Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard disinvited from today's Democratic presidential debate, Maui to fly its homeless one-way elsewhere, state senator says Honolulu police chief should be on leave pending ethics probe, Puna group fights Hualalai geothermal drilling plan, newspaper tours Syngenta secret seed research facility, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy Gabbard
Rep. Tulsi Gabbbard promoted to major, courtesy photo
The Democratic National Committee has taken the highly unusual step of disinviting one of its own leaders from Tuesday’s presidential debate: U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who serves as one of five vice chairs of the organization. The reason for the very public slap at the second-term Hawaii congresswoman? Apparently, it stems from her call earlier this fall for more debates. Civil Beat.

For the past several weeks, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been outspoken in her calls for more Democratic Party presidential debates. But after renewing that point during an interview with MSNBC on Saturday, she said officials with the Democratic National Committee told her not to show up for first presidential debate Tuesday in Las Vegas. Hawaii News Now.

Comparing it to childish games by those still in high school, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard spoke out against DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz Monday after she says she was disinvited from the Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas Tuesday evening. KITV4.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D, Hawaii, is making national headlines for saying she has been asked not to attend Tuesday’s Democratic debate in Las Vegas. KHON2.

Representative Tulsi Gabbard, a vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said she was disinvited from the first Democratic presidential primary debate in Nevada after she appeared on television and called for more face-offs. New York Times

Democratic U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was promoted from captain to major in the Hawaii Army National Guard on Monday morning in a ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Army National Guard promoted U.S. Congressional Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, to the rank of major. At a ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) on Oahu, former U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka led her in taking her oath of office, according to a a news release sent out by her office. MauiTime.

The proposed sale of Hawaii’s electric company to a giant energy firm based in Florida has played out publicly since the deal with announced last December. At times, it’s felt more like an election campaign than an agreement between two utilities that must clear regulatory hurdles, not win a majority of voters’ hearts. Civil Beat.

Voter registration for one of the biggest elections for Native Hawaiian self-governance will close this week. Nearly 100,000 Hawaiians have been certified by the state-sanctioned Native Hawaiian Roll Commission to vote in a private election for delegates who will gather in Honolulu this winter at a constitutional convention. The governing document these delegates write will form the foundation of a new government by and for Native Hawaiians. Garden Island.

Oahu

State Senate Vice President Will Espero said HPD Chief Louis Kealoha should step aside from his leadership role until the FBI completes its criminal investigation over allegations that he abused his power. Hawaii News Now.

A proposed modular housing project for homeless families in Waianae is drawing criticism from residents who contend that it is not a good fit for their community. Star-Advertiser.

The last vestiges of the Kakaako homeless encampment are expected to be removed from Ohe Street beginning at 7:30 a.m. today — a day later than had been anticipated. Star-Advertiser.

One of the longest-lived military airplanes in Hawaii — the P-3 Orion turboprop — is starting to fade away, with the Navy deciding its sub-hunting jet replacements could be more economically based in Washington state. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

A group that has long fought geothermal development in Puna plans to challenge a geothermal survey on Hualalai for lacking an environmental assessment. Terri Napeahi, Pele Defense Fund vice president, thinks the state erred by not requiring the review for the exploration project, which will measure very low-frequency electromagnetic waves underground, and plans to file a lawsuit. Tribune-Herald.

The public has a right to read emails exchanged between Hawaii state legislators and the agribusiness industry, Ashley Lukens, program director for the Hawaii Center for Food Safety told scores Thursday night in Kona. West Hawaii Today.

South Kona paniolo should see about $3 million in improvements to the Honaunau Rodeo Arena by this time next year, as the county begins sprucing up the old arena to better serve the public. West Hawaii Today.

Higher education enrollment on Hawaii Island continues to dwindle, leading University of Hawaii administrators to look for ways to boost revenue. The last three fall semesters at University of Hawaii at Hilo have begun with consistent dips in enrollment, with overall numbers dropping by 328 students, or 7.9 percent, since 2012, according to head counts provided by the University of Hawaii Institutional Research Office. There currently are 3,829 students enrolled. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The Hawaiʻi Lodging and Tourism Association will donate a $25,000 grant toward a new project to fly an estimated 120 homeless individuals on Maui back to the mainland. The non-profit, statewide trade organization will present a check to Kahului’s Family Life Center this weekend as part of its initial neighbor island funding for the repatriation program. Maui Now.

As Hawai‘i continues to wrestle with the highest rate of homelessness in the nation, one Maui group has come up with a creative solution to alleviate the problem. Hawaii Public Radio.

The burning of large sugar cane fields on Maui has been linked to acute respiratory distress in a new study by health professionals. Civil Beat.

A Final Environmental Assessment has been filed for the proposed Kuhua Street Extension project that is designed to provide an alternate local transportation corridor parallel to the Honoapiʻilani Highway between Front Street and Keawe Street in West Maui. Maui Now.

Except for a double-digit jump in single-family home sales, little has changed significantly in Maui County residential and condominium real estate when comparing the first nine months of this year with the same period in 2014, according to statistics released last week by the Realtors Association of Maui. Maui News.

Opinion: Oh, to be a fly on the wall in Mayor Alan Arakawa’s 9th Floor county office today. You guys saw The Maui News’ huge front-page story yesterday on the dramatic Mar. 5, 2013 meeting at Starbucks in Kahului between then-Maui Film Commissioner Harry Donenfeld (who secretly recorded the meeting because he was worried about his job) and three key aides to Mayor Alan Arakawa: Managing Director Keith Regan, Chief of Staff Herman Andaya and Communications Director Rod Antone. It’s quite the tale of power and influence, concerning the Maui Film Studio (the island’s first locally financed and run film studio, which has since gone out of business) and big-time Hollywood producer Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media (which recently declared bankruptcy). MauiTime.

Kauai

On a recent sun-drenched afternoon at Syngenta’s seed research facility, tidy rows of spring green leaves peered out of cracks in the earth. Garden Island.