Wednesday, June 8, 2016

One-fourth of legislative seats up for re-election already decided, draft NextEra/Hawaiian Electric sale document circulating at PUC, public school condom ban continues, rail becomes central issue as Djou enters Honolulu mayoral race, 13 vie for Hawaii County mayor, Civil Beat drops paywall, goes nonprofit, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii County Election Administrator Pat Nakamoto helps last-minute state Senate filer © 2016 All Hawaii News
Sixteen sitting members of the Legislature are effectively re-elected outright as no one filed to run against them by Tuesday’s deadline to enter Hawaii’s state and federal election contests. Those who won simply by filing for office included one Republican and 15 Democrats. Those uncontested seats amount to about one-fourth of the seats in the state Legislature that were available in this year’s elections. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard will likely be easily re-elected to Congress this year with no major candidates opting to challenge them as the filing deadline for candidates running for election closed Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Will NextEra Energy be allowed to buy Hawaiian Electric? That decision is in the hands of three people who are circulating a draft decision as we speak, according to the head of the Public Utilities Commission. KHON2.

Shelter managers in Hawaii are scrambling to figure out how to keep a roof over the heads of hundreds of homeless people, and similar cuts are being made across the nation this month as the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development shifts its grant money to programs that focus on permanent housing. Associated Press.

Transgender students’ options for the use of bathrooms and locker rooms, dress codes and counseling are mapped out in a set of guidelines and policies created by the Hawaii Department of Education for the upcoming school year. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Education will begin training principals and school staff over the summer on new guidelines aimed at providing consistent support for transgender students in Hawaii public schools. Star-Advertiser.

A Board of Education committee was briefed today on guidelines to support transgender students. Hawaii Public Radio.

Outreach workers and health care providers say many children and teens struggle to find proper mental health care. The state Health Department often ends up sending severely mentally ill children and teens to the mainland for treatment, away from the support of friends and family. Associated Press.

Reflections on the impact of crystal methamphetamine on life in Hawaii have begun appearing in local theater and literature. Civil Beat.

Oahu

With former Congressman Charles Djou entering the mayor's race, the future of rail is again at the forefront of a mayoral election. Hawaii News Now.

Djou Jumps Into Mayor’s Race
; Aiona Opts Not To Run At All. Many Hawaii legislators will be unopposed, especially the most influential ones. But some lawmakers face tough contests. Civil Beat.

Charles Djou stepped up to file for mayor because of what he sees as mismanagement of rail-- a project not on time, and way over budget. KITV4.

Tuesday was the last day for candidates in Hawaii to file nomination papers for the primary election. Among those who formalized their campaigns: former Congressman and Honolulu City Councilmember Charles Djou. KHON2.

Hawaiian Electric Co. said Tuesday it is seeking more renewable-energy projects to generate power for Oahu by 2020. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Co. is looking for developers to build new renewable energy projects on Oahu as part of its effort to get the state closer to its 100 percent renewable energy goal by 2045, the Honolulu-based utility said Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

It was a packed house at the Lanikai Community Center, Tuesday night as city officials, HPD and residents met to discuss the ongoing traffic and parking issues in the area. Hawaii News Now.

The Board of Water Supply said the swing on top of the Haiku Stairs trail, also known as the Stairway to Heaven, was removed by about 12:30 p.m. The board, which owns the land, hired a contractor, The Nakoa Companies, for the job at a cost of $23,000. Associated Press.

The city is pursuing a court order to clear a Pensacola Street property littered with trash and derelict vehicles that building and fire officials say pose health and safety hazards. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: The Honolulu Charter Commission commission is poised to vote on two proposed amendments to the city charter described as enhancing public participation by changing and eliminating neighborhood boards and commissions. But that bit of political doublespeak conceals the reality that the proposals would dismantle important structures providing opportunities for active participation in city government. Civil Beat.

Civil Beat is transitioning to a nonprofit entity, drops subscription paywall and vows to continue news coverage.

Hawaii

Candidate deadline passes: The popularity of the mayor's office has left business and civic groups scrambling to decide how to cram as many major candidates as possible into the limited time and limited space onstage during planned candidate forums. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Civil Defense is hiring a University of Hawaii at Manoa professor to model dispersion of hydrogen sulfide from gas releases at Puna Geothermal Venture. The $362,719 study will provide a “comprehensive dispersion and plume modeling program” aimed at improving risk assessments from venting at the power plant. Tribune-Herald.

A Special Permit to allow the establishment and operation of a “Hawaiian Sanctuary” retreat center for health and well-being was approved by the Windward Planning Commission on Thursday, June 2. Big Island Video News.

Fewer than half of Big Island teens used condoms the last time they had sex, one survey shows, but a policy that bans the distribution of prophylactics in Hawaii’s public schools isn’t going away just yet. The state Board of Education voted Tuesday to keep the condom prohibition intact, withdrawing a previous motion to overturn it. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui Land & Pineapple has sold a 304-acre planned workforce housing project in West Maui for $15 million to an undisclosed buyer, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Pacific Business News.

A boatload of decision makers visited waters offshore of Maui on Friday to see firsthand how land-based pollutants and unsustainable fishing practices are killing coral reefs. Maui Now.

For single-family homes, the median sales price countywide was $620,000, down 6.7 percent from $665,000 in April but still up 2.1 percent from $607,098 a year earlier. Maui News.

Maui resident Kaulana Mossman and Molokai resident Kamaka Purdy have been named to the five-member board of a nonprofit that plans to address affordable housing on Hawaiian homelands. Maui News.

Kauai


Sen. Ron Kouchi is running for re-election as president of the state Senate because he wants to make sure Kauai will be recognized in the national political arena. Garden Island.

Rats suspected of eating endangered endemic Hawaiian honey creeper ‘akikiki eggs. Garden Island.