Thursday, July 31, 2014

Feds seek clues in monk seal death, rail work to come in over budget, man charged in scuba attack, state seeks to foreclose Pflueger property, big tax hikes on Oahu, Kauai, Abercrombie, Ige, reveal plans for state, UH Manoa chancellor Apple gets walking papers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands



NOAA courtesy photo
Kauai monk seal mom with pup prior to dog attack, courtesy NOAA
Federal and state officials have initiated an investigation and are asking for the public’s help on information on a deadly attack on an endangered monk seal on Kauai. David Schofield, NOAA’s Marine Mammal Health and Response coordinator, said this is believed to be the first monk seal killed by a dog in the main Hawaiian Islands. Star-Advertiser.

RK28, a local Hawaiian monk seal, spent all of Tuesday desperately scouring the beach and nearshore waters for her two-week-old pup. Garden Island.

The latest roundup of gubernatorial elections throughout the country by respected political expert Larry Sabato has put Hawaii’s governor’s race in the “toss up” category. Civil Beat.

State Sen. David Ige said his first priority if he is elected governor would be to submit a balanced budget and collect $450 million in unpaid taxes. Gov. Neil Abercrombie wants to prioritize affordable housing and smart growth. Associated Press.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and state Sen. David Ige on Wednesday discussed in more detail what they would do if elected governor, while also throwing a few gibes at each other in what is becoming a tight Democratic primary. Star-Advertiser.

The day after their last two candidate debates, Neil Abercrombie and David Ige released their respective plans for the state, should one of them be favored by voters to be governor for the next four years. Civil Beat.

Rivals in the Democrat primary for governor, Neil Abercrombie and David Ige revealed dueling plans for the State just hours apart. Abercrombie calls his "Charting Tomorrow: A plan for a brighter future in Hawaii." Ige's is titled "David Ige's Action Plan: Engineering Hawaii's Future" or, as he put it, " what an Ige administration would look like if elected Governor." Hawaii News Now.

As longtime Democrats, Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Sen. David Ige largely share the same vision when it comes to things like public worker pay raises, transportation and agriculture. KITV4.

The Democratic candidates for governor revealed their action plans Wednesday, giving Hawaii voters more insight into their strategies. Both candidates are confident and committed to their plans and believe it’s more than just a campaign document. KHON2.

A new day in environmental protection? Analyzing the success of the governor's A New Day in Hawaii plan promise to protect Hawaii’s environment and resources. Hawaii Independent.

They are the children of Baby Boomers and the next generation of political leaders in Hawai’i.   They have the potential of being a powerful political force in the state if they get involved, run for office and vote. Hawaii Public Radio.

George Takei, the actor in the original Star Trek movies who played the beloved character, Hikaru Sulu, and has made his mark on the Hollywood scene with the saying "Oh my!" has joined a growing list of celebrities, politicians and activists endorsing Hawaii's Democratic candidates in advance of Hawaii's Aug. 9 Primary Election. Hawaii Reporter.

For the first time, the public is privy to the annual financial disclosure reports filed by members of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau has amassed the largest number of social media followers among U.S. state tourism boards, according to a report by Skift, a travel intelligence company. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

Oahu homeowners hit with huge jumps in their property-tax bills continue to lash out at the way the city calculated the amounts. Some absentee owners of the island's most expensive residences are facing an annual tab approaching or topping $100,000. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii President David Lassner handed UH Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple a termination notice late Wednesday afternoon, Apple announced Wednesday night, saying "I have been forced out as chancellor of UH Manoa." Hawaii News Now.

Tom Apple has been dismissed as chancellor of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, his attorney, Big Island lawyer Jerry Hiatt, said Monday night. He was offered a tenured faculty position at the UH medical school for an 11-month salary of $299,000. The university is also offering him a total lump sum payment of $100,000, including attorney’s fees. Civil Beat.

University of Hawaii at Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple says he was forced out as head of the UH system's flagship campus Wednesday, two years into his five-year appointment. Apple said he was removed "for alleged unsatisfactory performance" in his job. Star-Advertiser.

Will New Honolulu City Council Members Smooth Friction with Mayor Caldwell? Council Chair Ernie Martin is clearly the mayor's nemesis. But the Council as a whole frequently clashes with Caldwell. Soon it will have at least two new members. Civil Beat.

Construction bids for the first nine stations of Honolulu’s $5.16 billion elevated-rail project are likely to come in higher than originally anticipated and could cause the agency to dip into its contingency fund, Dan Grabauskas, executive director and CEO of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation told Pacific Business News.

Now that rail is becoming a reality many we spoke with have no idea where the route actually goes so we will show you the last seven stops in the more dense city center section starting here in Kapalama where 30 feet up will be a transit station. Hawaii News Now.

U.S. State Department Special Agent Christopher Deedy doesn't want the jurors in his murder retrial to have the option to find him guilty of manslaughter, and his testimony in state court Wednesday emphasized that. Star-Advertiser.

The Public Charter School Commission approved a new financial plan for Halau Lokahi Charter School on Wednesday, paving the way for the school to reopen on Aug. 14. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Lovell charged with misdemeanor for May scuba attack off Kona coast West Hawaii Today.

The state Department of Transportation is making completion of Saddle Road improvements a priority as it maps out projects to finish during the next four years with its share of federal funds. Tribune-Herald.

After several years of making do with old, high-mileage cars, the county administration stepped up its purchase of passenger vehicles this past fiscal year. West Hawaii Today

Maui

South Maui Challengers Align on Environmental Issues. Kihei Community Association membership gives new candidates the floor. Maui Weekly.

Kauai

State seeks foreclosure on Pflueger property. The state wants to ensure it will get the $4 million in interest and fines it assessed James Pflueger for damages caused by a mudslide that covered the Pilaa reef in 2001. Garden Island.

It has been over a week and a half since the County of Kauai sent out property tax bills to the owners of 33,370 individual properties on the island. And for most of that time, some Kauai County Councilmembers have said an influx of emails and phone calls have been coming in — on the other end, in many cases, are disgruntled property owners who have seen noticeable increases on their tax bills. Garden Island.

Three candidates vying for Kauai's 15th House District seat have varying views on the controversial issue of county oversight of the use of pesticides and growth of genetically engineered crops by large agribusinesses. Star-Advertiser.

Molokai

Picture this: a higher learning education center with a spacious auditorium, high-tech computer labs, larger classrooms and a grassy campus pavilion right here on Molokai. This long-awaited dream may become a reality for UH Maui College, Molokai now that the college has completed its Long-Range Development Plan. Molokai Dispatch.