Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The great debate: Hannemann v Abercrombie, and other news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Former U.S. Rep. Neil Aber- crombie and former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Han- nemann clashed last night in the last televised debate before the Democratic primary for governor, a substantive and mostly positive encounter that forced both candidates to defend their records. Star-Advertiser.

Neil Abercrombie and Mufi Hannemann threw zingers at each other for 90 minutes at the final debate to be televised statewide before the Sept. 18 Democratic gubernatorial primary. Associated Press.

The race for governor kicks up a notch.  With just 19 days before the primary election the two leading candidates traded ideas and insults tonight. Hawaii News Now

With less than three weeks before the primary election, the two leading Democratic candidates for governor faced off in a live, televised debate Monday night. KITV.

Monday's televised debate between Mufi Hannemann and Neil Abercrombie showed both candidates in top form, scoring points with factual (and sometimes not-so-factual) statements. Civil Beat.

All jabs aside, how did gubernatorial candidates Mufi Hannemann and Neil Abercrombie do in their bid to win over voters? Hawaii News Now.

Some quick impressions of the Mufi Hannemann/Neil Abercrombie debate. Volcanic Ash.

Thousands of absentee ballots were mailed out starting last Friday, but some voters in some districts say they’re having a difficult time understanding their ballots. KITV.

Students and parents at state middle, intermediate and high schools have until Sept. 15 to remove their names from a national list given annually to military recruiters by the Department of Education under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye is seeking out alternative ways to get people to and from West Maui. Maui News.

Boosting Chinese tourism to Hawaii is the focus of an event getting underway in Waikiki. KHON2.

In an effort to reduce crime and eliminate homelessness lawmakers are looking at several proposals to tackle the situation including the creation of Safe Zones. KHON2.

State workers who process applications for government benefits say layoffs and furloughs have spurred bigger caseloads and growing backlogs, lengthening the amount of time it takes for low-income residents to get needed services. Star-Advertiser.

Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) announced that a $9,044,880 grant has been awarded to support Native Hawaiian health centers on Kauai, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and the Island of Hawaii, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Molokai Dispatch.

Federal officials say a rare deep diving whale rescued from Maui earlier this month has died. Associated Press.

There is probably no one who will dispute that a good tax system is one that treats everyone fairly. At least that is what many taxpayers would like to believe. Unfortunately, it is the definition that sometimes gets in the way of truly achieving a "fair" tax system. West Hawaii Today.

A rail transit workshop is planned for Tuesday, targeting a group of people that are big consumers of public transport: seniors and the disabled. Hawaii News Now.

Alae Cemetery would grow by more than 50 percent under a county proposal aimed at meeting demand for burial plots. Tribune-Herald.

The container looks the same as the automated trash-pickup container, except it has a blue lid. Garden Island.

Sometimes it’s a stinky job, but somebody still has to do it. Garden Island.

Monday, August 30, 2010

State seeks presidential library, busy week for governor's race, signs and trash targeted in Honolulu, Maui foreclosure picture not pretty, more news from around the islands

Hawaii has an early lead in pitching the islands as the future home of President Barack Obama's library, museum and think tank, but yet another Illinois-Hawaii smack-down is brewing over where it will actually end up. Star-Advertiser.

No Public Accountability for Rail PR Contracts. Civil Beat.

Less than three weeks remain before the state's primary election and voters are likely to hear and see a lot more of the two Democratic candidates for governor. Associated Press

State Showdown: Abercrombie and Hannemann debate Monday August 30. Hawaii News Now.

High-profile Democratic primary contests in Hawaii tend to be vicious intraparty wars, and the race for governor is following that predictable script. Tribune-Herald.

Neil Abercrombie says on his campaign website that his record is proof of "a boundless commitment to serve others with integrity, honesty and humility." Tribune-Herald.

Mufi Hannemann's record is all over the map. His career is a feat of political mountain climbing (with several slips) that took him from humble roots in Kalihi Valley to Harvard University, the White House, Na'alehu, Honolulu Hale and now, he hopes, Washington Place. Tribune-Herald.

Republican gubernatorial candidate James "Duke" Aiona told supporters Saturday evening in Kailua-Kona to question the promises his Democratic counterparts have made to not raise taxes. West Hawaii Today.

The tight primary race between Democratic gubernatorial candidates Mufi Hannemann and Neil Abercrombie is coming to an end in three weeks. Garden Island.

The Waipio Little League All-Stars fly home to Honolulu this afternoon one heartbreaking win short of the title of World Series champs, but they have still stirred the dreams of players like 10-year-old Logan Yee, who hung on every pitch yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Linda Lingle has asked the public to assist in offsetting some of the costs for the players and their families by making a monetary donation. KHON2.

U.S. Navy training exercises in waters around Hawaii and across the Pacific would be the same kinds of activities that have been under way for decades, including sonar training and the use of explosives under water, Navy officials said last week. Maui News.

Explosives Testing At Kaneohe Marine Corps Base KITV.

The four major candidates for Honolulu mayor say they support restrictions on campaign signs, according to The Outdoor Circle. Star-Advertiser.

Two lawyers and an engineer are the leading candidates for the top position at City Hall. Each of the three—Kirk Caldwell, Peter Carlisle and Panos Prevedouros —bring substantial experience, expertise and their respective visions of the future for Honolulu. Filipino Chronicle

Acting Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell will sign into a law tomorrow morning a bill aimed at cleaning up illegal bulky items on sidewalks. KHON2.

A Honolulu City Council member voiced her concerns this afternoon about a recent hike in property taxes. KHON2.

The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation is awarding $3 million to the nonprofit agency Housing Solutions Inc. to help provide housing in Waianae. Associated Press.

Hawaii's duck tours are looking to splash back into local waters following a summer of violent incidents. KITV.

Citing problems with the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board, such as the expenditure of over $1 million for an online licensing system that is still not operational after 7 years, the 2010 Hawaii Library Reference Bureau’s report and a 2009 State Audit on the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board concurred with the recommendation of several teachers: Abolish the Board. Hawaii Reporter.

The nomination of state Supreme Court Justice Mark Recktenwald to be that court's chief justice is to be decided this week. Hawaii News Now.

Following a year when no police officers were terminated, the Hawaii County Police Department fired one officer in 2009 and at least one more so far this year. West Hawaii Today.

The foreclosure picture for Maui is "not pretty at all" with nearly a thousand single-family homes and condominiums currently pending foreclosure - nearly double the number from a year ago - said the executive director of a non-profit housing organization Thursday. Maui News.

A request by nonprofit Na Hale O Maui for $1.1 million from the county's affordable housing fund, for its program of turning foreclosed properties into affordable homes, will be reviewed Tuesday by the County Council's Budget and Finance Committee. Maui News.

Kealia landowner Canpartners says Kaua‘i County is turning its back on an offer of $3 million and 16 acres of land. Garden Island.

The Aloha Festivals are going on statewide now throughout the month of September. KITV.

Friday, August 27, 2010

DOT: 83 percent want ferry, special ed lawsuit revived, economic signals mixed, more Hawaii news

Fire officials anticipate the need to remain on the fire over the weekend. KHON2.

A large wildfire continued to rage on the northern slopes of Mauna Kea Wednesday afternoon, having so far consumed more than 1,300 acres of dry brush land. Meanwhile, a second Blackhawk helicopter joined in the effort to knock the fire out. Tribune-Herald.

The Department of the Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the basing and operation of 24 MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft as well as H-1 Cobra and Huey helicopters in support of III Marine Expeditionary Force units stationed in Hawaii. KHON2.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday, reversed a 2009 Hawaii District Court ruling that dismissed claims the state failed to provide adequate access to special education programs for disabled students. KITV.

A federal appeals court reinstated a lawsuit yesterday by the parents of two autistic daughters seeking money for what they say was the Department of Education's failure to provide them with appropriate special-education services. Star-Advertiser.

A public opinion survey of state transportation issues revealed a yearning for an interisland ferry, with 83 percent of those polled by SMS on behalf of the state Department of Transportation saying a marine transportation system should be part of the state's overall infrastructure, although pro-ferry sentiment was much weaker on Kauai. Maui News.

Gubernatorial candidate Mufi Hannemann said on Thursday that just because the U.S. government plans to take over the former Hawaii Superferry vessels it does not mean his plan to bring back interisland ferry service to the state is sunk. KITV.

The occasion was a gubernatorial forum held at Kealakehe High School in Kailua-Kona. It was the first gubernatorial forum on the Big Island's west side this year. Civil Beat.

The Democrats on Thursday filed a suit to challenge the legality of the move that put Kapa‘a contractor Harry Williams, a Republican, in the race against incumbent state Rep. Mina Morita, D-Kapa‘a-Hanalei, for District 14 state representative. Garden Island.

Gov. Linda Lingle (R) accused Senator Dan Inouye of being dramatic when he begged her Wednesday to sign off on the Environmental Impact Statement to allow Oahu's rail transit project to move forward. KITV.

Twelve people, including a former California schools superintendent and two mothers who protested last school year's teacher furloughs, are running for three Oahu at-large seats on the state Board of Education. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii is facing a daunting set of economic and leadership challenges that go well beyond how the state recovers from a dogged economic downturn that has thrown tens of thousands of people out of work. Hawaii Reporter.

Despite a rebound in tourism...financial concerns for the City and County of Honolulu continue. KHON2.

The Big Island economy, which suffered more economic shrinkage than other parts of the state, has stopped shrinking and is now in slow recovery, First Hawaiian Bank economist Leroy Laney said Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

Five men are scheduled to go on trial in October on charges that they conducted illegal shark feeding off Oahu's North Shore, renewing the debate over shark-encounter tours. Star-Advertiser.

It turns out Oahu’s booming shrimp wagon business has not been particularly good for the state’s struggling aquaculture industry. KITV.

Environmental officials are seeking mana`o from around the state for their management review process. They met with Molokai residents last week to get their input on the future of the state’s five humpback whale sanctuaries. Molokai Dispatch.

A rare Blainville's beaked whale rescued on Maui earlier this month is progressing in its recovery, officials said Thursday. Associated Press.

The trickle of local milk in Hawaii that grew last year to a small flow could be on the verge of significant expansion again. Star-Advertiser.

A company that leased equipment to Hawaiian Waste Systems says it wants its equipment back, and the money its owed. Hawaii News Now.

A lifeguard shortage at Puna's only public swimming pool is being offset with temporary hires and staffing reassignments, county parks Director Bob Fitzgerald said Wednesday. Tribune-Herald.

North Kona Councilman Kelly Greenwell tried to take discussion of the charges pending against him behind closed doors Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

Lanai High School teacher Gaylien Kaho'ohalahala said Wednesday that he considers his brother, Sol Kaho'ohalahala, to be a member of his household in Lanai City. Maui News.

There were no surprises or fireworks between the candidates as more than 50 interested voters turned out for the West Maui Taxpayers Association’s Candidates’ Night on Aug. 15 at the Maui Theatre. Lahaina News.

Another school consolidation fight is brewing -- this time at Queen Liliuokalani Elementary School in Kaimuki. Star-Advertiser.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fat government at Honolulu Hale, gubernatorial hopefuls talk health care, Recktenwald hearing smooth, body scanner coming to Honolulu airport, Inouye says help rail, more Hawaii news

Honolulu's work force grew 5 percent during Mayor Mufi Hannemann's tenure, but the total spent on salaries ballooned 32 percent, according to an analysis by Civil Beat. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's top Democratic gubernatorial candidates on Wednesday delved into the heavy-duty policy realm of health care, taking different approaches on how they would improve its delivery to island residents. Associated Press.

Democratic candidates for governor Neil Abercrombie and Mufi Hannemann went head to head on healthcare at a forum Wednesday afternoon. KHON2.

Hawaii is facing the same health care problems sweeping the rest of the United States. KITV.

There were two big endorsements for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mufi Hannemann. KITV.

The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman indicated yesterday he's inclined to support chief justice nominee Mark Recktenwald, who received overwhelming praise during a hearing yesterday on his appointment to lead the state's third branch of government. Star-Advertiser

Associate Justice Mark Recktenwald went before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday to describe his judicial philosophy and explain to members of the panel why he should become Hawaii's fifth chief justice. KHON2.

Candidates for public office running as nonpartisans say the system is rigged against them. Tribune-Herald.

Kauai Democrats have gone to Circuit Court to try to remove a Republican state House candidate from the September primary ballot, arguing that the state GOP should not have been allowed to field the candidate as a replacement after another Republican withdrew just before the filing deadline in late July. Star-Advertiser.

After 37 long years of waiting for Hawaiian homestead land, Judy Caparida still has a smile on her face. Molokai Dispatch.

"When they brought us into port, they asked, 'Why did you want to enter Israel illegally," recalled Ann Wright. "We said, 'We did not want to come here. You boarded us seventy miles offshore in international waters and outside your self-declared security zone. We did not want to come to Israel. You kidnapped us and brought us here.'" Big Island Weekly.

Hawaiian Airlines says its new nonstop route between Hawaii and South Korea will start Jan. 12. Associated Press.

Honolulu International Airport is set to receive an all body scanner. Hawaii News Now.

The Maui Planning Commission lent its support Tuesday to a two-year-old plan to expand the Hana Landfill from 29 to 74 acres and add two improvements intended to monitor and mitigate the potential pollution of the nearby ocean. Maui News.

It's looking more likely Gov. Linda Lingle will run out of time before deciding whether to approve the city's planned $5.5 billion elevated commuter rail project. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s senior senator is imploring Governor Linda Lingle to get behind rail transit, or risk losing more than $1.5 billion in federal money. KHON2

Maui County Council Member Sol Kaho'ohalahala said Tuesday that he packed suitcases, boxes and coolers with his belongings and began moving them to Lanai when he made the decision to change his residency back to the island in July of 2008. Maui News.

Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole-Beason's attorney responded Tuesday to a criminal complaint filed against her by her estranged husband. West Hawaii Today.

The Maui County Council voted 7-1 Tuesday to give initial approval to a compromise bill aimed at getting condominium owners to pay the correct property tax rate on their units. Maui News.

With roughly 30 days left in his current contract, Kaua‘i Police Chief Darryl Perry said Wednesday that he wants to continue serving the county. Garden Island.

The Shells Restaurant at the Sheraton Kaua‘i was sold-out as friends and parishioners of the Koloa Missionary Church filled the restaurant to wish Pastor Niles Kageyama and his wife Aileen a happy retirement, Saturday. Garden Island.

If you’ve ridden your fair share of waves, then you know Duke Kahanamoku’s story: a full-blooded Hawaiian born on August 24, 1890, and raised in Waikiki, with a natural affinity for the ocean. Hawaii Reporter.

Police have arrested a man authorities believe is responsible for starting the large brush fire that has closed much of Saddle Road since Sunday morning. Tribune-Herald.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Obama vacation home sold, flood maps in, leaders mull new education money, more Hawaii news

President Barack Obama's "Winter White House," the beachfront home in Kailua where the Obamas vacationed in December 2008 and 2009, has been bought by a Maryland company managed by a nephew of Hawaii real estate baron Harry Weinberg. Star-Advertiser.

Homeowners and businesses along the South facing shores of Oahu (Kaena Point to Portlock) and Kauai may soon be required by law to purchase flood insurance. Hawaii News Now.

Last summer FEMA completed a state-wide hurricane flood insurance risk study. KHON2.

Wednesday and Thursday are the only days when Kauaians will be able to discuss new island flood maps with federal officials before the maps take effect in November, state officials said. Garden Island.

Last year's student member on the board of education says chairman Garrett Toguchi ran the board like a one-man show and intimidated other members from running for leadership positions. Civil Beat.

The $75 million Race to the Top federal grant announced yesterday for Hawaii schools will kick-start some of the biggest reform initiatives ever seen in the state's public education system, educators say. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii has won $75 million for education in the federal "Race to the Top" contest after a tough application and selection process. KHON2.

Getting Hawaii's best teachers and principals to work at the state's lowest-performing schools is a key element of the Race to the Top plan to lift student achievement that won approval yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Linda Lingle has released $65.5 million to the state Department of Education for repair-and-maintenance projects at public-school campuses and DOE facilities statewide, including $3.1 million for Kaua‘i schools, according to a news release. Garden Island.

Like a disap- proving uncle, Hawaii's senior Democrat on Tuesday urged the two leading candidates for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination to stop issuing negative comments about each other and instead concentrate on policy differences. Associated Press.

Hawaii's senior senator scolded fellow Democrats Tuesday for negative or dirty campaigning that he said, "has no place in Hawaii." KITV.

25 days until Honolulu picks a mayor and Tuesday's question was whose the best man to keep Honolulu safe? Hawaii News Now.

Political candidates on the campaign trail usually spend their time boasting to voters about their abilities. KITV

The complete results of the Hawaii News Now / Honolulu Star-Advertiser political poll are now available for viewing Hawaii News Now

Hawaii County Councilwoman Emily Naeole-Beason is denying a domestic abuse allegation by her estranged husband. Associated Press.

The State Health Planning & Development Agency has approved a certificate of need for a 15-bed expansion at Kula Hospital. Maui News.

Alii Drive property owners, West Hawaii surfers and other Big Island residents will ask the Leeward Planning Commission to reject a special management area permit application at a hearing Friday. West Hawaii Today.

The county Fire Department held a traditional Hawaiian blessing Monday for its newest piece of equipment -- a brand-new McDonnell-Douglas 500D helicopter. Tribune-Herald.

The county Planning Commission on Tuesday agreed to allow a Bobcat in Na Pali Coast State Park. Garden Island.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Aquatic Resources will hold a public information meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 25, to discuss possible regulations for certain marine fish species, including parrotfish, goatfish and jacks.   Lahaina News.

Last week, Native Hawaiians of the Friendly Isle gave thanks and heard about the future of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) during its annual “Share Mana`o: OHA in Your Neighborhood” community meeting. Molokai Dispatch.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hawaii wins Race to the Top money, Maui aquarium collecting law expected today, Bar Association likes Recktenwald, Aiona trails in polls, more state news

The U.S. Education Department said Tuesday that nine states and the District of Columbia will get money to reform schools in the second round of the $4.35 billion "Race to the Top" grant competition. Associated Press.

The U.S. Education Department says Hawaii is among nine states and the District of Columbia will receive money in the second round of the $4.35 billion "Race to the Top" school reform grant competition. Star-Advertiser.

The latest unemployment figures show Hawaii is experiencing steady improvement, state Director of Labor and Industrial Relations Pearl Imada Iboshi said. KITV.

Residents of Hawaii had to work for 231 days to pay off their share of the burden of government in 2010. Hawaii Reporter.

A federal court lawsuit aims to help legal migrants from Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau regain benefits lost under a new state health plan. Associated Press.

New cuts to medical benefits for low-income residents based on nationality amount to discrimination, according to a federal class action lawsuit filed Monday against the state of Hawaii on behalf of disabled Micronesians. Civil Beat.

Last week, Native Hawaiians of the Friendly Isle gave thanks and heard about the future of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) during its annual “Share Mana`o: OHA in Your Neighborhood” community meeting. Molokai Dispatch.

A speaker at a meeting of the Conservative Forum for Hawaii riled supporters of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement, although he never actually shared his thoughts or research on the subject. Tribune-Herald.

The Army says a wildfire has burned 2,000 acres at Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island. Star-Advertiser.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mufi Hannemann yesterday slammed scathing criticism from former U.S. Rep. Ed Case, who endorsed Hannemann's chief rival, Neil Abercrombie, over the weekend. Star-Advertiser.

Former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie and former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann might be knotted in the Democratic primary for governor, but both Democrats hold double-digit advantages over Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, the leading Republican, in hypothetical matchups for the November general election, a new Hawaii Poll has found. Star-Advertiser.

Be they Democratic, Republican or independent voters, Peter Carlisle appears to have support from all three camps heading into the final weeks of the special election for Honolulu mayor. Star-Advertiser.

Even the president of the League of Women Voters of Hawaii isn't sure where her polling place is this year. Associated Press.

The Hawaii State Bar Association board of directors voted yesterday to find Associate Justice Mark Recktenwald qualified to be the next state chief justice. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu on Monday agreed to dispose of 20,000 tons worth of gigantic piles of shrink-wrapped garbage that have been moldering in the heat of a Hawaii industrial park where it had been waiting for more than five months for a possible shipment to Washington state. Associated Press.

The city has scrapped its plan to ship trash to the mainland, and bales of plastic-wrapped garbage once destined to take a 2,600-mile boat ride to Washington state will now be trucked less than a mile to the HPOWER incinerator. Star-Advertiser.

Maui County is poised to pass an ordinance today that would make it the first Hawaii county to require permits and reports for the capture of aquarium fish from local reefs. Civil Beat.

The spirit of volunteerism, generosity and a can-do attitude was evident Sunday at Old Kona Airport Park and Kohanaiki, where roughly 45 soldiers from Schofield Barracks participated in various community service projects. West Hawaii Today.

What was first built as a sanitarium for tuberculosis patients has over a century evolved into a country hospital with a tightknit staff that cares for Maui's elderly on the quiet hillsides of Haleakala. Maui News.

Every year the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau Fair grows a little bigger. Garden Island.

The State Department of Agriculture's Plant Pest Control Branch has been studying the Madagascar Ragwort, also known as fireweed, for years. KHON2.

University of Hawaii scientists have joined colleagues at the Smithsonian Institution in creating the first frozen bank for Hawaiian corals in an attempt to protect them from extinction. Star-Advertiser.

Seven projects have been approved for Legacy Land Conservation Program funding. Associated Press.

The federal government is seeking comments from the public on its management of the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge. Associated Press.

Plans are in the works to help the Oahu homeowners whose property taxes recently quadrupled because of zoning changes. KHON2.

Craig Smallwood says NCSoft was negligent because it knew the game Lineage II would cause addiction. KHON2.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Schatz leads lt. gov. race, Molokai mule rides pau, UH pays two chancellors, Kauai farmers to get help, more news from all the islands

Statewide hotel occupancy in June improved 9.6 percentage points to 71.4 percent, according to data released today by Hospitality Advisors LLC. However, the average daily room rate paid by a visitor in June dropped to $169.68, a 1.5 percent decline from the same time period last year. Star-Advertiser.

Molokai Mule Ride is on the brink of survival, losing a lot of money since they had to cease operation. Molokai Dispatch.

Open casting call for Hawaii Five-0. KHON2.

Abercrombie, Schatz lead in recent poll for Hawaii Democratic primary. Hawaii News-Now

Brian Schatz, former chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, appears to have the advantage in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, a new Hawaii Poll shows, although state Sen. Norman Sakamoto has broken though a crowded field on the strength of his television advertising. Star-Advertiser.

Former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie and former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann have tried to brand their campaign themes with voters in the Democratic primary for governor. Star-Advertiser.

The League of Women Voters of Hawaii is offering political candidates space on its website to describe themselves and why voters should support them. Associated Press.

With the primaries right around the corner, election workers are running the final tests on voting machines. KITV.

Kaua‘i voter registration up Garden Island.

After casting her ballots for years at Pauoa Elementary School, Pearl Johnson will join hundreds of voters across the islands trying to figure out where her polling place has moved for next month's primary election. Star-Advertiser.

Only a man as beloved and powerful as Dan Inouye could convince local Democrats to enter a saimin-eating contest. Civil Beat.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on a draft comprehensive conservation plan and environmental assessment for the Pearl Harbor National Wildlife Refuge. Associated Press.

Scientists plan to monitor corals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands next month for signs of bleaching that could harm the reefs. Associated Press.

Rose Tseng may no longer be chancellor of the University of Hawaii at Hilo, but she's still being paid like she is. Tribune-Herald.

Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole-Beason's husband has fled to Juneau, Alaska, claiming his estranged wife beat him, forced him to turn over his monthly Social Security check and, after he left the state, sent a Big Island man to threaten him. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii has the sixth lowest unemployment rate in the nation, according to the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. KITV.

Federal firefighters are battling a brushfire at the Pohakuloa Training area on the Big island. KHON2.

Mention depleted uranium, or DU, and most people draw a blank. But the radioactive, man-made heavy metal is the focus of a growing controversy both here in Hawaii and elsewhere in the world. Civil Beat.

After six years of deadlocked negotiations, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald has reached an agreement with its employees, represented by the Hawaii Newspaper Guild, on a new two-year contract. Star-Advertiser.

Carrying a presale estimate of $400, a mangled piece of Oceanic Airlines fuselage — immediately identifiable to any fan of "Lost" — came up for bids here on Saturday. New York Times.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced a program that partially reimburses shipping rates to “geographically disadvantaged” farmers and ranchers. Garden Island.

A single harvest of corn yielded many lessons for Sacred Hearts School students last week. Maui News

Twenty-three Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua and Ritz-Carlton Club and Residences Kapalua Bay employees have volunteered to tutor at Lahaina Intermediate School, one component of the Lahaina Complex After School Enrichment Tutor Project.Lahaina News.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Kauai football schedule for the birds, electric coop pays $11M for bird mitigation, state raids e911 funds to plug budget, Hawaii County plagued by road disputes, Kalihi homeowners hit with big tax bills, Maui councilman says he lives there, more state news

A research ship is due to return from a voyage to the marine monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Associated Press.

Shark tour operators who were cited for allegedly chumming off the North Shore say they will challenge the law. KITV.

It turns out the whale that tried to beach itself off Maui earlier this week is an extremely rare species.  Hawaii News Now.

Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative has agreed to spend over $11 million on measures designed to minimize chances of its facilities causing deaths of or injuries to endangered bird species. Garden Island.

Kauai, a haven for seabirds, recently unveiled a high school sports schedule that moves popular football games to Saturday afternoons. Civil Beat.

The Army said Thursday it plans to study the environmental effects of using underwater robots to remove munitions it dumped off Oahu's Waianae coast decades ago. Associated Press.

State officials raided $16 million last year from a special fund paid for by cell phone customers to help balance the budget, the Federal Communications Commission reported. Star-Advertiser.

The State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism is slightly more optimistic about Hawaii’s economy for this year and next. KITV.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said Thursday that most terrorism cases should be tried in civilian courts. Associated Press.

In a recent survey, AARP found 98 percent of its 156, 416 Hawaii members are expected to vote in the upcoming primary and general elections. KITV.

Republican gubernatorial candidate John Carroll is complaining that he's being ignored. Associated Press.

A few dozen South Maui residents went on eight "speed dates" with candidates Tuesday night, and like many first encounters, people went away both excited and disappointed with their future prospects. Maui News.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled for Wednesday its hearing on Gov. Linda Lingle's appointment of Associate Justice Mark Recktenwald as chief justice. Star-Advertiser.

The construction of the new $140 million Mauka Concourse at Honolulu International Airport will cause a bit of pain to both air travelers and local airlines. KHON2.

Putting bulky waste out on the sidewalk too early could result in a fine of up to $250 under a bill passed Wednesday by the City Council. Star-Advertiser.

Lingle withholds funding for Waimea water-system fixes. Garden Island.

Kalihi homeowners whose properties were reclassified to industrial or commercial are facing a fourfold property tax jump they describe as unfair. Star-Advertiser.

Slapped with a monster tax hike, Kalihi families are in shock, opening their mail to find their real property tax bills have skyrocketed up to $13,000. Hawaii News Now.

Council Member Sol Kaho'ohalahala said Wednesday that during the first 10 months of his council term he slept about 40 nights on Lanai, the island where he is claiming residency. Maui News.

The County Council's Finance Committee is going on the road to learn more about, well, a road. Tribune-Herald.

County Council members Wednesday approved a resolution allowing the use of a portion of the county's fuel tax revenues to fund maintenance of private roadways. West Hawaii Today.

We've discovered a major lapse in regulation among Hawaii's dog breeding industry. Hawaii News Now.

Ancient fishponds, indigenous forests, beaches and reefs are just a few of Hawaii’s remaining natural and cultural resources residing in state-owned conservation districts. Molokai News.

Due to extreme fire danger conditions due to a prolonged dry spell the following areas will be closed in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: KHON2.

Twenty-three Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua and Ritz-Carlton Club and Residences Kapalua Bay employees have volunteered to tutor at Lahaina Intermediate School, one component of the Lahaina Complex After School Enrichment Tutor Project. Lahaina News.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hawaiians win burial rights, 911 tapes released on Hawaii County councilman, Maui struggles with bag ban, Honolulu fireworks ban stalls, Chinese buying Waikiki, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Native Hawaiians have the right to challenge construction plans that disturb Hawaiian burial sites, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

When Christopher Monahan undertook a remedial survey of archeological and cultural resources on the Army's Schofield Barracks, Kahuku Training Area and Pohakuloa Training Area, he faced some unusual challenges. Big Island Weekly.

Hawaii ranks among the worst states in the nation on its response to human trafficking, according to a report released Wednesday by the Polaris Project. Civil Beat.

More than 500 lawyers and judges filled the Monarchy Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa on Tuesday to hear a panel discuss trying terrorists, and the pros and cons of doing it in ordinary civilian courts or before military commissions. Maui News.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is delivering the keynote address Thursday of the annual 9th Circuit Court Judicial Conference. Associated Press.

A federal undercover investigation uncovered alleged criminal activity at two of Oahu’s North Shore shark tour companies. KITV.

Police versus politician, on Wednesday night, we heard for the first time the dispatch calls on the day Hawaii County Council Member, Kelly Greenwell, got arrested. Hawaii News Now.

Left with no backing from his colleagues, North Kona Councilman Kelly Greenwell on Tuesday put the brakes on his effort to end the Police Department's use of unmarked patrol cars. Tribune-Herald.

The state Sheriff’s Department, under fire for poor management and more than 50,000 unserved warrants, is working to correct deficiencies that were noted in a critical state Auditor report. Hawaii Reporter.

Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona released his policy agenda on jobs and the economy yesterday and said state government must reduce the financial and regulatory burdens on businesses. Star-Advertiser.

The white-shirted members of Team Neil flexed their collective political muscle in a Tuesday evening rally in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Holding a Komoda stick doughnut in a clear plastic bag, bakery worker Earl Lamadora had a request Tuesday during a public hearing to discuss the county's implementation of a new plastic bag reduction ordinance. Maui News.

A crowd of about 200 gathered at Mooheau bandstand in Hilo Wednesday and marched on the federal building to protest the court’s decision to deny bail for Christie. KITV.

Chinese business owner and surfer Hongbin "Robin" Wang said he was looking for waves to ride and hotels to buy during a trip this month to Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Historic Waikiki Beach could see its first new shoreline tower in decades under an overhaul of Kyo-Ya Hotels & Resort's Moana Surfrider and Princess Kaiulani properties approved unanimously by the City Council yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines is ready to launch service to Japan and started with a new website. KHON2.

The $446,939 tab for the Hawaii Tourism Authority's delegation to the 2010 Shanghai Expo in June included money for cocktail receptions, hula halau and 400 extra large aloha shirts from Hilo Hattie.  Civil Beat.

The county Solid Waste Division is proposing a new fee to offset the cost of residential and commercial trash collection. Garden Island

A nonprofit West Hawaii health clinic, started several years ago to recruit doctors to the Big Island, may be shuttered by the state's health system. West Hawaii Today

After three hours of debate the Honolulu City Council voted Wednesday to delay a decision on a consumer fireworks ban until September 22. KHON2.

Three of the four candidates for mayor faced off at a forum near Sand Island Wednesday night. Hawaii News Now.

A salmonella outbreak has prompted a massive egg recall, but Safeway stores in Hawaii say they do not have shipments of the eggs in question. Hawaii News Now.

Representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had an opportunity Tuesday to join county workers and residents in the Mayor’s Walking Workbus. Garden Island.

When she looks at her suburban street, Geri Barish sees cancer. She believes it’s under her feet, in the soil that came from landfill and has been sprayed with pesticides. Honolulu Weekly

After 16 years of no major changes, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is looking to revise the policies that protect these conservation regions. Molokai Dispatch.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Substitute teachers to get back pay, state employees pay revealed, whale tended to in Hilo, lawmakers grill agencies, Molokai students to get uniforms, more Hawaii news

The Hawaii Supreme Court will not take up the state's appeal of a ruling that requires the Department of Education to give substitute teachers millions of dollars in back pay. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers heard from educators about the state's pursuit of more federal funds. KHON2.

State senators Tuesday reviewed a state audit describing the state sheriffs division as overwhelmed and underfunded with too many diverse responsibilities. KITV.

State public safety officials defended their management of the Sheriff Division yesterday, insisting they are doing what they can with limited resources to meet increasing demands. Star-Advertiser.

On Wed., Aug. 18, the Honolulu City Council will hold a hearing to get public comment on whether to allow Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts to build a new 26-story hotel/condo directly on Waikiki Beach next to Kuhio Beach Park. Honolulu Weekly.

Eight of the top 11 highest paid employees are in positions created in response to a court order to improve mental health services. The salaries of the 10 highest paid state workers range from $254,610 to $171,817. Civil Beat.

Searchable database makes it possible to learn what the state pays more than 14,000 workers. Civil Beat.

The State Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT) has released the 2009 edition of the State of Hawai‘i Data Book at http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt. Hawaii Reporter.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is tentatively scheduling its hearing on Gov. Linda Lingle's appointment of Associate Justice Mark Recktenwald as chief justice for Aug. 25. Star-Advertiser.

State government ended fiscal year 2010 in the red. It is the second straight year Hawaii has operated at a deficit and by in doing so violated the state constitution for a second straight year. Hawaii News Now.

If current projections by the Council on Revenues hold true the state is expected to end the current fiscal year with a $236.1 million surplus. KHON2.

The Democratic Party of Hawaii has decided not to challenge several candidates for the state Legislature in the primary election who do not meet the party's standards for running for political office. Star-Advertiser.

The County of Hawaii Elections Division will offer "Drive-Thru Voter Registration" from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at the following locations. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island residents may see new opportunities to volunteer in a West Hawaii national forest reserve, under a proposed new comprehensive conservation plan. West Hawaii Today.

While there was a spike of missed county trash pickups in July, there has been a trend toward fewer missed automated garbage collection routes in the past three fiscal years, Maui County Council members were told Monday. Maui News.

A combination of an underwater vacuuming system and sea urchins successfully kept a Hawaii coral reef mostly clear of invasive seaweed over the last year, the Department of Land and Natural Resources said Tuesday. Associated Press.

It's slimy, it looks nasty and grows like weeds in a yard. It's also one of the biggest problems endangering coral reefs in the state of Hawaii. KITV.

With notebooks and binoculars in hand, dozens of wildlife biologists and volunteers will take to Hawai‘i’s wetlands on Wednesday, August 18, for statewide bi-annual waterbird surveys. Hawaii Reporter.

The boundaries and regulations of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary could potentially expand several years from now, said the sanctuary’s regional director, Allen Tom, during a public scoping meeting last weekend in Lihu’e. Garden Island.

A distressed whale weighing nearly a ton has been rescued from South Maui and flown to a marine mammal hospital on the Big Island. Associated Press.

The beak whale was discovered stranded Monday morning, in waters off South Maui. KITV

After volunteers had patiently tended to a troubled young whale for seven hours in shallow water off the Waipuilani Beach access, the animal was finally hoisted onto a truck for a mercy flight to a dolphin hospital in Hilo on Monday. Maui News.

She came from the seas surrounding Kona on the leeward side of the Big Island. Garden Island.

More than 60 percent of households own a pet, but do you really know where it came from? Hawaii News Now.

Molokai High School students will forgo trendy Roxy and Quicksilver shirts for newly-minted uniforms starting Sept. 1. Molokai Dispatch.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

No aloha in gubernatorial race, Kauai students missing financial aid, Maui beached whale sent to Hilo, Big Island conservative group backs off, more Hawaii news

Neil Aber- crombie on Monday called out his Democratic opponent for Hawaii governor, Mufi Han- nemann, for mailing a flier to voters that unfavorably lists Abercrombie's experience, education and a beard contest victory. Associated Press.

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann's campaign for governor has mailed out a comparison brochure to voters statewide that contains references to where Hannemann and former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie were born, the names of their wives, and the fact that Abercrombie once won first place in the Lahaina Whaling Days beard contest. Star-Advertiser.

To the uncritical viewer, the campaign brochure that began popping up in Hawaii mailboxes over the last few days might well push an undecided voter to choose Mufi Hannemann over Neil Abercrombie for governor. Civil Beat.

Democratic candidates for governor Mufi Hannemann and Neil Abercrombie are sparring over a new mailer from the Hannemann campaign. Hawaii News Now.

A mailer from Mufi Hannemann's gubernatorial campaign was sent to thousands of Hawaii homes this weekend. KITV.

The primary race for Hawaii governor is heating up with blows being exchanged over campaign ads. KHON2.

The democratic candidates for governor will participate in a live debate here on KHON2. KHON2.

Public hearings on Hawaii's application for federal education money, the state Sheriff Division and budgetary shortfalls are being held at the Capitol on Tuesday. Associated Press.

Imagine for a moment that you had a few thousand dollars in loose change and bills behind the cushions of your couch, in your old jacket pockets, a spare wallet or two, and spread out through a few pairs of pants. Hawaii Reporter.

Maui beached whale goes to Hilo, Classes at Kaua‘i Community College are scheduled to start Monday, but some students are feeling frustrated with the school’s Financial Aid office because they don’t know when or if they will receive their loans. Garden Island.

That's right it's that time of the year again -- move-in week at the UH Manoa residence halls. KHON2.

A beaked whale weighing nearly a ton was rescued yesterday after beaching itself in South Maui. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. on Monday signed into law Bill No. 2364, which amends Ordinances 864 and 876 relating to single-family transient vacation rentals. Garden Island.

A long drawn out drama over shipping garbage to the Pacific Northwest just took another turn. KITV.

New law makes teachers responsible for keeping their licenses current. KHON2.

The Hawaii region of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. more than tripled its net loss over the previous year to $5.1 million in the second quarter, as revenue remained flat, expenses rose and investment income shrank, the company said. Star-Advertiser.

Exclusive undercover video shows disturbing images of sick and dead animals at a facility two animal groups call a huge puppy farm right here on Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

A process server who said he was attacked Aug. 9 by a dog owned by a former Hawaii County Police Department officer is claiming police have taken little action on the case, leaving Waikoloa Village residents at risk. West Hawaii Today.

Maui County Mayor Charmaine Tavares' administration wanted to make it clear this weekend: It is not "cracking down" on illegal business signs, but potential remedies are on the way. Maui News.

A conservative group that wants to put the shackles on government overreaching has abandoned its effort to change the Hawaii County Charter in November. Tribune-Herald.

The prominent hill overlooking the West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery was the "favorite" habitat of the oo bird, once the source of feathered capes for Hawaiian royalty, said Richard Stevens, history lecturer at the University of Hawaii Center -- West Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs will host its annual "Share Mana'o: OHA in Your Neighborhood" community meeting and its regular Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday and Thursday on Molokai. Maui News.