Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Obama's back, Hawaii's top political influencers, new state laws taking effect for 2013, Abercrombie's choice of Schatz one of his 'finer moments,' more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Christmas 2012
Obama visits Hawaii Marines, Christmas Day 2012, White House courtesy photo
President Barack Obama is back in Hawaii for vacation after a tense, end-of-the-new-year standoff with Congress over the fiscal cliff. Associated Press.

President Barak Obama left Washington D.C. Tuesday night and is flying to Hawaii to rejoin his family on vacation. Associated Press.

President Obama landed at Pearl Harbor-Hickam just minutes ago. Hawaii News Now.

It was Abercrombie's call, not Inouye's, so he made it. Star-Advertiser.

There is growing talk of naming something after the late Dan Inouye to honor his contributions to Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Campaigns & Elections Magazine Names Hawaii's Top 10 Political Influencers of 2012. Hawaii Reporter.

Focus on service propelled Gabbard. Star-Advertiser.

The domino effect continues in state politics as the latest move in the wake of Senator Inouye's death appears likely to trigger another succession appointment. KHON2.

Rep. Gil Keith-Agaran, who is in line to become the House majority leader in the next Legislature, plans to seek the state Senate seat made vacant by the promotion of former Senate President Shan Tsutsui to lieutenant governor. Star-Advertiser.

Social services brace for federal cuts. Hawaii News Now.

A handful of new laws will take effect with the new year in Hawaii, affecting a range of things including public records, abandoned vessels and athletic trainers. All or portions of 16 bills will take effect Tuesday. Associated Press.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources has confirmed that boat debris found at Kahana Bay a week after Thanksgiving came from the 2011 Japan tsunami. Star-Advertiser.

Japan Tsunami Debris Threatens Hawaii But Cleanup Money Is Lacking. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has ordered that flags be flown at half-staff in remembrance of former Hawaii Board of Education member, the Rev. Canon Darrow Kanakanui Aiona. Associated Press.

Parts of plane found in Midway's lagoon. A prop, motor and landing gear discovered by divers belonged to a World War II fighter. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Hawaii News Now will Live Stream the historic joint inauguration of Mayor-elect Kirk Caldwell and newly elected Honolulu City Councilmembers starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday, January 2. Hawaii News Now.

On Oahu's second New Year's holiday under a fireworks ordinance that bans all but firecrackers, there were six minor fireworks-related blazes and five people taken to hospitals for fireworks-related injuries. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Hawaii County did not solicit bids when it leased a vacant building in Pahoa to three community groups for $1 a year, even as it paid $22,000 a year for a County Council district office in a local shopping center. West Hawaii Today.

Swimmers who frequent the Pahoa Aquatic Center will have to get their fix elsewhere during the next six months. Tribune-Herald.

A Phoenix- and Sacramento-based real estate investment firm affiliated with the Walton family is in the process of buying Hokulia. West Hawaii Today.

A group of investors is hoping to piggy back on a special permit application filed 44 years ago for a resort that never came to be. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

In 2012, Maui County lost current and former island residents, including Hawaiian cultural leaders and musicians, a popular journalist along with a famous restaurateur and community heroes. Maui News.

Kauai

Embattled retired auto dealer James Pflueger, who faces federal tax fraud and state manslaughter trials this year, was dealt a legal setback when the state appeals court recently upheld a $4 million penalty against him after runoff from his property damaged a beach and a pristine coral reef on Kauai's north shore. Star-Advertiser.

Young Brothers and Hawaiian Tug and Barge presented $25,000 in grants to 18 Kaua‘i nonprofits recently at its Nawiliwili Port. Garden Island.