Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Obama coming home for the holidays, beach smoking ban advanced, elections investigations multiply, Hunger Games casting call, invasive frog hops Christmas tree shipment, Kauai HR director theft case dismissed, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

White House courtesy photo
White House gates on Obama Kailua beach rental, White House courtesy photo
President Barack Obama and his family are preparing for their annual December vacation in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Residents living near the beachfront homes where President Barack Obama and First Family vacation with their friends every year since 2008 were alerted on Monday to some specifics of the Obamas' holiday vacation plans. Hawaii Reporter.

The state Elections Commission opted not to fire or discipline Chief Election Officer Scott Nago after a meeting Tuesday and instead will form a subcommittee to study the ballot shortages that led to long lines and frustrated voters on election day. Star-Advertiser.

After sitting through an hour of impassioned pleas from the public calling for his head to roll Tuesday, Scott Nago had to endure an hour of criticism and questions from the state Elections Commission. Civil Beat.

The state Elections Commission Tuesday decided to appoint a subcommittee to investigate ballot problems on Oahu during the Nov. 6 election, following testimony from some members of the public who called for Chief Election Officer Scott Nago to be fired. Hawaii News Now.

The state’s elections commission met Tuesday to review alleged problems in the primary and general elections. Hawaii Independent.

The state elections commission on Tuesday formed a subcommittee to investigate what caused two dozen Oahu polling places to run out of paper ballots during the Nov. 6 General Election. Associated Press.

Accusations and emotions flew at an elections commission meeting on Tuesday, to try and address the ballot shortage fiasco that turned Hawaii's general election into a nightmare. KITV4.

Angry voters are calling for state and federal investigations of the Office of Elections. KHON2.

Hawaii Gas President and CEO Jeffrey M. Kissel will discuss his company’s plan to bring liquified natural gas to Hawaii at the Natural Gas Roundtable at the University Club in Washington on Thursday. Pacific Business News.

UH researcher attempts to fill gaps in tsunami buoy system. KITV4.

A casting call has been put out for stand-ins in Hawaii for several cast members of ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'. Hawaii News Now.

Catching Fire, the much anticipated sequel in The Hunger Games trilogy, is shooting at several locations in the state between November 26 and December 22. Hawaii News Now.

State briefs 11/28. Associated Press.

Oahu

A bill to ban smoking at five of Oahu's most popular beach parks got a favorable nod Tuesday from a key Honolulu City Council committee. Star-Advertiser.

A proposed Bill to make Waikiki Beaches smoke free was advanced by a Honolulu City Council Committee today. Hawaii Public Radio.

State Department agent Christopher Deedy spent the night drinking and bar-hopping before going to a Waikiki McDonald's restaurant where he shot and killed a 23-year-old Kailua man, city prosecutors said in court papers filed in Deedy's murder case. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Mayor Billy Kenoi on Tuesday solidified his administration’s West Hawaii presence by naming Deputy Managing Director Wally Lau his new managing director, replacing retiring Managing Director Bill Takaba. West Hawaii Today.

The Water Board voted down changes to its rules that would have codified requirements that standpipe lessees comply with all federal, state and county laws, rules and regulations. West Hawaii Today.

Plans are underway to relocate the Hilo Adult Day Center to a new home to be built adjacent to a senior rental housing project now under construction. Big Island Now.

Maui
A Maui County Council committee on Monday advanced the second piece of a three-part package aimed at eliminating the long-standing Upcountry water meter waiting list. Maui News.

A recent donation from the Alexander & Baldwin Foundation was used to improve facilities for the homeless at The Salvation Army in Kahului. Maui Now.

The invasive veiled chameleon is close to being eradicated from Maui with the Maui Invasive Species Committee reporting that they have not seen the critter since spring 2008. Maui News.

Phasing in the Lahaina bypass. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauai Circuit Judge Randal Valenciano dismissed Tuesday an indictment against county Human Resources Manager Janine Rapozo, who was charged with falsifying business records to aid Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. in the theft of gasoline using a county-issued gasoline card. Star-Advertiser.

The case against a county manager over accessory to theft charges was dismissed at her initial appearance in 5th Circuit Court Tuesday. Garden Island.

There was more drama today in the ongoing controversy over Kauai Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr.'s alleged criminal use of a county gasoline card. Hawaii Reporter.

The Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission has dismissed a formal complaint with prejudice against the Kauai Island Utilities Commission. Garden Island.

Officials captured an non-native frog that jumped from a Christmas tree a couple had just bought Tuesday at a Walmart in Lihue, the Kauai Invasive Species Committee reported. Star-Advertiser.

Marine experts will collect samples off Kauai's North Shore today to determine whether one of the state's major coral disease outbreaks in recent years is related to lesions being found on Hawaiian puffer fish. Star-Advertiser.