Monday, February 17, 2014

Hawaii Polls: Abercrombie struggling, Aiona gaining, Hanabusa leading, Kim on top, Hanohano investigated, plus more government and political news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Neil Abercrombie campaigning file photo (c) 2014 All Hawaii News
Voters are deeply ambivalent about Gov. Neil Abercrombie, a new Hawaii Poll shows, an opening that breathes unexpected life into his political challengers. Despite the state's economic turnaround and record budget surplus, Abercrombie's job approval rating stands at 43 percent, and just 45 percent of voters interviewed had a favorable opinion of him. Abercrombie holds a single-digit lead over state Sen. David Ige in the Democratic primary for governor, a surprise given that Ige has raised little money and many voters have never heard of or do not know enough about the state senator. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii governor candidate Democrat
Ige
Reflecting lingering bad feelings about a protracted standoff in labor negotiations, now settled, the Hawaii State Teachers Association today announced its support for state Sen. David Ige in the Democratic primary for governor. That’s a blow to Gov. Neil Abercrombie, the incumbent seeking re-election. The governor angered the 13,500-member union by imposing cuts to salaries and health benefits after the administration could not reach agreement with the union. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association has announced that it is endorsing state Sen. David Ige in the race for governor. Ige, a Democrat, is challenging Gov. Neil Abercrombie in the primary election. Hawaii News Now previously reported that former governors Ben Cayetano and George Ariyoshi are also throwing their support behind the Pearl City-Aiea senator. Hawaii News Now.

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Aiona
Hundreds of registered voters were asked if the election were held for Governor today, who would you vote for in the Democratic primary? 47% said incumbent Neil Abercrombie while 38% chose State Senator David Ige. 14% were undecided with a 4% margin of error. 45% polled have an unfavorable opinion of Neil Abercrombie. 45% have a favorable view. In this race Duke Aiona has the highest approval rating at 58%. David Ige polled 30% favorable, but 38% have never heard of him. Hawaii News Now.

Hanabusa

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa has a gap over U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, a new Hawaii Poll has found, and a quarter of voters interviewed did not know enough about Schatz to form an opinion about the senator. Hanabusa was at 48 percent and Schatz was at 40 percent in the poll of Democratic primary voters. Eleven percent were undecided. Star-Advertiser.

Democrat Hawaii
Schatz
In advance of a Honolulu Star-Advertiser poll today that shows Rep. Colleen Hababusa leading Sen. Brian Schatz 48-40 percent in the Democratic primary, Schatz told supporters yesterday that his campaign’s internal poll has him up 41-37 percent. Civil Beat.

Hawaii congressional candidate
Kim
State Senate President Donna Mercado Kim would win the Democratic primary for Hawaii's 1st Congressional District House of Representatives seat handily if the election were held this month, according to the latest results of the Hawaii Poll. Kim, who's spent more years in elective office than five other candidates in the poll, scored 10 percentage points better than the second top finisher, state Rep. Mark Takai. Star-Advertiser.



Sonny Bhagowalia
Bhagowalia
In hopes of advancing the state's overhaul of its aging information technology infrastructure, the current director of the Office of Information Management Technology will serve as the governor's chief adviser for technology and cybersecurity effective Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.


Hanohano
State House leaders plan to appoint a special committee to investigate Rep. Faye Hanohano after a college student complained she treated him rudely while testifying before a committee she chairs. Associated Press.


Director Hawaii Department of Health
Rosen
Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Friday named Dr. Linda Rosen director of the state Department of Health. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii Legislature is considering a number of bills to provide tax relief for residents on the verge of becoming homeless.  One sweeping measure is proposing a number of tax breaks for those in need. Hawaii Public Radio.

A bill requiring radiation warnings on cellphones passed two committees in the state Senate. Introduced by Sen. Josh Green, D-Kona, Ka‘u, SB 2571 would require cellphones sold in Hawaii to contain a label covering nearly a third of the back of the device. Tribune-Herald.

Weeks of slow, soaking rains are helping the grass grow again on the western slopes of Maui and Hawaii islands, giving cattle ranchers hope they may at last escape a punishing drought brought on by years of below-normal rainfall. But ranchers warn the soil will dry out if rain doesn’t continue to fall for the rest of Hawaii’s wet season, which lasts through April. Associated Press.

Committee hearings are slowing at the Hawaii state Legislature, so in the coming four-day week, the usual monsoon of public debate will taper to a fine mist. Associated Press.

Oahu

Caldwell
Seventy-two percent of Oahu voters feel Mayor Kirk Caldwell did a good job in his first year in office, according to a recent Hawaii Poll. While that may seem high for a politician, that's been the case for the past three mayors, said Rebecca Ward, president of Ward Research Inc., which did the poll for the Hono­lulu Star-Advertiser and Hawaii News Now.

Dozens gathered in the drizzling rain at Malaekahana State Park to stage a peaceful protest against what is commonly called Bill 47 (2013) in the Honolulu City Council. It would involve changes in zoning and planning for the North Shore community. KHON2.

Honolulu police are testing a high-speed camera that captures thousands of license plates — and searches a database for information about vehicles and who might be behind the wheel. Star-Advertiser.

Media Council Hawaii and attorneys with the Institute for Public Representation have filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission to halt the transfer of the broadcast license of KFVE from HITV to American Spirit Media.  MCH previously challenged, unsuccessfully, agreements between Raycom Media and HITV that gave Raycom ownership and control of KHNL, KGMB and KFVE in the Honolulu market. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

Landers
The Pahoa woman believed to be the Big Island’s oldest resident has died. Saramae Williams Landers, who died Monday at home, witnessed breathtaking technological advances and historic social changes in her 107 years. Tribune-Herald.

With Hawaii County expecting a $20 million payment next month, the County Council’s Finance Committee will consider a bill Tuesday to accept the money, which will be used to build the second half of the Mamalahoa bypass. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County experienced positive economic growth last year. The unemployment rate decreased 2.2 percent during the third quarter of 2013, from 8.4 percent to 6.2 percent, according to a Hawaii Department of Business and Economic Development report. Tribune-Herald.

A mainland-based medical nonprofit, working with Hawaii-based senior living developers, wants to build a combination assisted living and skilled nursing facility in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

A subsidiary of Colorado-based land investment, development and conservation firm Bio-Logical Capital has purchased about 3,600 acres of Hana Ranch’s land in East Maui for $4.75 million, Pacific Business News confirmed.

The county Department of Parks and Recreation will host a series of community meetings to discuss proposed permitting and scheduling improvements for the use of county facilities, an announcement said Friday. Maui News.

Kauai

About a dozen rain-soaked people took to the street late Friday afternoon in downtown Kapaa to protest proposed legislation that would discourage home births using a midwife. Garden Island.

A fourth biotech seed company has joined a lawsuit aimed at blocking the County of Kauai’s implementation of Ordinance 960 related to pesticides and genetically modified crops. BASF is now on board with the complaint, filed Jan. 10 in U.S. District Court in Honolulu by Syngenta, DuPont Pioneer and Agrigenetics, a company affiliated with Dow AgroSciences. Civil Beat.

The Department of Public Works will hold a public information meeting to discuss the draft environmental assessment for the Waipouli connection of Ke Ala Hele Makalae, the multi-use path. The meeting will be begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Kapaa Middle School cafeteria. Garden Island.

Molokai

Two years after Molokai's Kanemitsu Bakery was originally fined $90,000 and subsequently ordered to suspend operations due to "numerous health code violations," the iconic bakery has reached a settlement with the state Department of Health to pay $20,000 in fines. Maui News.