Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hawaii political landscape shaping up early; more school buses for Oahu; Deedy made death threats, jury learns; lava photo catches fire; more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii state public library
The state Legislature has appropriated $700,000 for the Hawaii State Public Library System to enhance its collections of e-books and other library materials. West Hawaii Today.

The agency that represents poor defendants in federal cases faces such severe budget cuts that Hawaii's chief federal judge worries she may have to dismiss some cases if no one is available to represent the defendants. Civil Beat.

With her frequent appearances on national political talk shows and a splashy feature in Vogue magazine, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has had the look of someone gunning for higher office. But a leap into the U.S. Senate race against Sen. Brian Schatz and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa seems unlikely based on her latest campaign contribution report, national analysts say. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Councilman Ikaika Anderson has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to explore a run for the 1st Congressional District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Colleen Hana­busa, but stopped short of declaring his candidacy. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Sen. Mazie K. Hirono has unveiled a new virtual office with the aim of improving service to constituents. Maui News.

Kamuela community activist Karen Cobeen is "totally frustrated" with her elected officials. She is coordinating an online petition that seeks to amend the constitution to create a legal framework to recall Hawaii elected officials. Civil Beat.

Time to Question Inouye's 'Last Wish' Civil Beat.

William Nhieu has been appointed the Deputy Director of Communications for the Hawaii State House of Representatives. Hawaii Reporter.

State roundup for July 17. Associated Press.

Oahu
It’s never too soon to start thinking about the future. And when it comes to raising campaign cash Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell seems to be a strong believer in that mantra. Civil Beat.

The Department of Education will reinstate bus service next month for about 1,000 Oahu students whose routes were slashed last school year as the department faced a multimillion-dollar budget shortfall. Star-Advertiser.

The new school bus transportation system that’s being tested at 30 schools in the Pearl City, Aiea and surrounding areas will restore rides for about half of the 2,000 students whose routes were cut last school year. Civil Beat.

A former Kaneohe Marine testified Tuesday that he did not hear or see U.S. State Department special agent Christoper Deedy identify himself as a law enforcement officer, but heard him repeatedly threaten to shoot a 23-year-old Kailua man who moments later was fatally shot in the chest. Star-Advertiser.

Day 6: Eyewitness says Deedy threatened to shoot Elderts in the face. Hawaii News Now.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources will conduct a public meeting Thursday to discuss problems and concerns brought on by unregulated use of water-propelled jet packs around Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Every time Oahu residents get their water-sewer bill, you have to pay a billing charge of $7.70.  It used to be about every 60 days, now it’s every month. The Honolulu Board of Water Supply says that helps to cover current and future costs of its new customer care and billing system, meter maintenance, and staffing. KHON2.

Last week's fatal stabbing at Kailua District Park has fueled an already hot topic that one legislator calls the "Kailua Crime Wave," including a range of property crimes. Star-Advertiser.

The new recreation center being built at the University of Hawaii's Campus Center on its flagship Manoa campus is about ten months behind schedule. Instead of opening last December during the school year, it is not projected to open until October. Hawaii News Now.

Unite Here Local 5 workers and community members from the AiKea Movement will hold a rally in front of the Ilikai Hotel today to protest the trend of widespread condominium conversions, which they say is damaging Hawaii's economy. Star-Advertiser.

An upstart local company co-founded by big-wave surfer Brian Keaulana hopes to bring to Hawaii what a Spanish company claims is the world's longest artificial surfing wave. Star-Advertiser.

Kaneohe Ranch Co. LLC and the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation are expected to make a decision in the next three months on the potential sale of the Kaneohe Ranch commercial real estate portfolio, according to Mitch D’Olier. He is president and CEO of the two entities that own the properties in question, including the highly coveted Kailua town center in Windward Oahu. Pacific Business News.

Apartment-dwellers David and Melissa Falgout spent 17 months on a waiting list for the chance to rent a precious plot of dirt at Makiki District Park community garden next to the H-1 freeway. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

While almost the entire county government, from Mayor Billy Kenoi to legislative clerical staff, took furloughs or pay cuts last fiscal year to help balance a tight county budget, six incoming County Council members opted out. West Hawaii Today.

It was simply meant to be a risky yet artsy photo shared among friends — a way to get a few extra "likes" on his Facebook page. But after Kailua-Kona resident Kawika Singson posted a photo of himself atop a Puu Oo lava flow while peering through a camera lens — flames leaping from the camera tripod and the soles of his shoes — the July 4 image swiftly went viral on the Internet. Star-Advertiser.

A Big Island-based teacher preparation program that focuses on developing educators to work with Native Hawaiian students in charter schools recently earned national accreditation, allowing it to soon begin recruiting students. Associated Press.

For decades, West Hawaii community members have complained there is not enough road connectivity. There's also been concern about the lack of evacuation routes in case of a tsunami. Starting this week, work is underway to add one new option. Hawaii Public Radio.

Tsunami sirens tested. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The West Maui Mountains between Kahakuloa and Makamakaole may be quiet now, but habitat conservationists working on the Makamaka'ole seabird mitigation project are hoping that by this time next year they will be filled with the song of native Hawaiian seabirds. Maui News.

Maui Economic Opportunity is seeking to hire qualified para-transit drivers for its senior and limited-mobility transportation programs, officials announced today. Maui Now.

Some Kihei residents are without water Tuesday morning and a portion of South Kihei Road is open to one-lane traffic only as the County Department of Water Supply repairs a leaking 12-inch main line along South Kihei Road, a county release said Tuesday morning. Maui News.

Molokai

The "largest humanitarian effort" ever to come to Molokai is already arriving in large shipping containers at Kaunakakai Wharf in preparation for Convoy of Hope Hawaii's Day of Compassion on Saturday, organizers of the event said. Maui News.