Monday, March 19, 2012

Hirono opens Honolulu campaign headquarters, Van Jones visiting Hawaii, Big Island senate races fill up, DHHL director Nahalea, Hokoluia CEO De Fries stepping down, geothermal coming to Maui, Molokai opposition nixes film plans, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

U.S. Senate candidate Mazie Hirono, courtesy photo
Congresswoman and U.S. Democratic Senate candidate Mazie Hirono opened her new campaign headquarters Saturday. Hawaii News Now.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will take nine Hawaii delegates and rival Rick Santorum five, according to the official results of Hawaii's GOP caucus, released Saturday evening. Star-Advertiser.

For years Hawaii state lawmakers have enjoyed lavish spreads at receptions hosted by groups with business before the legislature. No harm, no foul, right? Wrong. Civil Beat.

Hawaii may have good laws when it comes to government transparency and accountability. But there's a huge gap between what's written on paper and the daily reality here. Civil Beat.

A new survey indicates a sizable portion of public school teachers who voted against a proposed six-year contract that would have tied wages to performance did so because they did not feel they had enough information on the deal, not because they disagreed with its terms. Star-Advertiser.

Albert “Alapaki” Nahalea will step down from his post as director of the Hawaii Department of Hawaiian Home Lands on May 15. Pacific Business News.

Scientists at the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii last year identified 69 service members missing from past wars, but they continue to try to unravel a Civil War mystery that's nearly 150 years old. Star-Advertiser.

Van Jones, the internationally acclaimed political organizer and thinker, is in Hawaii this week to kick-off the “Rebuild the Dream” campaign. Hawaii Independent.

Seniors are invited to the state Capitol April 21 to celebrate Kupuna Power. Associated Press.

State Roundup for March 18. Associated Press.

Oahu

At least eight shots were fired at Ben Cayetano mayoral campaign signs posted at Cycle City, just across the street from his campaign headquarters off Nimitz Highway. Hawaii Reporter.

Honolulu police are investigating a shooting at a business near the airport where a mayoral candidate's signs were posted. KITV4.

Eight members of the city's Landfill Site Selection Committee agreed Friday to add federal lands to a list of possible locations for Oahu's next municipal landfill. KITV4.

Hawaii

Donald Ikeda. Lorraine Inouye. Kelly Greenwell. Bob Herkes. Gary Safarik. Josh Green. There are a lot of familiar names interested in taking that step up, or resuming that seat, in the state Senate this year. West Hawaii Today.

The following people have pulled nomination papers as of last Thursday for their respective Hawaii County Council seat. Tribune-Herald.

After 11 years as the public face of one of West Hawaii’s most litigated developments, John De Fries is headed back to private practice. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

A company planning to develop a geothermal energy project on the southwestern slope of Haleakala said it hopes to begin drilling exploratory wells as early as next year to determine whether there are sufficient geothermal resources at the site. Star-Advertiser.

Renewable energy will be a big part of Maui Electric Co.'s future, with plenty of room for serious investors and partners, said outgoing President Ed Reinhardt. Maui News.

Maui homeowners and photovoltaic system installers are expressing frustration at requirements that they pay for expensive "interconnection studies" before installing solar panels, with no guarantee that their project will be approved after the study is complete. Maui News.

Former legislator Joe Bertram III will return to politics as a contender for the 11th House District seat he held for two terms. Maui News.

Construction Recovery “Fails to Materialize” Maui Now.

The state Department of Agriculture is sponsoring a public meeting on bees this week on Maui. Associated Press.

Kauai

The high cost of electricity is draining energy from the local economy. The problem is especially acute for Kaua‘i business owners, some of whom pay upward of $20,000 per month for electricity. Garden Island.

Continued conversion to renewable energy to offset oil costs was the focus of the KIUC quarterly update. Garden Island.

Molokai

This week, filmmakers planned to shoot a pilot episode for TNT called “Drop Zone” in Molokai’s remote north shore valley of Wailau. But those plans were nixed after a meeting with local residents last week, who expressed concerns about lack of protocol in holding a community discussion of the project, and “commercialization” of the valley many consider sacred. Molokai Dispatch.

Lanai

Lana`i island has the lowest unemployment rate in Hawai’i at 3.9%. That’s a result of having only one major employer, Castle and Cooke, which owns 98% of the island. Hawaii Public Radio.