Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ige widens lead in new poll, federal judge to hear Big Island GMO complaint today, Hawaii not ready for Ebola, commission undecided on PAC spending complaints, Senate panel advances judge nominees, Steven Tyler Maui nightclub plan falters, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Ige © 2014 All Hawaii News
State Sen. David Ige has the advantage in the campaign for governor, a new Hawaii Poll shows, scoring well with Japanese-Americans, seniors and union families who are among the most likely to vote in November. Ige, the Democrat, leads former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, the Republican, 47 percent to 35 percent. Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, the independent, is at 12 percent, while Jeff Davis, the Libertarian, is at 1 percent. Six percent remain undecided. Star-Advertiser.

Early voting has begun and the general election is just under two weeks away. Who will win the big races in Hawaii — for governor, the U.S. Senate, the 1st Congressional District and the 2nd Congressional District, according to the national experts? In short, Democrat David Ige has the edge over Republican Duke Aiona for governor, as does Democrat Mark Takai over Republican Charles Djou in the CD1 contest. Democrats Brian Schatz and Tulsi Gabbard, meanwhile, need not fear Republicans Cam Cavasso and Kawika Crowley in their Senate and CD2 races, respectively. Civil Beat.

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Aiona © 2014 All Hawaii News
Fresh poll numbers for Hawaii’s top political races (sans the federal offices) are expected any day now, but by another metric there is already a clear frontrunner: David Ige, the Democratic Party nominee for governor, has held 15 campaign fundraisers since the Aug. 9 primary. Civil Beat.

Gubernatorial candidates James "Duke" Aiona and David Ige were treated like celebrities — cheered on by scores of screaming fans decked out in red, white and blue, toting hand-painted posters — at a student pep rally Wednesday at Maryknoll School. Star-Advertiser.

The state Campaign Spending Commission decided Wednesday to defer until November a complaint that former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano filed against the super PAC that crushed his bid for mayor in 2012. Pacific Resource Partnership, a political action committee funded by contractors and unionized carpenters, spent over $3 million on a coordinated attack to keep Cayetano out of office after he pledged to end Honolulu’s $5.2 billion rail project if elected. Civil Beat.

The state Campaign Spending Commission on Nov. 19 will vote again on whether two complaints against the Pacific Resource Partnership Political Action Committee should be reviewed by state attorneys for criminal prosecution. The commission voted 2-1 Wednesday, failing to muster three votes to make a decision on whether to refer for review the two complaints — one by former Gov. Ben Cayetano and the other by commission Executive Director Kristin Izumi-Nitao. Star-Advertiser.

Officials said Wednesday Hawaii health care workers need more training to be sufficiently prepared to handle an Ebola virus outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

A Senate investigative committee is calling for major reforms to the Hawaii State Hospital in an effort to curb violence and restore trust in a mental health system that has been mismanaged for many years. On Wednesday, the committee, which is co-chaired by Hawaii Sens. Clayton Hee and Josh Green, issued its final report after holding nearly a dozen hearings in which top officials from the hospital and state Department of Health were subpoenaed to testify under oath. The report’s recommendations are wide-ranging and include everything from building a new state hospital — something that would cost hundreds of millions of dollars — to sending the most troublesome, violent patients to an out-of-state facility to receive treatment. Civil Beat.

A special State Senate committee convened to investigate problems at the Hawaii State Hospital Wednesday released a lengthy report about its findings and recommendations to improve the troubled facility. The 88-page report calls the state's only mental hospital outdated and overcrowded. It also said the facility suffers from bad management, a lack of training and chronic overtime and sick leave abuse, leading to assaults by mental patients against the staff. Hawaii News Now.

Scientists have found evidence of a massive tsunami that slammed into Hawaii nearly 500 years ago. That’s according to a new study released this week, that’s prompting state officials to re-examine their tsunami evacuation plans. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

The contractor hired to dispose of seized commercial-grade fireworks in Honolulu says it will find another site for the job after residents of Nanakuli objected to blowing them up in their community. Michael De Sousa of URS Federal Services Inc. says the company will honor the state Department of Health's request to find another site. Associated Press.

A government contractor will find another site to dispose of 39 pallets of commercial-grade fireworks from a Waikele storage bunker after Nanakuli residents voiced strong opposition to setting them off on a property in their rural neighborhood. Star-Advertiser.

The city has been stockpiling hundreds of pounds of trash collected by street sweepers right in Kapiolani Park. The debris piles, located near the Waikiki Shell next to a city no dumping sign, includes asphalt, oil, gravel and plain old trash that's exposed to the elements. Hawaii News Now.

An accident that left an Ewa Beach man dead has now become even more tragic for the loved ones left behind because of a mistake by the Honolulu City Prosecutor’s office. KHON2.

Matson Terminals Inc., the company responsible for spilling 220,000 gallons of molasses into Honolulu Harbor in September 2013, has pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor violations of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, court records show. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii

A federal magistrate judge will be hearing arguments a lawsuit seeking to invalidate Hawaii County’s law restricting the use of genetically modified crops. Big Island agriculture groups and farmers filed a lawsuit in federal court in June seeking to overturn the law, which went into effect in December. Thursday’s hearing will be on the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, which argues that the law is invalid on the grounds that it’s pre-empted by federal and state law. Associated Press.

The state Senate Judiciary Committee gave its unanimous approval Wednesday to the confirmation of Margaret Masunaga as a district judge in Kona, despite a negative rating by the Hawaii State Bar Association. West Hawaii Today.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is in Pahoa offering low-interest loans to victims of Tropical Storm Iselle. Loans are available to homeowners, renters, nonprofit organizations and businesses in Hawaii County that received damage related to the storm from Aug. 7-9. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island hunters will have more opportunities to bag feral pigs, goats and sheep under a package of changes to hunting rules set to go before the state Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday. West Hawaii Today.

Some Ocean View residents aren’t waiting around for a new county garbage disposal facility. Instead, large quantities of trash are being dumped along the access road to the future site of the transfer station. West Hawaii Today.

A narrow finger of lava  along the southern edge of the main flow has now become the leading edge of the flow and advanced about 100 yards since Tuesday, Hawaii County Civil Defense officials said after an overflight Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Maui
The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission on Wednesday dismissed two complaints filed by a Paia political activist, one against a nonprofit industry trust fund and the other against a related super Political Action Committee, which have poured thousands of dollars in at least the Maui County Council West Maui residency race. Maui News.

State and county officials Wednesday closed down beaches from the Old Suda Store to Kalama Park in South Maui after a shark encounter — the third since Saturday on the Valley Isle. Star-Advertiser.

A plan to develop a new restaurant and nightclub in Hawaii involving Aerosmith frontman and part-time Maui resident Steven Tyler has likely been shelved, one of the operating partners told Pacific Business News.

The non-profit Lokahi Pacific community development corporation broke ground on a new affordable housing complex in Happy Valley on Maui. Maui News.

Veteran candidates vie for East Maui council seat. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauai County Councilman Tim Bynum says Kapaa New Town Park is a place that has not necessarily lived up to its name. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council plans to rename the Kapaa New Town Park Facility the Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex. Associated Press.

Benches built to accommodate visitors to Kauai Veterans Cemetery were stolen just weeks after they were installed. Garden Island.

A former Department of Land and Natural Resources official pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Kauai Circuit Court to 30 counts of sex assault — a majority of which are alleged to have occurred when the female victim was a minor. Star-Advertiser.

Molokai

A single initiative on the November election ballot has the Molokai community in such a heated debate that “vote yes” and “vote no” only refer to one thing: whether or not the cultivation of all genetically engineered crops in Maui County should stop while studies are done examining effects on human health and the environment. Molokai Dispatch.