Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Campaign fundraising reports show mixed bag, only one bidder on $33M Honolulu rail work, fatal zipline failed inspection, Hawaii electric bills rise fastest in the nation, more power for Public Utilities Commission, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Money and politics, courtesy illustration, Frank Housh
Leaders of the Hawaii Legislature didn't add much to their political war chests during the second half of 2011, according to the latest round of campaign finance reports due by midnight Tuesday. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has raised more than $1.1 million for his 2014 re-election campaign, an early validation from donors after an uneven first year in office. Star-Advertiser.

Former U.S. Rep. Ed Case raised more than $111,800 during the last quarter for his Demo­cratic primary campaign for the U.S. Senate, which put him far behind the pace of his rival, U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, who raised more than $624,350. Star-Advertiser.

GOP U.S. Senate candidate Linda Lingle collected more than $260,000 from 75 political action committees in three months of fundraising, according to her federal campaign finance report posted online Tuesday. Civil Beat.

The state Legislature is once again considering whether to allow legalized gambling on Hawaiian home lands.Associated Press.

Hawaii voters aren't ready to roll the dice on legalized gambling, according to the latest Civil Beat Poll. Civil Beat.

Social service advocates urged lawmakers Tuesday to continue to use the state's rainy day fund to help finance health, education and human services programs that were threatened during the recession. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii is "definitely ahead" of other states in its efforts to develop open records policies for social media usage, according to the Virginia-based government watchdog nonprofit Sunshine Review. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s policy team has implemented a new "Testimony Tracking System" to "find potential conflicts between different agencies sooner rather than later" when it comes to submitting testimony to lawmakers. Hawaii Reporter.

Lawmakers Move Legislation to Provide PUC More Authority. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii's electric bills rose at nearly double the national rate from 2000 through 2010 even as local residents and businesses did more to conserve electricity than the country as a whole, according to a report released Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, seeking to retain the job for a full four-year term, enters the 2012 race with a sizable lead in funds as his challengers begin mounting their campaigns against him. Star-Advertiser.

Spending Reports Show Caldwell Surges, But Owes Big. KITV4.

The city has awarded a new, $33.4 million contract to Infraconsult LLC, the company that has already received nearly $50 million in contracts to oversee the $5.2 billion Honolulu rapid transit project. Hawaii Reporter.

Mayor Peter Carlisle plans to earmark a $450 million city-backed line of credit for the Hono­lulu Authority for Rapid Transportation to demonstrate to federal authorities that the rail project has the resources it needs to complete construction, Carlisle said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council is considering metered parking rate increases at Oahu parks, a proposal that isn't sitting well with many park users. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle announced Tuesday the launch of Honolulu 311, a new system through which the public may use smartphones to report abandoned vehicles, broken street lights, illegal dumping and other issues. KITV4.

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle announced the launch of a smart phone application Tuesday that allows residents to send complaints directly to the Department of Customer Services. KHON2.

Hawaii

Winning election multiple times hasn't been a financial boon for Hawaii County Council members' campaign war chests, several of which have endured prolonged deficit spending. Tribune-Herald.

An East Hawaii zip line tower failed to pass an initial county inspection prior to its collapse in September, killing one worker and seriously injuring another. Tribune-Herald.

Palamanui is mostly paid up for its community college campus obligations. West Hawaii Today.

The developers of the 725-acre Palamanui mixed-use project on the Big Island’s Kona Coast are giving the University of Hawaii    nearly $10 million for construction of a new West Hawaii community college campus. Pacific Business News.

A mishmash of newsracks cluttering Alii Drive sidewalks may soon be cleaned up, thanks to a program by the Kailua Village Business Improvement District that was advanced Tuesday by the Hawaii County Council's Finance Committee. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Election season will officially begin Wednesday with the start of candidate filings. Maui News.

Maui island saw 2,166,000 visitors in 2011, a 4.1 percent increase over 2010, and those visitors spent nearly $3.2 billion, or 12.9 percent more than the previous year, the Hawai'i Tourism Authority reported Monday. Maui News.

Maui County Council Planning Committee members stretched to reach the finish line Monday in crafting a bill to rein in illegal vacation rentals while setting up an easier process for operators to get county permits. Maui News.

Kauai

Transient Accommodation Units permits cut in half for next 5 years. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i Police Chief Darryl Perry has placed Assistant Chief Roy Asher and Assistant Chief Ale Quibilan on leave effective Tuesday. Garden Island.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs will hold a second round of community meetings, beginning with a session on Kaua‘i, to inform its beneficiaries of the latest updates on the Kaka‘ako land settlement proposal. Garden Island.