Thursday, August 23, 2012

Abercrombie wants to save Natatorium, four file election protests with Supreme Court, 500 Big Island school employees await DOE clearance, UH apologizes for Stevie Wonder fiasco, Keauhou Beach Hotel to close, candidates file to replace Gabbard on Honolulu Council, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Waikiki Natatorium (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Gov. Neil Abercrombie is considering taking the Waikiki Natatorium back from the city to pursue his own plans for the dilapidated memorial that jets out into the shallow waters of Oahu’s south shore. Civil Beat.

The administration of Gov. Neil Abercrombie appears ready to regain control over the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium and then try to restore its crumbling facade and bleachers, reversing a direction taken by the city in recent years to clear the structure from the valuable piece of Waikiki Beach. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono and former Gov. Linda Lingle have agreed to five debates before their November general election for U.S. Senate, sources say. Star-Advertiser.

The media's job is to help voters better understand whom they are voting for. But, far more often than not, reporters are blocked from speaking directly to the candidates and most often have to settle for canned quotes distributed via their staff. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Republican Party is $66,000 in debt but has about $71,000 cash on hand, according to the party’s most recent FEC report covering the month of July. Civil Beat.

After a private meeting of almost eight hours, the Board of Regents backs the University of Hawaii president's shifting of Jim Donovan to a new job. Star-Advertiser.

A heavily redacted University of Hawaii report on how it lost $200,000 on its cancelled Stevie Wonder fundraising concert said UH officials never properly investigated the promoters of the event, failed to obtain cancellation insurance for it and took no steps to safeguard the money after it was wired to a Mainland “escrow account.” Hawaii Reporter.

Officials at the University of Hawai‘i say there was “no criminal wrongdoing” by UH employees and that the university was “most likely a victim of a fraud in a failed effort to raise money for the athletic department through a concert. Maui Now.

Almost a month and a half after the Stevie Wonder Concert fiasco, the University of Hawaii released an official accounting of what went wrong -- along with several apologies. KITV4.

In spite of pleas from state lawmakers and some members of the public, the UH Board of Regents did not re-instate Jim Donovan as athletics director Wednesday and instead concurred with his transfer to a new UH communications job. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii President M.R.C Greenwood called a press conference Wednesday and was quick to apologize to U.H. faculty, students and supporters saying that the botched Stevie Wonder concert was a mistake. KHON2.

State roundup for Aug. 23. Associated Press.

Oahu

A lawsuit against the Honoulu Police Department over deleted posts on the department’s Facebook page could set a legal precedent, a First Amendment scholar told the Associated Press. Associated Press.

Less than an hour after Tulsi Gabbard said her farewell to the Honolulu City Council on Wednesday, former Councilman Jon Yoshimura was signing up to run for the seat. Two other urban Honolulu residents had joined him by the end of the day, while several others continued to voice interest. Star-Advertiser.

Candidates running for the seat vacated by Tulsi Gabbard can start filing for the General Election after Wednesday's Honolulu City Council meeting. KITV4.

First Wind company says independent tests sat the damaged Kahuku wind farm how soil and air quality levels are safe, and residents were never in danger. KHON2.

The nonprofit Pacific Housing Assistance Corp.’s plans to build a 15-story, 160-unit affordable senior housing project in Honolulu has been delayed. Pacific Business News.

The Defense Commissary Agency purchases more than $40 million in local products each year for sale at stores for military members, retirees and families.   The American Logistics Association hosted its annual taste-testing Hawai’i Show today in Waikiki in an effort to add to their list of Hawai’i-made products. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii

Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz said Wednesday that the Abercrombie administration would monitor preparations in Hawaii County before the November general election, but urged the county clerk to work with the state Office of Elections to prevent a repeat of the irregularities that marred the primary. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka’s granddaughter wants a do-over in the Aug. 11 primary. If that doesn’t work she at least wants a recount. Civil Beat.

A state house candidate from the Big Island has filed a complaint with the Hawaii Supreme Court over primary election day problems on the Big Island. KHON2.

Fired elections warehouse manager Glen Shikuma has died, leaving his friends shocked and grieving, a police investigation in turmoil and a personal injury attorney contemplating the next move. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Councilman Dennis Onishi said he plans to draft a council resolution requiring the County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi to seek help running the General Election. He said that the resolution could be heard as soon as mid-September. Civil Beat.

Five hundred Hawaii Island public school employees still haven’t been brought back to work this fall after the state Department of Education shifted the responsibility for background checks to the island district level. West Hawaii Today.

The Keauhou Beach Hotel will close Oct. 31, leaving 112 employees without a job. West Hawaii Today.

About 112 Hawaii island hotel workers are scrambling to find jobs in the wake of Kamehameha Schools' abrupt announcement that it will shut down and eventually demolish the poorly performing Keauhou Beach Hotel. Star-Advertiser.

The last feature film to come to the Big Island was “Predators” in 2009, and economic activity from film, television and still photography shoots has been down sharply since, said Big Island Film Commissioner John Mason. Tribune-Herald.

Maui
Conservationists are upset that sheep were shuttled to Maui. Maui News.

Nine people were charged with gambling offenses last week when police vice officers executed search warrants at a Wailuku residence, police said. Maui News.

Kauai

A request by members of the Kaua‘i County Council for all county parks’ patrons to “show aloha and respect” for non-smokers by refraining from smoking near other patrons is now unanimous. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i County Council on Wednesday met in executive session to be briefed by the county’s legal counsel on a civil suit brought against the administration by mixed martial arts fighter Lebeau Lagmay, who got shot with a stun gun in 2009 by police in the parking lot of  the emergency room of Wilcox Memorial Hospital in Lihu‘e. Garden Island.

The sand beach at Wailua Beach has been moving — tons of it now relocated to the Aloha Beach Resort end — littered with vegetative debris and creating islets in Wailua River, which never existed before. Garden Island.