Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ige to challenge Abercrombie for Hawaii governor, Abercrombie vetoes 3 bills, Schatz collects $911k, Deedy trial continues, Maui disabled transportation in turmoil, Kauai Coco Palms Resort rebuild hampered, tourist safety promoted, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

2014 governor candidate
David Ige, courtesy Hawaii Senate Majority
Hawaii’s Senate Ways and Means Committee chairman is running for governor in the 2014 election. Sen. David Ige is the first to step forward to challenge Gov. Neil Abercrombie in the Democratic primary. Associated Press.

State Sen. David Ige, a soft-spoken, deliberative engineer, has quietly navigated politics at the state Capitol for nearly three decades. His faction in the Senate is known as the Chess Club — policy wonks and liberal idealists who have stuck together while other factions frayed. So Ige's announcement Tuesday that he would challenge Gov. Neil Abercrombie in the Demo­cratic primary next year is an unusually risky move for a lawmaker respected for his judgment. Star-Advertiser.

Voters in Hawaii now have a choice about whether they want to keep their governor or replace him. That is because Neil Abercrombie has an official challenger: David Ige. Surprising colleagues and political analysts, state Sen. Ige announced Tuesday that he is stepping forward to face the governor in his bid for re-election next year. Civil Beat.

Governor Neil Abercrombie has to contend with a new challenger. Fellow Democrat and State Senator David Ige announced he will run for governor in 2014. David Ige is well known at the state Capitol but he'll have to work on introducing himself to people around the state. Hawaii News Now.

Sen. David Ige announced Tuesday morning that he will throw his hat into the race for governor and is, so far, the only challenger to incumbent Neil Abercrombie. KITV4.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie will have to fight to keep his seat in the next year’s election. Sen. David Ige, a Democrat and 30-year veteran of the legislature, wants the job and says the people of Hawaii want change. KHON2.

Oahu Sen. David Ige this morning announced that he will be a candidate for governor in next year’s election. Ige, a Democrat, has represented the Pearl City-Aiea area in the state Legislature for the past 28 years, including 19 years in the Senate. Maui Now.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Tuesday told lawmakers he would veto three bills but he signed another bill that outlaws the excessive feeding of feral birds as a public health nuisance. Associated Press.

Measures to stimulate economic investment and high-paying jobs, discourage feeding feral birds and give judges discretion in setting prison terms in some felony drug cases were among the bills signed into law by the Abercrombie administration this year as the governor's deadline to veto legislation passed Tuesday with only three measures rejected. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui signed seven bills into law on Tuesday while Gov. NeilAbercrombie was visiting Taiwan. Among them was House Bill 858, which appropriates $6 million for the Hawaii Strategic Development Corp. to implement the HI Growth Initiative. Pacific Business News.

After reviewing more than 290 bills passed by the 2013 Hawaii State Legislature, Gov. Neil Abercrombie today notified legislators of his decision to limit his vetoes to three. Hawaii Reporter.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz raised $911,000 in the past quarter for his Democratic primary for Senate against U.S. Rep. Colleen Hana­busa, his campaign said Tuesday, bringing his total to more than $2 million. Star-Advertiser.

Every year at this time, public officials from the governor on down are required to report gifts valued at more than $200 received over the past year. These disclosures can be revealing, sometimes funny, sometimes boring, and occasionally suspect. Civil Beat.

Hawaii energy officials are raising questions about a recent analysis by Hawaiian Electric Co. that says Oahu can meet state renewable energy goals without using undersea cables to tap neighbor island resources. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority and the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii have created an online safety brochure for Hawaii’s visitors, residents and industry partners, the HTA said Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

When the University of Hawaii signed a contract with the military five years ago allowing the U.S. Navy to develop a controversial research lab within UH, a key stipulation was that the results would be publicly available. But the university and Navy have disclosed few details about the research conducted over the course of the contract. And UH officials appear poised to sign off on a new agreement that would seal the deal on another five years before the public gets a chance to chime in. Civil Beat.

State roundup for July 10. Associated Press.

Oahu

In court Tuesday the defense attorney for U.S. State Department special agent Christopher Deedy played parts of the McDonald's restaurant's security surveillance video showing the aftermath of the agent shooting a Kailua man. Star-Advertiser.

The murder trial of Christopher Deedy continued in Honolulu Circuit Court on Tuesday. Prosecutors showed a picture of Elderts, who was wearing a baseball cap, and six friends having dinner at a restaurant in Waikiki. KHON2.

Honolulu's bus drivers ratified a new five-year labor contract Tuesday with Oahu Transit Services Inc., the company that runs TheBus. Star-Advertiser.

The veteran Oahu Community Correctional Center sergeant who apparently suffered cardiac arrest while on duty was alone because the second guard assigned to work with him had been moved because of a staff shortage elsewhere in the prison, sources told Hawaii News Now.

City officials admit they "bit off more than they can chew" with their bulky item trash pick-up program, but they say they're not the only ones to blame.  Consistent, scheduled bulky item pick-up is unheard of in most cities, especially when it's offered for free as it is here in Honolulu. Hawaii News Now.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is asking the public to comment on a draft plan for managing nearly 500 acres of conservation land in Oahu's Waimanalo valley. Associated Press.

Hawaii

A bill aimed at curbing the invasive albizia tree in East Hawaii has residents of other areas worrying about an overreaching county government that could clear occupied lots of unpopular plants and bill the owners, placing a lien against their property if they don’t pay. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Council members agreed Tuesday that Puna residents need a safe place to swim at Isaac Hale Beach Park. Tribune-Herald.

A proposal to prevent nonprofits from tapping the County Council’s contingency funds narrowly received a favorable nod Tuesday from council members. Tribune-Herald.

A compromise that would bring a little more transparency to the process of creating a Planned Unit Development is being crafted by the County Council Planning Committee, which on Tuesday seemed closer to an alternative offered by the administration over a bill sponsored by a council member. West Hawaii Today.

Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui — in his role as acting governor in the absence of Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who is on business in Taiwan through Friday — signed a pair of bills on Tuesday that appropriate funds for programs affecting Hilo and Hawaii Island. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Hundreds of disabled Maui residents are finding their "lifeline to the outside world" in "serious jeopardy" due to a recent switch in paratransit service providers, according to a Kihei resident who uses the service. Maui News.

Mokulele Airlines has been awarded a four-year, $1.76 million federally subsidized contract to provide 12 round-trip flights a week between Wai­mea on Hawaii island and Kahului. Star-Advertiser.

The Maui Police Department has acquired a Lenco "Bearcat" armored vehicle that will provide the department's Special Response Team with armored protection and tactical capabilities during high-risk operations, officials said. Maui News.

Amid declining inventories, sales of single-family homes rose 10 percent to 485 units- with median prices jumping 20 percent to $542,000 - in the first six months of the year, compared with the same period last year, data released Saturday by the Realtors Association of Maui showed. Maui News.

The Maui Department of Water Supply continues an ongoing capital improvement project to replace waterlines in Wailuku. The latest phase of the project begins tonight, July 9, at 8 p.m. and continues until 6 a.m. on Wednesday, July 10, officials said. Maui Now.

Kauai

A senior engineer with the County Department of Water has filed an age discrimination suit against the Department of Personnel Services. Garden Island.

The Kauai Planning Commission unanimously approved Tuesday a bill to repeal the last surviving Iniki ordinance. The repeal would place a barrier that could make it difficult to rebuild the iconic Coco Palms Resort. Garden Island.