Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lingle walks political tightrope, Hawaii forges energy partnership with Japan, China, Honolulu bus cuts blasted, political second-guessing continues, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii
Lingle and Obama in happier times, White House courtesy photo
Former Gov. Linda Lingle, who faces political risks in criticizing Hawaii-born President Barack Obama, has turned to a riper target in her Republican campaign for U.S. Senate: Congress. Star-Advertiser.

Congressional candidate Tulsi Gabbard said she will decide by next week whether to resign her Honolulu City Council seat in time for a successor to be elected at the general election, a move that would likely save the city as much as $150,000. Star-Advertiser.

We were baffled by the turn of events. We nailed Tulsi Gabbard's big win over Mufi Hannemann right on the nose, but our otherwise sterling election survey record was tarnished with Mazie Hirono's decisive victory over Ed Case in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Civil Beat.

The collaboration between Hawaii and Japan in the push for renewable energy is intensifying as Japan finds itself in an increasingly vulnerable position following the devastating 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster. Civil Beat.

Hawai’i is partnering with China to launch a clean energy investment and deployment program in the state. Maui Now.

Project financing is one of the biggest challenges most renewable energy startups face and that was the topic of one of the more interesting and well-attended panels at the 4th Annual Asia-Pacific Clean Energy Summit and Expo at the Hawaii Convention Center on Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says Hawaiian Electric Co. will pay $50,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit by an employee who is blind in one eye. Associated Press.

State roundup for Aug. 15. Associated Press.

Oahu

City Council Chairman Ernie Martin is urging Mayor Peter Carlisle to restore bus service that was cut earlier this year, saying it now appears inevitable the next administration will cancel the unpopular bus cuts and reinstate the old routes and schedules. Star-Advertiser.

The city continues to buy property in the line of the rail transit project, some for much higher than the homes are valued by the city. Hawaii News Now.

Instead of just focusing on beating him outright in the November 6 General Election, state Rep. Kymberly Pine is demanding the resignation of her General Election opponent in Council District 1, incumbent Honolulu City Council Member Tom Berg. Hawaii Reporter.

City Councilman Tom Berg has been stripped of two committee assignments by Council Chairman Ernie Martin because of his outburst during a Transportation Committee meeting July 26. Star-Advertiser.

One month after a Haleiwa community group filed suit against the City and County of Honolulu for allegedly mishandling the proposed sale of Haleiwa Regional Park, two Native Hawaiians have filed their own case against the city. Civil Beat.

The state has approved the sale of Hawaii Medical Center-West to the Queen's Medical Center for $73.2 million, clearing a major regulatory hurdle for the reopening of West Oahu's only acute-care hospital. Star-Advertiser.

Duane "Dog" Chapman has his bags packed for London, but a murder conviction from the late 1970s is keeping him out of the United Kingdom. KITV4.

Hawaii

There were still more questions than answers Tuesday after state Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago held an almost two-hour debriefing of county clerks. West Hawaii Today.

The state Elections Office and the Hawaii County Council chairman are still trying to determine why some Hawaii island polling places opened late for Saturday's primary and how to prevent a recurrence in the general election. Star-Advertiser.

State office elections officials held a de-brief meeting in Hilo Tuesday to discuss the issues that resulted in primary election delays on the Big Island. KHON2.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is awarding Hawaii nearly $2.5 million in grants to buy thousands of acres on the Big Island to protect endangered species. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawai`i biofuel company Aina Koa Pono is back at the Public Utilities Commission with a new proposal to supply plant based electricity. The new proposal is supposed to save customers millions of dollars over the last deal, but will it be enough to convince the PUC it’s the right choice for Hawai`i’s residents? Hawaii Public Radio.

Three endangered aeo got their first taste of freedom Sunday after a rehabilitation lasting more than two months. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy today called the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference in Kaanapali a "prudent and proper exercise of the judicial function." Maui News.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy says the Senate confirmation for new federal judges is too political and is keeping out highly qualified candidates who don’t want to go through the difficult process. Associated Press.

Maui County is a step closer to implementing a new industrial zoning class that would allow for more than 50 uses, including chemical manufacturing, petroleum refining, quarries and landfills. Maui News.

Kauai

Kaua‘i was the only island in the state that experienced a rise in its residential electric rate in August even though the price of oil was down early this summer. Garden Island.

The Democratic Party completed its unity rally sweep through the state by hosting several hundred people, including Kaua‘i candidates for various offices and their respective supporters, Tuesday at the Kaua‘i Veterans Center in Lihu‘e. Garden Island.

In a time when most financial institutions charge more than $30 for bounced checks, Kauai County is still charging $7.50 for such a fee. But that may change pretty soon — and very steeply, as a new proposed fee would increase the penalty 400 percent. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i Planning Commission acted Tuesday to help ensure that an affordable housing project tied to a Princeville shopping center expansion would be developed after permits are issued. Garden Island.

Molokai

In an effort to prevent further overfishing, vandalism and overall neglect of natural resources of Mo`omomi Beach, a gate will be installed to restrict vehicle access to the area. Molokai Dispatch.