Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Huge turnout as Hawaii Republicans vote for Trump, hundreds of bills passed to legislative crossover, gas tax hike advances, county employees reap frequent flier miles, Honolulu juvie hall to get new life, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Photo courtesy Charles Djou all rights reserved
Hawaii GOP caucus in Honolulu, courtesy Charles Djou
Billionaire Donald Trump won the Hawaii Republican Party’s presidential caucus voting Tuesday night, dramatically demonstrating his local appeal by spurring a strong voter turnout that swamped his competition. With all the precincts counted, Trump won handily with 42 percent of the vote, with Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz finishing second at 33 percent, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida a distant third-place with 13 percent, and Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich fourth with just under 11 percent. Star-Advertiser.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump clinched Hawaii's Republican presidential caucus Tuesday night, beating out U.S. Senator Ted Cruz by a significant margin. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Republicans helped Donald Trump continue his domination of the Republican presidential field Tuesday night. The New York real estate magnate won the GOP presidential caucus in the islands. He had 45 percent of the vote with 53 percent of the precincts reporting when the race was called by news networks at about 9:30 p.m. Civil Beat.

For the first time in many decades, Hawaii Republicans could make a dent in national politics. The plan would be both simple and complex. Star-Advertiser.

Although local GOP officials were anticipating large turnouts Tuesday night, it appears they might have been caught off guard by just how large the turnout was. KHON2.

In response to U.S. Rep. Charles Djou’s attack on Donald Trump Monday, local supporters of the presidential frontrunner for the Republican nomination have some comments of their own to make. Civil Beat.

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Opposition mounted in the Senate on Tuesday to a proposal by Gov. David Ige’s administration to hike the gasoline and motor vehicle weight taxes and increase the cost of registrations. If enacted, Senate Bill 2938, part of the governor’s legislative package, is expected to increase costs for a typical motorist by about $83 a year. Star-Advertiser.

It’s crossover week in the Hawaii Legislature, that time when the House and Senate each pass hundreds of bills and send them over to the other chamber for its consideration. While many bills are expected to survive the marathon voting sessions Tuesday and Thursday, many others will be considered dead for the year. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s House and Senate each passed hundreds of bills Tuesday on topics ranging from gun control and medical marijuana to cooling public school classrooms and establishing an all-mail voting system. Civil Beat.

Today the House passed more than 180 bills, including measures to implement a heat abatement program in Hawaii's public schools and to fund construction/relocation of Oahu and Maui prisons. KITV4.

It’s a busy day for Hawaii lawmakers who are considering most of the bills that have a chance at becoming law this year. Associated Press.

Leaders of the state Senate and House of Representatives said Tuesday they are making good on promises to make helping the homeless and providing affordable housing a top priority. Civil Beat.

If there are any worries that the state Senate’s only Republican is out of action, worry no more. Sam Slom was his usual self Tuesday, voting “no” on countless bills sponsored by his Democratic Party colleagues. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige maintained his opposition Tuesday to NextEra Energy Inc.’s proposed buyout of Hawaiian Electric Utilities after the top executive at the Florida-based company’s subsidiary said earlier in the day that most of the governor’s reasons for opposing the sale “do not stack up.” Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Undeterred by rain that blew sideways and broke umbrellas, Republican voters lined up Tuesday night to cast their ballots in the Hawaii Republican caucus. Star-Advertiser.

In spite of rainy blustery weather, Oahu Republicans came out in what appeared to be record numbers to cast their ballots in their presidential caucus Tuesday night. Hawaii News Now.

Voters will have the final say, but the Honolulu Charter Commission has begun the debate over who should oversee the city’s transit operations — including the setting of fares for TheBus, Handi-Van and rail. Star-Advertiser.

A deteriorating and underused juvenile detention center in Honolulu owned by the state is being eyed as an opportunity to increase the supply of affordable housing and produce new facilities serving troubled children. Star-Advertiser.

Police and school safety officers patrolled three public school campuses Tuesday in response to a written threat, but classes continued as usual and no incidents were reported. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Public Radio has a new leader in a former Florida public radio and TV station CEO. HPR is scheduled to announce today that Jose Fajardo will succeed the 17-year tenure of Michael Titterton as president and general manager of the nonprofit member-supported station. Star-Advertiser.

Kamehameha Schools’ $90-million Keauhou Lane rental project in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako, is expected to start construction in the first or second quarter of this year and be completed in the second or third quarter of 2017, according to public documents. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

It was crush turnout at a Republican caucus location in Kona — nothing like 2012, when the entire island cast 1,417 votes — poll workers said. West Hawaii Today.

The skies will remain friendly for Hawaii County employees. Officers and employees are allowed to continue to use the frequent flier miles they accrue on their purchasing cards during government-paid travel for their own personal use. West Hawaii Today.

Puna State Senator Russell Ruderman spoke for twenty minutes on the senate floor Tuesday in a last-ditch effort to derail a geothermal bill he says is bad for his district and the renewable energy industry. Big Island Video News.

In an effort to protect native plants from wild pigs, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources is proposing to fence an additional 2,659 acres in the Laupahoehoe forest. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui County Republicans came out to vote Tuesday in their state presidential caucus in numbers unseen in the memories of local party officials, braving rain, full parking lots and waits of over one hour to cast their ballots. Maui News.

Ethics board set to scrutinize financial disclosure reports. County administration, officials must disclose income, holdings, gifts. Maui News.

Central Maui Regional Sports Complex to Open March 12. Maui Now.

Monday marked the last day for 88 workers at Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co., as the company began gradual layoffs that will see most of its workers lose their jobs by the end of the year as sugar operations come to a close. Maui News.

Kauai

Ten minutes after the voting opened at the presidential Republican caucus on Tuesday, a line wrapped around the foyer of the Kapaa Neighborhood Center. Garden Island.

The big question is: How does Kauai want to manage its invasive rodent population in forests and conservation areas? Monday and Tuesday evenings, members of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife held preliminary scoping meetings in Waimea and Lihue to find out the answer. Garden Island.