Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Election Day to decide governor, other top political offices amid low voter turnout, Obama declares disaster in Puna lava flow, Maui GMO top ballot issue, Gabbard activated to National Guard, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii Sen. Ruderman's band kicks off Democratic Party grand rally in Hilo Monday © 2014 All Hawaii News
After his stunning defeat of Gov. Neil Abercrombie in the Democratic primary, state Sen. David Ige is facing a tough fight to claim Hawaii’s top office. Outside money from mainland super political action committees has poured in to the island state to fuel ads that have blanketed the airwaves in a race that’s difficult to predict. Associated Press.

Voter turnout for the November elections is expected to be low, political analysts predict, a reflection of a lack of enthusiasm for the candidates and a disengagement from politics. Turnout in Hawaii might not reach the 55.8 percent who voted in 2010, the last gubernatorial election, and could mirror the record low of 52.7 percent in 2006. Star-Advertiser.

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Ige with son and Dems chair Tarnas
It’s Election Day: Here’s What’s At Stake in Hawaii. Voters will pick a new governor and congressman and settle ballot questions on preschool funding and GMOs in Maui County. Civil Beat.

It's the year of the underdog in Hawaii, where a soft-spoken Democrat knocked out the sitting governor in the primary election, and a strong third-party candidate is making one race difficult to predict. Associated Press.
copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz

Hawaii voters will decide Tuesday whether Democrat Brian Schatz will hold onto the U.S. Senate seat he was appointed to when Daniel Inouye died in 2012. Schatz faces Republican Cam Cavasso in the Senate race. Associated Press.

Hawaii residents will decide both of the state’s U.S. House races Tuesday, including whether Democrats keep control of the 1st Congressional District. West Hawaii Today.

The Congressional District One race is dead even according to the latest media polls.  The two leading candidates are last making a final push for votes. Hawaii Public Radio.

President Barack Obama is trying to help Hawaii hold on to a Democratic seat in Congress with a recorded message the day before the election that asks voters to support state Rep. Mark Takai in the state’s close House race. Associated Press.

Commentary: Who are Undecided Voters, and Will They Actually Vote. Pollsters think some top candidates' unfamiliarity increases undecided voters. But campaigns' best bet is to ensure solid supporters actually vote. Civil Beat.

An emotional Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed off on a new two-year labor contract for the University of Hawaii's more than 4,000 faculty members Monday, a day before Hawaii voters elect a new governor. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Monday a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that allows the state to reduce its health care coverage of noncitizens, which includes 13,700 Micronesian migrants. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiʻi’s business tax climate scores below average according to a report issued last week by the country’s leading independent tax policy research organization. Maui Now.

Oahu

Hawaiian Electric Co. plans to clear the way for thousands of rooftop solar energy systems on Oahu to connect to its grid by December 2015, according to a letter the utility sent to Hawaii regulators last Friday. Pacific Business News.

This afternoon, HECO announced plans to clear the backlog of thousands of customers waiting for approval to connect their PV systems to the grid. KHON2.

An aerial advertising company will need to make its case to fly over Oahu skies before a district judge after all. Star-Advertiser.

The state's second busiest unemployment office is getting downsized. State Labor Director Dwight Takamine said the state plans to close the Waipahu unemployment office, four months after the department shutdown its Kaneohe office. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration Monday in response to the June 27 lava flow, a move that authorizes federal reimbursement of state and county relief efforts. Tribune-Herald.

courtesy photo
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard volunteered for and is being called to state active duty by the Hawaii Army National Guard to support Hawaii County's response to the lava flow threatening Pahoa, officials said. Star-Advertiser.

On the eve of her re-election bid, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii District 2, announced that she can been activated by the Hawaii Army National Guard. The congresswoman serves as a Military Police Captain in the Guard, and will be supporting response to the ongoing Kilauea lava flow. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii's Chief Election Officer Scott Nago is telling voters that all polls on the Big Island will be open on Election Day. That's despite the lava that's been creeping into a district that had a hard time voting during the primary because of the tropical storm that knocked down trees and power lines. Associated Press.

Chief Election Officer Scott Nago said Monday that all polls, including the four in the Pahoa area, will be open on Election Day. Voters assigned to Pahoa Community Center will still have the option to vote at Hawaiian Paradise Park Community Center. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials say the leading edge of the Puna lava flow remains stalled and hasn't advanced since last week Thursday, leaving it 480 feet from Pahoa Village. Hawaii News Now.

Threats, arrests and a potential challenge in court.  The battle over who can see the lava flow on the Big Island, and when, is putting a new law to the test. KITV4.

A $4 million appropriation from the state Legislature is providing a boost to Hawaii County’s efforts to have a regional park completed in Waimea by fall of 2016. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu and newly selected Deputy Chief Dean Rickard were officially sworn in to their respective posts today during a ceremony held at the Kīhei police station in South Maui. Maui Now.

The Sugar Cane Train in Lahaina may be back in service in several months, announced West Maui resident and local businessman Craig Hill, who is the new owner of the historic steam engine. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauai residents have been sounding off via absentee ballots and early walk-in voting. Today, they’ll take to the polls to decide the island’s next mayor, seven-member Kauai County Council and three state representatives, as well as cast their vote for candidates running in several key state and federal races. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council will address a proposal to repeal a new county law pertaining to pesticide use and genetically modified crops that a federal judge recently ruled invalid. Star-Advertiser.