Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Circuit Court tosses former Speaker Calvin Say's residency challenge, gubernatorial candidates differ on budget, new boss for Kamehameha Schools, Hawaii County builds roads to dodge lava flow, Maui to talk GMO, coral bleaching worsens, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Former House Speaker Calvin Say © 2014 All Hawaii News
A Circuit Court judge Tuesday dismissed a legal challenge to state Rep. and former House Speaker Calvin Say's residency, ruling that the state House has the exclusive power to determine the qualifications of its members. Star-Advertiser.

Calvin Say has survived another challenge to his legal residency. In a ruling released Tuesday, Circuit Judge Karen Nakasone said Hawaii courts do not have authority to “judge” the qualifications of House members. That authority resides with the House, which intervened in a lawsuit challenging Say’s residency. Civil Beat.

A Circuit Court judge has dismissed a petition that asks the court to verify the residence of state Rep. Calvin Say. KHON2.

Hawaii gubernatorial candidates had tough questions for their opponents as they debated starting new public-private partnerships to address recurring problems and sparred over who would inflict less pain while balancing the budget. Associated Press.

Hawaii’s top three candidates for governor took on many issues — from the expected to the improbable — during Tuesday evening’s debate. But it remains unclear whether specific policy stances will drive voters on Nov. 4 when they choose between Democrat David Ige, Republican Duke Aiona, Hawaii Independent Party candidate Mufi Hannemann and Libertarian Jeff Davis. Civil Beat.

Former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona and former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann on Tuesday night tried to pin state Sen. David Ige with responsibility for the state's troubled public hospitals, but Ige countered that he has done more than the other two gubernatorial candidates to improve the system. Star-Advertiser.

KITV4 hosted three candidates gunning for the governorship in the station's first televised debate among the final gubernatorial candidates.

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann said he has far more executive experience than the other two leading candidates for governor, but they said they have backgrounds that prepare them to lead state government. Hawaii News Now.

State Public Safety Director Ted Sakai,
named the nation's Outstanding Director of Corrections on Tuesday, said his department is unveiling a pilot program on wellness this month that aims to reduce prison guard sick calls, starting at Oahu Community Correctional Center. Star-Advertiser.

Republican Charles Djou and Democrat Mark Takai are making last-minute pitches for more money as their tight congressional race enters its final 35 days. Civil Beat.

Livingston "Jack" Wong, who has been the interim CEO of Kamehameha Schools since April when CEO Dee Jay Mailer retired, has been named the third CEO of the $10.1 billion trust, Hawaii's largest private landowner. Pacific Business News.

Warm ocean temperatures have caused large expanses of coral to bleach in the pristine reefs northwest of Hawaii's main islands, scientists said Tuesday. Mass bleaching has occurred at Lisianski atoll, about 1,000 miles northwest of Honolulu, said Courtney Couch, a researcher at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. Coral also bleached at Midway, Pearl and Hermes atolls, but not as severely. Associated Press.

A federal research ship returned to Honolulu from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands on Tuesday with evidence of aquatic species never seen before and having made discoveries of fishes never before recorded in those waters. But scientists also documented some distressing news: a major episode of coral bleaching at remote Lisianski Island, plus moderate bleaching at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Pearl and Hermes Atoll. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

State lawmakers Tuesday grilled Honolulu's police chief and two of his deputies on policies regarding domestic violence investigations — seeking answers about how officers respond to calls and about what's being done in response to video showing an officer in an apparent assault on his girlfriend. Star-Advertiser.

A Joint Legislative Committee on Public Safety convened an informational briefing today on the Honolulu Police Department’s response to domestic violence cases. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell plans to create a temporary office to manage city properties, acquire housing for the homeless and advance his affordable housing strategy at a cost of about $500,000 a year, the city’s managing director says. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers and Hawaiian Electric Co. want to give utility customers who don't own rooftop space the opportunity to take advantage of certain benefits of renewable energy. The plan is to create community solar farms or "solar gardens" that give people the option to invest in large-scale solar systems and lower their electrical bills. Star-Advertiser.

Duo bucks eviction from DHHL parcel hosting small farm. A petting zoo on land in Waimanalo has local support as it fights to remain. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The state Office of Elections was “absurdly out of touch” with the situation in Puna after Tropical Storm Iselle, state Sen. Russell Ruderman said Tuesday afternoon. West Hawaii Today.

The June 27 lava flow remains weak while inflation, a sign of intruding magma, gradually builds at Kilauea. Tribune-Herald.

VIDEO: Lava Anxiety Triggers Nanawale Exodus. Big Island Video News.

In less than three weeks, Hawai'i County crews completed two emergency bypass roads in the lower Puna area in preparation for the very real possibility that the June 27th lava flow will cut across Highway 130 -- but work is a little slower to begin on a third, and likely the most critical route: Chain of Craters Road, which passes through Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii County plans to reinforce its restrictions on accessing Kaohe Homesteads after a tour company was found to be using the neighborhood to reach the June 27 lava flow. County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said a supplemental emergency proclamation will be issued shortly specifically prohibiting tour groups. Tribune-Herald.

Fall enrollment at University of Hawaii at Hilo declined for the second year in a row, despite hopes by administrators the university could maintain last year’s student levels. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

"Living Downwind from Monsanto's GMO Fields, are We Risking Our Health?" is the title of a panel discussion to be held on Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 6:30 p.m. at the Kihei Community Center. Maui Weekly.

Maui Electric Co. proposes to reduce customer bills by, among other things, switching from costly diesel fuel to lower-cost liquefied natural gas for its electric generation plants, but Maui County Energy Commissioner Doug McLeod is challenging other parts of the utility's power supply improvement plans and questioning the long-term viability of natural gas. Maui News.

Kauai

The Kauai County Council will consider today a set of seven measures that aim to reform current real property tax laws and assist some property owners who received noticeable increases on their tax bills over the past two months. Garden Island.

Craig DeCosta, Daniel Hempey, and Greg Meyers will each be known as Judge, effective Oct. 1. Garden Island.