Showing posts with label David Murdock. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Murdock. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Re-election likely for Hawaii Gov. Abercrombie, Honolulu councilman signs off on $1.2M loan from campaign contributor, GMO bills die in state Legislature, $27M makeover for Ellison resort, Murdoch to take Dole private, Snowden fallout continues, Maui undecided on Gene Simmons' bar, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Abercrombie work =success
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie file photo
Hawaii governors live and die by the health of our economy, and its robust condition ahead of the 2014 election is the main reason Gov. Neil Abercrombie is flying high despite low approval ratings throughout his first term. Star-Advertiser.

The trial of a federal agent charged with killing a man inside a Waikiki McDonald's should be moved to U.S. District Court because publicity about racial issues and animosity toward the federal government could hinder a fair trial in state court, his attorney argued Tuesday. Associated Press.

The whistleblower who brought the NSA and PRISM into Americans’ living rooms is without a job. Almost as a postscript to the dramatic story, Booz Allen Hamilton, the federal contractor that employed 29-year-old Edward Snowden in the Hawaii office of the National Security Agency, announced Tuesday that the company had fired the former CIA technical assistant. Hawaii Reporter.

The father of the girlfriend of Edward Snowden described the leaker of national secrets as a shy and reserved man with convictions, but said today he’s “still shocked” by the news about him. Associated Press.

A blog authored by Edward Snowden’s girlfriend provides potential answers to several questions about the NSA leaker’s time working for the agency in Hawaii. The blog, which has since been deleted, also indicates Snowden may have enjoyed a final visit with his family before seeking refuge in Hong Kong last month. Talking Points.

A defense contractor accused of giving military secrets to a Chinese girlfriend half his age has moved to a Hawaii halfway house while he awaits trial, according to court records and his attorney. Associated Press.

The former CIA employee who leaked top-secret information about U.S. surveillance programs said in a new interview in Hong Kong on Wednesday that he is not attempting to hide from justice here but hopes to use the city as a base to reveal wrongdoing. Associated Press.

It’s been 35 years since voters amended the state constitution to say our public officials should have “the highest standards of ethical conduct,” and requiring the state and counties to establish codes of ethics. This seems like plenty long enough to work out the kinks in the law and get used to how it works. Civil Beat.

The state is reviewing the criteria that is used to evaluate care homes after the Legislature passing a bill this past session requiring the Department of Health to post the inspection reports online as of 2015. The bill, if Gov. Neil Abercrombie signs it or allows it to become law, says the reports must be fair to the care homes and to the public that depends on them. Civil Beat.

During the last session of the state Legislature, critics of genetically engineered food made a push to set labeling requirements for grocery shelves. Over a half dozen bills to label transgenic food, mostly focusing on imported items, were introduced. None of the bills made it through, partly due to concerns that they may be found unconstitutional. Tribune-Herald.

The effort to get the Akaka Bill passed has started again. Today Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz delivered a speech on the Senate floor for Native Hawaiians. Hawaii News Now.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard joined with 35 other Democratic freshmen to express reservations about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement (TPP FTA) negotiations and the prospect of delegating Fast Track “trade promotion authority” to the President. Hawaii Independent.

Jeff Mikulina, CEO of Honolulu-based Blue Planet Foundation, and Mark Glick, the head of Hawaii’s state energy office, have been invited to attend President Bill Clinton’s third annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting. Civil Beat.

State roundup for June 12. Associated Press.


Honolulu City Council Chairman Ernie Martin said he signed off on two documents tied to cancellation of $1.2 million in loans to the nonprofit Opportunities and Resources Inc., whose leader contributed $4,200 to his political campaign committee. Martin said he does not believe there was a conflict of interest because he was not involved in the decision to forgive those loans. Star-Advertiser.

Federal records released Tuesday show Honolulu City Council chair Ernie Martin received more than $4,000 in campaign contributions from the president of an organization that had been given millions of dollars in grant money by the city department he ran. Civil Beat.

Honolulu has been ranked as the most expensive city in the U.S. to visit, according to TripAdvisor's TripIndex Cities 2013. KITV4.

Faustino Somera is among about 15 former Ewa Plantation workers and their spouses who were promised by plantation bosses, and later the city, that they could stay in their Varona Village homes until they died. But in the nearly two decades since the promises were made, little else has been done to maintain what many call the place that time forgot, or to make sure the homes there are available to former sugar workers as planned. Star-Advertiser.

The Ewa Plantation Cemetery spreads out over eleven acres. There are about 500 grave sites on the property, but the grass is so tall in spots it swallows grave markers. Hawaii News Now.

Sgt. 1st Class Maurice Smith, an Army journalist stationed at Fort Shafter, was on a rescue mission Tuesday to save his fallen comrades — the many homeless veterans who call Hawaii streets their home. Star-Advertiser.

A 150-pound boulder that came crashing down a hillside in Kalihi Valley on Monday has residents feeling nervous. It’s the same street where massive boulders damaged three homes last year. KHON2.


Genetically modified food has been on store shelves for 17 years in the United States. But determining what products contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, remains a challenge for even the most conscientious consumers. Tribune-Herald.

The 73,524-square-foot Waikoloa Highlands Center on Hawaii’s Big Island is on the market — again — this time for a slightly higher price of $23.2 million. Pacific Business News.

Thousands of people lined Akoni Pule Highway Tuesday morning to honor King Kamehameha I on the day named after him. West Hawaii Today.

Two examples of Hawaii’s living history are currently moored in Hilo’s Radio Bay as their crews prepare to continue a voyage around the state that will expand to a worldwide trip next year. Tribune-Herald.

With veteran rock 'n' roller Gene Simmons as one of its partners, Paia merchants and residents have mixed feelings about the new Rock & Brews restaurant and bar concept rolling into town. Maui News.

A Maui County Council committee will consider on Monday a resolution authorizing it to conduct an internal investigation into the potential misuse of county funds to demolish the Old Wailuku Post Office and conduct master planning for the Kalana O Maui campus expansion. Maui News.

Sen. Roz Baker and South Maui Rep. Kaniela Ing will hold a "talk story" and "End of Session Wrap-up" meeting with constituents from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the Kihei Charter School campus at the Lipoa Center. Maui News.


Cockfighting has been around for more than 6,000 years, according to historians. On Kauai, it was introduced by Filipino immigrants during the island’s early plantation days. Garden Islabnd.

The Kauai County Council will put on its hospitality hats to host the 2013 Hawaii State Association of Counties annual conference at Kauai Beach Resort over two days next week. The conference begins June 20, with the annual HSAC executive committee meeting and general membership meeting. Garden Island.

The release of more than $41.2 million for capital improvement projects statewide includes funding for a string of projects on Kauai. Garden Island.


A new flight service is landing on Molokai, bringing in a small business attitude that has already proven successful in Kalaupapa. Makani Kai Air is offering five flights daily to Honolulu and back, which began June 8, while keeping its twice daily Kalaupapa flights. Molokai Dispatch.


The Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay is scheduled to get a $27 million makeover, which includes renovations to its existing 236 rooms, upgrades at 140 Restaurant and the addition of a sushi bar and teppanyaki stations at Nobu Restaurant. Billionaire Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison’s Lanai Resorts LLC recently submitted a special management area assessment for renovations permit to the Lanai Planning Commission. Pacific Business News.

Less than a year after he sold the island of Lanai, David Murdock is taking Dole Food Co. private again. The 90-year-old billionaire surprised Wall Street by offering $645 million to buy the 60 percent of Dole that he didn't already own. Hawaii News Now.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Lanai buyer owes $333,824 in back taxes, more on the Ellison Lanai sale, activist challenges Hawaiian land transfer, candidate filing deadline moved up, snake dogs to return, Kona midlevel road opening Saturday, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Halibut Thyme
Lanai mountains Halibut Thyme courtesy photo

Billionaire Larry Ellison plans to buy Lanai, the sixth largest of the eight Hawaiian isles. Civil Beat.

Larry Ellison’s Oracle Corp. owes the state of Hawaii $333,824 in back taxes, according to a lien filed against the company here last year. Hawaii Reporter.

Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison is buying more than land when he closes on the deal to acquire 98 percent of the island of Lanai from billionaire David Murdock of Castle and Cooke. Pacific Business News.

Prior to Wednesday's public confirmation that Lanai was being sold to billionaire Larry Ellison, state Senate President Shan Tsutsui asked Gov. Neil Abercrombie to look into purchasing the island that could become "a major asset to the state." Maui News.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa was among the Maui officials who responded today to news of the recently confirmed sale of the island of Lana’i by releasing a statement this afternoon. Maui Now.

There's a condition to the deal to sell Lanai. David Murdock wants to continue with his controversial wind farm project for the northwestern part of the island. Hawaii News Now.

Friends discuss Murdock's struggle with Lanai. News of deal, relief to Murdock friend. KITV4.

Commentary: Give Lanai back to the Hawaiians. All Hawaii News.

Hawaii attorney H. William Burgess is challenging the state's decision to transfer 10 parcels of land from the state of Hawaii to a state agency, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Hawaii Reporter.

The public won't have to wait as long to get a close look at who's donating to political candidates this year thanks to a new law signed last week that moves the filing deadline up to July 12. Civil Beat.

After a nearly three year lapse, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture is bringing back canine units capable of detecting the brown tree snake, which if established in Hawaii would devastate the state's fragile ecosystem. KITV4.

Hawaii has made national news in recent days because of two national reports shining the light on Hawaii’s growing state liabilities. Hawaii Reporter.

By the Numbers: The U.S.'s Growing For-Profit Detention Industry. Civil Beat.

Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison has reached a deal to buy 98 percent of the island of Lanai from its current owner, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Wednesday. Associated Press.

A bill prohibiting having feral deer or releasing them into the wild was signed into law today by Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Star-Advertiser.


First Wind said Thursday it will start transporting the wind turbine components for its 69-megawatt Kawailoa Wind project next week via trucks with oversized trailers from Barbers Point harbor to the wind farm site near Haleiwa on Oahu’s North Shore. Pacific Business News.

Eight years after the Army last fired a live round in training in Makua Valley, a federal judge affirmed that the service won't be allowed do so again until it completes an archaeological survey and study of munitions runoff on limu and other marine resources, an environmental law organization said Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

The state Land Use Commission issued written decisions Thursday detailing its approval and conditions for master-planned communities Ho‘opili in Ewa and Koa Ridge in Central Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

The first phase of the 5.3 billion dollar rail transit project is underway in Leeward O’ahu. Hawaii Public Radio.

Average daily rates at Oahu hotels rose 10 percent in May, the highest average daily rate growth in the nation for the month, according to data from STR. Pacific Business News.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will hold a public hearing on a proposed permanent rule to identify a safety zone around Ahu O Laka (the Kane‘ohe bay sandbar) that is subject to restrictions on three-day weekends involving a state holiday. KHON2.


Gov. Neil Abercrombie has not made a decision on reopening Kulani prison, a spokesman said Thursday, a day after the governor signed a package of bills aimed at reducing the number of prisoners sent to the mainland. Tribune-Herald.

Mayor Billy Kenoi ripped into a bill that would require a minimum prepayment of millions of dollars into the county’s retiree benefit fund as “political grandstanding” and promised a “highly likely” veto. Tribune-Herald.

The new 2.9-mile Ane Keohokalole Highway opens at 3 p.m. Saturday providing motorists another means for traversing north and south in Kona. West Hawaii Today.

State Department of Transportation officials are seeking authorization to build a base yard to maintain Saddle Road. West Hawaii Today.


Maui community groups say they're determined to halt development of two planned mega-mall shopping complexes off of Piilani Highway, even to the point of seeking relief in court. Maui News.


Kaua‘i County Council members on Wednesday put on hold for at least two weeks a bill proposing to outlaw smoking in county parks. Garden Island.

Po‘ipu Beach Park was the beneficiary of efforts from a group of visitors from IHS, a global business information services company based in Denver. Garden Island.


The canonization of Blessed Marianne Cope is just four months away, and a fundraiser aims to help patients from Kalaupapa make a pilgrimage to the Vatican. KHON2.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hawaiian Island of Lanai could be sold quickly, recycling audits secret, rail transit funds slashed, pension funds go unfunded, FBI increases Hilo presence, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Lanai for sale
Hawaiian Island of Lanai
Los Angeles billionaire David Murdock is trying to sell the island of Lanai. The price is about $500 million. Pacific Business News.

Billionaire David Murdock and his company, Castle & Cooke Inc., are in discussions to sell Lanai in a deal that could alter the future of the former Pineapple Island and dramatically reduce Murdock's land ownership in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Auditor's Office is not releasing several audits of the state's so-called bottle-bill program, reports that are key to tracking where millions of dollars in state money is going. Civil Beat.

Hawaii has funded just 61 percent of its $18.5 billion pension obligation for public sector workers — the 10th worst in the nation. Hawaii also has a $14 billion retiree health care liability that is unfunded. Star-Advertiser.

While independent candidates have had little electoral success in the islands, a handful have been elected to office. They are also part of a larger trend nationally away from traditional left and right divisions. Civil Beat.

A settlement will ensure the continued cleanup of lead-based paint that has killed thousands of Laysan albatross chicks at Midway Atoll, the Center for Biological Diversity said. Associated Press.

Hawaii's governor has signed a bill banning the sale of products containing bear bile or gallbladders. Associated Press.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Monday signed into law a measure to help Hawai‘i fight pests that have been impacting the state’s bee populations. Garden Island.

There are fewer than 55 days remaining until Hawai’i’s Primary Election Day showdown … in which all 76 state legislative seats are up for consideration by voters. Hawaii Public Radio.


U.S. House Subcommittee Slices Money for Rail. Civil Beat.

A federal judge sentenced a former Honolulu city driver's licensing clerk Monday to four months in jail for fraudulently producing a Hawaii license for an illegal immigrant. Star-Advertiser.

As the city of Honolulu plans to start building a $200 million, 3.2-mile wastewater tunnel between Kaneohe and Kailua this year, some residents living near the project are worried about the potential impact on their properties. Star-Advertiser.

Much controversy has surfaced over UH Manoa Chancellor-Designate, Tom Apple's large salary and the flagship campus' top executive, Virginia Hinshaw's sabbatical pay, and it all came to a head during our interview with the executives today. Hawaii News Now.

Doctor Tom Apple comes from the University of Delaware where he was provost. KHON2.

Can a White Federal Agent Who Killed a Hawaii Local Get a Fair Trial? Civil Beat.


Politicians and officials from around Hawaii, Western states and even some national-level representatives are coming to Hawaii at the end of this week for an annual state government conference. West Hawaii Today.

The FBI could soon have its own digs at the Hilo police station. Tribune-Herald.

Funding has been approved for permanent facilities to house the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES).KPUA.

A study of vog and wind patterns shows communities most impacted by the volcanic emissions can predict when the air is likely to be cleaner, a researcher told a County Council committee Monday. West Hawaii Today.


Maui's boating community has mixed reactions to a proposed state rule that would require recreational boaters operating motorized vessels to complete a one-time safety course, or face fines of up to $1,000. Maui News.

The bankrupt Days Inn Maui Oceanfront Inn in Kihei has been sold to a Chinese investor for $7.5 million, according to court documents. Maui News.


The Kaua‘i Fire Department held a brush fire mitigation meeting Friday morning, reminding large landowners, lessees and other stakeholders of their responsibility in maintaining firebreaks for open fields adjacent to structure. Garden Island.


“Solar is the strongest renewable energy resource for Molokai,” concludes the just-released Life of the Land report, “Wayfinding: Navigating Hawaii’s Energy Future,” by Henry Curtis. Molokai Dispatch.