that analyzes elections and campaigns for the US House of Representatives, US Senate, Governors and President as well as American political trends, just moved the Hawaii Governor's race from "Likely Democrat" to "Lean Democrat." Hawaii Reporter.

State Rep. K. Mark Takai
led all Democrats in fundraising for the most recent quarter in the race for the 1st Congressional District, but state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim has the lead in cash on hand for the stretch run of the campaign. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: We’ll Soon Forget the Fuss About Financial Disclosures. Every year, hundreds of people have complied with disclosure requirements without whining or complaining. Civil Beat.

A not-so-simple mule has so far been one of the stars of the show at Rim of the Pacific war games. The Legged Squad Support System, also known as the LS3 and the robotic mule, was one of 16 technologies incorporated into the just-ended Marine Corps Advanced Warfighting Experiment on Oahu and Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Honolulu paramedics will get pay raises, and the city will save more than $1 million in overtime, according to a tentative agreement that better controls schedules for the city's more than 200 paramedics. Star-Advertiser.

World-renowned marine ecologist Dr. Jane Lubchenco opened the 22nd annual Hawaii Conservation Conference Tuesday morning with a message of hope.  Hundreds filled the room in the Hawaii Convention Center to hear her explain why she believes people will be able to solve the “myriad escalating environmental problems” plaguing the planet. Civil Beat.

Within the next couple of months the U.S. Navy will install two ground water monitoring wells between its Red Hill fuel storage facility and the Board of Water Supply's Halawa Shaft, an important source of drinking water. Hawaii News Now.

These are uncertain times for the Navy’s strategic Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility. Some of the site’s 20 massive fuel tanks may have to be shut down or the facility closed altogether if costly new environmental controls can’t be put into place. Civil Beat.

Castle Medical Center is investing $28 million to renovate the hospital and expand its emergency room to keep up with demand in the growing Windward community. Star-Advertiser.

Ko Olina Resort & Marina may soon be adding another new hotel, and it could carry the Four Seasons name. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

A North Kohala dairyman testified Tuesday that the Big Island’s — and the state’s — largest and only other dairy is requesting state permission to sell milk below the legal minimum price because of a deal already in place with the state’s only milk processor. Tribune-Herald.

West Hawaii patients needing urgent medical care at hospitals on Oahu and Maui are flying there in a faster, safer and more versatile helicopter. West Hawaii Today.

There's an interesting shift of property ownership that's taking place on Hawaii Island this summer.  Mauna Kea State Recreation Area is a 20 acre state park that's shifting to a facility under control of Hawaii County. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui

Maui County Council Member Riki Hokama on Monday was installed as president of the National Association of Counties on the final day of the group's 79th annual conference held this year in New Orleans. ‘Historic moment’: Hokama first in Maui County to hold lead NACo role. Maui News.

Hawaii's public hospitals need to look for new ways to bring in revenue with government funds drying up and the many change coming with health care reform, says Wesley Lo, CEO of Hawaii Health Systems Corp.'s Maui Region, which is in talks with Hawaii Pacific Health about a possible partnership. Pacific Business News.

Kauai

The four candidates vying to represent the South Shore and Westside of Kauai in the state Legislature sparred on a number of issues during their first primary election forum, ranging from the Hawaii Superferry to marijuana distribution centers. Garden Island.

Rim of the Pacific, better known as RIMPAC, the world’s largest multi-national maritime war exercise, continued Saturday through Monday with heavy activity on, above and around Kauai — from helicopters and B-52 bombers flying overhead, to warships dotting the horizon and the sinking of a decommissioned Navy vessel. Garden Island.

The County of Kauai will take on four additional bridge projects due to a state and federal partnership.   According to a state Department of Transportation announcement Tuesday, 11 additional statewide highway infrastructure projects were made possible is partnership with the Federal Highway Administration’s Central Federal Lands Highways Division. Garden Island.

Flores seeks accountability in the state Legislature. Garden Island.