Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hawaii tourism looks bright, few judicial applicants, teachers angry over union negotiations, Medicare premiums to rise, solar for every school, Kauai mayor can discipline police chief, more tsunami response analysis, news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported Tuesday that September visitor arrivals grew 6.1 percent to 595,019 and spending rose 15.6 percent to $1.1 billion, which was $146.5 million more than in September of 2011. Star-Advertiser.

Total spending by visitors to Hawaii rose 16 percent in September to $1.1 billion, and was nearly 20 percent higher for the first nine months of the year compared to the same period in 2011, the Hawaii Tourism Authority said Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Aspects of Hawaii’s economy — outside of tourism — are beginning to show signs of a recovery, according to First Hawaiian Bank economist Leroy Laney. Pacific Business News.

A month of head-to-head debates, outside spending and full-bore campaigning did not move the needle, and Mazie Hirono is still comfortably ahead of Linda Lingle in the race for Hawaii's open U.S. Senate seat. Civil Beat.

U.S. Senate Candidate Lingle Profiled. Hawaii Public Radio.

Negotiations between the State and the Hawaii teachers union has stalled again and some teachers are talking strike. Hawaii News Now.

In what could become the largest solar power project of its kind in the nation, the Department of Education is proposing to install photovoltaic panels on every public school in Hawaii over the next five years in a bid to cut electricity costs and move the state closer to its renewable energy goals. Star-Advertiser.

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center Miscalculated Wave Impact on Hawaii Shores. Hawaii Reporter.

Buoys may need relocating after Saturday's tsunami. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Senior Geophysicists: There May Be More Cost Effective, Efficient Ways to Track Tsunamis. Hawaii Reporter.

The number of applicants for higher-level state judgeships has been decreasing over the years, according to data released Tuesday by state Judicial Selection Commission members who want to see more applications for future vacancies. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s two largest health insurers will increase premiums for seniors with Medicare insurance coverage on Jan. 1. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Two major surveys conducted earlier this month have both candidates for Honolulu mayor as frontrunners: the pro-rail Caldwell, and the anti-rail Cayetano. KITV4.

The tab for the advertising campaign by the Pacific Resource Partnership Political Action Committee this election season has topped $2.8 million, with nearly all of it going to the pro-rail group's effort to defeat mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano. Star-Advertiser.

Ben Cayetano wants Honolulu’s local TV stations to stop airing certain ads by the Pacific Resource Partnership, otherwise he might include them as defendants in a defamation lawsuit he lodged last week. Civil Beat.

By the time next week’s election is over and all the bills are paid, the Hawaii Carpenters Union and its affiliates will have spent nearly $4 million in an unprecedented effort to elect their chosen candidate for Honolulu mayor, Kirk Caldwell and, perhaps more importantly, blasting his opponent, former Gov. Ben Cayetano. Civil Beat.

It wasn’t 10 to 1, but when it comes to campaign money Ben Cayetano is definitely the last dog around the bend in the sprint for the Honolulu Mayor’s Office. Civil Beat.

Thielen challenges Hemmings’ return to Senate. Star-Advertiser.

Cockroaches have invaded an Ewa neighborhood by the thousands. KHON2.

Hawaii

Mayor Billy Kenoi pumped almost $90,000 into his re-election machine between the primary election and Oct. 22, as challenger and former Mayor Harry Kim sprinkled his grass-roots campaign with a tenth of that, according to reports filed Monday with the state Campaign Spending Commission. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County is calling a cattle grazing program at the Kapulena Agricultural Park a success, but when the land will host its first farmers remains unclear. Tribune-Herald.

Big Islanders using the county Civil Defense’s mass emergency notification system on Saturday received no notice of a tsunami warning until after 8:45 p.m. – nearly two hours after the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center told residents to anticipate a tsunami. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui County Council Member Mike Victorino has spent close to $100,000 on his bid for re-election with a week to go before the general election. Maui News.

After a first term highlighted by passage of short-term vacation rental regulations and work toward a Maui Island Plan for future growth, Don Couch says he hopes to be re-elected to the Maui County Council's South Maui residency seat so he can continue the work. Maui News.

Planned organized Halloween activities that involve closing down Front Street in Lahaina on Wednesday will go on as scheduled with the state Intermediate Court of Appeals' denial Monday of a motion by a Kula man to cancel the festivities. Maui News.

Kula resident Richard Dancil today said he planned to file a motion for reconsideration this morning seeking a stay of the event. Maui Now.

Kauai
A Kauai circuit judge Tuesday ruled the mayor of Kauai has powers to suspend or discipline the police chief. Star-Advertiser.

The 5th Circuit Court on Tuesday ruled that the mayor has the power to suspend or discipline the chief of police. Garden Island.