Friday, December 28, 2012

Maui Sen. Tsutsui named lt. governor, Schatz sworn in to U.S. Senate, federal court gives Honolulu rail green light, tourism spending up, Native Hawaiian incarceration a problem, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

announcement of new lt. governor
Hawaii Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui and family, Governor's Office courtesy photo
Swayed by the prospect of being a partner with Gov. Neil Abercrombie and the governor's professed commitment to creating an administration that is not "Oahu-centric," veteran state lawmaker Shan Tsu­tsui abdicated his post as Senate president Thursday and accepted the job of lieutenant governor. Star-Advertiser.

Within just 24 hours, Neil Abercrombie sent Brian Schatz to the U.S. Senate and Shan Tsutsui to the fifth floor of the state Capitol. Civil Beat.

It's official: Senate President Shan Tsutsui is Hawaii's 12th Lieutenant Governor effective immediately. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii Senate President Shan S. Tsutsui was named lieutenant governor Thursday after Brian Schatz vacated the office to accept his appointment to the U.S. senate, filling the seat that was occupied until recently by the late Daniel Inouye. Pacific Business News.

State Sen. Shan Tsutsui, who has served as State Senate president since 2010, was appointed as the Lieutenant Governor of the State of Hawaii by Governor Neil Abercrombie on Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

Filling the lieutenant governor position now continues the domino effect. KHON2.

Shan Tsutsui officially accepted the position of lieutenant governor Thursday. This means his former role as Senate president, as well as his Senate seat, need to be filled. Senate vice president Donna Mercado Kim says she will fulfill Tsutsui's duties as Senate president . Senate members will vote on a new president on the opening day of the session. KITV4.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie faced a backlash Thursday for choosing his lieutenant governor to succeed Daniel Inouye in the U.S. Senate, revealing discord between Democrats in a state where the party has dominated for decades with Inouye at the helm. Associated Press.

Sen. Brian Schatz sworn in to United States Senate. Hawaii News Now.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz faces a test of fire in his first days in Washington, where he was sworn into office Thursday, having arrived on Air Force One less than 24 hours after being appointed to a seat left vacant by the death of Daniel K. Inouye, Hawaii's most powerful politician. Star-Advertiser.

Brian Schatz symbolized a generational change in Hawaii’s Senate delegation, taking the hand of his new colleague, 88-year-old Sen. Daniel Akaka, moments before being sworn in Thursday as the successor to the late Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye. Associated Press.

It’s not often in politics that someone has the meteoric rise Brian Schatz had this month. Schatz has gone from lieutenant governor of a state with a little over a million people in the middle of the Pacific, to hitching a ride on Air Force One and becoming the sudden replacement to an iconic U.S. senator. Civil Beat.

Maui state Sen. Shan Tsutsui is the new lieutenant governor of Hawaii. Maui News.

A task force that spent a year studying ways to reduce the number of Native Hawaiians in prison and involved in other parts of the criminal justice system has issued its report. Associated Press.

Requiring law enforcement, court and corrections employees to receive training in "unconscious bias" and reinforcing Gov. Neil Abercrombie's call to return all Hawaii prisoners from privately run facilities on the mainland are among 38 recommendations to address the disproportionately high number of Native Hawaiians who are incarcerated. Star-Advertiser.

Task Force Demands Action On Hawaiian Incarceration. Civil Beat.

Hawaii visitors spent $1.1 billion in November, which is $208 million more than last November, while the number of arrivals was up 14.5 percent to 651,158, the Hawaii Tourism Authority said Thursday. Pacific Business News.

Visitor spending hits annual record a month early. A growing number and variety of tourists shelled out $12.9B through November. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for December 28. Associated Press.

Oahu

A federal judge's ruling Thursday that halts construction only in the final phase of the city's 20-mile rail project was hailed by city and rail officials who say the $5.26 billion project likely will be able to proceed without further delays. Star-Advertiser.

Court Ruling Keeps City Rail Project On Track, Honolulu Mayor Says. Civil Beat.

U.S. District Judge A. Wallace Tashima has given the City and County of Honolulu and the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation everything short of a total victory in the federal lawsuit brought by former Gov. Ben Cayetano and others in an effort to stop Oahu’s $5.16 billion elevated-rail mass-transit project. Pacific Business News.

An injunction granted by the United States District Court in Hawaii on Thursday will temporarily restrain any construction activities on phase four of the city's rail transit project, but engineering, design planning and other pre-construction activities will be allowed to continue. Hawaii News Now.

Swell expected to bring waves exceeding 25 feet. The high surf should arrive Saturday and last through Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Edwin Noh, the founder and CEO of NOH Foods of Hawaii, has died at the age of 88, according to his family. KITV4.

Hawaii

The Big Island said aloha to late Sen. Daniel Inouye on Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

A review of testimony submitted last month to the state Public Utilities Commission reveals overwhelming opposition to proposals by Hawaii Electric Light Co. to increase its electricity rates next year. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture announced Thursday it is working to produce large numbers of a moth it plans to use to fight off the fireweed, an invasive plant that is toxic to livestock and has caused havoc on the state’s prime pasture lands. Tribune-Herald.

While many of us spend the holidays with family and friends, for Hawaii Island’s first responders, it’s just another few days on the job. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The new Maui County Council will be inaugurated at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the Council Chambers. Maui News.

The $140 million, 21 megawatt Auwahi Wind project on Ulupalakua Ranch went online Thursday, Sempra U.S. Gas & Power and BP Wind Energy announced. Maui News.

Kauai

Members of the Kaua‘i branch of the Boys & Girls Club Hawai‘i were recently treated to Christmas at Kukui Grove Center through the courtesy of The Parrish Collection Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Molokai

The girls at Molokai Middle School are breaking all preconceived notions that boys are better at math and science. Molokai Dispatch.