Monday, May 19, 2014

Hawaii GOP holds convention, police chiefs leaving Maui and Kauai, Maui property taxes drop, Waikiki homeless hurting real estate market, OHA squabble continues, sea-level rise predicted, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii Republican Party
GOP convention, courtesy Hawaii Republican Party
Hawaii Republicans want to register 25,000 new Republican voters before the November election, hoping to expand the electorate and slowly weaken the Democratic Party's hold on state politics. Star-Advertiser.

Hundreds of Hawaii Republicans from around the state gathered to get "Back to Basics" in Kaneohe. That was the theme for the annual state convention for the GOP Saturday at the Koolau Ballrooms. Hawaii News Now.

As Pat Saiki took the stage to address delegates at the Hawaii Republican Party's state convention Saturday, the public-address system blasted "Takin' Care of Business" by Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Saiki, the party's new chairwoman, told delegates she would prefer the theme from "Rocky." Civil Beat.

At its state convention Saturday in Kaneohe, members of the Hawaii Republican Party marveled at what they see as major divisions and disarray in the Democratic Party of Hawaii. The hope is that contested primary battles among Democrats could help the GOP win a few elections. Civil Beat.

At its state convention today in Kaneohe, the Hawaii Republican Party approved a policy resolution that includes language urging the state Department of Education to stop teaching the sex-ed curriculum Pono Choices. Civil Beat.

The dustup between Office of Hawaiian Affairs CEO Kamana'opono Crabbe and his bosses, the OHA board of trustees, has caused a mighty ruckus in the Hawaiian community since May 9. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: The chaos created in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs by CEO Kamana'opono Crabbe has squashed what little credibility existed for the Native Hawaiian Roll, Kana'iolowalu. It's time to halt this failed project before we dump potentially hundreds of millions in public resources into a settlement with Hawaiians that settles nothing. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers on the money committees ponied up $3 million this session to create a public preschool program next school year for a few hundred 4-year-olds. But the money committee chairs decided last-minute to prohibit the state from using any of the $3 million allocation for that final option, an increasingly popular preschool alternative known in education circles as family-child interaction learning. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Will Lawmakers Ever Do Anything About Lobbyists? Civil Beat.

A new report released last week says Hawaii should prepare for severe impacts resulting from global climate change, including rising temperatures sea levels, coastal erosion and diseased coral reefs. Garden Island.

Officials are investigating a disease affecting a native species of sea urchin that’s being used to control invasive seaweed at Kaneohe Bay. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said Friday the disease is affecting collector urchin called hawae in Hawaiian. Associated Press.

Children in Hawaii with stubborn cancers that resist conventional treatment will soon have a chance to try a groundbreaking approach that matches medicines to the molecular makeup and mutations of their individual tumors. Star-Advertiser.

Tyler Crowley, one of the top startup mentors in the world, is looking to ramp up Hawaii’s startup scene with a grassroots effort being spearheaded by several stakeholders in the state. Pacific Business News.

The famous voyaging canoe Hokule'a and her sister vessel Hikianalia left Oahu Saturday evening around sunset for "Malama Honua", a three-year voyage around the world to spread a message of global sustainability and the importance of caring for our oceans. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Oahu Democrats on Sunday declared a University of Hawaii-West Oahu instructor eligible to challenge state Rep. Sharon Har, whose opposition to marriage equality has upset many of the party's gay-rights and progressive activists. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Prosecutor Agrees More Transparency Better In Police Shootings. The U.S. Army Pfc. Gregory Gordon police shooting case still raises questions about the lack of transparency regarding what happens after officer-involved shootings in Hawaii, as well as other police incidents that result in a suspect’s death. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Ethics Commission has found probable cause of ethics violations by a city employee involving accepting gifts and a misuse of sick leave. Hawaii Independent.

A 33-year-old madam who operated her elite prostitution business from Portlock, one of Hawaii’s most prestigious neighborhoods, for about a decade, said her list of clientele included a former member of Hawaii’s congressional delegation, judges, a deputy prosecutor and celebrities. Hawaii Reporter.

The current wave of Waikiki hotel investment, which peaked at $1.1 billion in transactions last year, will peter out if local government cannot solve the challenges caused by the district's swelling homeless population, say Hawaii real estate and tourism industry officials. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Fire Department rescue personnel spent a busy weekend assisting several people stricken with heat-related illnesses on Oahu trails. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

David Ige says he’s been listening to Hawaii residents as he ramps up his campaign for the Democratic party nomination to run for governor. People in West Hawaii have a lot to say about harbors, hunting and other Department of Land and Natural Resources issues, Ige said Friday, a week after his first visit to Hawaii Island as a candidate. West Hawaii Today.

When Hilo resident Stanley Martin was 13 years old, he was diagnosed with leprosy, taken away from his mother, and transferred to Molokai where he would be cut off from the outside world until he turned 25. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The Maui County Council on Friday approved a 3 percent across-the-board property tax rate reduction that still is expected to bring in about 6.4 percent more in property tax revenues this fiscal year due to rising valuations. Maui News.

Maui Police Chief Gary Yabuta is retiring in the next two months to take a new position with a federal anti-drug trafficking task force. The police department said Friday Yabuta will become the Director of High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas for Hawaii. Associated Press.

Dirt bikes etch network of trails into W. Maui slope. Sport that has gained popularity in recent years damaging isle resources. Maui News.

Governor Neil Abercrombie announced the release of $1.5 million for the Upcountry Maui Watershed project, and $200,000 for improvements to the Molokaʻi Irrigation System. Maui Now.

Kauai

Police chief to run for Kauai County Council. Darryl Perry said he is reaching the end of his police career. Garden Island.

Kalaheo Clinic closing. Budget woes leave HHSC looking to fill $39 million shortfall. Garden Island.