What they're saying about Hawaii

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Hirono, Cayetano top new poll, Speaker Say's PAC rewards supporters, medical marijuana limits move forward, big profits but no rate increase for HECO, Education Department wants more money for school buses, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii House Speaker Calvin Say (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
A PAC run by House Speaker Calvin Say's chief of staff gave $53,000 to House memebrs who supported him for speaker, according to its July 1 - Dec. 31 filing with the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission. Civil Beat.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono tops former U.S. Sen. Ed Case 56 percent to 36 percent in the Democratic race for U.S. Senate, and both have 20-point margins over former Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, in the November general election, according to most recent polling.Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association has accepted Gov. Neil Abercrombie's invitation to continue negotiating a new contract, but still does not plan to withdraw its labor complaint against the state. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers are poised to advance the Abercrombie administration's proposed ceded lands settlement with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Star-Advertiser.

The state’s plan to fast-track $500 million in repair and maintenance money projects cleared a key hurdle Friday when it was approved by the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii Department of Education officials say they would have to end school bus service for 17,000 students if the Legislature doesn't give them millions of dollars even beyond what the governor is seeking for school bus transportation next year. Civil Beat.

A bill to tighten the state's medical marijuana law has passed the second of three required floor votes in the state House of Representatives. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii is one of only two states – the other being Utah – that has no form of legalized gaming. If some lawmakers have their way, that will change, but anti-gambling forces in Hawaii are still strong. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaiian Electric Co. said Friday that it won’t seek a rate increase to make up for lost revenue from homeowners or businesses who have installed solar power systems in what it calls a “lost contribution to fixed costs.” Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Electric Light Co. and its sister utilities together recorded a more than 30 percent bump in electric service income last year. Tribune-Herald.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded grants to five Hawaii farms to allow them to better market their goods and services.Hawaii News Now.

The recession is being blamed for the state of Hawai‘i falling behind on processing an increase in applicants for food stamps, but there is also confusion over different compliance rates reported by state and federal agencies. Garden Island.

A bill moving through the state Capitol seeks to regulate the use of all-terrain vehicles. KHON2.

State roundup for Feb. 13. Associated Press

Oahu

If the primary for Honolulu mayor were held today, former Gov. Ben Cayetano would receive 44 percent of the vote, compared with 35 percent for incumbent Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle. Former city Managing Director and Acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell is at 16 percent, according to the poll conducted by Ward Research Inc. for the Star-Advertiser and Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser.

Mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano last week raised the specter that Honolulu will go up to $7 billion in debt to pay for the city's rail project. Civil Beat.

Former Governor Ben Cayetano made his bid for office official Sunday by opening up his home base for his mayoral campaign. KITV4.

Only 43% of those surveyed in a new poll think work should proceed on a $5.3 billion transit system and 53% want the project stopped. Hawaii News Now.

An opponent of a construction project at Kawaiaha‘o Church is again asking a court to halt work and stop Hono­lulu's oldest church from digging up human burials — the total of which has exceeded 230. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu firefighters spent much of Sunday battling a persistent fire at the University of Hawaii that destroyed payroll and other financial records for the entire 10-campus UH system. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Hawaii County's ability to alleviate traffic backups using camera monitoring systems was not used during Tuesday afternoon's brush fire that closed one of Kailua-Kona's main thoroughfares. West Hawaii Today.

Some teachers and students at Big Island charter school plan a boycott. KHON2.

Maui

County officials say they are unable to account for how a longtime grant recipient is spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars. Maui News.

Condominium owners at Sugar Cove have avoided fines for a beach nourishment project that state conservation officials said should have required a permit. Maui News.

Maui’s state senatorial delegation applauded the passage today of The Invest in Hawai‘i Act of 2012 out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Maui Now.

Kauai
Project Graduation leaders from each of Kaua‘i’s public high schools earned an ward of $500 each on Saturday from the Kaua‘i Association for Family and Community Education. Garden Island.

Molokai

Crack Down on Town’s Container Businesses. Molokai Dispatch.