Friday, November 2, 2012

Honolulu rail project to move forward despite federal court ruling, Blue Hawaii has lopsided Legislature, $9M condos slated for Ala Moana, Hawaii Island ready for election day, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu rail construction HART courtesy photo
A federal judge has concluded there were flaws in some of the environmental and cultural reviews done for the city's $5.26 billion Hono­lulu rail project, and ruled the city must fix those problems by producing a new supplement to the federal environmental impact statement for the project. Star-Advertiser.

A federal judge's long-awaited decision in the environmental lawsuit against Honolulu's rail project is a split decision giving both opponents and proponents of the $5.2 billion system talking points heading into Tuesday's election. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle said the city's elevated-rail mass-transit project will move forward, and the three areas where a federal judge ruled against the City and County of Honolulu in a decision made public Thursday afternoon were minor issues that would be addressed. Pacific Business News.

A Federal judge today ruled that the city's plan to develop the $5.3 billion rail transit system "arbitrarily" failed to identify native Hawaiian cultural properties and did not adequately address at least one alternative route for the system. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu’s controversial rail project has been derailed in federal court. This after Ninth Circuit Court Judge Wallace Tashima ruled today in HonoluluTraffic.com v. Federal Transit Administration et al that the city violated federal law on major three counts. Hawaii Reporter.

Both sides of the Honolulu rail project argument are claiming victory Thursday after a U.S. District Court ruling was handed down. KITV4.

Both sides of the debate over Honolulu's Rail Project are claiming victory Thursday night after a ruling by a Federal Judge. KHON2.

For the second time in recent months, a ruling has been made on Honolulu’s rail transit project, putting it to a halt again. KHON2.

Read the federal court order on the Honolulu rail project here.

Democrats running for the Hawaii House this fall have outraised their Republican opponents by a 4-to-1 margin. Civil Beat.

Hawai’i’s State Legislature is the most-lopsided in the nation … with Democrats outnumbering Republicans 8-to-one. Hawaii Public Radio.

President Barack Obama is going to carry Hawaii's four electoral votes Tuesday. Civil Beat.

Orson Swindle, a former Hawaii resident and decorated Vietnam Prisoner War who served as a Federal Trade Commissioner (1997-2005), joined 149 other Prisoners of War in endorsing Mitt Romney for President today. Hawaii Reporter.

Super PACs' TV spending sprees may be winding down in Hawaii for the most part, but one independent mainland committee — the Fund for Freedom — is only getting started, according to Civil Beat's most recent review of the public files. Civil Beat.

Medical premiums for roughly 78,000 people covered by Hawaii Medical Service Association could rise by an average 1.2 percent — the lowest rate hike in more than five years. Star-Advertiser.

Louise Kim McCoy, the former press secretary for Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, has been named communications director and press secretary for Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Star-Advertiser.

The administrator for the University of Hawaii Board of Regents is stepping down to take a position in the private sector, the UH announced tonight. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents on Thursday scheduled a special meeting next week to continue its discussion on UH President M.R.C. Greenwood's employment and the university's settlement with former athletic director Jim Donovan. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Top executives and employees of the lead consulting firm on Honolulu’s delayed $5.2 billion rail project have given more than $26,000 in political donations to pro-rail mayoral candidate Kirk Caldwell, an analysis of campaign records show. Hawaii Reporter.

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle can talk until you stop him about his love for rail. But if you ask him about Kirk Caldwell and whether he’d support him for mayor if the $5.26 billion project wasn’t an issue, Carlisle clams up. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Councilman Tom Berg was slapped with $250 in additional fines by the state Campaign Spending Commission on Thursday for failing to report campaign contributions and the purchase of a voter list when he first ran for office in 2010. Star-Advertiser.

The city of Honolulu has hired a single vendor to handle all police-initiated vehicle tows on Oahu, a new approach designed to improve a service that over the years has generated numerous motorist complaints, lawsuits, fines and an ongoing criminal fraud investigation. Star-Advertiser.

A 23-story ultra-luxury condominium tower to be built atop a parking garage adjacent to Nordstrom’s Ala Moana Center store will have penthouse units priced at more than $9 million. Pacific Business News.

The failure of sirens during weekend tsunami alert, triggered more attention to the regularly scheduled drills. KITV4.

Hawaii

State elections officials on Thursday said they’re looking forward to a smooth General Election, now that they’ve taken over the reins following a problematic primary. West Hawaii Today.

The state Office of Elections has assembled a staff of nine in Hilo to administer Tuesday's general election in Hawaii County, state Chief Election Officer Scott Nago said this week. Star-Advertiser.

An unscheduled tsunami siren activation Thursday afternoon caught the public and Civil Defense off guard. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County Civil Defense has apologized for testing warning sirens on the Big Island Thursday afternoon - without giving anyone the heads up. Hawaii News Now.

The first Big Islanders could move in to Hawaii County’s $44 million Kamakoa Nui affordable housing project at Waikoloa in summer 2013, Hawaii County officials said Thursday. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission levied $375 in fines Thursday against Democratic South Maui House candidate Kaniela Ing, ruling on two Hawaii Republican Party complaints filed since August that sought thousands of dollars in fines. Maui News.

Council Member Mike Victorino has much in common with Joseph Blackburn, the challenger working to deny him a fourth consecutive term in the council's Wailuku-Waihee-Waikapu residency seat. Maui News.

Kauai

Accident makes for nightmare commute, leaves 900 without power. Garden Island.

Volunteers attack Morgan’s Pond waters to Make A Difference. Garden Island.