Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hanabusa-Schatz debate tackles elder issues, Abercrombie takes to a taxi, Ige criticizes move to limit debates, Honolulu paramedics get raises, RIMPAC showcases war machines, Maui councilman Hawaii's first NACo president, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

July 15, 2014 screen shot KHON2
Hanabusa Schatz debate, KHON2 screen capture
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa waded through Social Security, Medicare and other issues important to seniors Tuesday night in a mostly tame Democratic primary debate that had a few barbed edges. Star-Advertiser.

Seniors living on a fixed income were contrast with lawmakers taking big pay raises in a debate between U.S. Senate hopefuls. U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa was cheery as she delivered punchy jabs Tuesday night, as if enjoying the fight. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz looked miffed at times, but retained a polite, even demeanor. Associated Press.

Sen. Brian Schatz and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, the Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate, participated in a live debate Tuesday hosted by KHON2 and AARP.

Commentary: Who will do more to protect Social Security, Brian Schatz or Colleen Hanabusa? How Hawaii Voters Might Be Misled in US Senate Debate. Sen. Schatz and Rep. Hanabusa have pointed to their opponent's votes on entitlements, but not given the full story. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, caught up in an unexpectedly difficult Democratic primary against underdog state Sen. David Ige, has revived a populist image from his early days in Hawaii politics: the yellow Checker cab. Star-Advertiser.

Gubernatorial candidate David Ige criticized incumbent Neil Abercrombie for backing out of three of four debates sponsored by AARP on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island in a news release sent out yesterday. Hawaii Independent.

Cook Political Report, an independent, non-partisan newsletter that analyzes elections and campaigns for the US House of Representatives, US Senate, Governors and President as well as American political trends, just moved the Hawaii Governor's race from "Likely Democrat" to "Lean Democrat." Hawaii Reporter.

State Rep. K. Mark Takai
led all Democrats in fundraising for the most recent quarter in the race for the 1st Congressional District, but state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim has the lead in cash on hand for the stretch run of the campaign. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: We’ll Soon Forget the Fuss About Financial Disclosures. Every year, hundreds of people have complied with disclosure requirements without whining or complaining. Civil Beat.

A not-so-simple mule has so far been one of the stars of the show at Rim of the Pacific war games. The Legged Squad Support System, also known as the LS3 and the robotic mule, was one of 16 technologies incorporated into the just-ended Marine Corps Advanced Warfighting Experiment on Oahu and Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Honolulu paramedics will get pay raises, and the city will save more than $1 million in overtime, according to a tentative agreement that better controls schedules for the city's more than 200 paramedics. Star-Advertiser.

World-renowned marine ecologist Dr. Jane Lubchenco opened the 22nd annual Hawaii Conservation Conference Tuesday morning with a message of hope.  Hundreds filled the room in the Hawaii Convention Center to hear her explain why she believes people will be able to solve the “myriad escalating environmental problems” plaguing the planet. Civil Beat.

Within the next couple of months the U.S. Navy will install two ground water monitoring wells between its Red Hill fuel storage facility and the Board of Water Supply's Halawa Shaft, an important source of drinking water. Hawaii News Now.

These are uncertain times for the Navy’s strategic Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility. Some of the site’s 20 massive fuel tanks may have to be shut down or the facility closed altogether if costly new environmental controls can’t be put into place. Civil Beat.

Castle Medical Center is investing $28 million to renovate the hospital and expand its emergency room to keep up with demand in the growing Windward community. Star-Advertiser.

Ko Olina Resort & Marina may soon be adding another new hotel, and it could carry the Four Seasons name. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

A North Kohala dairyman testified Tuesday that the Big Island’s — and the state’s — largest and only other dairy is requesting state permission to sell milk below the legal minimum price because of a deal already in place with the state’s only milk processor. Tribune-Herald.

West Hawaii patients needing urgent medical care at hospitals on Oahu and Maui are flying there in a faster, safer and more versatile helicopter. West Hawaii Today.

There's an interesting shift of property ownership that's taking place on Hawaii Island this summer.  Mauna Kea State Recreation Area is a 20 acre state park that's shifting to a facility under control of Hawaii County. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui

Maui County Council Member Riki Hokama on Monday was installed as president of the National Association of Counties on the final day of the group's 79th annual conference held this year in New Orleans. ‘Historic moment’: Hokama first in Maui County to hold lead NACo role. Maui News.

Hawaii's public hospitals need to look for new ways to bring in revenue with government funds drying up and the many change coming with health care reform, says Wesley Lo, CEO of Hawaii Health Systems Corp.'s Maui Region, which is in talks with Hawaii Pacific Health about a possible partnership. Pacific Business News.

Kauai

The four candidates vying to represent the South Shore and Westside of Kauai in the state Legislature sparred on a number of issues during their first primary election forum, ranging from the Hawaii Superferry to marijuana distribution centers. Garden Island.

Rim of the Pacific, better known as RIMPAC, the world’s largest multi-national maritime war exercise, continued Saturday through Monday with heavy activity on, above and around Kauai — from helicopters and B-52 bombers flying overhead, to warships dotting the horizon and the sinking of a decommissioned Navy vessel. Garden Island.

The County of Kauai will take on four additional bridge projects due to a state and federal partnership.   According to a state Department of Transportation announcement Tuesday, 11 additional statewide highway infrastructure projects were made possible is partnership with the Federal Highway Administration’s Central Federal Lands Highways Division. Garden Island.

Flores seeks accountability in the state Legislature. Garden Island.