Thursday, July 10, 2014

Honolulu affordable housing plans mulled, Schatz rakes in campaign funds, Ellison plans Lanai wine and food fest, no tuition hike for University of Hawaii, dead fish litter Oahu beach, starving monk seals hospitalized in Kona, gubernatorial candidates to debate tonight, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Honolulu Hale © 2014 All Hawaii News
Honolulu City Council leaders say they now want to seriously consider scrapping plans to sell off the city's rental housing stock and instead resurrecting a full-fledged housing department that would oversee buildings and programs that assist the homeless and others who need affordable housing. Star-Advertiser.

When Gov. Neil Abercrombie appointed Brian Schatz in December 2012 to replace the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, the rationale was that Schatz was the best choice for Hawaii's political future. Star-Advertiser.

As the race for Hawaii's U.S. Senate seat heats up, the big money is beginning to pour in. Preliminary figures show that Sen. Brian Schatz has raised more than $820,000 during the second quarter 2014, it's best quarter in a year. Hawaii News Now.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz raised about $822,000 during the past quarter in the Democratic primary for Senate, sending his fundraising total over $4.8 million for the campaign. Star-Advertiser.

Several U.S. Senate Democrats are fast-tracking a bill,  the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act, they say will counter the U.S. Supreme Court's  Hobby Lobby decision. Those senators include Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Mark Udall, D-Colo. Hawaii Reporter.

This may be the last chance for Hawaii television viewers to see the two major Democratic candidates for Governor face-off in an hour-long, live prime-time debate. It's at 7 pm Thursday on all three Hawaii News Now stations -- KGMB, KHNL and KFVE.

University of Hawaii campuses will need to assume flat tuition rates — not the previously approved annual 7 percent hikes — when planning their operating budgets for the next two fiscal years. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii State Ethics Commission will be without its longest-serving member and chair for the last two years when it meets July 23 to tackle the implementation of a public financial disclosure law that has so far prompted the resignations of 18 board members. Leolani Abdul was denied her request to serve another four-year term on the commission. Civil Beat.

Resignations over a new law requiring public disclosure of financial interests for members of various state boards and commission have forced the cancellation of at least three board meetings this week. The number of resignations is now up to a total of 18. Star-Advertiser.

Sheila Weinberg, founder and CEO of the Chicago-based fiscal watchdog Truth in Accounting, said Hawaii can’t claim it's being fiscally prudent because the Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund is “drowning in debt.” Hawaii Reporter.

Living Hawaii: The Surprising Price Tag for New Car Buyers in the Islands. Long-distance shipping affects the cost of many goods in Hawaii, but that's not the case for our vehicles. Civil Beat.

Oahu

The $54.6 million the University of Hawaii at Manoa is slated to spend on basic repair and maintenance work this year will hardly make a dent in the school’s notorious backlog, officials say. Civil Beat.

It’s a sight not often seen on the shores of Oahu — dead fish, by the thousands, washing up on the south and west shores. KHON2.

Thousands of people jammed the new Downtown Honolulu Walmart on Wednesday, the first day of business for Hawaii's 10th Walmart store, to buy everything from art supplies, to slippers to DVDs. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

Four malnourished Hawaiian monk seals from remote atolls northwest of Hawaii's main islands arrived Wednesday for emergency care at a new seal hospital in Kailua-Kona. Associated Press.

For the last 50 years, the Big Island Substance Abuse Council has served Hawaii residents by treating individuals who abuse alcohol and drugs. Tribune-Herald.

North Hawaii Community Hospital will participate in the Rim of the Pacific maritime drills on Friday. West Hawaii Today.

Commentary: Six Myths About County’s Waste Incineration Plan. Big Island Now.

Maui

AARP Hawaii will sponsor a gubernatorial debate between Governor Neil Abercrombie and state Senator David Ige at the Maui Beach Hotel in Kahului on Friday, July 18. Maui Now.

On Maui, activists are trying to create a temporary moratorium on GMOS. An organization called The Shaka Movement has put together a ballot initiative for a temporary moratorium on growing genetically modified crops. Hawaii Pubic Radio.

The Westin Maui Resort & Spa plans to triple the size of its ballroom, enlarge its spa and build a three- to four-story parking garage. The Kaanapali resort is seeking permits for the $55 million project. Associated Press.

The Maui County Council has rejected a resolution for a charter amendment proposal limiting the powers of a public commission that reviews county operations. The measure would have placed the commission under the control of the county auditor. Associated Press.

Maui County received an average 2.6 percent interest rate on 20-year bond sales that netted a total of $75.4 million, county Finance Director Danny Agsalog has announced. Maui News.

Maui’s own voyaging canoe, the Moʻokiha o Piʻilani, is scheduled to launch on Friday, July 11, from Māla Wharf in Lahaina. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kauai Rising’s proposed charter amendment aimed at regulating the island’s genetically modified crop industry may not be a charter amendment after all. And whether it will end up on the November ballot is questionable. Garden Island.

Three of the four candidates vying to be the next mayor of Kauai kept things civil during this election season’s first forum on Wednesday. Garden Island.

The "littoral combat ship" that was to make up one-sixth of the U.S. Navy fleet continues to be a work in progress as one of the vessels heads out from Pearl Harbor to take part in a "sink exercise" off Kauai during Rim of the Pacific war games. Star-Advertiser.

Lanai

Another wine and food festival is being planned for Hawaii, this time on the island of Lanai, which will be spearheaded by Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison, the tech billionaire who owns 98 percent of the island. Pacific Business News.