What they're saying about Hawaii

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hawaii poll: Dems likely to keep U.S. Senate seat, tourism bounces back, election nominations start Wednesday with no legislative maps, Oprah Winfrey mulls Maui move, Georgia woman pleads guilty to stealing Sen. Inouye's Identity, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Polynesian Cultural Center (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaii is seeing a solid recovery in tourism with increases in both arrivals and tourist spending. Associated Press.

An improving global economy and more air service helped boost tourist arrivals and spending in Hawaii to near-record levels last year. Star-Advertiser.

The month of December 2011 reached $1.298 billion in visitor spending, the highest single month on record. Hawaii Reporter.

Both Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate have the edge over former Gov. Linda Lingle, according to the latest Civil Beat Poll. Civil Beat.

The 2012 election season in Hawaii officially gets underway on Wednesday, February 1, with the commencement of the candidate filing period. Maui Now.

The State Office of Elections is unable to start establishing polling locations and assigning the roughly 600-thousand Hawaii residents to polling locations across the state. KITV4.

Under a best case scenario, the Technical Committee of the Reapportionment Commission would start redrawing political districts as early as Feb. 9. Civil Beat.

Candidates for state House and Senate races will not be able to file for election when the season officially kicks off this Wednesday. But fundraising can get underway. KHON2.

U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
A Georgia woman pleads guilty to being involved in stealing the identity of a U.S. Senator from Hawaii Monday. KITV4.

The teachers union is calling bills before the state House and Senate that would nullify teacher tenure protections a "direct attack on our membership." Star-Advertiser.

Although Gov. Neil Abercrombie's administration has made much of its need for the Hawaii State Teachers Association's cooperation in reaching federal Race to the Top grant targets, a veteran labor attorney says the grant is not dependent on the teachers union, thanks to a loophole in state labor law. Civil Beat.

Retired Washington Army National Guard Lt. Col. Doug Mayne will assume the duties of vice director of state Civil Defense in March, the state announced Monday. Star-Advertiser.

State lawmakers cleaned up and advanced a bill Monday that would require motorists to move over and slow down when approaching and passing stopped emergency vehicles. Star-Advertiser.

Restaurants going to the dogs: Senate Bill 3032 would allow dogs in restaurants at the restaurant owner’s or manager’s discretion if certain conditions are met. Garden Island.

Several protests have been filed with the Hawaii Republican Party over the selection of Ted Liu as the party’s new national committeeman. Civil Beat.

A half-hour television special illustrating the importance of Hawaii’s watershed and its protection will be airing on local stations this month and next. Molokai Dispatch.

State roundup for Jan. 31. Associated Press.

Oahu
Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle collected $53,000 in campaign donations in the second half of 2011, less than 20 percent of his haul from the first half of the year, according to a filing Monday with the Campaign Spending Commission. Civil Beat.

The closure of two Hawaii Medical Center emergency rooms on O’ahu has prompted State lawmakers to pass legislation that could provide additional funds for county ambulance service island-wide. Hawaii Public Radio.

Doubling the rate for parking meters outside public parks like Kapiolani and Aala would help raise money for park maintenance, but it's a move that opponents say could spread beyond Waikiki and downtown and keep people out of public parks and beaches. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor announces new smart phone reporting system. KHON2.

The swell was big Monday evening at Waimea, as surfers -- and spectators -- tried to catch the last waves before sunset. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

Just who would be responsible for building the Mamalahoa Highway bypass remained unclear Monday, following a court hearing on a motion to enforce a recently reached settlement. West Hawaii Today.

A Honokaa woman said Monday she's running for mayor. West Hawaii Today.

There's some buzz about a bill seeking $10,000 in funding from the Legislature to establish new bee hives for the University of Hawaii at Hilo's beekeeping program.  Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who owns hundreds of acres of land on Maui, is thinking about making Hawaii her home. Pacific Business News.

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii held a traditional Hawaiian blessing ceremony Friday morning for the completion of the expansion and renovation of its pharmacy at its Maui Lani Clinic. Maui News.

Kauai

An audit of the Kilauea Gym project suggests that loss of experienced staff is hindering the ability of the Department of Public Works’ Building Division to execute capital projects. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i saw strong growth in both visitor arrivals and spending in 2011, the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority reported Monday. Garden Island.