Friday, April 13, 2012

Lingle, Hirono, rake in millions, Honolulu City Council trims rail budget, Department of Education seeks to divert $20M school funds to buses, Hawaii retreats on farmers market stance, Kauai horse cruelty case advances, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

U.S. Senate candidates Linda Lingle and Mazie Hirono
Former Gov. Linda Lingle raised more than $1.3 million in the past quarter for her Republican campaign for U.S. Senate, outpacing U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, who brought in more than $1 million for her Demo­cratic campaign. Star-Advertiser.


Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann led all 2nd Congressional District candidates in fundraising in the first quarter of 2012, but City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard was close behind. Star-Advertiser.

Campaign spending numbers for the the first quarter of this year are coming in. KHON2.

Like quarrelsome cooks, state Representatives debated all day and into the evening yesterday on a diverse recipe of bills to be thrown into the final round of sausage-making in this year’s legislative session. Hawaii Reporter.

"Fear and rhetoric" distorted the intentions of bills that would have moved public school teachers to a performance management system, and led to defeat of the measures, Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Jill Tokuda said Thursday in a passionate speech to her colleagues. Star-Advertiser.

The Department of Education is looking at whether funds from other programs could be diverted to student transportation to cover an expected shortfall of about $20 million. Star-Advertiser.

A bill that would overhaul Hawaii's charter school system is headed to conference committee after approval by the House, despite strong resistance to a provision that would exempt such schools from the state Ethics Code. Star-Advertiser.

Legislation aimed at regulating the harvest of opihi has been revived after dying in committee last month. Tribune-Herald.

Cuts in the number of inspectors who check cargo and passengers entering Hawaii have some worried that more pests will get established in a state that is especially vulnerable because of its tropical weather and few natural predators. Associated Press.


The state has filed seven lawsuits against banks and credit card companies that allegedly charge Hawaii customers for payment protection programs they don’t want or can’t qualify for. Associated Press.

Dalai Lama Visit Inaugurates Peace Program. Civil Beat.


The Dalai Lama will talk to students and participate in a panel discussion with Native Hawaiian leaders during a visit to Honolulu this weekend. Associated Press.

Oahu

The City Council Budget Committee on Thursday chopped more than $291 million from next year's construction budget for the rail system before approving preliminarily the budgets for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. Star-Advertiser.

Despite some posturing, some threats and lots of questions for new rail chief Dan Grabauskas, the Honolulu City Council Budget Committee on Wednesday advanced three budget bills for the controversial project. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Rapid Transit
At a meeting that was more pep rally than political theater, mayoral rivals Peter Carlisle and Kirk Caldwell joined U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye to meet with construction workers anxious to begin work on the city's $5.27 billion rail project. Star-Advertiser.

The senior senator from Hawaii came to Waipahu on Thursday to assure anxious construction workers that Honolulu's rail project is on track and has solid federal support. The only thing that can stop it, he said, is World War III. Civil Beat.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle and mayoral candidate Kirk Caldwell made a joint pro-rail appearance this afternoon before construction workers on the project. Hawaii Reporter.

Mayor Peter Carlisle and Kirk Caldwell made a joint appearance Thursday with Hawaii Sen. Dan Inouye at the Waipahu offices of rail contractor Kiewit Construction Co. to discuss the importance of the city's $5.3 billion project with dozens of construction workers. KITV4.

New Rail Chief Sees Himself as Intermediary Between Council, Feds. Civil Beat.

No more coloring books, T-shirts, hats, lanyards, pens, pencils, backpacks and water bottles will be distributed by the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation courtesy of city taxpayers to promote the city’s planned $5.3 billion elevated steel on steel rail project. Hawaii Reporter.

The Haleiwa Farmers' Market will be allowed to operate at its current site until the end of the month after getting a reprieve from state orders to leave. Star-Advertiser.

The state is granting permission to continue the Haliewa Farmers Market through the end of the month. Hawaii Public Radio.

Boulders tumbled down a Kalihi mountainside Thursday, smashing into three houses on Kula Kolea Place and narrowly missing four people in one of the houses. Star-Advertiser.

A plan to replace the International Market Place, the Waikiki Town Center and the Miramar at Waikiki Hotel in the center of Hawaii’s main tourism district with a new retail, dining and entertainment complex will add 1,800 jobs, according to a draft environmental impact statement for the project. Pacific Business News.

Chinatown business owners, neighbors, meet with police to discuss area’s drug problem. Hawaii Independent.

Chinatown merchants demand answers after attack. KITV4.

A state sheriffs deputy stationed at the District Court cellblock was indicted Thursday on sexual assault charges. Hawaii News Now.

Board of Water Supply crews have completed work to fix a broken water main in Kailua. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii


Hawaiian protestor Abel Lui
Mayor Billy Kenoi and his staff plan to meet next week with Abel Simeona Lui and others who claim Native Hawaiian title to almost $6 million worth of Kawa Bay property Hawaii County has purchased for an oceanfront park. West Hawaii Today.

Voters can expect to receive cards informing them of their voting districts in early summer, the Hawaii County Clerks Office announced Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

Rising fuel oil prices pushed residential electricity rates higher in April on all islands except for Hawaii island. Star-Advertiser.

A recent Public Utilities Commission decision has resulted in slightly lower electric rates. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The University of Hawaii says it will begin construction of a controversial $300 million telescope atop Haleakala as soon as next month even though a critical permit has been challenged and a state board hasn't ruled on the case yet. Civil Beat.

Crews from the Community Work Day Program on Maui plan to assess reports of large tangled piles of netting and debris reported along the shoreline of the Waiehu Golf Course. Maui Now.

More than a year after county officials first announced that four monkeypod trees would be removed along South Kihei Road, sparking a back-and-forth battle with tree lovers who wanted to see them saved, officials confirmed that they would accept the recommendation of the Kihei Community Association and leave the trees in place. Maui News.

First-quarter real estate statistics released by the Realtors Association of Maui don't draw a clear picture of what's happening with the buying and selling of homes and condominiums in Maui County. Maui News.

Kauai

A 5th Circuit judge is considering a dismissal motion in a horse cruelty case as an attorney general’s appointed prosecutor takes over. Garden Island.

Responding to safety concerns of county officials and the Kaua‘i Police Department, the Kaua‘i County Council on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution establishing a “no-parking” zone on the southerly shoulder of the County Access Road, by Vidinha Stadium soccer fields in Lihu‘e. Garden Island.