Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Hawaii opens largest biodiesel refinery, Hirono agrees to TV debate, groups sue EPA over warships to be sunk during RIMPAC war games, Honolulu councilman gets big fine for vote conflict, Kauai police commission sues for clarity on discipline, industrial complex for Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Biodiesel ceremony
U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye and Hawaii Mayor Billy Kenoi courtesy photo
Hawaii’s newest and largest biodiesel refinery received a rain shower blessing Monday during its grand opening celebrations. Tribune-Herald.

U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye was in Keeau on the Big Island today to attend the dedication ceremony for the Pacific Biodiesel plant there. Civil Beat.

Sen. Daniel K. Inouye has good things to say about Billy Kenoi and Mazie Hirono, but not Linda Lingle, and he still has unresolved issues with Ed Case. Tribune-Herald.


U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono on Monday agreed to debate former U.S. Rep. Ed Case on commercial television, a tactical adjustment by Hirono as their Democratic primary for U.S. Senate approaches an important stretch. Star-Advertiser.


Just 40 days to go until the state's primary election - and after months of declining a televised debate, Mazie Hirono announced Monday she will go head-to-head with Democratic opponent, Ed Case. Hawaii News Now.


What made Mazie Hirono change her mind about debating Ed Case? Civil Beat.

Ed Case walks and talks — and also hopes — that he will be the next United States Senator in Washington, DC, representing Hawai‘i constituents for many years to come. Garden Island.

As Rim of the Pacific war games get started, the head of the U.S. Pacific Fleet said the exercise is a "unique training opportunity that strengthens our maritime partnerships." Star-Advertiser.


Groups Sue EPA over RIMPAC Ship Sinking. Hawaii Public Radio.

The U.S. Navy is resuming its practice of using old warships for target practice and sinking them in U.S. coastal waters after a nearly two-year moratorium spurred by environmental and cost concerns. Associated Press.

A plan to cut school bus service to nearly 2,400 students statewide is angering several parents and lawmakers, who say families weren't given enough time to plan for the changes. Star-Advertiser.


Civil Beat reported back in November in our Taken For a Ride series that the state has done next to nothing to stop runaway bus costs. Bus companies abruptly stopped competing with each other for contracts, and rather than reject or negotiate bids to hold down costs, district officials shifted the burden to parents, kids and taxpayers. Civil Beat.

It is a measure of how nervous we are about Hawaii's economy that we are fretting over the pending recommendations of the state Tax Review Commission. Star-Advertiser.

A $2.2 million expedition is hoping to finally solve one of America's most enduring mysteries: What exactly happened to famed aviator Amelia Earhart when she disappeared in the South Pacific 75 years ago? Star-Advertiser.

Airlines are expected to fly a record number of seats on their planes to Hawaii this quarter as the state heads toward an unsurpassed year in tourist arrivals. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for July 3. Associated Press.

Oahu

The Honolulu city Ethics Commission fined City Councilman Nestor Garcia $6,500 — the largest fine imposed on a city official to date — for failing to disclose conflicts of interest stemming from a $5,000-a-month job he took in 2009 as executive director of the Kapolei Chamber of Commerce. Star-Advertiser.

Nestor Garcia
Former Honolulu Council Chairman Nestor Garcia Fined $6,500 - Largest Fine in City's History - for Failure to Disclose Conflicts of Interest on Rail Project. Hawaii Reporter.

Honolulu Councilman Nestor Garcia, who is winding down his second term and not running for any political office this fall, was fined $6,500 by the Honolulu Ethics Commission for breaking conflict of interest rules and misusing city resources while acting as the executive director of the Kapolei Chamber of Commerce, a side job that pays him $60,000 a year. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Councilman Nestor Garcia has apologized and paid thousands of dollars in ethics fines for failing to disclose a conflict of interest in 52 votes before the Honolulu City Council. Hawaii News Now.

KHON2 will present a Honolulu Mayoral candidates debate. KHON2.

In the second year of Oahu's nearly total fireworks ban, the number of firecracker permits issued to residents plummeted for this July Fourth celebration. Star-Advertiser.

State regulators have given final approval to Hawaiian Electric Co. for a rate increase that the utility has been collecting from Oahu customers for nearly a year on an interim basis. Star-Advertiser.

Civil Beat toured public restrooms from Ala Moana to Waimanalo — we'll call them the “dirty dozen” — to see what users, from near and far, had to say about them. Their answers weren’t pretty. Civil Beat.


Honolulu will not become the home to a U.S. Patent and Trademark satellite office. Pacific Business News.


Hawaii

Burglaries surge on Big Island. Tribune-Herald.


Kahaluu Bay has been the scene of an ongoing turf-surf battle. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Hawaii Commissioner of Securities Tung Chan issued a Preliminary Order to Cease and Desist and Notice of Right to Hearing against former Maui mayoral candidate Nelson Waikiki Jr., Opunui Water Company, LLC, and Opunui Land and Water Company, LLC. KITV4.

A developer is moving ahead with plans to build an 86-acre, $20 million heavy industrial subdivision near the old Puunene Airport. Maui News.

Only 30 Maui students will lose school bus service, way down from the early estimates of 4,700 Maui County students projected to lose bus service due to financial shortfalls. Maui News.

US Senator Daniel Akaka joined colleagues recently in introducing the Dam Safety Act of 2012. Maui Now.

Kauai

The Kaua‘i County Police Commission has filed suit against Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr. in his official capacity as mayor of the County of Kaua‘i in 5th Circuit Court to seek a declaratory judgment regarding the County Charter. The suit is asking the court to rule that the police commission has the sole authority to suspend or otherwise discipline the chief of police. Garden Island.


Molokai

There’s good news for those who miss a drink at Hotel Molokai’s Hula Shores bar following a fire two weeks ago that demolished the kitchen. Molokai Dispatch.