Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Candidate, groups, try to delay election to decide Democratic victor for U.S. Senate, Native Hawaiians want Kerry to talk sovereignty on Honolulu visit today, $150M Honolulu rail bids to be opened, fired Maui trash chief appeals, Kauai mulls pay as you throw trash plan, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


Photo by Tim Wright
U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in Puna, photo by Tim Wright
U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa said Tuesday that she is considering legal action to stop Friday’s scheduled election on the Big Island. Civil Beat.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa on Tuesday asked the state Office of Elections to delay Friday's vote in two Puna precincts that will decide the Democratic Senate primary battle with U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and also warned that she will likely go to court to try to postpone the vote. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa says she plans to file an injunction to stop Friday's election. She is running in a tight Democratic primary race for Senate against U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz. Associated Press.

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa says she will file a lawsuit to stop the election from taking place in storm-ravaged areas this Friday. Her office confirmed the move late Tuesday. KHON2.
photo by Michael S. Zola
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz in Puna, photo by Michael S. Zola

With power and communications still out in some Puna neighborhoods, Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa says that now is not the time to hold an election. Hanabusa, who trails Sen. Brian Schatz by 1,600 votes in Hawaii's U.S. Senate race, said she plans to file a lawsuit with the state Supreme Court no later than Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Plans to open a polling place Friday for two storm-damaged precincts in Puna were moving ahead Tuesday despite a threat of a legal challenge from U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and criticism from other politicians and both major political parties. Tribune-Herald.

A new date has been set for voting in remote Hawaii precincts that were closed on election day by a tropical storm that clobbered the area, but it's unclear how thousands of voters will find out in time to cast ballots Friday. Associated Press.

Brian Schatz and Colleen Hanabusa may feel it’s necessary to be on the ground in Puna this week, but the other two members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation have no immediate plans to visit the disaster area. Civil Beat.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visits Honolulu Wednesday where he will give a speech at the East-West Center in Manoa and meet with military leaders at U.S. Pacific Command headquarters. Star-Advertiser.

Kerry’s Visit a Chance to Answer Questions on Native Hawaiian Recognition. Will the Secretary of State address the single most important question raised in Hawaii since 1898. Civil Beat.

Governor Neil Abercrombie is coming off a crushing defeat in the Democratic primary, but he is still head of state for four more months.  Now he's taking some heat for using a personal day Monday in the middle of a crisis in Puna following Hurricane Iselle. Governor Abercrombie was in meetings today and decided he will go to the Big Island Wednesday afternoon. Hawaii News Now.

Perusing the Financial Disclosures of Hawaii Gov Candidates. Ige and Aiona are boring compared to Hannemann. Civil Beat.

Primary Candidates Spent Over $3.4 Million on TV Ads Since May. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz was the biggest spender at more than $1 million, followed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie at nearly a half-million. Civil Beat.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) reminds beneficiaries of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly known as Food Stamps) that beneficiary households may request reimbursement for the actual dollar value of food destroyed by storm related power outages. Hawaii Reporter.

Oahu
The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation on Wednesday plans to unseal bids submitted by contractors who want build the first nine westside stations for the city's $5.16 billion rail project. Pacific Business News.

Officials with the city and United Public Workers union announced a new agreement Tuesday that allows paramedics and emergency medical technicians to work longer shifts in exchange for shorter workweeks. Star-Advertiser.

Most of the Ward Warehouse retail center in Kakaako could be demolished in the second half of 2015 to make way for two condominium towers as part of a second phase of residential development at Ward Centers. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

As a nation turns its eyes to a rural community on the Big Island that will decide a U.S. Senate race, residents here sometimes struggle to name the candidates vying for their votes. Part of this has to do with the Aloha State’s aversion to electoral politics. A majority of residents don’t vote. And this is Puna, a place where people come to disappear. Civil Beat.

As officials assess the damage inflicted by Tropical Storm Iselle, it’s evident the Big Island’s agriculture industry has sustained a severe blow. Tribune-Herald.

Crews continue to make progress on restoring power to customers affected by Tropical Storm Iselle. An estimated 6,800 – or about eight percent – of customers remain without power, down from an estimated 8,100 on Monday. Tribune-Herald.

Hurt by wind damage and power problems caused by Tropical Storm Iselle, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory nevertheless continues to operate with the help of distant U.S. Geological Service outposts. Star-Advertiser.

Big Island forestry and invasive species experts have been warning for years that albizia trees are a major threat to residents’ safety and property. Now, after seeing the devastation wrought by falling trees in the wake of Tropical Storm Iselle, they say they have irrefutable proof. Tribune-Herald.

Maui
Former Maui County Solid Waste Division Chief Tracy Takamine is appealing a decision upholding disciplinary action that led to his firing last year, alleging that an investigation by the county was improper and unfair. Maui News.

The County of Maui Department of Environmental Management has announced that beginning Aug. 1, budget constraints are anticipated that will curtail refuse pickup scheduling and landfill hours. This will affect all Maui County refuse account holders, refuse haulers, contractors and all those utilizing Maui County landfills. Maui Weekly.

The next phase of the Lahaina bypass project will build the roadway farther south, extending it from Hokiokio Place to a southern terminus near the former Olowalu landfill, state Department of Transportation officials said at a meeting in Lahaina last week. Maui News.

The much-discussed 600-unit housing project proposed by Alexander & Baldwin in North Kihei was approved by a unanimous vote of the Maui County Council on Friday, Aug. 1. Maui Weekly.

Maui Electric Company announced today that it is deploying boom trucks and other equipment to Hawai‘i Island today to assist Hawai‘i Electric Light in restoring power to customers affected by Tropical Cyclone Iselle. Maui Now.

Today is the deadline set to apply for the chief of police vacancy on Maui. The recruitment notice indicates that the job pays $135,000 per year. Maui Now.

Kauai

A measure now being considered before the Kauai County Council, Bill 2551, would implement a new waste management program, called pay as you throw, which aims to divert some waste from the Kekaha landfill and bolster recycling practices. It would charge residential and commercial customers incremental rates based upon how much they choose to throw away.  Garden Island.

A Kauai firefighter’s discrimination case was given a jury trial date on Tuesday in 5th Circuit Court. Bruce Chapin filed a civil complaint alleging discriminatory compensation and retaliation claims against Kauai Fire Department on May 9, 2013.Garden Island.