Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Gov. Lingle's popularity hits 8-year low, congressional candidates rumble in TV debate, voters prefer Democrat for next governor, Neighbor Island lawmakers weigh civil unions, more Hawaii news

Gov. Linda Lingle's job approval rating has tumbled to the lowest point in her two terms as the state's chief executive, a new Hawai'i Poll has found, as teacher furloughs and a sour economy have weakened her popularity.

The new version of the state budget, passed last week by the state Legislature, keeps almost all the budget cuts recommended by Gov. Linda Lingle.

A bill providing for civil unions exposed splits among the Big Island's legislative delegation.

Kaua‘i delegation split on civil unions

Hawai'i voters are divided between former Congressman Neil Abercrombie and Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann in the Democratic primary for governor in September, but prefer either Democrat to Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, a Republican, in the November general election, a new Hawai'i Poll has found.

President Obama will appeal to Honolulu voters to choose a Democrat in the special election for Congress, as national Democrats grow increasingly alarmed that Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou, a Republican, could snatch the president's hometown district.

Three candidates running in the special election for the 1st Congressional District seat agreed native Hawaiians should receive some form of federal recognition similar to American Indians.

Three veteran politicians waged a battle of big ideas Monday night.

The most heated exchanges came between front runners Ed Case and Charles Djou in a televised debate for the 1st Congressional District Monday night.

Cheers, boos, and bursts of laughter - ask the live audience, and the one word nearly everyone used to describe Monday night's congressional debate was 'spirited'.

A plan to shift the route of Honolulu's proposed elevated commuter rail project to avoid Honolulu International Airport airspace has found favor with the Federal Aviation Administration, the city said yesterday.

A 66-year-old Colorado utility executive who was set to retire this summer was killed on his Big Island farm Sunday night after he was pinned under an overturned tractor.

Hawaiian Airlines began a major upgrade of its fleet Monday. The company received a new state-of-the-art plane for its trans-Pacific flights.

Man claims police illegally confiscated his pakalolo

The Lahainaluna High School boarders program survived in the Legislature's budget for the next fiscal year, but its future remains uncertain with Gov. Linda Lingle still having 45 days to take action on the lawmakers' spending plan.

Olowalu businesses and residents were advised to prepare to leave the area, if necessary, if a nearby brush fire gets too close, said county spokeswoman Mahina Martin on Monday night.

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