Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Schatz has 5% lead over Hanabusa in poll, Democrats name surprise leader, Morita fined for illegal B&B, Arakawa seeks reelection as Maui mayor, UH president interviews to be public, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hokulea in Hilo © 2014 All Hawaii News

The winds off Hawaii Island still haven't shifted in their favor to sail, so Hoku­le‘a and Hiki­ana­lia will wait at least one more day before launching into the open sea. The two voyaging canoes will leave Hilo for Tahiti no earlier than midweek as their crews continue to wait for the winds they need to launch the first international leg of the Polynesian Voyaging Society's "Malama Honua" (Care for Our Earth) worldwide journey. Star-Advertiser.

The upcoming worldwide voyage of Hōkūleʻa and Hikianala was celebrated on Saturday in Hilo. Big Island Video News.

The Voyaging Canoe Hokule'a is preparing to leave Hilo for Tahiti, along with its sister ship Hikianalia.   The two vessels will depart Hilo on Tuesday, wind and weather permitting, for a 26-country, multi-year journey around the world. Hawaii Public Radio.

With less than two months to go before the first votes will be cast, Brian Schatz leads Colleen Hanabusa by 5 percentage points in the Democratic primary for Senate, a new Civil Beat Poll shows. Schatz, the incumbent, has the support of 44 percent of Hawaii voters who say they will pull the Democratic ballot in the Aug. 9 primary. Hanabusa, a U.S. representative, polled 39 percent, with 16 percent saying they were undecided.

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, an influential nonprofit advocacy group for seniors, will endorse U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz on Tuesday in the Demo­cratic primary for U.S. Senate. Star-Advertiser.

Major candidates for the soon-to-be vacant Hawaii 1st Congressional District seat are calling for reforms at the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs but are stopping short of calling for the resignation of Hawaii-born Secretary Eric Shinseki. Star-Advertiser.

At the Democratic Party of Hawaii’s convention Sunday, delegates rejected the scion of a prominent Oahu family in favor of a Maui delegate to lead the party for the next two years. Stephanie Ohigashi, a Maui County Democratic Party vice chairwoman active in politics for three decades, defeated labor attorney Tony Gill in a lopsided vote. Ohigashi succeeds Dante Carpenter, who did not pursue a third term. Civil Beat.

A bill that raises Hawaiʻi’s minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour in 2018, was signed into law Friday by Governor Neil Abercrombie. Senate Bill 2609, now Act 82, increases the state’s minimum wage by establishing four incremental increases, starting with a 50 cent increase to $7.75 per hour starting on Jan. 1, 2015. Maui Now.

Hermina Morita, chair of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, and her husband have been fined for illegally building and operating their Hanalei bed and breakfast and were ordered to tear down the existing structures. Garden Island.

Residential electrical rates fell on Oahu in May from the previous month but rose on all other islands, the state's two power companies reported. Star-Advertiser.

Interviews of two men vying to become the next University of Hawaii president will be open to the public. The university Board of Regents will be interviewing the two finalists on Tuesday during a special meeting. Associated Press.

A battle could be brewing when it comes to obtaining hemp seeds here in Hawaii. KITV4.

Oahu

Tens of thousands of people lined the shores at Ala Moana Beach Park this Memorial Day for the 2014 Lantern Floating Hawaii ceremony. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Pacific University’s multi-million-dollar plan to redevelop the Aloha Tower Marketplace into student and faculty residences, classrooms, a fitness center, retail and other uses, has received its final environmental approval. Pacific Business News.

About 100 guests and workers at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel fell sick from an infectious virus — called norovirus — about two weeks ago, and hotel officials said the number appears to have decreased significantly. Star-Advertiser.

Software experts are unveiling preliminary results of the first comprehensive digital survey of the USS Arizona Memorial in hopes 3-D computer models of the historic ship will one day help the National Park Service tell the story of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Ten thousand men of Japanese descent volunteered just in Hawaii to serve in the military during World War II, Evan Matsuyama said. His grandfather, Noburu “Don” Seki was the keynote speaker at the Memorial Day ceremony at the West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Mayor Alan Arakawa
filed nomination papers Friday as a candidate for a third term as mayor of Maui County. Maui News.

The 310-room Makena Beach & Golf Resort may be redeveloped into 46 apartment units, part of a new diversified resort community at Makena that will also include a new 76-room hotel, 12 multifamily condominium units, five spa hale and nine beach cottages. Maui News.

Kauai
Felicia Cowden makes Kauai County Council bid. Garden Island.

The BLNR voted Friday to approve public hearings regarding the adoption of a new rule that would create a subsistence fishing area on Kaua‘i. Hawaii Independent.