Friday, October 26, 2018

80k cast early votes, Maui mayor files ethics complaint against councilman, 2,900 acres preserved on Oahu, Kilauea remains #1 active U.S. volcano, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Election Day Is Already Over For Almost 80,000 Hawaii Voters. Of the 254,880 mail ballots sent out so far, about 75,000 have been returned. Another 5,000 voters already went to early walk-in polling places. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Named 2nd Least Politically Engaged State. In order to determine which states are most involved in politics, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across ten key indicators of political engagement. Maui Now.

What's in a Name? A lot for OHA Candidates. Name recognition is a factor in any election, but here in Hawaii it is a dominant factor in Office of Hawaiian Affairs races. Hawaii Public Radio.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee Rowena Akana testified before the state Ethics Commission on Thursday, saying she was being unfairly singled out as part of an election-year campaign by her rivals to remove her from office. Star-Advertiser.

The Department of Education has begun catching up on payments to vendors after partly restoring a computer system that crashed Oct. 6, officials announced. Star-Advertiser.

DOE pushes through delayed payments to vendors after financial system crash. KHON2.

Preparing Healthcare Providers for Medical Aid in Dying. On January 1st, Hawaii’s Death with Dignity law will go into effect. The law allows terminally ill patients to request a lethal prescription to voluntarily end their lives. Hawaii Public Radio.

It’s nearly November, but Southwest Airlines is still vowing to begin selling tickets between the mainland and Hawaii later this year. Star-Advertiser.

Southwest Airlines’ highly anticipated flights to and between the Hawaiian Islands likely will not begin until the start of 2019 and possibly considerably later. Tribune-Herald.

George Szigeti leaves HTA, replacement still unknown. The Hawaii Tourism Authority has not yet announced its replacement for George Szigeti, who held his last board meeting as CEO on Thursday. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

Will Voters Make It Easier For Honolulu Rail Board To Make Decisions? Legislators added nonvoting members for more project scrutiny, but the move made it harder for the board to reach a quorum. Civil Beat.

Honolulu ballots will ask voters 5-part question relating to rail. New Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board members were recently added by the Legislature, but that changed the number of members who have to be there for votes to pass. KHON2.

2,900 acres of Central Oahu will be preserved by the state. The state has acquired nearly 2,900 acres of land in Central Oahu from Dole Food Co., closing on a $15.2 million deal that conservation officials say will help protect a critical watershed, open up the area to recreation and stave off potential development. Star-Advertiser.

State acquires thousands of acres in Central Oahu for wildlife, recreation. The state is now the new owner of nearly 2,900 acres of land in Central Oahu. KHON2.

Hawaii, Trust for Public Land acquire former Dole land for $15M. The state of Hawaii and the Trust for Public Land have closed on the acquisition of 2,882 acres of forest and fallow lands near the Helemano Military Reservation in Central Oahu from the Dole Food Co. Pacific Business News.

After years of complaints and $1M in fines, homeowner just keeps operating illegal vacation rental. A six-bedroom house near Kailua Beach that’s illegally operating as a vacation rental has accrued more than $1 million in unpaid city fines. Hawaii News Now.

Appraisals for Kealohas' seized Hawaii Kai home come in under what they paid for it. The home is in the foreclosure process as the couple battle legal trouble. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Kilauea remains No. 1 on a list of volcanoes in the U.S. categorized as a very high threat for 2018, according to a report released this week by the U.S. Geological Survey. Associated Press.

Kilauea may be quiet, but it’s anything but dormant. In fact, a new USGS report gives Kilauea the highest threat assessment among volcanoes in the United States. Hawaii News Now.

Kilauea ranked #1 on USGS's list of "very high threat" volcanoes. Erupting continuously since 1983, Kilauea ravaged communities and homes Lower Puna - most recently in May.  KITV.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Reopens More Lodging, Dining, Camping. Big Island Video News.

Volcano House back in operation following Kilauea eruption. Volcano House Hotel resumes its restaurant service tonight after months of closure following the Kilauea eruption. Tribune-Herald.

County to extend comment period for Pahala sewer plant. Hawaii County plans to resubmit its draft environmental assessment for a Pahala wastewater treatment plant to allow for more public comments. Tribune-Herald.

Nearly $280,000 in rent owed to the state by Cellana Inc. will be repaid as part of the sale of the company’s assets to microalgae producer Cyanotech Corp. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Mayor files ethics complaint against Council Member Atay. Complaint alleges improper use of county email in a ‘political attack’. Maui News.

Early walk-in voting began Tuesday at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center in Wailuku. County Clerk Danny Mateo said about 400 people came through to cast ballots Tuesday. Maui News.

The Hawaii Farmers Union United will host their eighth annual HFUU Conference from Oct. 26 to Oct. 28 at Okoa Farms in Kula. Maui Now.

Maui gas prices have risen once again this week by a margin of one cent; however, prices are up from last month by eight cents, and up from last year by 66 cents. In Kahului, the average price is $4.16. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kauai Community College students met mayoral candidates Derek Kawakami and Mel Rapozo Monday at a candidate forum hosted by student government and the History Club. Garden Island.

Rebalancing Kauai. With nature and infrastructure overwhelmed and record-breaking visitor numbers, state and county officials are looking for balance on Kauai. Garden Island.

County Council candidate: Felicia Cowden. Cowden ran for council in 2014 and has been going to the weekly meetings for well over four years. Garden Island.

Lanai

Council veteran Hokama faces coalition-backed opponent. Maui Pono Network support for challenger figures in Lanai council race. As he seeks re-election to his fifth consecutive term on the Maui County Council, Riki Hokama said he hopes to spend the next two years working on some priority projects for his home island of Lanai. Maui News.