Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hawaii flower sales at 14-year low, ballot problems spread to Oahu and state, OHA candidate collapses at Kauai meet and greet, Hannemann endorses Caldwell for Honolulu mayor, Maui opens self-help justice center, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaii ginger flowers at farmers market (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Sales of flowers and nursery plants grown in Hawaii dipped 2 percent last year, but the small slip marked a fourth consecutive year of decline to a 14-year low. Hawaii's 970 flower and nursery plant farms reported $69.6 million in sales last year, down from $71.1 million the year before, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Star-Advertiser.

The value of Hawaii’s flower and nursery products sector fell 2 percent to $69.6 million in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Hawaii Field Office. Pacific Business News.

A pair of ballot blunders are surfacing with less than three weeks to go until the general election. KHON2.

A "significant" number of registered voters in upper Manoa who requested absentee ballots were mailed two of them erroneously, city elections officer Glen Takahashi said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The weeks are winding down to Election Day, and some Oahu voters are scratching their heads why they received two absentee ballots in the mail instead of one. KHON2.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has asked one of his closest political advisors to head a working group created to fend off attacks on the controversial Public Land Development Corporation. Civil Beat.

The National Marine Fisheries Service has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by environmentalists and says it will issue new rules aimed at preventing Hawaii fishermen from accidentally hooking a rare dolphin species when they’re fishing for tuna and swordfish. Associated Press.

With less than three weeks to go before Election Day, Linda Lingle's U.S. Senate campaign has released a memo from its pollster saying the race against Mazie Hirono "is a very close race." Civil Beat.

Colleen Hanabusa outraised Charles Djou in the three-month period ending Sept. 30 on the strength of contributions from political action committees on the mainland. Civil Beat.

The faculty senate at the University of Hawaii at Manoa voted Wednesday to delay a vote of no confidence against UH President M.R.C. Greenwood. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood says UH independence is at stake because of the fallout from the failed Stevie Wonder concert. Star-Advertiser.

Before the University of Hawaii Board of Regents talks about President M.R.C. Greenwood’s future at UH and a task group presents its first report on what went wrong in the Stevie Wonder concert fiasco, regents will hear today from an expert on college boards about the best practices in governing a university. Star-Advertiser.

Local, local, local. Here it is: Our first special issue devoted to local food, its importance, its place today and its future tomorrow. Honolulu Weekly.

State roundup for October 18. Associated Press.

Oahu

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann is putting his support behind Kirk Caldwell in the mayor’s race. Civil Beat.

The Pacific Resource Partnership has brought a new level of sophistication to this year’s Honolulu mayoral race, one that is unprecedented in Hawaii politics. Civil Beat.

An effort by a losing rail bidder to overturn the largest contract in city history has been rejected for a second time by the courts. The Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that a proposal submitted by Bombardier Transportation (Holdings) USA Inc. in an effort to win a contract to build rail cars for the Honolulu train system was "unresponsive" to city requirements. Star-Advertiser.

A state appeals court is upholding Honolulu's handling of a half-billion dollar contract for the construction of a commuter rail line. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu’s Board of Water Supply must replace hundreds of miles of pipes connecting Oahu’s 2,100-mile aging water system. Hawaii Reporter.

The state is asking the owner of the vehicle that sheared off a 30-foot section of the Aiea pedestrian overpass on Tuesday to pay for the repairs. Star-Advertiser.

A state judge has permitted a media organization called the Hawaii Guerrilla Video Hui to videotape a petty misdemeanor trial of a woman charged with disorderly conduct at Kapiolani Park on May 1. Star-Advertiser.

At least three surface ships are being retired, a new destroyer named after a Hawaii-based SEAL commando is on its way, a destroyer from San Diego will be traded for one here in a "hull swap," and more of the Navy's latest-generation Virginia-class attack subs will be sent to Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Hawaii County Council members approved several amendments to a bill that would allow agricultural tourism on ag land, including one that would prohibit such tourist activities in Waipio Valley. West Hawaii Today.

A proposal to prohibit geothermal drilling at night ran into a snag Wednesday when the Hawaii County Council opted to hold a public hearing on the issue rather than take a final vote. Tribune-Herald.

A Hawaii Electric Light Co. official today told the County Council that a second independent power producer may be willing to reduce what it charges the utility for electricity. Big Island Now.

Waikoloa is a working community that can’t afford to see water and sewer rates more than double, scores of residents told members of the Public Utilities Commission Wednesday evening in South Kohala. West Hawaii Today.

Rep. Bob Herkes, a committee member who spearheaded the creation of the Interagency Task Force on Vog, said public turnout has been lower than expected for the quarterly gatherings, possibly leaving the group with little to report when the state Legislature reconvenes in January. Tribune-Herald.

New gun shops open in Hilo as demand for firearms surges. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island based telescopes have confirmed the discovery of a far-off planet that receives light from four stars. KPUA.

Maui

Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald called the opening of a Self Help Center at Hoapili Hale "a huge step forward for the cause of justice" during a ceremony Tuesday afternoon at the state courthouse building. Maui News.

Kauai

Candidate collapses at OHA meet and greet. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney announced Wednesday that it has updated its website. Garden Island.

Lanai

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has denied a request from PBN reporter Duane Shimogawa for an unredacted copy of the Lanai sales agreement between David Murdock and Larry Ellison. Civil Beat.

Molokai

At the end of Seaside Place in Kaunakakai, tucked behind a string of houses along Molokai’s southern shoreline, is what might appear to be a large, vacant lot. Molokai Dispatch.