Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Poll: Hannemann hands-down favorite for Congress, new maps give Oahu state Senate seat to Big Island, sugary drink tax on the table today, military pulling cruisers from Pearl Harbor, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann (c) 2012 All Hawaii News


If the Democratic primary for the 2nd Congressional District were held today, Hannemann would walk away with 65 percent of the vote, compared with just 20 percent for his best-known challenger, City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard. Star-Advertiser.

Former Congressman Ed Case isn't raising as much money in his campaign for U.S. Senate as Democratic opponent Rep. Mazie Hirono and Republican candidate Linda Lingle. Civil Beat.

New political maps being proposed by the state Reapportionment Commission would shift an Oahu state Senate seat to Hawaii Island and put two Democrats into the same Senate district in the Makiki-Moiliili area. Associated Press.

New redistricting maps give Big island a fourth Senate seat, taking one from Oahu, likely at the exepnse of Sen. Carol Fukunaga, D-Makiki/Punchbowl, Ala Moana, McCully. Civil Beat.

The state Senate Health Committee will vote today on a bill to tax sugary beverages after a hearing on the measure earlier this week in which the committee's chairman told industry representatives he believes sodas are a public health problem. Star-Advertiser.

In recognition of the 50th State’s official marine mammal, Governor Neil Abercrombie and Lt. Governor Brian Schatz have officially proclaimed February 2012 as Humpback Whale Awareness Month in Hawai‘i. Hawaii Reporter.

A bill in the state Legislature proposing to end sales of unsterilized cats and dogs in Hawai‘i cleared two committees Tuesday and made potential headway for final approval, but not before erasing its spay and neuter section. Garden Island.

State health officials hope to build on the success of a bottle recycling program and expand it to include electronic devices. KITV4.

The president of Young Brothers is withdrawing from the state water commission a day before he was supposed to show up for his first meeting. Civil Beat.

The U.S. Department of Education has approved a handful of new amendments to the state's Race to the Top plan but cautioned it wants to see results when federal reviewers visit next month. Star-Advertiser.

Charter school employees should not be state employees, experts told Senate Education Chairwoman Jill Tokuda in a briefing about her omnibus charter bill last month. Civil Beat.

Several Molokai residents and University of Hawaii students have assembled a stone platform with a kii, or wooden statue, on the grounds of the state Capitol to bring attention to legislative bills that would require the labeling of genetically modified food in Hawaii stores. Star-Advertiser.

A bill before the Hawai‘i Legislature would make it impossible for counties to pass laws mandating new or existing one- and two-family dwellings to be equipped with fire sprinkler systems. Garden Island.

The Navy plans to retire two of three cruisers at Pearl Harbor under a leaner defense budget — a move that, along with other cutbacks, is expected to have a negative effect on Hawaii's economy. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for Feb. 15. Associated Press.

Oahu

The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers union Tuesday announced its endorsement of former city Managing Director Kirk Caldwell in the race for Honolulu mayor. Star-Advertiser.

An amended city ordinance aimed to eliminate "gentleman farming" on Oahu has the equestrian community concerned it could eliminate businesses. KHON2.

Hawaii’s highly praised Drug Court program “is being used as a dumping ground” for criminal offenders who have washed out of another very successful program of the state Judiciary, HOPE probation, according to Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro and state Public Defender Jack Tonaki. Hawaii Reporter.

The Honolulu City Council is set to debate Bill 50, which approves the Waianae Sustainable Communities Plan, on Wednesday. Hawaii Independent.

Inmates at Hawai`i’s only women’s prison are cultivating Breadfruit trees around the prison grounds. The women say the trees are helping them as well. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu firefighters have put the brakes on their long-standing practice of assisting paramedics by driving ambulances during critical cases. Hawaii News Now.

Bishop Museum had to lay off 13 employees last week after losing $2.2 million in federal funding last year. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

A new survey of Big Island physicians reveals that 32 percent plan to end their service here within the next five years. Tribune-Herald.

Three Hawaii County police officers dragged an apparently catatonic 68-year-old woman out of a patrol car Saturday, propped her up on a bench at the Mooheau Terminal and advised her to take a bus and go home. West Hawaii Today.

The former Kulani correctional facility has been identified as a possible site for the first culture-based wellness center for incarcerated Native Hawaiians. Associated Press.

Don't look for widening work on Queen Kaahumanu Highway beyond Kealakehe Parkway before fall. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

A proposal that would give County Council members a "maximum term, never to return," was narrowly shot down Monday by the county Charter Commission. Maui News.

The Maui County Council Planning Committee on Monday again delayed action on a bill regulating short-term rentals, with the committee chairman saying he hoped the bill could move forward at the committee's next meeting at the end of the month. Maui News.

The County Council Policy Committee will discuss nominees for county boards and commissions at a meeting starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Maui News.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation will be updating the Regional Long-Range Land Transportation Plans for the islands of Maui/Molokai/Lanai, Hawaii and Kauai and is asking the public to participate. Maui Now.

Kauai

County officials will hold five public workshops during the next two weeks on the proposed Kaua‘i Multimodal Land Transportation Plan. Garden Island.

Molokai

Someone is shooting horses dead on Molokai, and the owners of the ranch where it happened are mystified as to why it's happening. Hawaii News Now.