Monday, October 29, 2012

Hawaii teachers union strongest in the U.S., Poll: Hirono 22 points over Lingle, tsunami sirens malfunction, Maui County seeks to gag public comment, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaii union protest (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaii is No. 1 in at least one area of education: Strongest teachers union in the nation. Civil Beat.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono has a double-digit cushion over former Gov. Linda Lingle for U.S. Senate, a gap that has remained constant since the Hawaii Poll began tracking the campaign in May 2011. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, drawing energetic support from women and union households, has the advantage over former Congressman Charles Djou in their rematch in urban Honolulu's 1st Congressional District. Star-Advertiser.

Hanabusa was correct that Djou helped form a lobbying firm the same month he left public office. Civil Beat.

The public will have the opportunity this week to speak out on a revised plan by Hawaiian Electric Co. to buy locally produced biofuel for power generation after its initial proposal was rejected as being too costly for ratepayers. Star-Advertiser.

State Civil Defense crews will be out inspecting sirens today across Oahu after some did not sound in certain areas while the tsunami warnings were going out Saturday evening. On the Big Island, crews will head out Thursday to inspect their own sirens after 7 to 10 of the roughly 70 sirens malfunctioned in areas like Puna and East Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu Department of Emergency Management said only 75 percent of the sirens went off when they were initially activated. KITV4.

State and county officials haven't yet come together to discuss the details of how Saturday's tsunami warning and coastal evacuation were handled, but all agree that it went as well as it could have given the short time frame emergency responders had in which to act. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii was caught a bit by surprise Saturday night when an earthquake off the coast of British Columbia generated a tsunami that officials decided was headed straight for the islands. Civil Beat.

It's been quite an eventful weekend, as thousands evacuated their homes Saturday night when a state tsunami warning was issued at about 7:45 p.m. KHON2.

The rate at which Hawaii teens and young adults are taking their own lives has more than doubled over the past five years, spurring some mental health experts to call for it an emergency situation. Civil Beat.

State roundup for October 29. Associated Press.

Oahu

If re-elected, Palolo state Rep. Calvin Say would become the longest-serving lawmaker in the 76-member state Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

“The equivalent of an academic bake sale” … that’s gone "awry.” That was the comparison that University of Hawaii Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple made earlier this week at a campus forum after a student asked him to explain how the University was defrauded out of $200,000. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii

The prospect of paying higher electricity rates next year has prompted public opposition to a pair of increase requests from Hawaii Electric Light Co. slated to go before the state Public Utilities Commission. Tribune-Herald.

Caution was replaced by calm Sunday as Big Island residents returned to much of their normal routines after a 7.7-magnitude earthquake off Canada prompted tsunami fears the night before, leading to evacuations of Hawaii County’s shores.Tribune-Herald.

Despite the short tsunami warning Saturday, effective disaster plans, well-rehearsed drills, prior responses and teamwork kept police, fire and county officials on top of the situation, said Assistant Police Chief Marshall Kanehailua. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Attorneys for Maui County have asked the state Land Use Commission to consider excluding public testimony at next week's proceedings to determine if the landowner planning a pair of large shopping centers in Kihei has violated land-use conditions imposed on the property. Maui News.

2012 Election: Council race pits longevity against training. Maui News.

Crews on Maui worked late into the night and early morning hours to assess coastal areas around Maui and determine if any damages were sustained during a tsunami event that occurred overnight. Maui News.

An official with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said late Saturday night that there was a wave of 5 feet from peak to trough in Kahului Harbor, marking the biggest wave logged statewide from an earthquake off Canada. Maui News.

Kauai

The anticipated series of up to 7-foot tsunami waves may not have materialized Saturday night, but the precautions taken by public safety officials and Kaua‘i Civil Defense Agency were not overdone, say officials. Garden Island.

Hanama‘ulu Beach Park was the main topic of the County of Kaua‘i Police Commission meeting Friday. Garden Island.

The candidates for Kaua‘i County Council on Thursday night participated in the last forum until the Nov. 6 elections. Garden Island.