Monday, January 14, 2013

Hawaii voters like Schatz, Maui Dems release names but not finalists for House seat, more bones found on Honolulu rail route, Oahu ballot shortage questions remain, state to get $150M from travel sites, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

announcement of appointment to U.S. Senate
Brian Schatz with Gov. Neil Abercrombie file photo
Hawaii voters generally think Gov. Neil Abercrombie was right to pick his former lieutenant governor, Brian Schatz, to replace the late U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, according to a new Civil Beat Poll conducted last week. Civil Beat.

Hindus now have a fellow believer in Congress. Associated Press.

Steady revenue growth from Hawaii's tourism-driven economic recovery may tempt state lawmakers this session to satisfy some of the pent-up demand for state spending since the recession, but lawmakers do not have enough confidence in the economy for much of an expansion. Star-Advertiser.

Teachers who organized the so-called "work to the rule" protests that spread to schools statewide are planning a rally at the State Capitol this week for legislation that the teachers' union says it does not support. Hawaii News Now.

The investigation of widespread ballot shortages that plagued Oahu voters on Election Day is finished, but the thoroughness of the probe is now being brought into question. KITV4.

A judge has ordered some online travel sites to pay the state roughly $150 million for a decade’s worth of back taxes and interest. Associated Press.

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources is mounting a renewed push for long-term funding for the protection of the state’s critical watershed areas. Civil Beat.

A Civil Beat poll found 80 percent of respondents had both cell phones and landlines, 11 percent said cell phone only and 9 percent said landline only. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Co.’s Robbie Alm said Thursday that Hawaii will meet, and probably even exceed, its preliminary mandate of achieving 15 percent clean energy by 2015. Pacific Business News.

Of 27 movies, Elvis Presley made 3 in the islands. Star-Advertiser.

Ben Jay, the new athletics director at the University of Hawaii, will spend his first official day on the job in Manoa on Monday. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu
Archaeologists for the city’s rail transit project unearthed another set of human remains Sunday as they worked on one of two remaining trenches in the proposed downtown corridor. Star-Advertiser.

A company that leases more than 35 acres from the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to operate a racing facility in Leeward Oahu has been hit with more than $100,000 in property-related violations, is several months behind on its rent and is under investigation by DHHL for allegedly clearing land outside the parcel's boundaries and possibly damaging historically significant sites, according to public records and information from city and state agencies. Star-Advertiser.

Former Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle announced he would be an international business adviser for the law firm O’Connor, Playdon & Guben. Civil Beat.

Nearly a dozen people woke up early Saturday morning to take a stand against animal cruelty, specifically cock fighting. KHON2.

Hawaii

Former veteran lawmaker from Hilo Jerry Chang has been named to replace Gerald De Mello, the longtime University of Hawaii at Hilo public relations chief. Big Island Now.

A Big Island landowner has racked up a sizable tab with the Hawaii County Planning Department. Tribune-Herald.

After nearly a year of inaction, some South Kona residents are frustrated by the county’s apparent inability to fix a broken solar heating system for its public swimming pool at Konawaena High School. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui Democratic Party releases names of seven qualified applicants for the state House seat vacated by Gil Keith-Agarn, but didn't reveal the three finalists sent to Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Maui News.

A dedication ceremony was held on Friday for the new $26 million science building at the University of Hawai’i Maui College campus in Kahului. Maui Now.

Members of the community last week objected to the proposed removal of concrete modules that were mistakenly dropped on coral within the Keawakapu artificial reef three years ago, citing cost issues and the possibility of creating more problems. Maui News.

Maui County has disclosed it paid $40,000 last year to settle a federal lawsuit filed by a Maui woman who was shot by a Taser gun by one of four police officers in 2006 at her Wailuku home. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai
On Sunday, less than two weeks after being sworn into office, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-District 2) made her first visit to Kaua‘i since the election. Garden Island.

One month and one week after taking office on December 3, the new Kaua‘i Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar said the staff is coming together more quickly than he expected. Garden Island.

If all goes smooth, one of the best skate parks in the state will be ready by the end of the year in Hanapepe, thanks to a partnership between a hardcore group of community members, do-it-yourself skateboarders and local government. And that’s just the first of a series of planned skate facilities. Garden Island.

Molokai

Molokai’s Native Hawaiian Library is sponsoring an Open House and Event, Ua Mau Ke Ea: Sovereignty Endures on Thursday, Jan. 17 from 4 to 6 p.m. Molokai Dispatch.