Monday, July 25, 2016

Tropical Storm Darby leaves Hawaii, state Democrats split at convention, new marijuana magazine begins, cost of Maui special session, hot classrooms to greet returning students, audit find sloppy records at Big Island Parks&Rec, pollster predicts Kim lead for mayor, OHA threatens Mauna Kea lawsuit, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Sen. Russell Ruderman
Tropical Storm Darby cleanup in Puna, courtesy Sen. Russell Ruderman
Darby swept through the state over the weekend as a tropical storm, but it weakened to a depression early Monday. The Tropical Storm Warning has been dropped for all islands as it moved away from Kauai. Hawaii News Now.

The 70-foot Spirit of Kona vessel grounded and sank early Sunday near Kukailimoku Point in Kailua-Kona. The coastline was closed from King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel to Kukailimoku Point until further notice. West Hawaii Today.

Political conventions usually strive to project an image of unity, but Hawaii’s rough-and-tumble primary race this year caused a rift in the party that is reflected in the divided Hawaii delegation. Based on vote totals, Sanders secured 17 Hawaii delegates while Clinton won eight. That means most of the Hawaii delegates traveling to Philadelphia prefer Sanders, including newly elected Hawaii Democratic Party Chairman Tim Vandeveer, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Democratic National Committeeman-elect Bart Dame. Star-Advertiser.

A new statewide publication called The New Leaf aims to provide comprehensive information on all aspects of Hawaii’s emerging cannabis industry. Pacific Business News.

Next Monday, Hawai‘i public school students will return to classrooms across the state. And chances are, many of those school rooms will be hot. Hawaii Public Radio.

According to dockets filed with the Hawaii state Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday, NextEra Energy Inc. (NYSE: NEE) has filed to withdraw from its ongoing projects in Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

Big Risks Led To Big Losses For Hawaiian Electric. Hawaiian Electric leaders tried to turn an electric utility into an investment powerhouse. It didn’t quite stick. Civil Beat.

Oahu

The Federal Transit Administration has agreed to give city officials more time to come up with a plan to either find the money to finish the Honolulu rail project as originally planned or end it at Middle Street. Civil Beat.

Although the Federal Transit Administration has granted an extension until the end of the year for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation and the city to develop a recovery plan for the Honolulu rail project, it's not as much time as Mayor Kirk Caldwell had requested. Pacific Business News.

The state is moving forward with plans to build a community of more than 200 affordable housing units in Honolulu as part of an effort to address Hawaii's homelessness problem. KITV.

Frustrated Hawaii health officials say they have faced a number of challenges trying to identify the source of a hepatitis A outbreak that has affected at least 74 people on the island of Oahu. Associated Press.

Hawaii

The Department of Parks and Recreation has plugged a leak in its cash-handling procedure following an audit that pointed to lax security. It’s not known how much money might not have found its way into the county coffers that should have been deposited there. West Hawaii Today.

It may not be the most scientific survey, but George Yokoyama said his political polling hasn’t been wrong in the 40 years he’s been doing it. Yokoyama’s latest poll, mailed to 3,000 Big Island households in early June, showed former Mayor Harry Kim leading former county Managing Director Wally Lau by double digits, Yokoyama confirmed this week. West Hawaii Today.

Accusing the state and University of Hawaii of having “grossly mismanaged” Mauna Kea, the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs has been working behind the scenes for months in a move to gain some control over the summit of Hawaii’s tallest mountain. Now, having been rebuffed in its attempts, OHA is threatening to go to court over the issue. Star-Advertiser.

Now, it’s time for Hilo voters to decide who will be their state senator. The District 1 seat is up for grabs after the death of Sen. Gil Kahele last January at age 73.  Tribune-Herald.

Greggor Ilagan, a Hawaii County councilman, is seeking to unseat state Sen. Russell Ruderman in the Democratic primary. And the race is getting heated. Tribune-Herald.

Democrats voting in the District 2 state House primary race have three vastly different choices. Star-Advertiser.

Maui

The dollar amount to help public employees at three Maui-area hospitals is not yet known, but the cost to taxpayers to hold a special legislative session was at least $10,000. Civil Beat.

A cascading waterfall surrounded by vibrant green grass and palm trees at the airport will be the new gateway for visitors arriving and leaving Maui starting today. Maui News.

Young Brothers is proposing a 4.4 percent general increase to its shipping rates that the company says would make up for rising expenses and low cargo growth, but some Maui County residents fear it would create hardships on agriculture and small businesses. Maui News.

A consent order between Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. and the state Health Department over air quality and reporting violations that calls for the sugar plantation to pay $600,000 in fines and other remedies has been finalized. Maui News.

Kauai

Former state land surveyor Thomas Oi is challenging incumbent state Rep. James Tokioka for the District 15 seat. Star-Advertiser.

In March, something unexpected happened. State Rep. Derek Kawakami gave up his secure spot in the House after a five-year stint and decided to run for the Kauai County Council. The rare open seat has spurred a three-way race to represent District 14, which runs from Wailua on the east side through Hanalei on the north shore. Civil Beat.

Lanai

Hawaii’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell in June to 3.3 percent, down from 3.6 percent during the same month last year. However, Lanai saw a tripling of its unemployment rate. Pacific Business News.