Friday, June 20, 2014

Dirty politics in 2012 Honolulu mayoral race, Kauai GMO pesticide law postponed, 'American Jungle' film crew cleared by DLNR, aquarium collectors targeted, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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A Hawaii organization is working with a national one to provide more education about the impact of aquarium fish collection on the state’s reefs. West Hawaii Today.

By the Numbers: A Statistical Snapshot of the 2014 Elections. 303 candidates are seeking 102 seats up for grabs this fall in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Clayton Hee Buys First TV Ads This Season. His opponent in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, incumbent Shan Tsutsui, is spending a lot more, however. Civil Beat.

Democratic Honolulu City Councilmember Stanley Chang said Thursday if he's elected to represent Hawaii's First Congressional District, he would live up to his "Agenda for Change" mantra by keeping Hawaii at the forefront of a progressive movement. Hawaii News Now.

Veteran lawmaker Romy Cachola is agreeing to negotiate a settlement with the state Campaign Spending Commission involving charges that he misused political contributions for personal use. Star-Advertiser.

If congressional candidate Kathryn Xian is elected to the U.S. House, she has vowed to donate half her salary to charity. The Democrat, running in Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District, said she wants to put her money where her mouth is as a politician and as a human being who cares about her community. Associated Press.

The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission decided Thursday to give attorneys more time to reach a settlement before determining whether state Rep. Romy Cachola improperly used his campaign funds. Civil Beat.

Dozens of Hawaii Department of Education employees are on paid leave pending investigations that can drag on for several years. Associated Press.

Hawaii's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 4.4 percent in May to match the previous month's rate and remain at its lowest level in nearly six years. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

With former Gov. Ben Cayetano ahead in the polls for mayor and the rail project he vowed to block in trouble with voters, the Pacific Resource Partnership turned to high-powered political consultants in 2012 who devised a calculated strategy to portray Cayetano as corrupt. A trove of private emails, poll memos, advertising scripts and opposition research, obtained by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser from James Bickerton, an attorney for Cayetano, offers a peek inside PRP's $3.6 million campaign to prevent Cayetano from being elected mayor. Star-Advertiser.

An Inside Look at the Hawaii Super PAC That Helped Defeat Cayetano. Emails detail the political strategies employed in 2012 by the PRP, an organization determined to undermine the mayoral candidacy of the former governor. Civil Beat.

More than 200 people from firms around the world interested in developing energy storage projects on Oahu to help Hawaiian Electric Co. add more renewables to its grid showed up either in person or via teleconference to take part in the utility’s pre-bid conference on Thursday morning in Honolulu. Pacific Business News.

Acquiring properties in Honolulu to build Oahu's rail transit system could involve "judicious" use of eminent domain, officials say, as those overseeing the project scramble to secure ownership of all the properties they'll need to keep construction on schedule. Star-Advertiser.

Here in Honolulu, or anywhere for that matter, after you call 911, you expect to get help quickly. That’s dependent upon a reliable radio system for first responders. The city’s system, known as the Enhanced Digital Access Communication System, is almost 20 years old, and city officials say it is time to develop a new one. KHON2.

A group of military moms have filed a lawsuit saying their families were exposed to dangerous chemicals and they weren't properly notified of the risk. Hawaii News Now.

A man known as the Manoa Rapist is suing state Department of Public Safety Director Ted Sakai and Corrections Division head Max Otani for refusing to let the inmate enter the department's work furlough program. Star-Advertiser.

A recent NerdWallet study that found Honolulu among the nation's worst cities for drivers, taking into account the number of hours of traffic delay per commuter, the population density, gas prices, insurance prices and precipitation rates. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii

The Department of Land and Natural Resources was unable to prove filmmakers were on state land during the production of a reality television show that aired last fall, a spokeswoman said Thursday. Still, the creator of “American Jungle” said, the way the department handled its concerns has disrupted discussions about another season of the Hawaii Island program. West Hawaii Today.

Two women inmates in Hilo’s jail say the bathrooms there are inadequate, unsanitary and potentially dangerous. Tribune-Herald.

A team of consultants hired by Kona Community Hospital say the organization is making strides toward more efficient operations and money savings. Three months into a nine-month process, consultants told the West Hawaii Region Board of Directors on Wednesday that they’ve identified at least $4.5 million in savings and revenue opportunities. West Hawaii Today.

A civil lawsuit alleging a company and three individuals sold undeveloped land in Puna to Japanese nationals under fraudulent pretenses and at inflated prices will go forward, at least for now. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The Maui Police Department confirmed Wednesday that it had concluded an investigation on the county Department of Parks and Recreation and its former director Glenn Correa. Maui News.

Kauai

Implementation of Ordinance 960, a new county law regulating the use of pesticides and genetically modified organisms on Kauai, has been delayed to Oct. 1 via a court order issued last week. The ordinance (formerly Bill 2491) was passed in November and slated to take effect Aug. 16. However, a lawsuit challenging the legality of the law was filed in February by four companies — Syngenta, DuPont Pioneer, BASF and Dow AgroSciences — that would be directly impacted by the measure. Garden Island.

A recent analysis of government pesticide databases and data from the state Department of Agriculture’s Kauai Good Neighbor Program shows that the agrochemical industry is applying pesticides at higher rates on Kauai than most U.S. farms. Garden Island.

The completion of the Lydgate Beach Park refurbishment project was celebrated with a blessing on Thursday. Garden Island.