Friday, August 12, 2016

Campaign spending reported as primary Election Day nears, Ige's emergency proclamations sidestep competitive bids, Wong exits as Health and Human Services director, 3 charter schools approved, Maui Beach Hotel loses liquor license, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Falls of Clyde, courtesy Creative Commons
Falls of Clyde, courtesy Creative Commons
A 138-year-old sailing ship that's been a landmark in Honolulu Harbor for more than 50 years has been ordered to leave by the state. The "Falls of Clyde" was supposed to be scuttled in 2008, but escaped that fate. However, the state Harbors Division said it was time for it to go. Hawaii News Now.

Possibly the safest electoral seats in Hawaii have been on the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees. For 20 years, voters have consistently returned the same people to the board of OHA, which is charged with improving the lives of Native Hawaiians regarding land, culture, economic self sufficiency, health, education and governance. Civil Beat.

Most incumbents in the Hawaii Legislature have huge campaign finance advantages this election cycle, often doubling or tripling their challengers’ total contributions. On average, through July 29 incumbents have raised about $54,750 while the challengers have only raised about $12,300. Of the 49 contested legislative races in this election, 42 incumbents have raised more than their challengers. Civil Beat.

Tomorrow is primary Election Day across the state. Some noteworthy races include the Mayor’s office for both Honolulu and Hawai‘i County.  Also at stake are nearly half of Honolulu’s city council and county council seats in Maui, Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i County. Hawaii Public Radio.

By issuing sequential emergency proclamations on such issues as homelessness, Gov. David  Ige runs the risk of establishing a new standard in which union rights and procurement rules are no longer factors. Star-Advertiser.

Rachel Wong will no longer serve as director of the state Department of Human Services, effective Sept. 1. Gov. David Ige announced Thursday in a news release that Wong will be leaving the department at the end of the month. She will be replaced Sept. 1 by Pankaj Bhanot, now deputy director. Bhanot’s appointment is subject to Senate approval. Star-Advertiser.

Rachael Wong is leaving her post as director of the state Department of Human Services at the end of the month. She will be replaced by Deputy Director Pankaj Bhanot beginning Sept. 1. Civil Beat.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa didn’t want to leave Washington when she gave up her House seat to run for the Senate two years ago. Associated Press.

Three charter school applicants got the green light Thursday from the state Public Charter School Commission to move ahead with plans for new schools on Oahu and Kauai. The commission, meanwhile, rejected four other applications. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii President David Lassner is seeking approval to expand his duties to include those of chancellor of the flagship Manoa campus, a critical post that for two years has not been permanently filled. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Charles Djou continues to enjoy a fundraising spurt in the race to become mayor of Honolulu. The former congressman received over $40,000 in campaign contributions since July 30, according to a Campaign Spending Commission filing Wednesday. That compares with just over $10,000 for incumbent Kirk Caldwell during the same period. Civil Beat.

Residents and officials offered praise and raised concerns after the long-awaited Nanakuli contra-flow lane opened Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Cost estimates to build the Honolulu rail project have been skyrocketing and officials are trying to figure out the best plan for finishing the line. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, the agency overseeing construction, has been revising estimates as new bids come in. Civil Beat.

New law gives Kakaako businesses a break from skyrocketing property tax. KHON2.

The director of the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies plans to step down at the end of his current term. Retired Lt. Gen. Dan Leaf’s last day at the military-sponsored academic institute will be Oct. 31. Associated Press.

Hawaii

A last-minute cash infusion from two labor unions put mayoral candidate Wally Lau over the $200,000 mark, while his two closest rivals have reported about a tenth of that. West Hawaii Today.

Puna Councilman Danny Paleka recently paid a $1,250 fine and filed amended campaign finance reports for 2014, following a state Campaign Spending Commission investigation that found he failed to report numerous contributions and expenditures. West Hawaii Today.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard spent Thursday morning in Kailua-Kona, capping off her visit with a talk story meeting at Daylight Mind Coffee Co. West Hawaii Today.

Despite challenges including higher-than-anticipated cost projections, HOPE Services Hawaii says it’s moving forward with plans to renovate 11 housing units for the island’s low-income kupuna. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii’s fresh milk supply appears as though it might go down in connection with a planned sale of one of the two remaining large dairy farms in the state, though the deal would also lead to a new supply of organic local cheese, yogurt and butter. Star-Advertiser.

The monthslong reconstruction of Komohana Street in Hilo will now carry into the fall. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island loses cultural gem: Aunty Elizabeth Maluihi Lee dies at 87. West Hawaii Today.

Maui


The Maui County Council issued a statement this afternoon after becoming aware of a Facebook ad and automated phone calls that they say “misinforms residents” about “retroactive tax assessments on property owners.” Maui Now.

‘Running on empty’ — Many bumps and stalls in hospital management transition. Lahaina News.

The 63-year-old Maui Beach Hotel lost its liquor license for the first time ever and has been dry since July 1, officials told the county Department of Liquor Control Commission Wednesday. Maui News.

The median condo price was $440,000 last month compared with $399,000 in July 2015, an increase of 10.3 percent. The number of condos sold rose to 110 from 87, a jump of 26.4 percent. Pacific Business News.

Kauai

Patricia Wistinghausen, member of the Kauai Young Democrats, says the District 14 House of Representatives race is one to watch. Garden Island.

The potential expansion of Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Monument was the main concern at Wednesday evening’s Kauai Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees meeting. Garden Island.

The third time was the charm for Alakai O Kauai Charter School. The school was unanimously approved by the Hawaii State Charter School Commission Thursday, following a recommendation for approval in June. Garden Island.

Over a dozen agencies that participated in an active shooter, first response exercise at KCC on Thursday and agreed the practice of such an event is important. Garden Island.