Monday, May 5, 2014

Hawaii Democrats kick off campaign season, two UH president finalists to tour campuses, Senate committee hears Native Hawaiian roll update, Honolulu mulls plastic bag ban, $15M shortfall could cut Maui medical services, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii County Democratic convention © 2014 All Hawaii News
Two days after the Hawaii Legislature concluded its 2014 session, another big political story of the year entered a new phase: the primary election. On Saturday, island chapters of the Democratic Party of Hawaii held conventions on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island. (Kauai held its convention last month.) It was the first time for many party members to see most of the major candidates all in one setting. Civil Beat.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa used brief stops before Oahu Democrats on Saturday to make politics personal, but they took different approaches that offer insight into their campaign strategies. Star-Advertiser.
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Abercrombie and Kokubun

Few candidates running for office in Hawaii fail to mention the V-word — values — when appealing to local voters. Gov. Neil Abercrombie is actually using the word in the title of his second television commercial for his re-election campaign: "Neil Abercrombie: Values." Civil Beat.

Beginning Tuesday, the two finalists for president of the University of Hawaii System — current interim President David Lassner and retired Army Lt. Gen. Francis Wier­cin­ski — will spend a month visiting UH campuses throughout the state, meeting with students, faculty and community members and participating in forums and receptions open to the public. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents released Saturday the final report by the Committee on Presidential Selection. The committee recommended David Lassner, the university’s interim president, and retired Lt. Gen. Frank Wiercinski, former commanding general of U.S. Army Pacific, as its top candidates. KHON2.

Read the report here.

The Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs will hold an informational briefing Monday morning to receive an update on the progress of the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission. The Roll Commission was established by the Legislature three years ago “to certify and publish a roll of Qualified Native Hawaiians for the purpose of organizing a Native Hawaiian governing entity that is recognized by the State of Hawaii, and can be recognized by the United States,” according to a press release from the Senate. Civil Beat.

State lawmakers adjourned the session on Thursday after reviewing hundreds of bills. Here is the status of some of the most significant bills. Bills that have passed have been sent to Gov. Neil Abercrombie for his signature or veto. The governor also can allow bills to become law without his signature. Lawmakers can override vetoes by a two-thirds’ vote in each chamber. Star-Advertiser.

Many Hawaii legislators hold campaign fundraisers during the four-month period in which they also hear bills of interest to lobbyists. Civil Beat.

House Majority floor leader Rida Cabanilla, D-Ewa, controls a non-profit that was awarded a $100,000 grant on April 25 from her peers in the Hawaii state legislature while the organization was out of compliance with the Internal Revenue Service. Hawaii Reporter.

Sam Slom, party of one in Hawaii’s Senate. L.A. Times.

Insurance companies in Hawaii are required to cover fertility treatment only for married women, not for their single counterparts. And in vitro fertilization treatments must use sperm from the patient's spouse. Associated Press.

An organic certification is a way for customers to make sure the food they’re buying fits certain standards. But that can be challenging for many farmers here in Hawaii, especially since the state has no locally-based certifier. Hawaii Public Radio.

State roundup for May 5. Associated Press.

The federal indictment of Waste Management of Hawaii and two of its top officials last week over their handling of Oahu's landfill has Hono­lulu City Council members seeking answers and at least one questioning whether the city should continue its 20-year operating contract. Star-Advertiser.

The question of whether shopping bags can be both plastic and biodegradable has thrown a possible wrench into plans to ban the bags on Oahu next year. Star-Advertiser.

New bill could delay Oahu’s plastic bag ban. KHON2.

Could Ads on City Buses Help Sustain Honolulu's Transportation System? Civil Beat.

Two thousand homes a year. That's roughly how much Oahu's housing market is losing ground each year as the growth in population outstrips the production of new homes. Star-Advertiser.

The Queen’s Medical Center West Oahu is wrapping up final touches and conducting practice medical scenarios among staff in preparation for its May 20 grand opening. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian Electric is seeking bidders to provide one or more large-scale energy storage systems on Oahu. Associated Press.


If, as Woody Allen claims, “80 percent of life is showing up,” the Hawaii County Council is getting there. The current County Council has a much better attendance record than previous councils, but there’s still room for improvement for certain members. West Hawaii Today.

Complaints from Hawaii Community College students alleging misuse of student fees spurred state Senate President Donna Mercado Kim to request a review by the University of Hawaii Board of Regents. Tribune-Herald.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is supporting the efforts of a state senator's family to subdivide a DHHL homestead parcel leased to her mother, a move that could rectify violations at least a decade old of having too many residences on the property. Star-Advertiser.


A projected $15 million shortfall will force Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital and Lanai Community Hospital administrators to consider cutting patient services or laying off employees next fiscal year, said Wesley Lo, Maui region chief executive officer of Hawaii Health System Corp. Maui News.

The search to replace longtime University of Hawaii Maui College Chancellor Clyde Sakamoto has begun as a 17-member, all-Maui Chancellor Search Advisory Committee has been formed. Maui News.

Honokahua Bay, which includes the popular D.T. Fleming Beach Park, has been murky brown for months - but Friday may have been the worst. Maui News.

The Hawaiʻi State Senate approved a supplemental budget bill that calls for more than $500 million in funds for more than 80 capital improvement projects in Maui County. Maui Now.


Voters may decide in November who should serve on the county’s Cost Control Commission — some government employees or none at all. Garden Island.

Provided Gov. Neil Abercrombie signs the legislative-approved funding, the Kauai Museum will begin a major renovation project by June. Garden Island.

The public will have an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the two remaining University of Hawaii presidential candidates Thursday. Garden Island.

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