Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Obama a shoo-in in Hawaii, state Elections Office to handle Hawaii County elections, state Senate continues to grill university officials, Oracle's Ellison to make Lanai a sustainability laboratory, Hawaii to benefit from visa-free travel for Taiwanese tourists, state shoulders 3rd highest debt, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle
President Obama, former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, 2009 courtesy photo
The state that provided President Barack Obama his largest margin of victory in 2008 likes him over challenger Mitt Romney 62 percent to 30 percent. Civil Beat.

Hawaii will likely welcome more visitors from Taiwan now that the U.S. has eliminated a visa requirement for Taiwanese citizens, state officials said Tuesday. Associated Press.

The first major boom in Taiwanese travelers to Hawaii as a result of the nation's newfound visa waiver status should start to hit next spring. Star-Advertiser.

A new study found that Hawaii has the third-highest per-capita state debt in the nation, with each person’s share of the state debt standing at $29,062. Pacific Business News.

Senators took the University of Hawaii's Board of Regents members to task Tuesday for failing to play a stronger role in holding UH administrators accountable and for keeping questions about the institution's direction behind closed doors. Star-Advertiser.

State senators began a briefing investigating the University of Hawaii's failed Stevie Wonder concert Tuesday by admonishing a lawyer hired by UH for not providing them an answer to a key question: a complete breakdown of the costs incurred because of the concert fiasco. Hawaii News Now.

Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple was greeted with skepticism and, at times, derision Tuesday by a state Senate panel looking into the University of Hawaii's handling of the ill-fated Stevie Wonder concert and its fallout. Star-Advertiser.

The special Hawaii Senate hearings into the University of Hawaii following a botched Stevie Wonder benefit concert clocked in at seven and a half hours ending late Tuesday. Civil Beat.

State senators investigating the failed University of Hawaii Stevie Wonder benefit concert appearance today repeatedly questioned why UH officials and attorneys have withheld information from the public. Hawaii Reporter.

There's a new price tag being put on the table for the cost of the botched Stevie Wonder concert at UH Manoa. At the second senate hearing into the matter, senators say the fallout has now topped $1.1 million dollars. KHON2.

What did you know, when did you know it, and why can't we get straight answers to our questions? That sums up the seven and a half hours of grilling of University of Hawaii regents and other highly paid people in-charge. KITV4.

Former state Sen. Anthony Kai Ung Chang, described as a statesman who was instrumental in shaping Hawaii environmental laws, died Tuesday morning. He was 68. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for October 3. Associated Press.

Oahu

The Honolulu City Council budget committee passed a resolution tonight to authorize the sale of 12 rental housing complexes to a private company. KHON2.

Honolulu mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano’s alternative to elevated rail has a $1.8 billion budget, which is $700 million more than the cost estimate he revealed last week. Civil Beat.

Bright Light Marketing is closing its downtown Honolulu office by mid-December while its staff of five public relations executives continue on as independent contractors, according to a letter sent to clients from the firm’s Owner/President/CEO, Lynette Lo Tom. Pacific Business News.

Eight Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipients, in town for a convention of the war heroes, paid tribute Tuesday to four World War II aviators who were at one time based at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa and singled out for bravery "above and beyond the call of duty." Star-Advertiser.

Governor Neil Abercrombie welcomed more than 50 of the nation's 81 living Medal of Honor recipients at Washington Place on Tuesday night. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

The state will take over operations of the Nov. 6 General Election in Hawaii County, state Chief Election Officer Scott Nago announced Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

The state Office of Elections will take control of the November general election in Hawaii County, an unprecedented move that reflects a lack of confidence in Hawaii County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi. Star-Advertiser.

State elections officials say they will take back oversight of Election Day voting on the Big Island because problems relating to the Aug. 11 primary have not been adequately addressed. Civil Beat.

State shakes up Big Island County elections office. KITV4.

Jim Waugh and Charlene Prickett say they want to find a “third way” to resolve a dispute over a trail to Papaikou Mill Beach that runs through their property. Tribune-Herald.

A group opposed to plans to modify the Lower Hamakua Ditch with plastic pipe today gained the support of several members of the County Council. Big Island Now.

Faced with the loss of funding from its parent agency, the Joint Astronomy Centre is offering to anybody interested a rare opportunity to take over a working Mauna Kea telescope. Tribune-Herald.

Maui


It'll be at least another year before landowner Alexander & Baldwin turns over a 50-acre plot in Kahului to Maui County officials for affordable housing, a community center and park. Maui News.

The County of Maui is the recipient of a distinguished budget presentation award for the 2012 Maui budget document. Maui Now.

A Hawaiian Airlines flight enroute from Seattle to Kahului today returned safely to Seattle after pilots received a "low quantity" indicator for the jetliner's hydraulic system, a Hawaiian Airlines spokesman said. Maui News.

Kauai

A sewage spill estimated to be between 50 and 100 gallons of raw wastewater shut down a Hanapepe pump station and closed Hana Road on Tuesday. Garden Island.

Office of Youth Services Executive Director David Hipp, on a letter dated Friday to the Kaua‘i County Council, denies he had advised the county Office of Prosecuting Attorney to stop referring youth to Hale ‘Opio’s Kaua‘i Teen Court program. Garden Island.

A busload of students from the Boys and Girls of Hawai‘i took advantage of the week-long break from school to participate with Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr., Tuesday during the Walk and Talk Story with the Mayor program. Garden Island.

Containers that once transported goods to and from the islands will be converted into new homes on Kaua`i. Educators and community leaders are teaming up to create a self-sustaining community with recycled homes, renewable energy and community aquaponics. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lanai

Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison spoke publicly about the island of Lanai Tuesday for the first time since buying the Hawaiian island in June, saying he plans to turn it into a laboratory for sustainability. Pacific Business News.