Monday, October 25, 2010

New polling shows tight races, Mufi steps up, federal judgeship stalled, marijuana messiah stays in prison, Hawaii retirees hurting, more news from all the islands

We live in the most beautiful place on the planet - a blessing, and yet, in some ways, not so much. KHON2.

The latest Hawaii Poll shows Democratic former congressman Neil Abercrombie holding a lead over Republican Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona in the race for governor. Hawaii News Now.

Gubernatorial candidates James "Duke" Aiona and Neil Abercrombie continue to be rated favorably by a majority of voters, according to a new poll that also shows their lesser-known running mates trailing slightly behind. Star-Advertiser.

President of International Transformation Network writes Civil Beat to "help present a more constructive picture to build much needed bridges." Civil Beat.

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann came out on Maui on Wednesday and at a Democratic party rally on Oahu Saturday to strongly back his former rival, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie. KITV4.

Gov. Linda Lingle's job approval rating has climbed, a new Hawaii Poll has found, but more than half of voters still disapprove of the way she is handling the challenges facing Hawaii as she prepares to leave office after two four-year terms. Star-Advertiser.

The race for Hawaii's 1st Congressional District seat is too close to call. The latest poll numbers show Charles Djou and Colleen Hanabusa are virtually tied with a little more than a week to go until the general election. Hawaii News Now.

Both come from families of immigrants. Both grew up in Hawaii. Both are lawyers who rose to power in elected office. Associated Press.

Nine days and counting until the General Election. KHON2.

Candidates at Saturday's Democratic rally hosted at the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu weren't just taking the stage to stump. KITV4.

Fewer than 300 votes separated Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares from challenger Alan Arakawa in the September primary, and their runoff contest for the county's top job is expected to be close as well. Star-Advertiser.

Democratic state Sen. Shan Tsutsui is starting to sound a bit like his Central Maui compatriot, the former state House speaker and still-very-active Rep. Joe Souki, 77. Maui News.

Political newcomer Dean Schmucker says he's running against longtime State Rep. Joe Souki to give voters in his district the option to choose a "conservative candidate." Maui News.

Hawaii County Council District 5 was one of only two council races left undecided after the Sept. 18 primary. And as happened in the other race, a challenger came out slightly ahead of the incumbent in a crowded field. West Hawaii Today.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to arrive in Honolulu this Wednesday. KHON2.

The confirmation of President Barack Obama's appointment of U.S. Magistrate Leslie Kobayashi as a U.S. district judge to fill a 15-month-old vacancy has been delayed. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's court system, the third branch of state government, has more than 1,900 employees, and payroll makes up almost three-fourths of its $137.8 million annual budget. Civil Beat.

Cost of life: One in four Hawaii retirees over 65 depends almost entirely on Social Security. Hawaii Independent.

Federal tax fraud charges, an IRS investigation into a $14 million secret account in Switzerland, a state criminal case for 7 manslaughter counts, a host of civil lawsuits and a record for the worst environmental criminal convictions against an individual in Hawaii’s history. Hawaii Reporter.

The tradition of Friday night football on Kaua‘i has been disrupted by an unusual culprit: Young seabirds migrating to the ocean mistake stadium lights for the moon and stars, causing them to become disoriented, drop from the sky and fall prey to cats and dogs. Associated Press.

Knowledge was passed hand to hand through Kapaau town Saturday morning as residents from around the Big Island came together to move thousands of books to the new North Kohala Public Library. West Hawaii Today.

Health officials have determined that what looked like brown sludge floating off Oahu's South Shore earlier this week was a natural algae bloom. Associated Press.

In response to the threat posed by the coffee berry borer, state agriculture officials are preparing to establish a quarantine on the transport of green coffee beans from South Kona. Tribune-Herald.

While most county employees were furloughed two days a month to save money, the county still racked up almost $2 million in overtime over a three-month period. West Hawaii Today.

Hepatitis is a silent epidemic in Hawaii – the state has the highest rate of live cancer in the U.S. caused by hepatitis B and C. Molokai Dispatch.

State Attorney General Mark Bennett and Stephen Levins, executive director of the Office of Consumer Protection, last week announced that Hawaii has joined a multi-state effort to address practices by mortgage loan servicers that appear to be in violation of state laws. Lahaina News.

They emerged as seven brothers, entering the Kaua‘i Police Department at a time of great need and change, according to Chief Darryl Perry. Garden Island.

A Hilo marijuana activist and minister facing a federal trial next April for allegedly operating a pot distribution ring has been denied bail a fourth time -- and his girlfriend has broken her silence on the subject. Tribune-Herald.

Foodland Super Market Ltd. has launched a "Take the Bag Challenge" at all its Foodland, Sack N Save and Foodland Farm stores aimed at reducing its plastic and paper bag usage by 25 million bags at all stores next year. Maui News.

A blessing ceremony is slated for the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus to mark the completion of a new research facility called C-MORE Hale. Associated Press.