Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Romney wins Hawaii GOP caucus, electric car rebates extended, feds criticize rail in emails, Waikiki beach widening whitens water, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands for web and smartphone

Mitt Romney, AP photo via Politico
The Deep South may have given a big boost to former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum Tuesday, but the most southern state in the country — geographically, that is — gave former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney something to cheer about. Civil Beat.

With nearly all of the votes counted, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney held a substantial lead over former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich trailed. Star-Advertiser.

Just before midnight Tuesday night, the Hawaii GOP reported that with 87 percent of the votes counted at its first-ever presidential caucus, Mitt Romney had 44.8 percent of the vote, followed by Rick Santorum at 25.4 percent, Ron Paul at 18.7 percent, and Newt Gingrich at 11.2 percent. Hawaii Reporter.

By the end of the night, some Republicans were saying that more than 10,000 Hawaii residents had cast ballots. The final Associated Press count, however, was 9,365. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Republicans gave Mitt Romney a big victory in their caucus Tuesday, softening the blow from his twin losses earlier in the night in Alabama and Mississippi. Hawaii News Now.

Mitt Romney made the following statement on the results of the elections in Hawaii and American Samoa. Romney Campaign.

Thousands of voters turned out tonight for Hawaii's first-ever statewide Republican presidential caucus. KHON2.

State senators scolded Cabinet members and other department officials Tuesday for messy bookkeeping and a perceived disregard for taxpayer money after discovering that public employees had been paid more than $2 million they weren't due. Star-Advertiser.

Greater acceptance of geothermal development among Native Hawaiians and other community members will allow the renewable resource to play a significant role in the state's transition to clean energy, government and private-sector officials say. Star-Advertiser.

State officials said Tuesday they are extending the rebate program for electric vehicles and charging stations to Nov. 1 after strong demand from consumers nearly exhausted the original round of funding. Star-Advertiser.

More Hawaii residents say high gas prices are affecting their household budgets than a year ago, with half of those surveyed saying they are spending less on eating out, according to the AAA Hawaii Spring Break Travel Poll. Pacific Business News.

The State Legislature commemorated Education Week yesterday by honoring the organizations and individuals who changed peoples’ lives in positive ways. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu
Most visitors Tuesday weren't bothered that the blue waters off Waikiki Beach had turned milky white, but some locals were turned off. Star-Advertiser.

Former Gov. Ben Cayetano on Tuesday released internal emails from the Federal Transit Administration that question whether some steps taken to advance the city rail project were done properly or complied with federal environmental law. Star-Advertiser.

When it comes to building the City & County of Honolulu’s planned rail project, the city administration has “lousy practices of public manipulation” and has “produced 3 failed projects and are well on their way to a fourth.” Hawaii Reporter.

Five years ago, vice officers with the Honolulu Police Department arrested prostitutes and johns at a rate of more than one a day. In 2007, police made 477 prostitution arrests. But that number has declined dramatically in the years since: Police made less than half as many arrests in 2011 as they did five years ago. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

Hawaii’s Republican faithful, as well as new members to the party, showed up at polling places across the Big Isle on Tuesday evening to cast their ballots to choose a nominee for the 2012 presidential race. Tribune-Herald.

The county Salary Commission is recommending employee salaries remain at their 2009 levels, but Council Chairman Dominic Yagong says the county could save almost $1 million annually by cutting top salaries 12 percent. West Hawaii Today.

Japan Airlines' first of three planned charter flights to Kona International Airport arrived Tuesday from Nagoya carrying 234 passengers. Star-Advertiser.

Congresswoman Mazie Hirono introduced, last month, a measure for the third time asking to add parts of Hawaii’s coast to the National Park System. West Hawaii Today.

A bill that would end mandatory inspection of green coffee beans being shipped from Hawaii cleared its last hurdle before the state House of Representatives last week and goes before a Senate committee today. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui Memorial Medical Center officials have signed a lease with the Pacific Cancer Institute of Maui, clearing the way for construction to begin on a nearly $7 million expansion project. Maui News.

Maui County council member Mike White will be the guest speaker at the upcoming meeting of the Rotary Club of Valley Isle Sunset, on Thursday. Maui Now.

Kauai

Back in uniform Tuesday, one of Kaua‘i Police Chief Darryl Perry’s first actions was to place two assistant police chiefs back on duty. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i County Councilmember Tim Bynum on Tuesday had his zoning violations case moved to 5th Circuit Court. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i County Council will consider a resolution today that requests Grove Farm Co. withdraw its eviction notices to all its tenants residing in Koloa Camp. Garden Island.

Molokai

High School Boosts Scores. Molokai Dispatch.