Thursday, July 24, 2014

Abercrombie and Ige debate in Waimea, Moveon.org opens Honolulu office for Schatz, crowded field in Congressional District 1 debate, Chinese spy ship stirs ire, officials' disclosures delayed, counties' home rule rights in GMO case, Kulani prison wins lawsuit, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii 24/7 screen shot 2014
Abercrombie and Ige at Waimea forum, Hawaii 24/7 screen shot
Hawaii 24/7 streamed the forum between Governor Neil Abercrombie and Senator David Ige live Wednesday night (July 23) from Waimea School cafeteria.

Ige and Abercrombie Agree on Some Things in Waimea Forum. Leading Democrats for Hawaii governor see eye to eye on invasive species, Banyan Drive and unfunded liabilities. Civil Beat.

The gubernatorial debate was brought to the Big Island on Wednesday as Gov. Neil Abercrombie squared off against challenger state Sen. David Ige in Waimea. With few major policy differences, both sought to make the case for their leadership abilities and knowledge of neighbor island needs. Tribune-Herald.

State Sen. David Ige's approach to public service is rooted in three simple principles: Be open and honest in communication; be respectful and listen to all views; and do the right thing in the right way. Star-Advertiser.

MoveOn.org, a national progressive advocacy group, has opened an office in Honolulu to help coordinate a get-out-the-vote drive on behalf of U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz in the Democratic primary for Senate. Star-Advertiser.

Tuna, Conservation and the Race for the U.S. Senate. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa discuss the Obama administration's proposal to create the largest marine sanctuary in the world in Hawaii's backyard. Civil Beat.

Voters are beginning to cast their votes in Hawaii's primary election. Associated Press.

Honolulu City Councilman Ikaika Anderson stood out Wednesday as the only Democratic 1st Congressional District candidate to still fully support the U.S. Department of Interior's continuing to look at re-establishing a government-to-government relationship with Native Hawaiians. Star-Advertiser.

The most interesting moment in Wednesday night’s hourlong forum featuring the seven Democratic candidates trying to represent Hawaii in Congress for the next two years came when the moderator, KITV anchor Yunji De Nies, asked them who they’d vote for if they couldn’t cast a ballot for themselves. Civil Beat.

The state House has sought to intervene in the legal dispute over Rep. Calvin Say's residency, arguing that the House, and not the courts, has exclusive jurisdiction over the qualifications of its members. Star-Advertiser.

Twenty-Eight incumbent State House Democrats are running unopposed in the Primary Election and will automatically advance to the General Election, November 4th.  But one of them, former House Speaker Calvin Say, is being challenged in Court to prove his residency in his House District. Hawaii Public Radio.

The majority of the approximately 150 members serving on various state boards and commissions affected by the state's new financial disclosure law will not have their information made public until next year. Star-Advertiser.

The public won’t see the financial disclosure statements filed by most of the current members of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents, Public Utilities Commission, Hawaii Community Development Authority or 12 other powerful state boards until next summer at the earliest. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Health Connector, the state's Obamacare program, has been unable to produce a fully functional website since it launched in October. That's especially troubling, because CGI Group got $53 million for its creation and another $20 million for operation and maintenance. Hawaii Reporter.

The "soft power" side of China's participation in Rim of the Pacific war games was on display Wednesday on its hospital ship about 46 miles north of Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: Asia Matters: RIMPAC and Chinese Spies. Are we surprised that a Chinese ship is dogging U.S. forces during a major military exercise? Civil Beat.

The legislative session may be over, but good government groups are still sifting through bills that were introduced this year. Common Cause and the League of Women Voters of Hawai‘i are calling attention to the practice called “gut-and-replace” or “Frankenstein” bills. That’s where the contents are so drastically changed, they no longer resemble their original form. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii on the Hill, which showcased 48 local organizations' products, services and missions to congressional members and staff in Washington, D.C., concluded Wednesday night with a "Taste of Hawaii" exhibition, an invitation-only "open house" event at the Russell Senate Office Building. Pacific Business News.

State takes disciplinary actions against professional and vocational license holders. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations on Tuesday announced the award of six grants designed to strengthen local small businesses through training programs. West Hawaii Today.

Oahu

Oahu property owners unhappy over significantly higher tax bills based on a tax rate 71 percent above last year are demanding relief from the Honolulu City Council. Star-Advertiser.

Queen’s Medical Center West, which just opened in May with more than $100 million in renovations, is turning away dialysis patients on a daily basis, causing long waits in the emergency room and transfers across town, partly because an executive there said dialysis facilities are not “cost effective” there yet. Hawaii News Now.

Former military barracks at the old Barbers Point Naval Air Station might become affordable rental apartments as soon as April under a more than $10 million renovation plan detailed Tuesday at a public hearing. Star-Advertiser.

It’s day three and there’s already some confusion and fear over the state’s new food safety rating program. Some customers don’t know what the program is and which restaurants are safe. KHON2.

Framing the GMO debate through dance. Hawaiʻi-based dance theatre troupe Wai Company uses its medium to address GMOs with an informed and balanced portrayal. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaii

A judge cleared the way Wednesday for the state’s reopening of Kulani Correctional Facility. Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara granted the Department of Public Safety’s request for a summary judgment against Ohana Ho‘opakele, a Hawaiian group who sued to block the reopening of the minimum security prison 20 miles southwest of Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

County Council candidate Ron Gonzales says he is qualified to run in District 9, despite a persistent buzz on the coconut wireless that he doesn’t live in his district. West Hawaii Today.

Candidates for the House District 5 and 6 seats discussed how they would encourage agricultural efforts that range from cattle ranches to coffee farms and diverse market-garden operations. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Alexander & Baldwin's 600-unit housing project in north Kihei, targeted to working families, received initial approval for community plan amendments and zoning changes from the Maui County Council on Tuesday. Maui News.

The release of $500,000 by Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Tuesday and the anticipated release of another $1.75 million approved by the state Legislature will facilitate the new Lanai Community Health Center facility's groundbreaking, hopefully in September, with possible completion by the middle of 2015, said the executive director of the center. Maui News.

If you’re going to visit or do some camping at the Kipahulu District of Haleakala National Park, you better take a lot to drink because we just heard that there’s no longer any drinking water there. Maui Time.

Kauai

The question of whether or not counties have the authority to regulate pesticide use and genetically engineered crops was at the center of a federal court hearing on Wednesday challenging Kauai County’s new ordinance imposing buffer zones and disclosure requirements on biotechnology firms. Civil Beat.

The Kauai County Council on Wednesday rejected a proposed charter amendment to regulate the use of pesticides and growth of genetically engineered crops by large agri-businesses. Associated Press.