Monday, October 14, 2013

Tourists still flocking to Hawaii, Schatz out-raises Hanabusa in Senate race, Hawaii youth don't vote, Civil Beat takes on government records costs, surf threatens Sunset Beach homes, Kauai councilwoman opts for manager job, Maui mulls windmills at landfill, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Merrie Monarch parade
Hula girls file photo (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Hawaii set a record for the number of tourists in 2012 and will most likely set another one this year. Star-Advertiser.

Sen. Brian Schatz raised nearly $678,000 during the July-September fundraising cycle, according to his re-election campaign. He now has more than $2 million in cash on hand. His Democratic primary challenger, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, raised about $441,000 for the third quarter, according to her Senate campaign. Hanabusa has raised more than $1.1 million to date and has about $772,000 in cash on hand. Civil Beat.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz has expanded his fundraising edge over U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in their Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, as Hanabusa struggled through a subpar quarter. Schatz raised more than $677,900 from July through September, according to a draft of his campaign finance report, and has brought in $2.7 million overall. Hanabusa raised more than $440,800 for the quarter and has brought in $1.1 million, her campaign announced, including money transferred from her House account. Star-Advertiser.

Fewer than one third of people in the islands between the ages of 18 and 29 bothered to vote in the presidential election that pitted Hawaii native Barack Obama against Republican John McCain. It was by far the worst youth turnout in the country. Such numbers got teachers wondering whether more young people would have capitalized on their democratic duty if they had gotten a more substantive dose of Civics 101 before becoming adults. Civil Beat.

Attorneys representing churches being sued over renting Hawaii public school buildings for services said last week that the churches aren't doing anything wrong and the state knows how the facilities are being used. Star-Advertiser.

The state of Hawaii has enacted a temporary hiring freeze for vacant positions within the executive branch, effective immediately, according to a memorandum signed by Acting Gov. Shan Tsutsui on Friday afternoon. Pacific Business News.

Neil Abercrombie’s job as Hawaii governor takes him around the world. Tourism meetings in Tokyo. A trade show in Los Angeles. A forum in Beijing. Those kinds of trips sound pricey. But independently reviewing the travel expenses to see if they are worth taxpayers’ money is definitely cost-prohibitive. Civil Beat.

The arguably unreasonable cost to check up on where our governor has been traveling and what he’s been doing while he’s away was the final straw for us in the often frustrating pursuit of public information. Civil Beat.

State roundup for October 13. Associated Press.

Oahu
The transportation company responsible for a molasses spill that killed more than 26,000 fish and other marine life in Hawaii said Friday that it had been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury for documents relating to the spill. Associated Press.

Bureaucratic snags continue to stall attempts to reach a long-term solution to the city's Haiku Stairs disagreement. On one side are hiking groups and environmental interests who want to see the long-stalled hiking path reopened so hikers can once again see the panoramic views at the top of the 2,800-foot path. On the other are Haiku residents who in recent years have seen their properties trashed and trespassed on by hikers visiting the stairs illegally at night to avoid detection by a security guard. Star-Advertiser.

With a multimillion-dollar land sale to the Roman Catholic Church gone sour, the University of Hawaii-West Oahu says it's moving away from the school's original concept of selling or leasing lands surrounding its Kapolei campus to pay for operations. It instead will seek more public funds from the state Legislature next year. Star-Advertiser.

A professional surfer's Sunset Beach home is now threatened by the very waves he learned to surf on. And the man's father says that ten other homes in the neighborhood remain threatened by the surf and that the state is doing nothing to protect them. Hawaii News Now.

New York, Chicago and about 30 other cities across the United States already offer public bike-share programs, through which bicycles can be rented to get around and dropped off at various stations. Now, grass-roots advocates have teamed with city and state leaders, hoping to bring bike-sharing to Hono­lulu's urban core by the summer of 2015. It would not be Oahu's first bike-share program. A pilot program in Kai­lua that started in 2011 already pays for itself through user fees, state Department of Health officials say. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii


This month, for the first time, Hawaii will join an international effort to prepare citizens for the impact of a large earthquake. Known as The Great Hawaii Shakeout, the informal, statewide event is an opportunity for schools, businesses and individuals to practice what to do in the event of an earthquake. Tribune-Herald.

A 6-month-old male seal, called Kamilo and known by the bleach mark on his back, H05, was relocated after nipping two triathletes who were swimming in Kamakahonu Bay on Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

With a bill to restrict genetically modified crops passed out of committee, the Hawaii County Council will have only a few more chances to decide whether it wants to adopt the legislation, and, perhaps just as important, how it would be implemented. Tribune-Herald.

Business for contractors working on big jobs is up on Hawaii Island, a labor union organizer said. West Hawaii Today.

Shark victim makes triumphant return to water. Tribune-Herald.

Maui
Whale season in Hawaii officially started with a splash with sightings of two whales off Maui less than one week into October, and two more Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Maui County is planning to build three wind turbines at the Central Maui Landfill to offset thousands of dollars in energy bills at the site and is looking for prospective bidders. Maui News.

Officials with Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. are apologizing for what residents are saying is an excessive amount of ash from sugar cane fields burning. Associated Press.

Furloughed workers at Haleakala National Park have been "glued to the news" and eager to get back to work as the government shutdown ended its second week, park workers said. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauai County Council Vice Chair Nadine Nakamura, who topped the council elections last year, announced Friday she is leaving her position to replace county Managing Director Gary Heu. Garden Island.

Kauai heading down a slippery slope. Garden Island.

Several events supporting traditional marriage are scheduled on Kauai. Garden Island.

Molokai

Oceanic Time Warner Cable’s franchises to provide cable service in Maui County expire at the end of 2013. The current franchises were issued by the State of Hawaii more than 15 years ago, and the cable company has filed an application with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) to continue providing cable service in Maui County for the next 20 years. Molokai Dispatch.