Friday, July 30, 2010

Gubernatorial candidates spar at Waikiki forum, RIMPAC expanding, environmental laws weakening, A&B revenues strengthening, more news from all of the Hawaiian Islands

As the biennial Rim of the Pacific exercise wraps up this weekend, the U.S. Navy is already preparing for expanded exercises in the future. West Hawaii Today.

The state is proposing changes to the current environmental assessment law that could prevent the public from having a voice in future projects, including ones involving invasive species control and eradication. KHON2.

Former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, in one of his sharpest critiques of his opponent in the Democratic primary for governor, described former Mayor Mufi Hannemann last night as a candidate of the status quo. Star-Advertiser.

For the first time since both officially entered the race for governor, Neil Abercrombie and Mufi Hannemann shared the same stage at a candidates' forum. KHON2.

Democratic rivals Neil Abercrombie and Mufi Hannemann laid out their platforms for economic development and tourism at a forum sponsored by the Waikiki Neighborhood Board. Hawaii News Now.

An analysis of state House and Senate races suggests Hawaii's Republicans will remain in the wilderness following the 2010 elections. But some contests against Democrat opponents will be competitive, as will several Democratic primaries. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii County Council chairman has received nearly $7,000 in taxpayers' money to spend on a re-election campaign he cannot lose. Tribune-Herald.

A top state Department of Transportation official asked residents Wednesday to support the agency's proposed six-year, $4 billion highways modernization plan, aimed to target backlogged road projects. West Hawaii Today.

A federal judge's order has delayed shipment of Oahu's municipal trash to a landfill in Washington state for at least a month. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Education is laying off about 40 clerical staff workers as part of an effort to save $142 million in the coming school year. Hawaii News Now.

Today and Friday public school teachers will be on their first two furlough days of the 2010-11 school year, the teachers union said. Maui News.

Hawaii leaders are planning to turn next year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference into a tourism marketing opportunity, showcasing the islands' beauty and its ability to host businesses. Associated Press.

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) will be a gathering of world leaders in Honolulu next year. It will be one of Hawaii's most important conventions ever held. A new committee has been created to help with the organizational preparations. Hawaii News Now.

Plans are underway to showcase Hawaii to the world during next year's APEC meeting in Honolulu. KHON2.

A jump in methamphetamine-related arrests on Oahu and a significant increase in positive results in workplace drug tests statewide suggest a surge in meth use -- even by people trying to find jobs in Hawaii's struggling economy. Star-Advertiser.

Two more candidates on Thursday entered the race for Honolulu mayor. KITV.

Councilman Donovan Dela Cruz on Thursday announced he is dropping out of the race for Honolulu mayor to run for the state Senate instead. KITV.

The County Council approved Wednesday a controversial bill that allows owners of transient vacation rentals on agricultural lands to apply for non-conforming use permits as long as their operations meet certain criteria. Garden Island.

Efforts to change how Maui County council members are elected – replacing at-large elections with nine single-member districts -- stalled this month as council members opted to delay a decision until next year. Molokai Dispatch.

Evildoers beware; 40 electronic eyes are being installed in downtown Hilo, Kailua-Kona, Pahoa and at Akaka Falls State Park. Tribune-Herald.

Maui County welcomed 1,068,804 visitors in the first six months of 2010. Maui News.

Alexander & Baldwin Inc. is reporting net income for the second quarter of $28.9 million, compared to $12.6 million in the second quarter of 2009. Associated Press.

For a limited time, SOS Metals Recycling is offering free vehicle recycling. Lahaina News.

Collectively, they tallied more than 146 years with the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, long enough to outlast the newspaper that chronicled Hawaii history for 128 years. Star-Advertiser.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Gays filing lawsuit over civil unions, Big Island courthouses could close, Molokai newspaper opposes developer, Hawaii County targets vets, poor, for tax hikes, Honolulu councilman under criminal investigation wants to be mayor, more Hawaii news

Six gay couples in Hawaii are filing a lawsuit Thursday asking for the same rights as married couples, three weeks after Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed a same-sex civil unions measure. Associated Press.

First the veto, now a lawsuit. Two legal rights groups want the issue of same-sex marriage to be decided not by a public vote, but by a judge. Hawaii News Now.

Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Hawaii Foundation today said they will sue Gov. Linda Lingle over her July 6 veto of House Bill 444, which would have allowed Hawaii civil unions. Civil Beat.

Having been together since 2005, Sean Smith and Kale Taylor are like many committed couples -- they want to make things official. Star-Advertiser.

The Judiciary may shut down three of its part-time satellite courthouses on the Big Island temporarily because of a lack of sheriffs to provide security. Star-Advertiser.

Double-digit increases in arrivals and spending last month have made summer hotter for Hawaii tourism, though it still lacks the sizzle it had a few years ago. Star-Advertiser.

Economists hope the worst is over for Hawaii's housing slowdown. KHON2.

The last of Hawaii tax refunds are being mailed this week after they had been delayed because of state government budget shortages. Associated Press.

Councilman Rod Tam -- who's under criminal investigation for using city funds on meals for friends and family -- filed his nomination papers to run for Honolulu Mayor Wednesday. KITV.

The state dedicated a new $2.5 million dock at Keehi Small Boat Harbor Wednesday. KHON2.

The Governor says she's in no rush to sign off on the city's rail project. Wednesday, the city awarded a $5.5 million contract for the design of the West Loch, Waipahu and Leeward Community College stations along Farrington Highway. Hawaii News Now.

Mililani residents joined forces at a neighborhood board meeting Wednesday night, to oppose an affordable housing project in their community. KITV.

The House committees on Housing and Human Services’ joint informational briefing, held July 15, explored solutions–some more controversial than others–to the issue of chronic homelessness in the state. Honolulu Weekly.

Hawaii County is looking to scoop up an additional $270,000 in property taxes by targeting 6,000 disabled veterans and poor property owners who don't currently pay the minimum $100 tax. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County is receiving $115 million in federal economic stimulus dollars, but you wouldn't know it by the 1,150 jobs that various industries shed on the Big Island so far this year. Tribune-Herald.

Wailuku resident Ken Kekona told officials how his teenage granddaughter nearly died in a crosswalk, and Kula resident Harriet Sibonga and other senior citizens pointed out dangerous places for pedestrians and motorists on Maui. Maui News.

Lava is now entering the ocean in two locations in Kalapana, and a third flow may reach the ocean soon. Star-Advertiser.

This past Saturday night, July 25, I stood alongside a small handful of neighbors and photographers watching Madame Pele’s molten lava consume a beautiful little home, custom-built by my neighbor Gary, complete with beautiful landscaping - tropical flowers, bananas, a little gazebo overlooking the lava fields, ancient ironwood and mango trees - all burning, falling all over the former end of Highway 137 in Kalapana. Big Island Weekly.
The names of the characters may be the same and the backdrop is still Hawaii, but that's where the similarities end between the old and new "Hawaii Five-0," the re invented CBS series that should leave audiences breathless for more. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Star Advertiser is saying good-bye to three longtime employees. KHON2.

Although the county received $1.21 million almost two years ago to retrofit lights at four county parks — Isenberg Park, Vidinha Football Stadium, Hanapepe Stadium and Peter Rayno Park in Hanama‘ulu — the project has yet to commence, according to the County Attorney’s Office. Garden Island.

Stop Molokai Ranch Windmills Petition. Molokai Dispatch.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

PUC: Smart grid dumb idea, cable repair could take weeks, WWII munitions no danger yet, lawyers speak out on chief justice pick, more

Hawaii regulators have rejected plans for a broad expansion of smart grid electric technology that would have been paid for by residents and bus- inesses. Asso- ciated Press.

When it comes to repairing a severed fiber-optic cable 3,000 feet under the sea, it won't be as simple as calling the cable guy. Star-Advertiser.

Internet, cable television and telephone service began returning to normal Tuesday afternoon for thousands of Oceanic Time Warner Cable customers after a break in an undersea fiber-optic cable disrupted service about 12 hours earlier. Maui News.

A rare break in an undersea fiber-optic cable Tuesday morning, left around 400,000 people without Internet, phone and TV service, for 12 hours in some cases. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu resident Ian Kurihara discovered early Tuesday morning he wasn't able to go online. KITV.

A wind farm on Oahu's North Shore is receiving a big boost in federal funding. KHON2.

Chemical weapons dumped off Pearl Harbor after World War II pose no threat to humans for now but are "clearly deteriorating" and should continue to be monitored, the lead scientist on the University of Hawaii project said Tuesday. Associated Press.

They're safe for now. There's no threat to humans or the ocean so far. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Women Lawyers will be expressing their strong support of Gov. Linda Lingle's appoint- ment of appeals Judge Katherine Leonard as the next chief justice, a spokeswoman for the group said yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

In a letter to the Hawaii Bar Association, attorney Eric Seitz calls Katherine Leonard "ill equipped and unqualified" to be Hawaii's next Chief Justice. Hawaii News Now.

After failing at its first bid for federal Race to the Top funds, Hawaii has placed among 19 finalists with its second application for one of the coveted education grants. Civil Beat.

A West Hawaii ranch owner says a local business owner who bought part of Hokukano Ranch is cutting down old-growth sandalwood in the upper reaches of the property. West Hawaii Today.

Recreational off-road vehicles have damaged much of the terrain at Kaena Point. KHON2.

A city contractor working on a 42-inch main that broke late last week in Pearl City accidentally severed the 30-inch backup force main near the 14th hole of the Ted Makalena Golf Course, causing a spill of about 108,000 gallons of sewage yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

Officials posted signs warning of a sewage spill are being posted along the Pearl Harbor bike path and at Middle Loch. KITV.

Hawaii County property taxes are leaving the state this year. But don't worry, say county administrators, the money will come back. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii's "Sunshine Law" is hampering the County Council and should be overturned, says North Kona Councilman Kelly Greenwell. Tribune-Herald.

A forum on the topic of “In Search of Real Security for Kaua‘i” will include remarks by Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, D-2nd District. Garden Island.

Local divers will be competing in a tournament targeting invasive fish. The "Westside Roi Reckoning" takes place Saturday off Kahe Point. Hawaii News Now.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Internet outage brings state to a halt, Hawaii schools racing to the top, Hannemann wants Superferry back, more news from around the state

About 400,000 Oceanic Time Warner Cable customers were without Internet, phone and television service after a break in an undersea fiber-optic cable early this morning. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii is one of 18 states and the District of Columbia named finalists Tuesday in the second round of the federal "Race to the Top" school reform grant competition, giving them a chance to receive a share of $3 billion. Star-Advertiser.

As they prepared to head back to work Tuesday, public school teachers said they were excited about the new school year, especially since furlough days have been eliminated. Maui News.

Hawaii's Democratic candidates for governor proposed competing economic plans Monday, with Mufi Hannemann's ideas focused on construction and Neil Abercrombie's pitch centered on energy and agricultural sustainability. Associated Press.

Mufi Hannemann said Monday if he is elected governor, he will push to get the Hawaii Superferry back in island waters. KITV.

What do the websites of the three leading Hawaii governor candidates tell us? Civil Beat.

Honolulu lawyer Eric Seitz wrote to the Hawaii State Bar Association yesterday "strongly" opposing Gov. Linda Lingle's appointment of appeals Judge Katherine Leonard as the next chief justice. Star-Advertiser.

A consortium of in-state investors has purchased Hilo Hawaiian Hotel for $17.3 million. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County property taxes are leaving the state this year. But don't worry, say county administrators, the money will come back. West Hawaii Today.

A West Hawaii ranch owner says a local business owner who bought part of Hokukano Ranch is cutting down old-growth sandalwood in the upper reaches of the property. West Hawaii Today.

Kaua‘i cannot continue on its current path of unsustainability, Ken Stokes said Saturday at the Wailua-Kapa‘a Neighborhood Association meeting. Garden Island.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Volcano consumes Kalapana home, Maui beach widening suspended, gubernatorial candidates mix it up, drought worsens, Heftel Post Office nixed

Lava from Kilauea showed off its unstoppable power of beauty and destruction on Sunday. Hawaii News Now.

An innovative and privately funded beach replenishment project on Stable Road has been suspended early. Maui News.

Unlike open beaches, pocket beaches tend not to wax and wane with the seasons. Building groins - walls extending perpendicularly from the shore into the water - is a way of creating an artificial cove with a pocket beach. Maui News.

Former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie is sending the message to gay activists that they could have to wait four years or longer for civil unions if he is not elected governor. Star-Advertiser.

Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona leans forward as if he wants to share a secret. Star-Advertiser.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mufi Hannemann opened his West Hawaii campaign headquarters Saturday in Kailua-Kona where he committed himself to improving Hawaii's education and economy while reminding area residents of his Big Island connection. West Hawaii Today

Gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie this week announced he has accepted invitations from media outlets offering a series of live debates leading up to the Sept. 18 primary election. Garden Island.

A proposal to rename Makiki Post Office after the late Democratic U.S. Rep. Cecil Heftel has stalled because Heftel's widow objected to the bill's author: U.S. Rep. Charles Djou, a Republican. Star-Advertiser.

Every morning, Tony Williams wakes to the sound of waves crashing on Hawaii's famed Waikiki beaches and has a spectacular view of the Pacific. But he's not paying a cent for his priceless vista. Associated Press.

Hawaii taxpayers are on the hook for billions of dollars in construction projects over the next few decades, ranging from sewer upgrades to undersea power cables. Star-Advertiser.

A new attraction at the Waikiki Aquarium may be small but it's hoping to make a huge impact.KHON2.

Michelle Galimba has been moving her livestock across her 10,000-acre Kuahiwi Ranch to higher elevation in Kau on the Big Island in hopes of finding better pastures during a drought that is causing her business and others hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii  may turn to a surprising source as it deals with a yawning budget shortfall brought on by a poor economy and lower legislative outlays: Mainland and foreign students who can provide a boost to tuition revenue. Civil Beat.

The Kaua‘i County Council Planning Committee, after several deferrals, on Wednesday approved a controversial bill that would allow vacation rental owners to apply for non-conforming use permits. Garden Island.

It's been two and a half years since Dawn K. Gambsky's life ended and she was buried in a shallow grave in her own backyard. Tribune-Herald.

Fewer immigration services will be available starting Monday while Honolulu's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office moves to a new location. Associated Press.

Even in the face of furloughs, two Molokai schools – Maunaloa and Kilohana Elementary – met adequate yearly progress (AYP) benchmarks in math and reading scores this year. Kaunakakai Elementary landed on the cusp, missing its goal by only 1 percent. Molokai Dispatch.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lingle appoints first woman chief justice, hoary bat stops roadwork, Honolulu sets mayoral election, Republicans get a mulligan, more Hawaii news

Gov. Linda Lingle appointed appeals Judge Katherine Leonard yesterday to become the state's fifth chief justice and the first woman to serve as head of the Hawaii Judiciary. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Linda Lingle has announced the nomination of Judge Katherine Leonard to be Hawaii's next chief justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court. If approved by the state senate, Leonard would become Hawaii's first female chief justice. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Linda Lingle has nominated Intermediate Court of Appeals Judge Katherine Leonard to be the next chief justice of the Hawaii state Supreme Court. Associated Press.

Text of Lingle's speech.

About a thousand members and supporters of the UNITE HERE Local 5 hotel workers union showed up in Waikiki Thursday to protest against the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Hotel, with more than 80 of them arrested after they blocked Waikiki traffic. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii's two U.S. House members on Thursday split their votes on a bill to restore jobless benefits, an issue that may resonate with unemployed workers who go to the polls in November. Associated Press.

The state labor department expects to process $10,000 retroactive claims, now that President Obama has signed off on an extension of unemployment benefits. KHON2.

Honolulu voters have just less than two months to decide who should serve the final two years of Mufi Hannemann's term as mayor. Star-Advertiser.

Looking back five decades to statehood, Honolulu mayors have marked many of the same political milestones en route to Honolulu Hale. Civil Beat.

The special election in May to fill Hawaii's 1st Congressional District seat vacated by former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie cost taxpayers $670,000, state elections officials confirmed on Thursday. KITV.

Republicans, taking advantage of a state law that gives political parties extra time to find replacements for candidates who have withdrawn, have found a challenger to state Rep. Hermina Morita on Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

State Rep. Mina Morita said even her Republican friends are upset about the 11th-hour competition Morita got in her bid for re-election to the district that runs from Wailua Houselots to Ha‘ena. Garden Island.

It's a sign of the season. Politicians and political wannabe's signs and banners jockey for space on fences and walls. Hawaii News Now.

Perhaps sensing voter discontent, political challengers have cropped up right and left this election year to try to unseat Maui County incumbents in the state Legislature. Maui News.

Honolulu Councilman Rod Tam Thursday spoke for the first time publicly about being the subject of a criminal investigation. KITV.

In Kahana Valley State Park, fresh taro and sweet potato sprout from a garden adjacent to a road made from dirt and small chunks of cement. Cinder blocks mark grave sites of kupuna. Some trees have been chopped down or burned, their rotten insides exposed. Star-Advertiser.

Kilauea Volcano continues to put on a show that's delighting hundreds of visitors. KHON2.

West Hawaii residents are breathing easier these days, thanks to reduced sulfur dioxide emissions from Kilauea's east rift eruptive vents and weather conditions controlling the dispersal, said Tamar Elias, gas geochemist at U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. West Hawaii Today.

Economist Paul Brewbaker of TZ Economics told a meeting of the Realtors Association of Maui this past Friday that the great recession is over and the economic expansion has begun. Lahaina News.

Nearly 75 percent of the grading for Phase 1 of Ane Keohokalole Highway, known as the midlevel road, has been completed since its March groundbreaking, but work has been stopped until Aug. 15 because of the Hawaiian hoary bat, said Alex Leonard, project manager of Honolulu-based Nan Inc. West Hawaii Today.

The driving time between downtown Hilo and Kaumana will be shortened under a proposal from Mayor Billy Kenoi's administration to boost the speed limit on the Puainako Street extension. Tribune-Herald.

County Council members Wednesday approved a resolution urging the state Board of Education to reconsider its plan to consolidate three North Kohala schools into one K-12 school. West Hawaii Today.

Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares is demanding an apology from former Mayor Alan Arakawa over his comments during his radio show. Maui News.

After seven months with no metal recycler on Molokai to dispose of junk cars and appliances, the County of Maui has secured a new contractor to run the island’s facility. Molokai Dispatch.

It’s not often that the object of a spearfishing contest is to get rid of introduced, invasive species. Garden Island.

A lawmaker in American Samoa has filed a lawsuit to stop the U.S. territory from spending money on Samoan Heritage Week in Hawaii without legislative approval. Associated Press.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Djou is 'endangered,' candidates talk tech, gubernatorial debates set, hopefuls crowd races, Maui prepares for plastic bag ban, more Hawaii news

Four weeks into Summer and the heat is on.... KHON2.

The three major gubernatorial candidates, seeking to woo an increasingly visible sector of Hawaii's economy, yesterday promised to foster partnerships with the high-tech industry and improve the state's information systems. Associated Press.

Mufi Hannemann, Neil Abercrombie and James "Duke" Aiona traveled to the Plaza Club — "the heart of Honolulu's Wall Street" — on the top floors of Pioneer Plaza Wednesday to share their thoughts on growing Hawaii's high-tech industry. Civil Beat.

Democratic gubernatorial candidates Neil Abercrombie and Mufi Hannemann will square off in front of the media and public on Aug. 11, just weeks prior to Hawai‘i’s 2010 primary election. Garden Island.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie has accepted invitations to four television debates and is accusing his rival of attaching conditions that make one of the events more difficult to hold. Associated Press.

U.S. Rep. Charles Djou has been placed on a list of nine Republican incumbents who are considered endangered by their party. Associated Press.

The state Office of Elections has given the major political parties a chance to find replacements for four candidates who withdrew from state House races, including one Republican candidate on Kauai who deliberately filed and withdrew papers before Tuesday's deadline to buy time for the GOP to field a challenger against a popular Democrat. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Peter Carlisle turned in his letter of resignation Wednesday to the Honolulu City Clerk's office. KITV.

This election season promises no shortage of fireworks, with words already flying between contenders for Mayor about when to take a vote. KHON2.

A flurry of candidate filings may signal a summer of voter discontent, with few Big Island incumbents getting free passes. West Hawaii Today.

A crowded field will vie to challenge Mayor Charmaine Tavares in her bid for re-election this year, with a total of 11 political veterans and newcomers filing to enter the race. Maui News.

Voters can look forward to some spirited races to fill seats being left vacant by departing Maui County Council members this year. Maui News.

Last week, Civil Beat reached out to the three leading candidates for governor and asked each of them to show us evidence of what they do to live sustainably, to see how what they actually do stacks up against their own policy platforms. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Councilmember Rod Tam has already admitted to making mistakes when he sought reimbursements for meals that had nothing to do with council business. Hawaii News Now.

In less than six months, Maui County's ban on plastic bags will take effect. KHON2.

Hawaii auto sales were up 1.4 percent in the first half of the year compared with the same period last year, and if the trend holds, 2010 will be the first year of growth since 2005. Star-Advertiser.

Madame Pele appears to be putting the brakes on the flow of lava in Kalapana, but it may be a case of too little too late for one home that county Civil Defense evacuated Sunday. Tribune-Herald.

Civil Defense was on scene as crews set up barricades late Wednesday evening. Stephen Rose, the supervisor of the Kalapana viewing area told Hawaii News Now that Kilauea's newest lava flow has begun creeping toward a neighborhood. Hawaii News Now.

Now that a law has been passed banning the sale of fishponds on state-owned property, citizen groups are looking to take two off the hands of the Department of Transportation. Honolulu Weekly.

A County Council committee delayed action Tuesday on a bill that would discourage the export of fish for aquariums. West Hawaii Today.

The state is moving forward with plans to renovate ferry facilities on Kaunakakai Wharf with a new waiting area, restrooms, sewer main and two water lines to supply water in case of fire, detailed in a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) released last month. Molokai Dispatch.

The talk Wednesday was about moving the homeless, but this time it is with a much needed service. KITV.

A Kapa‘a man said he remains traumatized nearly three weeks after three Kaua‘i Police Department officers delivered him a written warning of trespassing on July 2. Garden Island.

The time that Babe Ruth came to town. Big Island Weekly.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Campaign season officially begins, Honolulu needs a mayor, Honolulu councilman under criminal investigation, Big Island councilman fights arrest, Maui councilman fights residency requirement, Superferry leaked red ink, more Hawaii news

The Hawai‘i Superferry was sailing under a facade of success in the summer of 2008 — boasting of record ridership — but it had already begun to shortchange the state on its monthly fees, according to an Associated Press review of Department of Transportation records. Associated Press.

Political hopefuls made their candidacy official for the state primaries and the general election Tuesday. KITV.

Hawaii's vastly outnumbered Republicans are looking to make a comeback this election year, with GOP candidates running in almost every legislative district of the nation's second-most politically monolithic state. Associated Press.

This year's election is drawing a lot of interest from both parties and today as many as three dozen more people became candidates in the nick of time. KHON2.

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann said yesterday that his chief executive experience as mayor of the state's largest city would shape his campaign for governor, but his opponent, former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, dismissed that record as a failure. Star-Advertiser.

The feisty race for governor is on. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann Tuesday became candidate Hannemann after he filed to run for Hawaii governor. KITV.

Neil Abercrombie also had harsh words for his democratic challenger in the governor’s race. KHON2.

As Mufi Hannemann leaves one political arena for another, Hawaii News Now asked three observers to grade his job performance as Honolulu's mayor. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii State Office of Elections released the completed list of all candidates for office on the filing deadline, Tuesday July 20. Hawaii News Now.

With a vacancy in the mayor's office created by Mufi Hannemann's resignation to run for governor, the City Council has scheduled a meeting tomorrow to set the date of a special election to fill the final two years of his term. Star-Advertiser.

North Kona Councilman Kelly Greenwell vowed Monday to fight charges after an altercation Saturday with police that Greenwell claimed left him "tethered to a post like a goat while being booked as a criminal." West Hawaii Today.

North Kona Councilman Kelly Greenwell has been arrested and released after getting into a "wrestling match" with a police officer who cited him for speeding Saturday in Kailua-Kona. Tribune-Herald.

The Lanai City hearing in the voter registration appeal against Maui County Council Member Sol Kaho'ohalahala concluded Monday, and now a decision is once again in the hands of the state Board of Registration for Maui County. Maui News.

The Department of the Attorney General  is leading a criminal investigation into mayoral candidate and City Councilman Rod Tam’s spending of city funds, Civil Beat has learned. Civil Beat.

Reading and math learning goals for Hawaii public schools are "mediocre" and "often vague," says a new national report that gives the state a "C" for its educational standards. Star-Advertiser.

Fishermen who use longlines to catch ahi, mahimahi and other fish off Hawaii should use a different kind of hook so they don't accidentally severely injure or kill a rare dolphin species, a federal advisory group said. Associated Press.

A beloved Kauai tradition may be going to the birds. Hawaii News Now.

A former military public affairs officer said she was trying to "inform and entertain" readers when she described Rim of the Pacific naval exercises as "snoozepac" and the "world's largest floating cocktail party" in a separate blog. Star-Advertiser.

The state Supreme Court has affirmed an earlier ruling saying the owners of Turtle Bay Resort must complete a new environmental study if they want to build thousands more hotel rooms on Oahu's North Shore. Associated Press.

A steadily moving lava flow remained about 100 yards from a Kalapana home Monday afternoon, and threatened four others as it continued to make its way eastward toward the ocean. Tribune-Herald.

The Kaua‘i County Council in 2008 budgeted hundreds of thousands of dollars for Kekaha to spend on community improvements in exchange for hosting the island’s only landfill for decades. Garden Island.

A study comparing the cost of trucking garbage to West Hawaii to expanding the Hilo landfill seems to have stalled with the departure of former Environmental Management Director Lono Tyson. West Hawaii Today.

A notice to proceed for design of Phase 2 of the Queen Kaahumanu Highway widening project was given July 7 to Goodfellow Bros. Inc. by the state Department of Transportation, but announced Monday, said Ed Brown, Goodfellow Bros. regional manager. West Hawaii Today.

Because of a staff shortage, trash was not collected as planned in parts of Kihei on Monday. Maui News.

Maui County is invalidating the environmental study for a plant that would treat water diverted from central Maui streams. Associated Press.

There were many people on Monday who wanted to connect to the past when sugar was king in Hawai‘i. Garden Island.

Hawaii Centers for Independent Living offers services to adults with permanent disability and now has an office open on Molokai. Molokai Dispatch.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Plenty of aloha for Obama here, candidate deadline today, public funds go to incumbents, fat keiki, angry homeless, teens shot by police, other Hawaii news

President Barack Obama is popular in the District of Colombia and Hawaii, but he's not doing as well in Wyoming, Utah, Idaho and West Virginia, according to newly released national poll numbers, according to CNN. Star-Advertiser.

Tuesday is the last day for interested candidates to file for the primary election. Hawaii News Now.

The filing deadline for two newly vacated state Senate seats has been scheduled for July 30. Associated Press.

The state Campaign Spending Commission has been doling out tens of thousands of dollars to Hawaii County Council candidates, and so far, incumbents have received most of it. Tribune-Herald.

Former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie's congressional campaign committee has given $33,000 to the state Democratic Party and about $21,500 to nonprofit groups. Associated Press.

Maybe Mufi Hannemann was just doing his job. Or maybe all the criticism that he is leaving his job as mayor prematurely to run for governor was getting to him.Civil Beat.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann this week held a series of news conferences designed to promote himself before he steps down to run for governor, and to address his critics. KITV.

Research has shown that there are twice as many overweight keiki in Hawaii compared to children on the mainland. KHON2.

The sentencing hearing for the owners of Aloun Farms on forced-labor charges will continue in September because brothers Alec and Mike Sou refused to admit to committing acts to which they had pleaded guilty in January. Star-Advertiser.

A homeless man, apparently angry at the city's eviction of homeless campers at Maili Point, lit his tent and belongings on fire yesterday as police shut down yet another illegal encampment on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

There are Navy battles online, and we're not talking about video games. Hawaii News Now.

The landowner of a 50-acre parcel in Nanakuli targeted for expansion of the island's only construction and debris landfill is suing the city over the Hannemann administration's plan to use the land for a regional park. Star-Advertiser.

The city unveiled a new software system today, which Mayor Hannemann says will allow city projects to be handled more efficiently, and will improve public safety. KHON2.

Since the ban on drivers using cell phones while behind the wheel went into effect eight weeks ago, 33 Kaua‘i Police Department officers have issued 123 citations, according to KPD Chief Darryl Perry. Garden Island.

The owner of a bottled water company on Kauai says he could go out of business because of legal action taken by Kauai County. Associated Press.

Authorities in the U.S. territory of Guam have turned away a ship after thousands of spiders overflowed from its cargo. Associated Press.

Three teenagers were shot by police, an officer was injured and two people were arrested following reports of gunshots at Punalau Beach, also known as "Windmills," near Honolua Bay early Sunday morning, police said. Maui News.

It was 1 a.m. when it broke its back on a reef off the North Kona coast. West Hawaii Today.

Back by popular demand, its Jon Shirota’s popular play Voices from Okinawa. Hawaii Herald.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lava is hot, but nothing like Abercrombie-Hannemann matchup, Kenoi takes heat for budget, Kauai struggling with technology, Molokai fights wind turbines, more news from all the islands

Lava oozing from Kilauea Volcano forced the evacuation of a Kalapana couple and their dogs yesterday and closed within 100 yards of their house — one day after the flow crossed the Big Island's Kalapana access road and enveloped the intersection of Highways 130 and 137, sending up a plume of thick, black smoke. Star-Advertiser.

An unusual 3.5-magnitude earthquake shook homes around Oahu yesterday, capping a wild weekend of seismic activity around the Pacific. Star-Advertiser.

Abercrombie-Hannemann rivalry promises primary-race pyrotechnics. Associated Press.

To some, the love shown by Mufi Hannemann, Neil Abercrombie and other politicians to the Hawaii Carpenters Union on Saturday may have resembled pandering. Civil Beat.

Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann has clarified his position on the Civil Unions Bill. KHON2.

Just as Hawaii's recession-weary economy is turning the corner on rising unemployment, the state's jobless have been dealt another setback. Star-Advertiser.

The fight to keep wind turbines off Hawaiian homestead lands on Molokai continued on Sunday as homesteaders sought assurance from the Department of Hawaiian Home Land (DHHL) that wind farms would not be built at Mo`omomi and Anahaki in central west Molokai. Molokai Dispatch.

Mayor Billy Kenoi claims Hawaii County departments are spending 35 percent less than when he took office, but a Tribune-Herald analysis shows otherwise. Tribune-Herald.

The Kaua‘i County Council years ago approved funding to drastically improve Internet accessibility to county meetings and public documents, including posting the minutes, agendas and bills. But it wasn’t until Wednesday that a resolution was introduced to finally establish concrete policies. Garden Island.

A record number 64 medical students were donned with white coats and stethoscopes during a welcoming ceremony at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. It's the UH School Medicines Class of 2014. Hawaii News Now.

Many think Manhattan is the most expensive place in America, but according to a survey done by the commercial real estate firm Colliers it costs nearly $2 more to park in Honolulu for a day than in midtown Manhattan. KITV.

Despite bankruptcy, a group from the Honolulu Symphony continues to play. KHON2.

A plan calling for 1,500 homes in a new Olowalu town has had its ardent supporters and equally passionate detractors for five years, and so far the proposed development has won support from the General Plan Advisory Committee and the Maui Planning Commission. Maui News.

A Koloa-based company which has been bottling spring water from Kahili Mountain since 2003 may be forced to close its doors unless an appeal against the company is lifted, said Kaua‘i Springs owner Jim Satterfield. Garden Island.

A new (and very old) agricultural technique is getting lots of attention these days. West Hawaii Today.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hawaii Five-0 a go, school test scores up, Maui to regulate fish collecting, new fee for UH students, military ruffles feathers, money in politics, more

Rest easy, Honolulu. McGarrett and his crew are back on the case. Star-Advertiser.

A traditional Hawaiian blessing marked the start of production of the reinvented CBS TV crime series "Hawaii Five-0." KITV.

Hawaii's economy is expected to get a much needed boost as a primetime television show kicks off production, along with a major motion picture filming here in the islands. KHON2.

The state says 67 percent of Hawaii public school students scored proficient in reading this year, up slightly from 65 percent last year. In math, 49 percent rated proficient, up from 44 percent. Associated Press.

Despite spending fewer days in the classroom, public school students continued to make gains in reading and math test scores this year, according to results released yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

Most grade-level scores trended upward but when it comes to federal progress standards high schools are still showing more room for growth. KHON2.

Hawaii public school student test scores went up this past year in every category except one, according to statistics released by the Department of Education on Thursday. KITV

With this year's elections fast approaching, the call for election day volunteers is getting louder. KHON2.

When it comes to campaign donations, who comes out ahead in Hawaii's contests for a U.S. Senate seat and the two U.S. House of Representative seats? Civil Beat.

Quickly recharging their fundraising operations after the special election for Congress in May, U.S. Rep. Charles Djou raised $176,980 in the last weeks of June while state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa brought in $107,224. Star-Advertiser.

Is the Bluest of States Bleeding Red? Civil Beat.

Special election decision to replace Mayor and City Prosecutor. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii regents have approved a new, $50 per semester student athletic fee for the Manoa campus. Associated Press.

Despite what one student decried as "being forced to pay for a steak and champagne dinner and ... getting, maybe, the after-dinner mints," the University of Hawaii Board of Regents overwhelmingly adopted a mandatory athletic fee yesterday as an investment in its financially challenged sports program. Star-Advertiser.

Council members Wednesday took a step closer to regulating the aquarium fish trade, when a committee approved a bill to require county licenses for people who take reef fish to sell. Maui News.

The Navy is studying the effects its training and testing activities have on the environment off Hawaii, Southern California and the ocean in between. Associated Press.

Feathers might have literally been ruffled this weekend when a “large, charcoal-colored military helicopter” flew at a “very high speed” less than 20 feet from native sea bird dwellings Sunday morning at the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. Garden Island.

Hawaii County got hit with an unexpected $217,000 bill in the fiscal year that ended June 30, thanks to the federal extension of unemployment benefits. West Hawaii Today.

Oahu residents will be paying higher sewer fees for years to come because of a tentative settlement of a six-year-old lawsuit. KITV.

Mayor imposes trash shipping deadline. Hawaii News Now.

After three months of halted access to the Kalaupapa settlement because of an eroded bridge along the pali trail, National Park Service (NPS) officials say it could take another three months before the trail re-opens to the public. The closure has left Kalaupapa’s visitor industry – the mule rides and charter tours – struggling for survival. Molokai Dispatch.

A messy situation at Waialea Bay in South Kohala has raised a stink among some Big Island residents and visitors. West Hawaii Today.

Opponents of Hawaii County's attempts to sell Hamakua lands took their grievances to the Board of Ethics on Wednesday, but found no sympathetic ears. Tribune-Herald.

Whether Hamakua lands were stolen from Native Hawaiians is an issue way beyond its purview, the Hawaii County Board of Ethics said Wednesday in rejecting a petition from a group seeking to halt the county's sale of the land. West Hawaii Today.

The Lahaina community, in its usual way, stepped up big time last week Thursday, when more than 200 guests attended a spectacular fund-raiser for Lahaina Public Library at the Royal Lahaina Resort. Lahaina News.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hawaii No. 1 in IOU, locking up the homeless, new candidates, judges, fireworks bans, sewer fees, and more news from all the islands

When state legislators passed a law three years ago calling for the creation of regional `Aha Moku councils to help manage Hawaii’s natural resources, many questioned the logistics of the plan. Molokai Dispatch.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is in the process of revising the rules for uses on conservation lands, and a DLNR spokesperson says it will not look favorably on vacation rentals on such lands. Garden Island.

City wants to involuntarily commit mentally ill homeless people. KHON2.

Currently, Oahu's most severely mentally ill homeless get help only after they've been arrested or they're sick enough to be taken to hospital emergency rooms, but after that, many return to the streets. KITV.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann steps down from his job next week. One of the last things he will ask the city council is to pass two laws aimed at curbing illegal camping on city land. KITV.

Based on Mufi Hannemann's 600,000 Twitter followers, you might guess that half the population of Hawaii is following the mayor. Civil Beat.

Hawaii consumers have racked up the highest credit card debt in the nation, carrying an average of $9,296 per person in the first half of the year. Star-Advertiser

A total ban on consumer fireworks would not stop the problem of illegally imported fireworks overnight, but it could serve as a deterrent and reduce the supply, Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha told City Council members yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

A proposed ban of consumer fireworks on Oahu could become law with just two more votes by the Honolulu City Council. KHON2.

Three Hawaii politicians formally became candidates today, filing documents with the state Office of Elections to appear on state primary ballots in September. Associated Press.

Gary being Gary. Honolulu Weekly.

A consent decree requiring renovations of the city's aging sewer system and more than $1 billion in upgrades of Oahu's two main sewage treatment plants is expected to raise sewer rates for Honolulu residents. Star-Advertiser.

After years of litigation over Honolulu’s sewer systems, the city is one step closer to finalizing a landmark settlement with a group of state and federal environmental agencies and nonprofits. Civil Beat.

A former deputy prosecutor has filed a federal lawsuit against the Maui County Department of the Prosecuting Attorney, alleging she was subjected to discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation before she was fired last year. Maui News.

A fired Maui County deputy prosecutor has filed a federal lawsuit that accuses her former boss and the department of discrimination, retaliation and sexual harassment. Associated Press.

New developments in the HPD scandal over DUI reports. Hawaii News Now.

The wife of state Sen. Fred Hemmings has pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor theft charges stemming from her time as executive director of a nonprofit organization. Associated Press.

Gov. Linda Lingle this week appointed three Honolulu circuit judges, all with prosecutorial backgrounds and two of them women. Star-Advertiser.

Chief Justice Ronald Moon appointed four lawyers yesterday to six-year terms on the Honolulu district court bench. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii County taxpayers should save thousands in interest on $60 million in bonds issued Tuesday, thanks to a higher bond rating reaffirmed by the three major rating agencies. West Hawaii Today.

An executive assistant for the mayor appeared Tuesday before a special commission looking into how Hawaii County spent $115 million in federal stimulus money. Tribune-Herald.

Environmentalist and Kekaha resident Diana LaBedz on Monday pulled papers to challenge Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. in the September mayoral primary, intends to file papers, and thinks she can unseat the incumbent, she said. Garden Island.

The Hawai`i coffee industry unites for the 15th year, gathering growers, millers, wholesalers and retailers from across the state for the annual Hawai`i Coffee Association (HCA) Industry Conference. Big Island Weekly.
Every eight minutes, a pedestrian is injured in an accident in the United States and nearly 5,000 pedestrians are killed annually by motor vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. West Hawaii Today.

Wells Fargo Bank, trustee of the mortgage lending trust group that foreclosed on the Makena Resort last year, fended off two additional bidders Tuesday and prevailed - with a $95 million bid - to purchase the 1,800-acre property and the Makena Beach & Golf Resort. Maui News.

A meeting to review and possibly approve the final report of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Kekaha Host Community Benefits Program is scheduled for July 19. Garden Island.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wind energy plan unveiled, Census tells us what we already knew, tax revenues dip some, Honolulu cops investigation widens, tougher graduation requirements ahead, more

The North Shore of Oahu is about to have a new power plant - a clean power plant that generates 30 megawatts of electricity from wind. (Photo Stan Shebs) KHON2.

Gov. Linda Lingle's highly criticized move of delaying tax refund payments until after the start of the new fiscal calendar resulted in a higher general fund balance for the recently concluded fiscal year.Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's tax revenue took a slight dip in the fiscal year that recently ended, giving state officials mixed signals about the robustness of the state's economic recovery. Associated Press.

Hawaii's tax revenues took a slight dip during the fiscal year that recently ended. Hawaii News Now.

The state Department of Transportation is moving forward with its development of a statewide pedestrian master plan. Garden Island.

A U.S. Census Bureau report released Tuesday shows Hawaii leads the nation in minority-owned businesses. Associated Press.

Gov. Linda Lingle, in a letter yesterday to the U.S. Senate in favor of a native Hawaiian federal recognition bill, said the bill is "fair and just" and would treat Hawaiians like other indigenous people. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Linda Lingle spoke about her veto of the civil unions bill for the first time since making her controversial decision. KHON2.

Honolulu’s rail plan is "the premier transit project in the entire country,” the congressman who chairs the House transportation committee says. Civil Beat.

After six years of planning, work has gotten under way on Honolulu's $100 million Joint Traffic Management Center. Associated Press.

A synthetic marijuana known as “spice” will be illegal in Hawaii starting Aug. 1. KITV.

Public school students would have to fulfill tougher requirements to earn diplomas, including taking algebra 2 or an equivalent math course and completing a senior project, under changes advanced yesterday by a Board of Education committee. Star-Advertiser,

In an about-face, it appears Kohala schools will be saved from closing -- for now. West Hawaii Today.

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann intends to step down from office to run for governor next week, but his political foes are not making his last week easy. KITV.

Circuit Judge Shackley F. Raffetto has confirmed the sale of the Makena Beach & Golf Resort on Maui for $95 million. Associated Press.

Opponents of a consumer fireworks ban say the city should enforce the aerial fireworks prohibition already on the books before trying to add another law to the mix. Star-Advertiser.

The investigation into allegations of false reporting by two Honolulu police sergeants who oversaw DUI enforcement has widened to include half a dozen officers who worked under the pair. Hawaii News Now.

A bunch of drunks were hanging around the Kilauea Military Reservation gymnasium late last week. Hawaii Today.

To address the needs of Kaua‘i’s growing senior population, the Agency on Elderly Affairs is in the process of collecting data that will be incorporated into its Four-Year Area Plan on Aging for October 2011 to September 2015. Garden Island.

Big Island products in spotlight. Tribune-Herald.

Maui's Queen Ka'ahumanu Center will come under the management of Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle as part of the restructuring of bankrupt General Growth Properties Inc., which is managing the mall now. Maui News.

Maui Humane Society last week announced it will alter some programs and services as a result of county budget cuts. Lahaina News.