Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hawaii gears up for election year, GOP changes caucus strategy, Honolulu doesn't want lowest bidder, Hispanics account for almost 10% of population, Maui to protect Kaehu Bay, more Hawaii news for smartphone and web

Gov. Neil Abercrombie (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
The 2012 Hawaii election will be the first since 1974 in which Neil Abercrombie will not be a candidate for office. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Republican Party changes caucuses in hopes of gaining more members. KHON2.

President Barack Obama ended his 10-day winter vacation with his family Monday, departing Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam aboard Air Force One. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama and his family and friends left Oahu on January 2, 2012, after a 17-day, notably low key vacation. Hawaii Reporter.

With an eye on the 2012 campaign, President Barack Obama wrapped up a low-key Hawaiian vacation Monday and planned to quickly get back in front of voters as he ratchets up his bid for re-election. Associated Press.

Hawaii voters say the wealthy are calling the shots in Congress. Civil Beat.

Nearly 1 in 10 Hawaii residents identifies as Hispanic, an increase of 38 percent over the last decade, and some observers expect the group to attract more attention this year as political campaigns heat up. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie says Hawaii is seeing a record number of visitors from China and Korea thanks to efforts by his administration over the past year. Civil Beat.

As part of a push to drive down the cost of home insurance and ensure consumers aren't paying for coverage they don't need, the state has released home insurance quotes for 14 providers who volunteered the information. Star-Advertiser.

The state Insurance Division released today resources intended for comparison shopping for the best property insurance rates statewide. West Hawaii Today.

The National Weather Service has issued a high surf warning as giant surf is expected to hit the north and west shores of most islands late Tuesday through Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for January 3. Associated Press.

A historic Hawaiian practice has been resurrected just in time for the 176th anniversary of Queen's Emma's birth at her Summer Palace Monday morning. KHON2.

Oahu

The amount of empty office space on Oahu hit a nine-year high of 13 percent in 2011, and likely will rise again this year, according to a new report. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu city officials are looking to change the way they award construction contracts, so instead of being automatically awarded to the lowest bidder, construction projects would be given to companies with records of on-time performance and good workmanship. KITV4.

Ben Cayetano said he wasn't doing anything except watch football today, but if he does decide to run for mayor his schedule will get a whole lot busier. Hawaii News Now.

At the Hearts for Animals Wellness Center in Laie, there is no shortage of chores for JoAnn Chisholm-Dueno but after five years, she is still driven to care for the animals. KITV4.

Hawaii
January on the Big Island is Volcano Awareness Month. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

After years of work, Kaehu Bay supporters think they may be just a few months from changes that will protect the large bay and its wetlands from development and make it a nature preserve forever. Maui News.

Kauai

A new Web-based directory of “green employers” released by the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations includes 28 Kaua‘i businesses and nonprofit organizations. Garden Island.