Monday, October 18, 2010

Big Island rally draws top Dems, Hawaiian crow making comeback, Filipino WWII vets file lawsuit, union helps symphony in bankruptcy, strike upsetting Hilton guests, tourism agency seeks projects for funding, more top Hawaii news

Hawaii voters will decide in November whether they want to preserve some balance politically or whether they are comfortable with majority Democrats in control. Star-Advertiser.

Increasing the role of agriculture in the Big Island economy was the topic Saturday when the Democratic Party of Hawaii brought federal, state and local candidates together to celebrate "Ag Country Roots." West Hawaii Today.

On Nov. 2, 1959, Neil Abercrombie cast his first vote as a young man. Little did he know that he would be helping to install the nation's now longest-serving senator. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii is the nation's most fossil-fuel dependent state, a fact its candidates for governor intend to change. Associated Press.

In an election year when religion has been thrust onto center stage in a number of races, a Civil Beat poll found that 11 percent of likely voters believe Christianity should play an official role in setting government policy, with an additional 6 percent saying that the best teachings of all the world's religions should do the same. Civil Beat.

The top candidates for U.S. Congress faced off in a debate on KITV 4 News Friday night. KITV4.

The future of the elected state Board of Education is one of two state constitutional amendments Hawaii voters will be asked to decide in this year's election. Star-Advertiser.

Voters will mull important charter amendments on Nov. 2. Tribune-Herald.

A residency challenge against Maui County Council candidate Riki Hokama has been appealed to the state Board of Registration. Maui News.

A lawsuit claims the federal government is discriminating against Filipino World War II veterans by giving them benefits far below what US veterans receive. Filipino Chronicle.

A bomb crater nearly as large as a football field is like an open wound on the southern coast of the former Target Island. Maui News.

On day three of a strike by hotel workers at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort and Spa in Waikiki, guests complained about cleaning hotel rooms themselves, closed restaurants and noise from the strikers. KITV4.

Alabama man arrested after his car hits Hilton picketer. KHON2.

The musicians of the Honolulu Symphony have withdrawn an unfair labor charge that was filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in July, so that the Honolulu Symphony’s board and management can submit their reorganization plan with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and meet today’s filing deadline. Hawaii Independent.

A nearly extinct Hawaiian black crow is making a comeback in captivity. Star-Advertiser.

The sign welcoming people to Heeia State Park is old. But the management is new. Hawaii News Now.

Ken DeHoff calls it the Empire State Building of Pearl Harbor. Star-Advertiser.

When the state Department of Land and Natural Resources announced in June it had plans to close Kalalau Valley for two months to conduct rockfall mitigation work, some community members questioned if such an ambitious project would be finished by Nov. 7 as promised. Garden Island.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) seeks to fund projects qualifying under its 2011 Natural Resources Program and its Kukulu Ola-Living Hawaiian Culture Program (LHCP). Lahaina News.

Discover for yourself how much the state is paying the 21,929 people who work in the state's public school system. Civil Beat.

On Dec. 3, the Kaua‘i Museum celebrates its 50th anniversary. Garden Island.

Just about any given day around 5 p.m. or so, you can catch Michael Neubauer and Kevin Gavagan working hard to restore an old Hawaiian canoe at Kihei Canoe Club. Molokai Dispatch.

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative's plan to reduce the number of seabird injuries and deaths is available for public review. Star-Advertiser.

There's a public health scare at McKinley High School. Parents want to know what's being done to stop the spread of tuberculosis. Hawaii News Now.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Gubernatorial, congressional debates in full swing, shark-feeding tours denied, Education Board fattens budget, Maui bag ban implemented, Hilton Hawaiian Village strike continues, more Hawaii news

A debate that has churned in waters off Oahu's North Shore headed to court today. KHON2.

A state judge denied a request to dismiss charges of illegal shark-feeding against a North Shore ocean excursion employee yesterday as protesters rallied at the courthouse. Star-Advertiser.

Mainland money is pouring into the Hawaii governor's race with two new TV ads out this week. KITV4.

The gloves came off in the race for governor Thursday night in a scrappy, live televised forum between Duke Aiona and Neil Abercrombie. KITV4.

The top candidates for governor and the 1st Congressional District got cozy — and heated — with Dan Boylan on PBS. Civil Beat.

The candidates for governor are going after attack ads that are coming from outside of each campaign. KHON2.

On Friday night, KITV4 and will feature a political debate between Republican U.S. Rep. Charles Djou and Democrat Colleen Hanabusa. KITV4.

A candidate for state office is two years behind on property taxes on two West Hawaii properties. West Hawaii Today.

The county Board of Ethics unanimously voted Wednesday to investigate a complaint filed against Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole-Beason by a former campaign volunteer. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor issues guides for ban on bags. Maui News.

Seeing an economy on the mend, a Board of Education committee approved a $1.4 billion proposed general fund budget yesterday for the upcoming fiscal year that would restore about $129 million in cuts and seek an additional $28 million for student bus transportation, nursing services and athletics. Star-Advertiser.

A national company that tracks foreclosures reports Hawaii had one of the highest foreclosure rates in the third quarter. Associated Press.

Distressed properties account for 24% of all Kaua‘i land sales. Garden Island.

Picket lines went up at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki on Thursday as union workers at the largest resort in Hawaii went on a five-day strike over a contract dispute. Associated Press.

A five-day strike by union workers that began yesterday at the Hilton Hawaiian Village has the potential to cause near-term damage to the state's leading industry. Star-Advertiser.

Workers at Hilton's largest hotel worldwide went on strike Thursday morning, claiming the company isn't using the taxpayer bailout money it received to create jobs and improve working conditions. Hawaii News Now.

Senator Akaka: Akaka Bill is Alive and We Work Everyday to Get it Passed. Hawaii Reporter.

The state appeals court has rejected two of three challenges by Windward farmers and environmentalists who want a state commission to direct more water to flow from the Waiahole Ditch to Windward streams. Star-Advertiser.

Thousands of small nonprofits across America, including hundreds in Hawaii, faced a Friday deadline to fill out an online form for the Internal Revenue Service or lose their tax-exempt status. Hawaii News Now.

For decades the island of Kaho'olawe was used by the military for target practice, using every type of weapon that could be shot, launched or dropped. KHON2.

'Goldilocks planet' questioned. Tribune-Herald.

The state Department of Transportation is working to fill firefighter staffing vacancies at the Maui District airports, a process that a state official said has been going on for several years. Maui News.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

No money for trafficked workers, poll shows Abercrombie, Aiona neck and neck, Honolulu ditches nonresident homeowner tax, congressional candidates differ on stimulus funding, Young Bros. threaten rate hikes if competition enters shipping market, more Hawaii news

Drunken driving claimed the lives of at least 171 people on Big Island roads between 2000 and 2009, giving Hawaii Island the highest DUI fatality rate in the state, said North Hawaii Outcomes Project Director Dr. Sharon Vitousek. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii property owners who install solar power panels on their rooftops will get paid for their excess homegrown electricity. Associated Press.

Paid not to fish. Honolulu Weekly.

The Honolulu City Council voted today to repeal the non-resident homeowners class that was signed into law by former mayor Mufi Hannemann.  KHON2.

If the Public Utilities Commission allows a ruling that lets Pasha Hawaii Transport selectively service intraisland cargo routes stand, Hawaii residents will likely see a decrease in service and an increase in cargo costs, Young Brothers officials said Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

The 44 victims in the Aloun Farms human trafficking case now pending in federal court came within days of receiving $192,000 in restitution but the money is now being returned to the defendants. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii's 1,617 foreclosure filings last month were enough to rank the state as the ninth-highest in the nation, a dubious honor and its worst ranking yet. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii is joining the other 49 states in a massive investigation into whether major mortgage lenders committed foreclosure fraud. KITV.

The City Council passed a bill yesterday that bars tents and other makeshift structures on urban sidewalks during daylight hours, but city officials warned such a law will take nearly $250,000 and possibly years to put into effect. Star-Advertiser.

Racing is back on Oahu but not without some controversy. Hawaii News Now.

New rules are being implemented to make our dams and reservoirs safer, but some dam owners testifying at a public hearing on Wednesday said the cost of the regulations are too high. KITV.

Civil Beat Poll: Abercrombie Holds Slight Edge in Hawaii Governor's Race. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's candidates in a tight race for Congress disagreed Wednesday over whether more government or less would help boost the economy. Associated Press.

Before a select crowd, Republican Charles Djou and Democrat Colleen Hanabusa were pressed on how they will best lead Hawaii in Washington, DC.  Starting with growing the state's number one industry - Tourism.KHON2.

Canceling unspent stimulus funds, reducing the size of the government work force through attrition and ending Bush-era tax cuts for wealthier Americans were among the ideas offered for reducing federal spending as the candidates for Hawaii's 1st Congressional District faced off in one of the first public forums since the September primary election. Star-Advertiser.

The leading candidates in the race for Honolulu's first Congressional district faced off in a forum Wednesday night during which Republican Charles Djou said unused stimulus money should be given back to help combat the federal deficit. KITV.

President Barack Obama's voice was heard in 60,000 Oahu residents' homes Wednesday night as they picked up their phones to hear a robo call, a taped message from the president. KITV.

Unionized Hilton Hawaiian Village workers went out on a five-day strike this morning. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Billy Kenoi has contracted with a videographer and purchased video production equipment, but the mayor said Tuesday a $20,594.73 expenditure isn't just for his new TV show. West Hawaii Today.

Councilwoman files harassment report. Garden Island.

Wireless technology has added to the electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) we are exposed to every day. Big Island Weekly.

The state Campaign Spending Commission will soon have a new executive director. Hawaii News Now.

Several Hawaii County Council candidates participating in a public financing pilot program are calling the program a success even though it's forced them to curtail spending and engage in more long-term planning. West Hawaii Today.

A federal grant will fund the construction of a new health center building in Naalehu, possibly doubling the amount of patients being served in the area. Tribune-Herald.

Retired electrical contractor Randy Piltz outspent former Mayor Alan Arakawa in the Maui mayor's primary election race, shelling out $219,060 on his campaign, to Arakawa's $189,166. Maui News.

It was supposed to be the 10th and one of the most memorable editions of the Homegrown Music Festival. Garden Island.

Aloha indeed – as adults relaxed, chowed down and talked story, keiki ran off the sugar from shave ice and braddah pops in the popular annual event, Festivals of Aloha. Molokai Dispatch.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

UH to pay $2.5M for alleged cronyism, landowners say dam safety too costly, woman says $5.7M award won't end suffering, Native Hawaiian issues at forefront, Maui landfill hearing draws crowd, Honolulu more wealthy, more Hawaii news

Giving native Hawaiians and Pacific islanders broader access to federal agencies will be the focus of the next meeting in Washington, D.C., of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, an official said yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

Native Hawaiian leaders are getting one-on-one face time with officials from the Obama administration. Hawaii News Now.

Abercrombie and Aiona agree on the need to pass the Akaka bill, but differ on whether to do it this year or next. Civil Beat.

As expected the Office of Hawaiian Affairs debate started with questions about the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, more commonly known as the Akaka Bill. Hawaii News Now.

Gubernatorial candidates Neil Abercrombie and Duke Aiona went head-to-head in a televised debate tonight that focused on Native Hawaiian issues, as well as other broader issues. KHON2.

U.S. Rep. Charles Djou appears to have a slight edge over Democratic challenger state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa for his congressional seat, according to a public poll being released today in Washington, D.C. Star-Advertiser.

House Minority Leader John Boehner on Tuesday announced that Republican U.S. Rep. Charles Djou will win a spot on the House panel that doles out federal dollars if Djou wins re-election. Associated Press.

Hawaii Democrat Colleen Hanabusa on Tuesday criticized a new TV ad by her opponent for Congress, Republican U.S. Rep. Charles Djou, that warns voters about a storm of lies and special interests. Associated Press.

Hawaii Democrat Colleen Hanabusa is criticizing a new TV ad by her opponent for Congress, Republican U.S. Rep. Charles Djou, that warns voters about a storm of lies and special interests. KITV.

The Hawaii Superferry's vessels were recently auctioned off. But talk of an interisland ferry has re-surfaced in the race for governor.Hawaii News Now.

The University of Hawaii has tentatively agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle a lawsuit that alleges cronyism played a role in the award of a key development contract at the $120 million Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, Hawaii Reporter has learned. Hawaii Reporter.

When it comes to income, Honolulu is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. KHON2.

The Hawaii Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations is scrambling to notify hundreds of small Hawaii nonprofit groups that they have just two more days to preserve their tax-exempt status by filing with the IRS. Star-Advertiser.

New state rules on dam safety could be too costly for landowners, several people testified yesterday at the first of four public hearings this week on proposed changes. Star-Advertiser.

Credit card debt carried by the average Hawaii consumer, over $9,000 for most of the year, has fallen to $8,469, a mainland study finds. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii homeowners with good credit and plenty of equity in their homes are waiting months to get refinancing loans approved -- if they're approved at all -- and the delays are chasing hundreds of mortgage brokers out of the island market. Star-Advertiser.

The hot potato that is ethics reform has landed back at its starting place with the county Board of Ethics. West Hawaii Today.

The first public meeting about the proposed site for the island’s next landfill in Ma‘alo drew a large crowd from the Hanama‘ulu community. Garden Island.

Homeless campers said they aren’t too concerned about Wednesday’s Honolulu City Council vote on a bill that aims to ban tents and property from public sidewalks. KITV.

A woman who won a $5.6 million jury award after slipping in a McDonalds restaurant said the money will not end her suffering. KITV.

A Texas woman who slipped and fell at the Dairy Road McDonald's nearly three years ago was awarded $5.67 million last week for the injuries she suffered at the Kahului restaurant while visiting relatives on Maui. Maui News.

Rental rates for Hawaii County's only horse stable are going up incrementally, delaying the full increase until October 2012, Parks Director Bob Fitzgerald announced Monday. Tribune-Herald.

The Maui County Council Public Services Committee voted 4-1 late Monday to recommend approval of the Kula Ridge fast-track housing application with conditions. Maui News.

The need to maintain the island’s unique cultural identity is as strong as the need for more jobs and a more diverse, stable economy in the eyes of Molokai residents. Molokai Dispatch.

A lucky-me contributor, I recently received my premier, four-color, first copy autographed edition of “Practice Aloha, Secrets to Living Life Hawaiian Style,” a collection of stories, recipes and lyrics compiled by editors Mark Ellman and Barbara Santos. Lahaina News.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kauai revisits plastic bag ban, Maui plans bird-proof football, new Honolulu mayor has big to-do list, tourism continues rebound, feds buy superferries, poll shows Hanabusa with slight lead, lawmakers probe securities purchase, airport chief says dysfunctional office jeopardizes safety, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu has a new Mayor. KHON2.

New Honolulu Mayor has long list of problems to fix. Hawaii News Now.

The final campaign spending reports for the Honolulu Mayor's race due Monday showed that former acting Mayor Caldwell raised $1,201,595 total for the race while former Honolulu prosecutor Carlisle raised a total $580,557. KITV.

In his first minutes in office, new Mayor Peter Carlisle pledged to follow up on his campaign promise to cut waste in city spending and committed to push full speed ahead on the $5.5 billion rail transit system. Star-Advertiser.

Peter Carlisle once told one of his deputy prosecutors that he would become mayor when pigs learn to fly. At his swearing-in ceremony at Honolulu Hale Monday, the winner of the September 18 special election for mayor unveiled a statue of a pig with wings and wasted no time outlining his priorities. Hawaii News Now.

The latest poll in the First Congressional District race shows Colleen Hanabusa leading Congressman Charles Djou. KHON2.

Former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie spent more than $2.8 million to win the Democratic primary for governor in September, or about $20 a vote in his victory over former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann. Star-Advertiser.

Democrat Neil Abercrombie has more campaign fundraising momentum than his Republican opponent, Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, reports show. Civil Beat.

This afternoon, Keith Kaneshiro was sworn into office as Honolulu's new prosecutor. KHON2.

An investigative committee made-up of state lawmakers is probing whether any laws were broken when the Department of Budget and Finance purchased more than $1 billion worth of student loan auction rate securities. KHON2.

Some 93,000 public school students in Hawaii begin taking the Hawaii State Assessment tests next week. Associated Press.

The foreclosure scandal has touched a nerve with the state’s consumer protector. KITV.

The chief for airport fire stations on three islands said today he is dangerously short of firefighters -- because of what he called an “inept” airports personnel office. KITV.

Council to revisit plastic-bag ban. Garden Island.

A hotel, tourism and real estate consulting services firm says a new survey shows Hawaii's tourism industry continues to recover from the economic recession. Associated Press.

Maui hotel occupancy bounded up by nearly 10 percentage points as the entire state enjoyed a "relatively strong summer," according to the consulting firm Hospitality Advisors. Maui News.

Molokai is again without a staff planner with the county’s Planning Department. Molokai Dispatch.

The dream of Friday night lights and football at Lahainaluna High School continues to take shape on the historic campus, as a state-of-the-art system from MUSCO Sports Lighting has been installed at the Luna Athletic Field. Lahaina News.

There were lots of extras to interest buyers -- furniture, apparel, tools, machinery and spare parts. But no one was willing to outbid the federal government for the two former Hawaii Superferry high-speed catamarans at a recent foreclosure auction. Star-Advertiser.

A federal jury has awarded a Texas woman $5.67 million for injuries she suffered when she slipped and fell in a McDonald's restaurant in Kahului. Star-Advertiser.

The owners of Hawaii's second-largest farm are looking to get back $192,000 from the federal court clerk in Honolulu. Associated Press.

Of the six contested County Council races this year, only the South Maui rematch could be called a negative campaign. Maui News.

Mayoral, council candidates to discuss issues at Sunday forum. Garden Island.

Councilman Guy Enriques, responding to voters' concerns that he hasn't shared enough information about himself, is touting his accomplishments as a freshman district representative. West Hawaii Today.

Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (D- Hawaii) recently announced $10,302,629 in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grants to address pressing construction and renovation needs and expand access to quality health care at community health centers in Hilo and Waianae. Hawaii Reporter.

More good news for "Hawaii Five-0." It is the most played back show in DVR history. That's what Nielsen ratings showed when the information was released by CBS Monday. Hawaii News Now.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Aloun Farms scrutinized, Korea new tourism target, Maui siting new landfill, Honolulu mayor to be sworn in today, Aussie takes Ironman, Hawaii women disconnected from politics, rail project studied, more news from the Hawaiian Islands

Immigrant workers from Thailand -- who were victims in a human trafficking case on Hawaii farms – attended a special meeting with their lawyers Sunday night. KITV.

An increase in the population of a tiny crustacean and busy shipping lanes are being blamed for a jump in the number of whale deaths in Northern California waters this year. Associated Press.

The fastest-growing major market for Hawaii tourism is on display at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Hawaii Business.

Some of you folks have Monday off in observance of Discoverer's day. KHON2.

With a little more than three weeks until Election Day, the two leading candidates for Hawaii governor sought out potential voters Sunday at events featuring large crowds. KHON2.

Kaua‘i Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. on Sunday endorsed Neil Abercrombie in his campaign to be governor of Hawai‘i. Garden Island.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) announced today, they are sponsoring a live televised gubernatorial debate from the Hawaii Convention Center between former Congressman Neil Abercrombie and Lt. Governor James “Duke” Aiona on Oct 12, 2010, from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm on cable television station OC16. Hawaii Reporter.

Honolulu's newest mayor is set to be sworn in. Associated Press.

Acting Honolulu mayor Kirk Caldwell officially leaves office Monday after just 83 days on the job. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii's congressional candidates want to be different, just like everyone else. Associated Press.

Female voters -- and potential female voters -- feel disconnected from Hawaii politicians, according to a poll released yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

An Interview with Senator Dan Inouye. Filipino Chronicle.

Voters will decide next month whether to centralize oversight of the $5.5 billion rail project under a 10-member authority. Star-Advertiser.

Did the process that resulted in the City of Honolulu's $5.5 billion rail proposal adequately evaluate what would be the most cost-effective transit solution to best serve the largest number of people? First in a series. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's voting machines are being tested before they're used in the Nov. 2 general election. Associated Press.

The down economy was supposed to bring a glut of construction, developers told state and county boards in the last year or so, as rezoned properties were built on and labor costs dropped. West Hawaii Today.

The Pearl Harbor-based guided missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon is due to return from a deployment next week. Associated Press.

When some 93,000 public school students start taking high-stakes state tests next week, they will have to score higher than last year to be considered proficient in math and reading. Star-Advertiser.

Residents at a low-income housing complex in the Liliha area thought they were going to be hit with a huge rent hike. Now, it looks like the increase will be a lot smaller. Hawaii News Now.

UH Manoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine has received major new funding for community-based research designed to improve the health of Hawaii's people. KITV.

Fewer Big Island couples are getting married and having babies since the beginning of the current economic downturn in late 2007. Tribune-Herald.

From Honokohau Harbor all the way to Palani Road, they ran together stride for stride Saturday, reminding triathlon fans of the entertaining 1989 battle between greats Mark Allen and Dave Scott. West Hawaii Today.

The main terminal at Kahului Airport was designed more than 20 years ago with 48 landing slots. Planes got bigger, and the effective number that can be used has been halved to 24. Maui News.

The county Department of Public Works will hold a public information meeting Monday regarding the county’s pursuit of Ma‘alo (mauka of Hanama‘ulu) as the site for the new county landfill. Garden Island.

First scheduled for completion in April 2007, then May 2009, and finally February 2010, Hawaii County's new Hilo recycling center has yet to receive its first bag of rubbish. Tribune-Herald.

Midday on Friday at the new ReStore facility, one finds Sue and Lowell Thomas of Lahaina Arts Foundation buying a plastic milk carton for $2; a flatbed blaring, "Beep, beep, beep," while backing into the warehouse delivering 11 computerized cash registers - brand new, never out of their boxes and valued at $3,000 each; and Kevin Haleakala stopping in to make a mortgage payment on his Waiohuli home. Maui News.

Opening up a bottle with your teeth could be as much heredity as stupidity. Garden Island.

This week marks the 25th anniversary of the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge. Associated Press.

Friday, October 8, 2010

State drug czar questions big jump in medical marijuana use, ahi tuna running short, deer invade Molokai farms, Sarah Palin steps into Hawaii races, "light" governor candidates seek heavier role, Honolulu Hale exodus nears, more Hawaii news

The number of medical marijuana patients in Hawaii has skyrocketed more than 3,000 percent over the past 10 years, leaving the state's top narcotics enforcement officer questioning just how many of those patients actually need the drug. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii's bigeye tuna fishery is on course to hit its annual catch limit for waters west of the islands on Nov. 19, meaning the supply of locally caught ahi will likely drop sharply more than a month before demand peaks during the year-end holidays. Associated Press.

Nearly 5,000 volunteers will provide endless words of encouragement and support to the 1,800 triathletes competing Saturday in the Ford Ironman World Championship. West Hawaii Today.

Army seeks to reactivate Selective Service local board. Garden Island.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie and running mate Brian Schatz on Thursday announced a plan to bring more federal money to Hawaii. KITV.

The major candidates for lieutenant governor both envision more prominent roles for the state's No. 2 job, which has become largely ceremonial. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Re- pub- lican Party officials showed up at a democratic candidate's headquarters to offer a helping hand. Hawaii News Now.

The Maui Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee is backing Republicans James "Duke" Aiona for governor and Lynn Finnegan for lieutenant governor. Associated Press.

Republican Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona and Democrat former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie faced off Wednesday at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center's McCoy Theater to discuss their views on education, the environment and economic development. Maui News.

KITV 4 News has learned several key members of the former mayor's cabinet are leaving Honolulu Hale, as Honolulu Mayor-elect Peter Carlisle works to fill vacancies in his cabinet before taking office Monday. KITV.

Candidate Claims Campaign Signs Stolen by Opponent. KHON2.

The Hawaii State Teachers association is reminding its members how the union feels about a ballot question in November’s general election. KHON2.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, is putting her political star power behind two little-known Hawaii candidates. Star-Advertiser.

Furloughs mean we'll have to wait an extra three days to see the final campaign spending reports from the primary. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka is urging widows and widowers of deceased veterans to be sure they received compensation for the month of their spouse's death. Associated Press.

HMSA told its members Thursday that they could pay more for care at several Hawaii hospitals if a new contract agreement is not reached before the current expires next year. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii's biggest insurance company is making it tougher for people to get full anesthesia for colonoscopy, a cancer screening everyone over 50 should receive. Some doctors say it's a debate over cost versus patient comfort. KITV.

The Hawaii County Council on Wednesday gave preliminary approval to a rezoning allowing a group of investors to build a medical office complex and doctor's dormitory on 3.7 acres of residential land adjacent to Kona Community Hospital. West Hawaii Today.

City officials released yesterday a new vision for Koolauloa that includes plans to rezone agricultural land north of Brigham Young University-Hawaii to allow shops, churches and hundreds of homes under a proposal that has divided the tightly knit Laie community. Star-Advertiser.

Manoa teacher named 2011 Hawaii Teacher of the Year. KHON2.

Hawaii County will attempt to lease a 21.3-acre Pohoiki parcel envisioned as the future site of a swimming area and cultural center. Tribune-Herald.

A softened version of the Puna Community Development Plan was approved Wednesday by a 7-2 vote of the County Council. Tribune-Herald.

On top of a dry summer, the Molokai agriculture community is facing a deer problem – lack of water and food in their usual habitat has driven deer into the fields for nourishment at the farmer’s expense. Molokai Dispatch.

Maui County has changed the definition of "agricultural consumer" for Department of Water Supply customers to add aquaculture and for the first time to set a minimum gross annual income to qualify. Maui News.

A motion to reject the Kula Ridge fast-track housing application failed Thursday at a Maui County Council Public Services Committee meeting. Maui News.

The Kaua‘i Planning Commission approved on Sept. 28 what could become the largest solar-energy facility in the state. Garden Island.

State Department of Transportation (DOT) officials and Goodfellow Bros. Inc. joined the West Maui community in celebrating the groundbreaking of the second phase of the Honoapiilani Highway Realignment Project — also known as the “Lahaina Bypass” — on Friday. Lahaina News.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wet weather ahead, Honolulu prosecutor cleans house, gubernatorial candidates rule out TAT raid, drug money coming in, Hilo Target on track, more Hawaii news

Forecasters are predicting that Hawaii's upcoming winter wet season will be wetter than normal, but the beneficial rains may not come until next year. KITV.

Unpredictable weather will be the norm in the islands over the next few months as the worst drought in the country gives way to an unusually wet winter beginning in January, weather officials predicted yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

Keith Kaneshiro officially starts as the next Honolulu Prosecutor on Monday but he's already making some moves and announced 11 of the 104 attorneys will be let go. Hawaii News Now.

Several deputy prosecutors who will lose their jobs because of the election of Keith Kaneshiro as Honolulu prosecutor said Wednesday that they believe their termination was due to their support for Kaneshiro’s opponent. KITV.

For the first time since winning their primary races gubernatorial candidates Neil Abercrombie and James "Duke" Aiona met face to face in a televised forum Wednesday night. It was held at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center and sponsored by the Maui Economic Development Board and Hawaii Public Radio and shown around the state by community television. Hawaii News Now.

Neil Abercrombie and James "Duke" Aiona, the two major candidates for governor, said last night that they would not take counties' share of hotel room taxes to help balance the state's budget. Star-Advertiser.

AARP Hawaii will sponsor a debate on KHON2  between the candidates for the first congressional district. KHON2.

Democrat Colleen Hanabusa says she'll move into the district she wants to represent if she's elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Associated Press.

The U.S. Department of Education has reached a voluntary agreement with the Hawaii public school system over a bullying complaint lodged by the parents of a Waianae High School teen. KITV.

Students get 100,000 meals a day, but rigid federal rules and farm limitations stand in the way of getting Hawaii produce on cafeteria tables. Civil Beat.

So, what ever happened to the much-ballyhooed OHA petition to force money out of the Hawaii legislature? Hawaii Reporter.

The state will receive tens of millions of dollars from out-of-court settlements with about 40 pharmaceutical giants and other drug prescription companies accused of gouging Hawaii's Medicaid program. Star-Advertiser.

State reaches $82M settlement in pharmaceutical lawsuit. Hawaii News Now.

State health officials aren't calling it an "outbreak" but they are concerned about a spike in confirmed or probable cases of whooping cough across the state.  The numbers from Maui County are especially high. KHON2.

Biologists ask for the public’s help as endangered seabirds leave nests. KHON2.

A summer jobs program that was designed to put $3 million in the pockets of island youngsters was so well-received that it will put $6.5 million in the pockets of 3,800 people. But it grew so fast that it has fallen behind in cranking out paychecks for about 1,200 young people, 236 of them in Maui County. Maui News.

Work on a new $39 million air traffic control tower at Kona International Airport is progressing on schedule, airport District Manager Chauncey Wong Yuen said. West Hawaii Today.

After years of planning, Molokai’s `Aha Moku councils are finally getting a say in natural resource management. Molokai Dispatch.

A small but promising series of openings in Waikiki over the past year-and-change signals the return of the Kalakaua corridor as a go-to destination for the nocturnally inclined. Honolulu Weekly.

In less than four weeks, voters will decide who keeps their seat with the Kaua‘i County Council and what newcomers will come aboard. Garden Island.

Just before the Primary Election, the councilman who for the last two years has represented Upper Puna, Ka'u and South Kona, was telling reporters he didn't want to have anything to do with them. Big Island Weekly.

One of East Hawaii's largest retail centers is on track to open next spring. Tribune-Herald.

Listeners tuning in Tuesday morning to KHBC-FM, Kona-FM and KIPA-AM hoping to hear longtime radio personality Mynah Bird instead got what radio people call "going dark" -- no signal at all. Tribune-Herald.

The proposed Kula Ridge development's access to water could determine whether the 116-lot, fast-track housing project receives approval today from the Maui County Council Public Services Committee. Maui News.

Most of a nearly empty luxury residential subdivision in foreclosure on Kauai has been purchased by a California-based investment firm. Associated Press.

Front Street establishments drift in and out as regular as the tides. Lahaina News.

A photo exhibit featuring the late political cartoonist Corky Trinidad headlines the list of events for Filipino-American History Month in October. Filipino Chronicle.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Abercrombie and Aiona neck and neck, thieves hit Hawaii Five-0, Honolulu limits fireworks, more news from the Hawaiian Islands

A bill that would prevent the homeless from camping out on city sidewalks was moved forward today by the Honolulu City Council's Public Infrastructure Committee. KHON2.

The race for Hawaii governor is in a dead heat between Neil Abercrombie and Duke Aiona, according to the latest poll. KHON2.

It's exactly four weeks until Election Day.  Campaign strategies are revving up and today both candidates went on the offensive. Hawaii News Now.

 The 2010 race for governor has been chockfull of published plans and proposals to fix Hawaii's myriad problems. Civil Beat.

The two major candidates for Hawaii governor are set to debate a broad range of issues on Maui. Associated Press.

The Republican candidates for governor and lieutenant governor spent Monday in East Hawaii, holding campaign talk-stories, meeting with business owners and waving signs. Tribune-Herald.

President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed a bill granting the Congressional Gold Medal to Japanese-American veterans who served in World War II. KITV.

A crowd of fewer than 30 people attended a debate at Hahaione Elementary School Tuesday night on whether Hawaii's Board of Education should continue to be elected or whether it should be appointed by the governor. Hawaii News Now.

Four multitrack schools with more than 1,000 students each are considering options -- from shortening winter break to sending scores of students to other campuses -- to comply with a new state law that requires a minimum of 180 instructional days next school year. Star-Advertiser.

Acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed a bill prohibiting most fireworks Tuesday afternoon. Hawaii News Now.

Acting Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed the fireworks bill into law today. KHON2.

The chiefs of Oahu's emergency agencies expressed both relief and apprehension as acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed into law a bill that limits consumer fireworks on the island. Star-Advertiser.

Military officials have no plans to improve Bradshaw Army Airfield, upgrade a tank trail from Kawaihae Harbor to Pohakuloa, or do construction in Kawaihae, said Lt. Col. Rolland "Chris" Niles, the new commander at Pohakuloa Training Area. West Hawaii Today.

Workers hired by the state on Tuesday removed most the hull of a boat that washed up on to Kalama Beach in Kailua. KITV.

Looks like Steve McGarrett, Chin Ho Kelly and the gang have real-life crime on their hands -- right in the midst of their film set. Star-Advertiser.

A University of Hawaii professor is starting a project to create digital maps highlighting potential landslide hazards on Hawaii's Big Island. Associated Press.

Some West Hawaii residents have called Ooma Beachside Village "the wrong place at the wrong time." West Hawaii Today.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New council may change rail, Aiona gets flu shot, Hilo Harbor changes questioned, federal judge to override campaign limits, Pflueger pleads not guilty, more news from the islands

New Council May Bring More Skeptical Eye on Rail. Civil Beat.

Lingle Eyes U.S. Sen. Akaka's Seat. KITV.

A debate led to the creation of the Ironman, a grueling test of fitness, endurance and human spirit. West Hawaii Today.

Some healthy-pregnancy advocates are calling for a re-examination of Hawaii's outreach to expectant mothers after a state Health Department report shows that nearly half of all Hawaii births are unintended, 19 percent of women binge-drink leading up to their pregnancies and 16 percent of island women are obese before they become pregnant. Star-Advertiser.

A federal judge will issue an order overriding the $1,000 limit on contributions to a political action committee from two people challenging the state campaign finance law. Star-Advertiser.

Republican gubernatorial nominee James "Duke" Aiona has been vaccinated against the flu, and he says the media misconstrued his comments that vaccines may not be more beneficial than harmful. Associated Press.

A week after KITV4 News asked Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona why he does not get a flu shot, his campaign on Monday announced the candidate has been vaccinated. KITV.

A television ad for Charles Djou that features a video clip of Colleen Hanabusa saying, "I can tell you right now, in government I don't think there's waste, per se," is drawing criticism that her comment is being taken out of context. Star-Advertiser.

Is voter interest cooling? Hawaii News Now.

James Pflueger has pleaded not guilty to tax fraud charges in U.S. District Court in Honolulu. Associated Press.

If you've ever come back to find your car towed, you know how expensive, time-consuming, and stressful the whole process can be. KHON2.

A one-of-a-kind airplane made its first visit to Honolulu and took 30 Hawaii teachers to a whole new level, as part of the Northrop Grumman Foundation's "Weightless Flights of Discovery" program. KHON2.

Fishermen and thrill-craft operators have raised safety concerns with the state's plans to place an artificial reef at the end of Hilo's breakwater as part of a $57 million harbor-expansion project. Tribune-Herald.

Kamehameha Schools is getting more time to decide whether to reacquire prime undeveloped land owned by the city in Haleiwa where a developer wants a boutique hotel. Star-Advertiser.

County officials Tuesday will provide an update at the Kilauea Neighborhood Center on the county’s efforts regarding the Kilauea Stream clean-up, a county press release states. Garden Island.

Maui High School's share of a five-year, $10 million federal grant will be about $2 million, according to Ron Okamura, McKinley High School's principal and a former district superintendent for the Hana-Lahaina-Lanai school complex in Maui County. Maui News.

Members of the American Association of University Women Kaua‘i Branch, met Sept. 25 at the Lihu‘e Library Community room to address ongoing concerns of equity. Garden Island.

The Navy has awarded a $51.9 million contract to a Hawaii company for a massive, 2-mile long security fence at the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, home to the Pacific Trident missile nuclear submarines. Associated Press.

Hawaii County has received a $4 million grant to build a new one-stop transportation facility for its bus system. KITV.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Marine issues surface this week, gu bernatorial candidates address early childhood issues, Hyatt lays off 70, more Hawaii news

An international effort to create a Census of Marine Life was completed Monday with maps and three books, increasing the number of counted and validated species to 201,206. Associated Press.

Oil spill prevention and response officials in the Pacific are due to discuss lessons learned from this summer's oil spill off the Gulf Coast at meeting in Waikiki this week. Associated Press.

A Humane Society official said Friday that federal wildlife officials botched an operation intended to keep birds from endangering planes at Hilo International Airport. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii will be part of an unprecedented long-term study of children's health in the United States. Hawaii News Now.

An Olowalu Mauka resident is suing Maui County, claiming the developers of his subdivision violated numerous permit requirements, and county officials did nothing to enforce the law. Maui News.

Thousands of visitors stop at Sunset Beach every year to take in one of the best surf breaks in the world. KHON2.

The Kokua Kailua Village Stroll brings hundreds, if not thousands, of people into the downtown Kailua-Kona area, however, some business owners say the street fair has grown so large it's competing with the very people the event set out to help. West Hawaii Today.

The Kaua‘i Planning Commission approved Tuesday a bill that would ultimately give the county Planning Department the power to impose civil fines on zoning-ordinance violators, plus allow revenues to go to the county general fund. Garden Island.

Both Charles Djou and Colleen Hanabusa say one way to spur the economy is to avoid raising personal income taxes. Star-Advertiser.

Former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie said yesterday that if elected governor he would create a state Department of Early Childhood and restore funding for Healthy Start, a child-abuse prevention program, while Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona said he would propose a tax credit to help middle-class families afford preschool for their children. Star-Advertiser.

Early childhood education was the main issue addressed by the Democrat, Republican and Independent candidates. KHON2.

Allies of Republican gubernatorial candidate James ''Duke'' Aiona are employing a phrase in television ads and brochures that has been used innocuously in different contexts over the years. Associated Press.

Owners of historic homes on Oahu are getting substantial tax breaks to help offset the cost of preserving their properties, yet they are not required to reinvest the savings into the dwellings. Star-Advertiser.

Residents on the Big Island of Hawaii were shaken by a magnitude 3.9 earthquake Sunday morning. Hawaii News Now.

There will soon be more new The Kaua‘i Bus vehicles on the road, as U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawai‘i, said the county will receive $925,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation for new vehicles. Garden Island.

70 Hyatt employees laid off. Garden Island.

Hawaii transportation officials are seeking to buy a section of land that is now used to store sand and other materials as part of a move to expand facilities at Kalaeloa Barbers Point Harbor. Associated Press.

The state has launched an automated telephone directory that will ease the way for callers to reach executive and legislative branch offices. Associated Press.

A rather large object is attracting quite a bit of attention just offshore Kalama Beach Park in Kailua. KITV.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tourism rebounds, HPD seeks cops, Lingle says Abercrombie too old and set in ways, gubernatorial candidates debate health care, more Hawaii news

The Hawaii Tourism Authority reports visitors who came to the islands in August spent $1.1 billion, a 30 percent jump over August of last year. Hawaii News Now.

It's been a superb summer for the visitor industry with total visitor arrivals up in August for the ninth consecutive month. KITV.

Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle took a shot at Democratic gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie Thursday morning, suggesting to a pro-business group that the former congressman's old age makes him set in his ways. Civil Beat.

Former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie and Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona said yesterday that they would preserve the state's Prepaid Health Care Act, which requires businesses to provide health insurance for employees, but indicated that the state law might have to be changed to remain financially sound. Star-Advertiser.

 The two leading candidates for Hawaii governor explained Thursday what they will do in the face of federal health insurance reform to retain current health insurance benefits for Hawaii residents. KITV.

The debate touched on the future of Hawaii's prepaid health care act -- the one that mandates employer-sponsored benefits -- in the context of the new national health care law. KHON2.

Democrats are denouncing U.S. Rep. Charles Djou's opposition to legislation to provide up to $7.4 billion to workers sickened during cleanup of the World Trade Center site in New York after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Associated Press.

For the first time, NOAA’s Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is actively seeking Lanai and Molokai representatives for its advisory council. Molokai Dispatch.

Three years after a state-backed plan was engineered to prevent a dramatic loss of low-income rental apartments at one of Oahu's largest affordable-housing communities, a big piece of the plan has faltered. Star-Advertiser.

Five Hawaii high schools will share a five-year, $10 million federal grant to bolster their "smaller learning communities" -- programs aimed at decreasing dropout rates, improving achievement and better preparing students for colleges or careers. Star-Advertiser.

The federal government is helping the University of Hawaii at Hilo convert an aging dormitory into a living-learning center and boost Native Hawaiian graduation rates. Tribune-Herald.

The Honolulu Police Department is looking for new recruits. Hawaii News Now.

North Hawaii Community Hospital officials announced Wednesday they've already found a new president and chief executive, less than a month after John White announced his resignation. Ken Wood starts Friday. West Hawaii Today.

Does the Goldilocks planet also have alien bears? Tribune-Herald.

Kahului Airport's main runway needs to be repaved, and state Department of Transportation officials say the work can be done at night so flights and airport operations continue uninterrupted. Maui News.

Groundwork for a scaled-back Laiopua Community Center just south of Kealakehe High School could begin as early as July 2011 if local charity Laiopua 2020 can secure $9.8 million to get work under way. West Hawaii Today.

Inter-Island seeks waterfall landings amid contested ownership. Garden Island.

A network of Hawaiian organizations and businesses have banded together to help small (under $25,000 annually) Native Hawaiian organizations maintain their tax exemption statuses. Maui News.