Monday, August 4, 2014

Polls favor Hanabusa, Ige, Takai. Hurricane Iselle a category 4, Tax Department to refund bills sent in error, RIMPAC is pau, PAC money in politics, mice plague Kohala, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

2014 elections
Brian Schatz and Colleen Hanabusa
U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa holds an edge over U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz in the Democratic primary for Senate, a new Hawaii Poll shows, and voters who prefer the congresswoman cite her legislative experience as the main reason. Hanabusa leads Schatz 50 percent to 42 percent, with 8 percent undecided. Star-Advertiser.

In the Senate showdown between Democrats Brian Schatz and Colleen Hanabusa, Representative Hanabusa has a 50 to 42 percent lead over Senator Schatz in our new Hawaii News Now/Star Advertiser Hawaii poll.

State Rep. Mark Takai has pulled into a tie with state Senate President Donna Mercado Kim in the most recent Hawaii Poll, suggesting that the crowded Demo­cratic primary for the 1st Congressional District seat has become a two-person race. The poll showed Kim and Takai each receiving support from 28 percent of those polled, while Hono­lulu City Councilman Stanley Chang (East Hono­lulu) was a distant third with 12 percent. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie is in grave risk of losing to state Sen. David Ige in the Democratic primary, according to a new Hawaii Poll that shows the governor's job approval and favorability sinking among voters. Ige, chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, holds a 54 percent to 36 percent lead over Abercrombie with 11 percent undecided. Star-Advertiser.

Abercrombie Camp on Latest Poll: ‘We Don’t Believe It for a Second.’ Campaign manager Bill Kaneko says the governor is tied with David Ige, urges voter turnout. Civil Beat.

David Ige’s Leadership Style: State Senator Wants To Be Honest, Open, Fair, No Ego. Fellow lawmakers applaud the Hawaii gubernatorial contender as a collaborative problem-solver who stands by decisions and can't be pushed around. Civil Beat.

Hurricane Iselle has regained intensity and is once again a major hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour, making it a strong Category 4 hurricane. At 5 a.m. Monday, it was located about 1,257 miles east of Hilo and was moving west at 9 miles per hour. Hawaii News Now.

The state Tax Department acknowledged on its website Friday that inaccurate letters had been sent to taxpayers who had submitted payment via paper check "close to the April 20 deadline." Star-Advertiser.

The world’s largest international maritime exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014, concluded August 1 with the participation of 22 nations, 49 surface ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. Hawaii Reporter.

A Final Look at the Miltaristic RIMPAC Exercises Around Hawaii. RIMPAC is about to temporarily disappear from the public eye again, but the militaristic framework it was founded on ties Hawaii to the rest of the world. Civil Beat.

Opinion: It's one thing to lament the influence of money in politics, to bemoan the power of Super PACs that besmirch candidates first and apologize later — long after they've flooded a race with cash and the candidate they prefer has prevailed. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Scientists predicted this would be an above-average Central Pacific hurricane season, and sure enough, Hurricane Iselle, packing 115 mph winds, is swirling in from the east. Are the 30,000 or so residents of Waikiki, Hawaii's most densely packed area, ready if Iselle or another storm makes a direct hit? Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: The University System administration and President Lassner's decision to continue defending the unit director largely responsible for Chancellor Apple's removal jeopardizes both the future of the Cancer Center and the standing of the University as a whole. Hawaii Independent.

Kamehameha Schools is funding a new Kapiolani Community College program designed to encourage Native Hawaiians to become interested in fields involving science and technology. Associated Press.

Hawaii

State and county election workers, voting equipment representatives and volunteer observers put marked-up paper ballots through the mill Saturday morning as they participated in the statewide testing of ballot counting equipment. West Hawaii Today.

First-term incumbent County Councilman Greggor Ilagan, facing three challengers for Puna District 4, has raked in the most campaign contributions of any of the 27 hopefuls running for nine seats. West Hawaii Today.

Four candidates vying for the Hawaii County Council District 2 seat discussed issues facing downtown Hilo and beyond at a candidate forum Friday evening. Tribune-Herald.

There’s a plague of mice on the land. The tiny invaders are scampering into homes in North Hawaii, being trapped to the tune of 30 to 70 a day per household in some areas, and getting squished in great numbers along roadways. West Hawaii Today.

Kilauea Military Camp offers screenings of movie about Japanese American internment, tour of site. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

As Maui Memorial Medical Center has announced the shutdown of its adolescent behavioral health unit in an attempt to make a dent in a $13 million budget gap this year, the Democratic candidates seeking their party's nomination for the state 6th Senate District seat agree that a public-private partnership is needed to keep public hospitals afloat. Maui News.

Islands Hospice is slated to open Maui's first inpatient hospice home once it begins accepting patients this fall at its Kahului branch, but some neighbors are concerned that having hospice next to their homes might affect traffic and children. Maui News.

A trio of Hawaii botanists has discovered a new tree species related to the hibiscus plant in the remote Kauaula Valley on Maui. Star-Advertiser.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held today for the new Central Maui Regional Sports Complex located on 65-acres in the master-planned Waiʻale community. Maui Now.

Kauai

At least three Kauai County Councilmembers have said they are looking at ways to provide immediate relief for residents who have experienced sizable property tax increases. Garden Island.

Homeless living in cars and still camping in Anahola. Garden Island.

Lanai
Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison, the billionaire who owns 98 percent of the island of Lanai, has added another hotel to his collection on the Pineapple Island with the purchase of the historic Hotel Lanai, one of the hotel's former owners told Pacific Business News.

Billionaire Larry Ellison has purchased the historic Hotel Lanai for an undisclosed price. The deal that closed July 7 now makes Ellison the owner of every hotel room on the island. Associated Press.