Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Lawsuits likely as Hanabusa-Schatz U.S. Senate Democratic contest to be decided Friday, officials say more polls should reopen, GMO foes flounder at polls, Maui highest, Kauai lowest, voter turnout, big profits for HECO electric company, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii Island voting © 2014 All Hawaii News
U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who’s trailing in the too-close-to-call Hawaii Democratic Senate primary against incumbent Brian Schatz, warned Monday of voting “irregularities” in precincts crippled by a massive tropical storm last week and said she’s speaking with campaign lawyers about a potential recourse. Politico.

Elected officials at the state and county level are crying foul over the selection of only two Puna precincts for a special election, when many voters in precincts from Pahoa to Volcano were unable to get to the polls Saturday in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Iselle. Hanging in the balance is a close contest between U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa for the Democratic nomination for Senate, as well as a state House and County Council race. West Hawaii Today.

What about those blocked from polls, but not in delayed precincts? KHON2.

The U.S. Senate Democratic primary battle between Sen. Brian Schatz and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa could be decided Friday as election officials open a polling place for voters of two storm-damaged precincts in Puna. Tribune-Herald.

Several thousand voters in Puna on Hawaii island will get the rare opportunity Friday to settle a close election, but U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who trails U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz in the Demo­cratic primary for Senate, questioned whether holding the vote so soon is realistic. Star-Advertiser.

An answer to the question “Who won Hawaii’s U.S. Senate race?” is likely to come Friday, according the State Elections Office. The plan is to run an election at Keonepoko Elementary School for the two Puna precincts on the Big Island that were closed because of Tropical Storm Iselle. Civil Beat.

Both Hanabusa and Schatz are already on the Big Island. Schatz was helping unload supplies in Nanawale and met with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Army National Guard today. Hanabusa took an aerial tour of the damage. Hawaii News Now.

Two voting precincts in the region hardest hit by Iselle were closed during Saturday's primary, affecting some 8,000 registered voters, who would be able to cast their ballots on a new voting day to be held Friday, the Office of Elections said Monday. The emotional Democratic contest between U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa is still too close to call. Associated Press.

A special walk-in election will be held Friday for Big Island residents who were unable to vote in Saturday’s primary due to damage from Tropical Storm Iselle. That decision is drawing criticism from folks in Puna, who originally thought they would have 21 days to mail in an absentee ballot. Hawaii Public Radio.

Chief Election Officer Scott Nago, in consultation with the State Attorney General, Department of Defense and the Office of the County Clerk, announced today that an election will be held on Friday, August 15th at Keonepoko Elementary School for the two polling places whose election was postponed due to Hurricane Iselle. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii’s Primary Election Turnout Likely Near All-Time Low This Year. Preliminary numbers show it to be about 41 percent of registered voters. Civil Beat.

Opinion: A Pidgin Guide to Neil Abercrombie’s Downfall. The Hawaii governor's blunt talk may have been the straight truth but his bedside manner left much to be desired. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Co. reported a profit of $34.2 million in the second quarter, a $5.5 million increase from the same time period last year, mainly due to its recovery of costs for clean energy and reliability investments, the Honolulu-based utility said Monday in its latest earnings report. Pacific Business News.

After the heavy rains and high winds of two rare, large storms, Hawaiian botanists are hoping the islands’ rarest plants have come through unscathed. Hawaii Reporter.

Oahu
State Rep. Mark Takai displayed solid support from Kapolei to Mili­lani to Hawaii Kai as he cruised to the 1st Congressional District's Democratic nomination Saturday night over six other candidates. Star-Advertiser.

Officials with the city have apparently reached an agreement with the United Public Workers union that would allow paramedics and emergency medical technicians to work longer, four-day weeks. Star-Advertiser.

The marble shrine room wall at the USS Arizona Memorial inscribed with the names of 1,177 sailors and Marines killed in the Dec. 7, 1941, attack will be undergoing replacement over two months, possibly starting in early September, officials said. Star-Advertiser.

The Matson container ship Manukai, with master John Blomindale, leading a crew of 22, docked at Sand Island Pier 22, carrying three survivors of a disabled sailboat rescued from hurricane seas.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

As clean-up and power restoration efforts continue in the wake of Tropical Storm Iselle, assessment of the cyclone’s damage, especially in Puna, has just begun, according to the county. Tribune-Herald.

Forget Tropical Storm Iselle. The people of Hawaii island's storm-ravaged Puna district have since singularly focused their anger on the forests of fast-growing and foreign albizia trees that fell like giant pick-up sticks on their homes and across power lines, keeping them in the dark and without water since Iselle blew through the Big Island five days ago. Star-Advertiser.

Puna Still Struggles as Politicians Parachute In. The rural Big Island community was hit hardest by Tropical Storm Iselle, and now it's the focal point of the race for U.S. Senate. Civil Beat.

Deep in the seaside jungle of Government Beach Road, the Leo family has been stuck behind a pile of fallen albizia trees since Tropical Storm Iselle hit Puna on Friday morning. On Monday, help arrived. Hawaii County, the Hawaii National Guard, and community volunteers helped dig a path to freedom for the family. Big Island Video News.

Stunning video was taken by drones over the Puna area that gives a closer look into the damage left behind by Iselle. KITV4.

Electricity. Water. Ice. Cellphones. These are some of the staples of modern life that residents in lower Puna say they took for granted until Tropical Storm Iselle thrashed their communities. Tribune-Herald.

Only one Hawaii Island candidate made it to the runoff in the race for an at-large seat on the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees. West Hawaii Today.

Kamehameha Schools officials are proposing demolishing the Keauhou Beach Hotel from the top down. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui County had the lowest primary election voter turnout in the state Saturday, with only 32.2 percent of the county's 85,581 registered voters casting ballots in person or by absentee. Maui News.

Maui County continues to have the lowest voter turnout in the state with just 32.2% of the county’s 85,581 registered voters turning out to cast ballots. Maui Now.

Maui Electric crews restored power to all customers Sunday evening after crews worked around the clock since late Thursday to repair and replace electrical equipment damaged by Tropical Storm Iselle's heavy rain and strong winds. Star-Advertiser.

Profits nearly doubled for Alexander & Baldwin from $5 million to $9.2 million, thanks to recent acquisitions and improvements in the company's development and sales and leasing segments, according to A&B's second-quarter report, which was released last week. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauai County Councilmen Mel Rapozo and Ross Kagawa, the lone members to oppose the county’s controversial GMO disclosure bill last year, are now more popular than ever among voters. Civil Beat.

Some believe the hot-button issue of genetically modified crops and pesticide use played a role in Saturday’s primary election results, while others say apparent trends in the voting have more to do with where candidates call home. Garden Island.

County of Kauai had the highest primary election turnout rates, according to preliminary state election reports. It is that fact that, some county officials and election watchers say, can be partly attributed to several important factors, including the debate on genetically modified organisms and pesticides and tax raises. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Real Property Assessment Division is offering assistance to residents who want to understand changes to their real property tax bills. Star-Advertiser.

The Kapaa Business Association wants the public to add its voice to providing a solution for traffic through the Kapaa and Wailua corridor. Garden Island.

NASA will return to Kauai next year for more tests of technology that could be used in flights to Mars. Associated Press.