Monday, October 24, 2016

Ala Wai cleanup mulled, changes to state constitution, local charters on ballot, Oahu wants feral cat cleanup, Department of Education pares teacher suspension list, lots of candidates on ballots, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Canoe on the Ala Wai © 2016 All Hawaii News
The Ala Wai Canal is home to the largest concentration of canoe clubs in the state, yet according to city readings it sometimes has 20 times the level of contaminants considered safe for human recreation. Star-Advertiser.

The Department of Education’s backlog of employee misconduct cases has dropped to its lowest level in at least two years amid efforts to resolve investigations quicker and provide consistent guidelines to schools. Star-Advertiser.

Public high schools across the state saw an increase this past year in ACT results for 2016 graduates, increasing scores in mathematics by 2 percent and 1 percent in English and science.Garden Island.

From Now Through Nov 8, Every Day Is Election Day In Hawaii. Plenty of people have their ballots in hand, but there are a lot of decisions to make. Civil Beat.

Hawaii residents who missed the deadline to register to vote will get a second chance. Late registration will be available during Early Walk-In voting starting on Tuesday. KITV.

Voters won’t just be deciding political races in November. Also on the general election ballot, voters will find two proposed constitutional amendments adopted during the Twenty-Eighth Legislature’s Regular Sessions of 2015 and 2016, as well as proposed charter amendment questions for individual counties. KHON2.

University of Hawaii researchers have been awarded more than $1 million to test and evaluate technology used to observe aquatic ecosystems, the university announced. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Democratic hopeful aims to unseat Hawaii’s only GOP senator. Associated Press.

Honolulu Charter Commission leaders say there’s a legitimate argument for allowing the mayor and City Council members to serve up to three consecutive four-year terms instead of the current two terms. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu voters are being asked to study up on 20 proposed changes to the Honolulu City Charter dealing with topics as diverse as giving more teeth to the Honolulu Police Commission to creating a new Department of Land Management. Star-Advertiser.

Amendment Would Help Fund Honolulu Zoo With Property Taxes/ Voters are asked to dedicate a portion of the tax revenue. The zoo recently lost its accreditation, partially due to the lack of a steady funding. Civil Beat.

Nearly 70 percent of Oahu voters want feral cats removed from Hawaii, according to The Civil Beat Poll conducted earlier this month by Merriman River Group.

Mayoral candidate Charles Djou has filed an ethics complaint against Mayor Kirk Caldwell, alleging the incumbent lied on his official financial disclosure form about the value of his stock in Territorial Savings Bank. Civil Beat.

The race for state House District 22 comes down to an incumbent Democrat who does not think government is hard enough on the homeless versus a Republican businesswoman who maintains the homeless should be shown more compassion. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu has the second-highest construction costs in the world behind only Oslo, Norway, according to a new report. Pacific Business News.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is working on a plan to better protect the Pahole Natural Area Reserve at Mokuleia. Star-Advertiser.

A Haleiwa landowner is seeking to rezone 7 acres of agricultural property for development of 29 homes on the edge of an existing residential neighborhood and large farms. Star-Advertiser.

Palolo Valley: ‘Overshadowed By Its Past,’ But Making Progress. Though outsiders have long been wary of the community east of Manoa, its reputation is changing for the better. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

After more than 770 absentee voters cast mail-in ballots too late to be counted in the primary election, officials have tucked a bright orange reminder in the ballot packages being mailed for the general election. West Hawaii Today.

Depending on whom you ask, the single local amendment on the Big Island’s general election ballot will either do nothing or quite a lot. The amendment changes language in the county charter, the county’s governing document. It would broaden the scope of the General Plan, the document that dictates what can be developed, where. West Hawaii Today.

The House District 3 race is probably the closest it gets to putting the Thirty Meter Telescope on the ballot. Tribune-Herald.

Rep. Cindy Evans, who’s represented North Kona, South Kohala and North Kohala since 2002, said it’s her experience that makes her suited to continue representing the district during the next legislative cycle. Her opponent, community organizer Jeffrey Coakley, said it’s time to “bring in a change,” and fight for a less “Oahu-centric” government. West Hawaii Today.

For the first time in 2016, voters in West Hawaii’s 5th District have a choice to make regarding who will represent them in the State House of Representatives. Incumbent Democrat Richard Creagan’s seat, which covers the southern tip of the island from Keauhou down to South Point, is being challenged by Libertarian candidate Michael Last. West Hawaii Today.

Two community association leaders are seeking to represent lower Puna on the Hawaii County Council. Maddie Greene of Nanawale Estates and Eileen Ohara of Hawaiian Shores will face off in the Nov. 8 general election in the District 4 race. Tribune-Herald.
http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/local-news/candidates-share-puna-visions-greene-ohara-both-proven-leaders-district-4-race

During the first day of the contested case hearing in Hilo, Pua Case – a Hawaiian cultural practitioner and one of the original legal challengers of the Thirty Meter Telescope permit – asked planner Perry White if he believes Mauna Kea is sacred. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Wailuku council race draws candidates with contrasting styles, goals. Maui News.

Some Haiku residents are seeking help and guidance from county officials and landowners to establish a pedestrian and bike path to link Haiku’s two commercial centers — the old Pauwela and Haiku canneries. Maui News.

Record flood was a close call for parts of Wailuku. Levee holds, barely preventing massive destruction, loss of life. Maui News.

Kauai

Justin Kollar, incumbent, is seeking another term as the county’s prosecuting attorney. If re-elected, he hopes to address drug houses, domestic violence and find ways for drug addicts to get the help they need. Garden Island.

If elected, Lisa Arin promises to tackle the island’s methamphetamine problem, beginning by making sure children are safe in their homes. Garden Island.

Kauai public high schools made big strides during the 2015-16 school year. The Hawaii State Department of Education announced an increase in the number of public high schools and public charter schools in terms of their academic performance; in particular, graduation rates and test scores. Garden Island.

An online petition is circulating, demanding changes to the contract between the County of Kauai and Kauai Humane Society. Garden Island.

On Monday, the second round of Hawaiian Petrel translocation will bring another group of chicks into the borders of the predator-proof fence within the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. Garden Island.