Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hawaii voters apathetic, tax hike falls short for rail project, lava poised to consume first home, 2k march on Maui to oppose GMO, mainland money rolling in for governor's race, 1st Congressional candidates fight to the finish, Lanai mom sues over lack of Hawaiian language in school, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

No Vote No Grumble
No Vote No Grumble tries to stir voter interest
Hawaii, with its history of low voter turnout, ranks third among the least politically engaged states in the country, according to a new WalletHub online study. Star-Advertiser.

There’s just a week left before Hawaii’s gubernatorial election, but most residents of the Aloha State probably don’t care. A new study by the personal finance website WalletHub has found that Hawaii is the third least politically engaged state. Only Oklahoma and West Virginia are worse. Civil Beat.

Former Gov. Ben Cayetano, a Democrat who held the governor’s office for eight years from 1994 to 2002, blames the Hawaii Republican Party for the notoriously low turnout. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii's Democratic gubernatorial candidate has received enough small contributions to qualify for matching funds from the state. State Sen. David Ige raised $100,000 in qualifying contributions of $100 or less. That means he can get those matching funds. Associated Press.

Despite different points of views on many issues, the four candidates vying to become Hawaii's next governor do agree that energy is one of the single-most important issues facing the state. Pacific Business News.

Mainland super PACs tied to the Republican Governors Association and the Democratic Governors Association will rival the top two candidates for governor in spending on Hawaii, bankrolling negative advertisements so the candidates are free to concentrate on more positive themes. Star-Advertiser.

Super PACs funded by groups based on the mainland have spent more trying to influence the Hawaii governors race since the Aug. 9 primary than the candidates have themselves, according to the latest filings with the state Campaign Spending Commission. Civil Beat.

Hawai’i’s Congressional District One race is too close to call, according to the latest polls.   And the two front-runners are in full campaign swing with the General Election one week away. Hawaii Public Radio.

Democrat Mark Takai and Republican Charles Djou are headed for a photo finish in the race for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District. The candidates are tied at 45 percent each, with 9 percent of the electorate still undecided — even with election day just one week away. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Officials overseeing Oahu's rail transit project reported the Oahu tax dollars that they received this past quarter were about $5 million less than the influx projected under their financial plan. The project received $48.5 million in general excise tax surcharge dollars for the quarter that included July, August and September. Star-Advertiser.

The $5.16 billion Honolulu rail transit project that is now moving full speed ahead, and the construction industry's overall ramp up in most areas has translated to more office space vacancies becoming filled. Pacific Business News.

Choosing between experience and new ideas is at the center of election contests for the two outstanding seats on the Hono­lulu City Council. Star-Advertiser.

Hauula residents blame state and farm for storm flooding. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

The residency status of County Council District 9 candidate Ron Gonzales, locked in a fight to the finish with incumbent Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille, will be the subject of a meeting of the county Board of Registration just days before Election Day. West Hawaii Today.

The June 27 lava flow front appeared Monday afternoon to be within hours of impacting its first home in Pahoa, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense. Tribune-Herald.

A molten river that overran a Buddhist cemetery and buried it in lava Sunday was on the verge Monday night of claiming the first home in its path. Star-Advertiser.

After traveling for 123 days, a Big Island lava flow approaches a couple's doorsteps.  By Monday night or Tuesday, the first home in the lava flow's path may go up in flames. KITV4.

Keonepoko Elementary School will shut down indefinitely effective Wednesday. The DOE is also closing four other area public schools beginning Thursday until early next month: Pahoa High and Intermediate, Pahoa Elementary, Keaau High and Keaau Middle because of lava flow. Star-Advertiser.

A Pahoa resident built a large dirt wall to try to protect his home from lava. Alfred Lee, whose house on Pahoa Village Road was at risk of becoming one of the first claimed by the June 27 flow, said Monday he was using a bulldozer to build a large berm between the lava and his home. Tribune-Herald.

Hele-On has announced an update on bus stop locations in the Pahoa area due to the closure of Pahoa Village Road and active lava flow. Big Island Now.

Maui

More than 2,000 people marched through Kahului on Sunday in support of an initiative on the Nov. 4 ballot that would place a moratorium on all genetically engineered operations and practices in Maui County until companies prove their activities are safe. Maui News.

Members of the Shaka Movement organized a rally over the weekend in support for a ballot initiative that seeks a moratorium on genetically modified organisms in Maui County. Maui Now.

In one of Maui County's most watched council races, incumbent Mike White spent $89,000 from August to October and had nearly $7,000 cash left on hand as the Nov. 4 general election nears, according to his campaign spending commission report filed before Monday's deadline. Maui News.

Upcountry: Same issues, different generations. Maui News.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie released $400,000, which will be matched by the same amount by the Kaanapali Operations Associations, to plan and design a beach renourishment project for Kaanapali Beach. Maui News.

Kauai

The County of Kauai is performing an assessment on the feasibility of using locally produced food waste to generate renewable natural gas that could be used to fuel The Kauai Bus and other county vehicles. Garden Island.

Filmmaker Dean Lyon, best known for his work as visual effects supervisor of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, is on Kauai this week to spread the word about his plans for a 3D IMAX  documentary about Kauai’s diseased coral reefs. Garden Island.

Developers behind two resorts proposed for Kauai’s Eastside could soon be one step closer to seeing the projects move forward. Garden Island.

Lanai

Lanai’s only public school is at the center of a lawsuit filed by a mother whose children speak and read only in Hawaiian. Chelsea-Marie Kealohalani Clarabal is suing both the Department of Education (DOE) and the Board of Education, which sets policies for the schools.  According to the lawsuit, while there are about 20 public schools that have Native Hawaiian language immersion programs on Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Hawaii, and Kauai, there are none on Lanai. KHON2.