Monday, August 25, 2014

Hanauma Bay supporters seek funds, Kauai looks to body cameras for police, whales distressed by RIMPAC, Oahu land reclassified in flood zone, Maui mulls plan for Patsy Mink's school, election fallout and more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hanauma Bay © 2014 All Hawaii News
Frustrated members of Friends of Hanauma Bay said that they've tried repeatedly to determine whether a portion of the money from the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve Fund is being siphoned off for other city parks. Now the City Council will consider asking the city administration to remove itself from the picture entirely. Star-Advertiser.

Whales beware. Naval exercises like RIMPAC cause clear harm and distress to marine life including dolphins, fish and especially whales. Hawaii Independent.

The state Elections Commission on Friday appointed three subcommittees to examine issues surrounding the 2014 primary election and the actions of the chief election officer, who faced heavy criticism over the decision to carry out two elections in a tropical-storm ravaged district on Hawaii island and the late discovery of about 800 mail-in ballots on Maui. Star-Advertiser.

State lawmakers and concerned citizens took turns Friday accusing Hawaii Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago of disenfranchising voters as Elections Commission members nodded and prodded him for answers. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Chief Election Officer Scott Nago tried to explain a host of problems that occurred during the recent primary election held in the wake of a tropical storm — from why a makeup election was held after initially telling voters of closed Big Island precincts they would be mailed ballots to why 800 ballots went uncounted on Maui. Associated Press.

The Hawai‘i Elections Commission is investigating the state’s primary. Nearly 70 people packed into the commission meeting on Friday, with several calling for chief elections officer Scott Nago to be fired. Hawaii Public Radio.

The state Office of Hawaiian Affairs administrator paid a controversial political scientist $25,000 to write a memo that calls into question the validity of OHA's nation-building effort, even raising the question of whether the office's trustees are committing war crimes by pursuing it. But the board apparently has not been swayed by his arguments. Star-Advertiser.

Three out of four candidates for Hawaii governor say they agree Hawaii’s health exchange is a mess, taxes are burdensome and leadership style in the state’s top office needs to change. The fourth — and most formidable opponent to each of the other candidates — was absent Friday during the first debate of the General Election after a disagreement with organizers. Associated Press.

PACs aim to build congressional rivals' name recognition. The race between Djou and Takai garners interest from the VoteVets organization. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: I’ve seen this parade before. Dozens of hopeful candidates from diverse walks of life, hopeful, excited, sporting banners and signs and buttons and T-shirts and stickers and websites, all believing this will be the election year that Hawaii elects more than a token representation of Republicans. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Hundreds of property owners on Oahu have been told their land has been reclassified and is now in a "high-risk" flood zone as the result of remapping by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Star-Advertiser.

Lately the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s finances have garnered a lot of attention as faculty members, students and the public speculate about the mysterious firing of Chancellor Tom Apple and its connection with his directive to freeze all hiring in an effort to stop the budget bleeding. Civil Beat.

With evacuated residents allowed back to their homes, Honolulu firefighters shifted their focus Sunday to stopping a massive brush fire from reaching the Honouliuli Forest Reserve — home to dozens of threatened and endangered species. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: City transit officials are tiresome in their dishonest attempts to blame citizen lawsuits for massive cost overruns that are shredding their promise to build Oahu's $5.26 billion rail line on time and on budget. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu-based solar energy firms RevoluSun and Distributed Energy Partners, which together have designed and built solar energy systems totaling more than 50-megawatts of energy in Hawaii since 2009, are restructuring to divide work for the residential and commercial markets. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

The state of Hawaii depleted its Major Disaster Fund in response to Tropical Storm Iselle, according to a Thursday letter sent by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to President Barack Obama seeking federal assistance. Tribune-Herald.

A day after completing its two-week effort to restore power to upper Puna, Hawaii Electric Light Co. personnel continued to work with county crews and other agencies Sunday to clear debris left by Tropical Storm Iselle. Star-Advertiser.

He was a hotelier, a police commissioner, a County Council member, a state senator, a state representative and, more recently, a member of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. But most of all, Robert “Bob” Herkes was a dogged fighter for the people. West Hawaii Today.

Tawn Keeney is determined that the Honokaa People’s Theater will not follow so many others of its kind into the twilight. West Hawaii Today.

There will be an increase in nighttime aircraft traffic over Hilo throughout this week due to runway repairs at the Hilo International Airport. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

Maui officials are looking for ideas on how to repurpose a high school campus that was once home to Congresswoman Patsy Mink, its class valedictorian for 1944. Associated Press.

Pulama Lana'i continues to move ahead with development of a facility to convert salty groundwater to drinking water and for irrigation use. Maui News.

Kauai

The Kauai Police Department may become the first law enforcement agency in the state with all officers wearing body cameras. Garden Island.

County of Kauai officials say they would like to give nonresidential landowners more time to construct additional dwelling units on their property as the economy continues to recover. Garden Island.