Hawaii Independent Staff

Election commission schedules meeting to discuss ballot problems →

A meeting to discuss the problems that occurred on election day in Hawaii is set for sometime during the week of Dec. 10th. The state’s Elections Commission will analyze deficiencies that happened on the 6th that led to many polling stations to run short of paper ballots. More at KHON2 »

PLDC moves forward with adminstrative rules →

The new corporation designed to develop public lands meets Monday morning at 10:30 am at the DLNR committee room to hear final testimony on its administrative rules. More at PLDC »

Election 2012 Analysis with David Shapiro and Tom Coffman Scott Nago: “This will not happen again”

Scott Nago, Chief Election Officer, has released a public statement on Tuesday's ballot shortages. Read More »

Fukunaga fills council vacancy

Carol Fukunaga, a former state senator who lost her office in a redestricting fight, won the Honolulu City Council District 6 seat Tuesday night. Read More »

Discuss the election with David Shapiro and Tom Coffman, 1:30 pm Friday (updated)

We've seen the results of the election – but what does it mean? Join us for a live discussion with veteran political reporters Tom Coffman and David Shapiro, Friday 1:30 pm. Watch this space for details. Read More »

Caldwell held lead till the end (Updated)

The fourth election printout is now available, and it shows that Caldwell's early 9% lead stayed roughly constant throughout the evening. Read More »

Tomorrow is election day! →

Tomorrow is election day! Make sure you get your voice heard and go out and vote at your appropriate polling station. More at Office of Elections »

Honolulu City Charter Amendment: Special Funds Honolulu City Charter Amendment: Grants-in-Aid Constitutional Amendment 2: On the hiring of retired judges Constitutional Amendment 1: Bonds to improve dams and reservoirs All Hawaii public schools may get solar panels →

The 5-year Department of Education plan would be the largest solar power project in the nation, according to the Star-Adverstiser. More at Star Advertiser »

Cayetano puts TV stations on notice to stop airing ads →

Mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano is warning local news stations by putting them on notice to stop airing certain political ads created by Pacific Resource Partnership. If the stations do not comply, they may become apart of the libel and slander lawsuit that Cayetano has filed against PRP. TV stations are required by law to run candidates’ political ads, however, the law differs when it comes to third party ads. More at Civil Beat »

Wall Street reopens

The New York stock exchange will reopen today, after being closed for 2 days in anticipation of superstorm Sandy.

Polls show Caldwell gaining momentum in mayoral race →

The campaign between mayoral candidates Kirk Caldwell and Ben Cayetano appears to be close, at least according to a poll conducted by Civil Beat. Out of 886 likely general election voters, 50% were for Cayetano and 45% favored Caldwell. Civil Beat reports that Caldwell has gained in every poll they sponsored so far. Another poll conducted by the Star Advertiser that was released on Sunday showed Caldwell leading Cayetano at 53 to 42 percent. More at Civil Beat »

Today last day to register for absentee ballots →

Today is the last day to apply for absentee ballots for the November 6th election. Any person who is registered to vote can vote by absentee ballot. More at Office of Elections »

Sandy storm system hits eastern coast of the U.S. →

Presidential campaign events have been cancelled and Wall Street has been shut down for the first time since 2001 in anticipation of the Sandy storm system hitting the eastern coast of the United States. More at CNN »

In Haiti, hurricane death toll reaches 65 →

AP reports:

As Americans braced Sunday for Hurricane Sandy, Haiti was still suffering. Officials raised the storm-related death toll across the Caribbean to 65, with 51 of those coming in Haiti, which was pelted by three days of constant rains that ended only on Friday.
More at AP/Washington Post »

Help us to track failed warning sirens

We're tracking reports of failed warning sirens from Saturday night's tsunami warning. So far, we've received reports of malfunctioning sirens in Kapolei, O‘ahu and Hilo, Hawai‘i. Read More »

Officials declare tsunami “all-clear” Hawaii National Guard activated by emergency proclamation →

Governor Abercrombie's disaster proclamation, signed a few minutes ago, activates the Hawaii National Guard and suspends several state laws, including procurement and workers rights. More at hawaii.gov »

Kauai tsunami refuge areas → HECO issues emergency tsunami checklist →


If your home or business is in an inundation zone, turn off and unplug any unnecessary electrical equipment before you leave, especially sensitive electronics. In the event of an outage, this will help prevent damage to the equipment from surges when power is restored.
More at Hawaii News Now »

Tsunami refuge centers opening

The full list is pasted after the break. Read More »

City Council District 6: Where the candidates stand on the issues

Mahalo to the City Council District 6 candidates who responded to The Hawaii Independent's questionnaire. Their responses are linked below. Read More »

Lightstyle launching Friday

The innovators at Greenhouse are launching Lightstyle Network, a new content network with an amazing mission: "To reach the tipping point of a world that operates on a new level of consciousness and awareness where spirituality is no longer something to attain, but something that already exists in everyone." Read More »

Army asks Waianae residents for help in marine impact study →

In order to determine how military activities will affect local marine life, Army officials are asking Waianae residents for their input on what marine species they find offshore. More at Honolulu Star-Advertiser » Read More »

Army seeks exemption from depleted uranium license →

The Army wants to be able to use depleted uranium in Pohakuloa without "restrictions or requirements." The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is seeking comments on the Army's request (PDF). More at Honolulu Weekly »

Cayetano files libel and slander lawsuit →

Ben Cayetano filed a libel and slander lawsuit today against the Carpenter’s union and the organization it directs, the Pacific Resource Partnership, for PRP campaign advertisements. More at Hawaii Reporter »

PLDC schedules final rules hearing →

The PLDC is closing off the administrative rules process with a single hearing at the Honolulu DLNR building on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 10:30 a.m., rather than a new tour throughout the islands. More at PLDC »

Last Presidential debate on Monday, 10 am HST →

The presidential debates will resume tomorrow at 10 am HST between candidates Romney and Obama. The topic: foreign policy. Watch the live feed. More at YouTube » Read More »

Hawaii Counties Association seeks PLDC repeal →

Wendy Osher, for Maui Now:

The Hawai’i State Association of Counties has voted to approve a resolution requesting a repeal of Act 55, the legislation that led to the creation of the Public Land Development Corporation. HSCA President Mel Rapozo said the agency was flooded with testimony from hundreds of residents who are opposed to Act 55, citing concerns over the PLDC’s mission to create revenue from public lands.
More at Maui Now »

20 Hawaii Kaiser Permanente employees lose their jobs →

Twenty Kaiser Permanente Hawaii employees will lose their jobs after the company announced it’s streamlining efforts on Tuesday. Management and non-union workers are being cut since Hawaii Kaiser Permanente reported a $200,000 loss in the second quarter. More at Hawaii News Now »

Audit: City missed out on $366,000 →

Gordon Pang, reporting for the Star-Advertiser:

The city has lost about $366,000 in camping permit fee revenues because it installed an online camping system last March that is not capable of collecting fees, according to an audit of the Department of Parks and Recreation's camping operations.
More at Star-Advertiser » Read More »

Another tough week for UH president →

M.R.C. Greenwood, the embattled University of Hawai president, faces a possible censure vote by her faculty senate tomorrow, and a continued closed-door Board of Regents meeting on Thursday. More at Star-Advertiser »

Kamehameha opens Kakaako building for renters →

The renovation of the old Sprint building on Nimitz is a sign of things to come: modern design, a mix commerical and residential, and yes – Starbucks. More at Star-Advertiser »

Hirono and Lingle to debate tonight, 8 pm →

Linda Lingle and Mazie Hirono will face-off in the second televised debate of this election season tonight on KITV. The debate will air at 8 pm, and will be about 1-hour long. Questions for the candidates can be sent through the Live Wire section, on the KITV website. More at KITV »

Absentee Ballots →

Absentee ballots began being sent out Monday for the 2012 general election. Ballots must be mailed in at least 7 days before the November 6 election. More at Office of Elections (PDF) »

Long-term loss of tradewinds tied to climate change →

UH researcher Chip Fletcher via Jan TenBruggencate:

“Hawai‘i’s climate is changing in ways that are consistent with the influence of global warming. In Hawai‘i: air temperature has risen; rainfall and stream flow have decreased; rain intensity has increased; sea level and sea surface temperatures have increased; and, the ocean is acidifying,” Fletcher wrote.
More at Raising Islands »

Hoopili moves to city rezoning next year →

Duane Shimogawa, reporting for PBN:

D.R. Horton’s Hawaii-based Schuler Division plans to file a re-zoning petition next year with the City and County of Honolulu for its proposed 11,750-home Hoopili subdivision in West Oahu.
More at Pacific Business News »

UH West Oahu Chancellor admits ethics violation →

UH West Oahu Chancellor Gene Awakuni violated the state ethics law by failing to report significant financial interests held by himself and his wife on personal financial disclosure statements required to be filed annually, the State Ethics Commission ruled earlier this year.
More at iLind.net »

More human remains found along rail route →

More human remains, including an intact burial, were found Monday as the HART archaeological inventory survey continued along the Honolulu rail route. More at KHON »

Tradewinds to return →

The National Weather Service predicts that the tradewinds will return today. The winds will move the vog from Kilauea volcano that has affected residents of the Hawaii for almost a week now. More at National Weather Service »

Howard Hughes Corp. outlines revisions to Ward plan →

Howard Hughes Corp., the property management spin-off from General Growth, announced today its [long-anticipated] plans to redevelop the Ward Centre area. From the prepared statement:

The redevelopment will commence with four components on four separate blocks: two mixed-use residential towers on opposite corners of Auahi Street and Kamakee Street, one reserved housing tower at the corner of Ward Avenue and Halekauwila Street and the renovation of the IBM building, a portion of which will serve as the information and sales center for Ward Village.
More at Pacific Business News » Read More »

Highlights from public mayoral debate

Climate change, energy, PLDC -- and yes, rail -- were the topics of discussion at Saturday's Honolulu Mayoral Debate. Read More »

Rare stranded cetacean reveals possible threat →

New research from Hawai'i Pacific University on a rarely documented whale has central Pacific scientists on alert for a disease which may affect the mortality rate of dolphins and other marine mammal species.
Based on this research, other Central Pacific marine mammals will also be tested for the morbillivirus diesease . More at KHON »

Kiaaina appointed as DLNR deputy →

The former Congressional staffer and recent candidate for the US House takes Guy Kaulukukui's place in the Abercrombie administration. More at Press Release »

Hugo Chavez re-elected →

Hugo Chavez was re-elected to a new six-year term as President of Venezuela. Chavez won the presidency with 55 percent of the vote against opponent Henrique Capriles. Chavez says that he will continue with the socialist reforms that he had implemented in his previous term. More at The Atlantic »

Meningitis outbreak linked to steroid →

A steroid may be suspected in the recent fungal meningitis outbreak. On Monday, the number of people sick reached 105, and it is not clear how many people have been infected. The steroid was used to treat pain and inflammation. The company that produced the steroid has recalled all of it's products as a precaution. UPDATE Oct 10: The death toll has reached 12. More at Associated Press »

New voters will need ID →

In previous elections, voters without identification could still vote if they could answer personal questions at the precinct. For November 6, they'll need their papers. More at hawaii.gov »

Did Lingle win the debate? →

John Hart, HPU Communications Chair, as quoted by KHON:

"I thought in terms of the closing statements, Mazie's statement was quite good at summarizing her best argument, which is she thinks most people in Hawaii agree with her. So not in terms of who should be the better senator, not in terms of who I would vote for or you should vote for, but if you ask me who won this debate? Linda Lingle won this debate this evening," said Hart.
More at KHON »

It’s debate day

The Honolulu Mayoral Debate begins this morning at 10 am, in UH Law School Classroom #2. Please join us, or follow the debate live on ‘Olelo channel 53. We'll be tweeting using the hashtag #hnlmayor, so you can chime in on that search term.

Kaneohe to be site for wave energy test

A device that will potentially turn wave energy into electricity will be put into Kaneohe waters by the end of 2012. The design was developed by Northwest Energy Innovations, a New Zealand company, and will be placed in the bay to collect data for about a year. The spot in which the device will be placed is a U.S Navy Wave Energy Test Site.

City council to discuss sale of 12 affordable housing complexes →

A Honolulu city council committee will meet today at 5 pm to discuss the sale of city-run affordable housing units to a private firm, Hono­lulu Affordable Housing Partners LLC, for a price of $142 million in cash and an additional $42 million in improvements to the 12 facilities. Gordon Pang, reporting for the Star-Advertiser, quotes Keith Ishida, director of the city housing office:

"It's a transaction that will relieve the city taxpayer of the need to continue to subsidize these properties while providing residents with a much better living environment because they'll get, basically, $42 million in capital improvements over three years," Ishida said. "That's something our city could never do given our fiscal condition." Some residents and FACE worry that rents may go up under the new management arrangement. However, Ishida said, "that's something that transcends this particular transaction. … No matter who buys these properties, rents have to go up."
More at Star-Advertiser (paywall) » Read More »

State selects health packages →

Governor Neil Abercrombie announced the state's decision in health care packages Monday morning, n order to comply with the new Affordable Care Act. The package outlines emergency services, hospitalization and pediatric services as just some of the benefits, that must be provided in 2014 and 2015. More at Hawaii News Now »

Mayoral candidates to debate key issues Saturday

Ben Cayetano and Kirk Caldwell will debate O‘ahu's key issues Saturday morning, 10 am to noon, at the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law, Classroom 2. Read More »

Kauai county calls for PLDC repeal →

It took about two hours of public testimony, discussion and questioning at the council chambers for the council to reach an unanimous decision on a resolution asking for the repeal of the controversial act, which has gathered overwhelming opposition in the last few weeks. Immediately after Council Chair Jay Furfaro’s vote — the last to cast “aye” on a roll call — approximately 20 people who attended the meeting gave the council a rare standing ovation.
More at The Garden Island »

Supreme court denies city’s rail motion →

The Hawaii Supreme Court on Thursday denied a City and County of Honolulu motion for the high court to reconsider its ruling on the city’s controversial $5.16 billion rail project.
The takeaway: rail is still stalled. More at Pacific Business News »

FTA delays rail funding til after election →

Dennis Camire, reporting for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser:

"We look forward to signing a full funding agreement … by the end of the calendar year, barring any unforeseen complications," [FTA spokesperson] Farber said.
More at Star-Advertiser (paywall) »

Kauai county to consider PLDC repeal reso →

Kauai's county council will discuss a resolution on Wednesday calling for a rollback of the Public Land Development Corporation. More at The Garden Island »

State senate panel investigates “Wonder Blunder”

State capitol room 211 was packed for more than six hours Monday, as a special State Senate committee questioned University of Hawaii officials about the "Wonder Blunder" fumble. Here's an aggregation of relevant tweets. (And in a strange coincidence – Read More »

Caldwell, Cayetano meet with Kokua Council →

The Kokua Council, a senior-citizens advocacy organization, met with mayoral candidates Ben Cayetano and Kirk Caldwell today. The audio of their conversation is linked here. More at Kokua Council »

Senate committee to meet Monday, 1pm on “Wonder Blunder” →

State senators will begin their investigation of "Wonder Blunder," in which UH was defrauded of $200,000. The meeting begins at 1pm, Monday in Capitol Conference Room 211. More at State Capitol Website »

Community members rally to stop Kahuku development →

A rally was held Sunday to protest a Kahuku land development. More info is available in a post from Margaret Primacio.

"We want the linear descendants, and cultural descendants, to and the Koolauloa Hawaiian Civic Club to be consulted," said Margaret Primacio, Kahuku Plantation Residents Association. "We want the construction in the area stopped until a archeological inventory survey is done."
More at KHON »

New initiative surveys Hawaii houseless →

Volunteers surveyed about 440 people in need, and found out that about 160 are considered vulnerable. Being vulnerable means the homeless have a serious medical illness, a serious mental health illness, or have been homeless for a long period of time. The challenge now is finding housing.
More at KITV »

Hawaii county council comes out against PLDC →

Erin Miller, reporting for West Hawaii Today:

Overwhelming testimony supporting a resolution asking the state to abolish the Public Land Development Corp. preceded the Hawaii County Council’s Planning Committee’s unanimous favorable vote on the measure Tuesday morning.
More at West Hawaii Today »

23 Oahu species added to endangered, threatened list →

The US Fish and Wildlife service has added 23 more Oahu species to the list of endangered plants and animals. More at Federal Register »

PLDC board to meet today, 2:30 pm →

The Public Land Development Corporation will meet today at 2:30 pm in the Kalanimoku Building conference room. The agenda includes approval of minutes, a report on the statewide administrative rules hearings, and a PLDC strategic plan. More at PLDC »

Kaleikini has til Friday to respond on rail lawsuit →

Paulette Kaleikini, plaintiff in the iwi lawsuit which has temporarily stopped rail work, has until Friday to respond to a city motion to keep construction going. More at Pacific Business News »

Hirono, Lingle meet in first debate →

Of course, this isn't their first debate (nor their first race against each other). More at KHON »

City files a motion to keep rail rolling →

The city today requested that the Supreme Court reconsider its decision that rail archaeological studies must be completed before rail construction begins. More at Pacific Business News »

‘Big Wind’ environmental hearings begin next week → Marines issue Windward noise warning for Thursday → What Hawaii told the PLDC

Over the past two weeks, hundreds of Hawaii people spoke out against the Public Land Development Corporation (and a handful spoke in favor). This is a round-up of testimony given to the PLDC. Read More »

State considering reopening Kulani prison →

About 1,700 Hawaii prisoners are now housed in private mainland prisons. Abercrombie pledged in December to bring them back to Hawaii in the wake of a Circuit Court lawsuit on behalf of 18 Hawaii inmates who alleged they were beaten and their families threatened after a guard at Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Ariz., suffered injuries while trying to quell a fight.
More at Hawaii Tribune Herald »

Hawaii Red Cross volunteers head to Gulf →

13 local volunteers were deployed last night to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac.

"The Hawaii volunteers have arrived in Houston and we are standing by and ready to be deployed where help is needed," said Michele Liberty, Maui County Director, one of the local Red Crossers. More Hawaii Red Cross volunteers are expected to be sent to the Gulf Coast over the next few days.
The Red Cross has deployed 2,700 trained disaster workers from throughout the US to assist in the Gulf Coast. According to a release from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's office, 1,500 people have been evacuated with another 1,500 needing rescue. Donations can be sent to the Red Cross. More at Hawaii News Now »

Cayetano calls for brakes on rail

On Friday, the state Supreme Court found that the city broke state law when it divided an archeological inventory survey of the 20-mile rail route into four segments. Read More »

Land development agency gets rough reception in Hilo →

Dave Smith reports for Big Island Now on Monday's PLDC admin rules hearing in Hilo:

Well over 100 people showed up to testify tonight at a hearing held by the Department of Land and Natural Resources on proposed rules for the Public Land Development Corporation. Much of the testimony focused not on the rules itself but on the mission of the PLDC, a quasi-state agency established by the Legislature in 2011 to develop public-private partnerships to generate revenues from state lands.
More at Big Island Now »

Report: No UH criminal wrongdoing in “Wonder blunder” →

“Factfinders have not found any evidence that anyone at UH committed fraud,” the report said in its executive summary of findings. “It appears to Factfinders that all UH employees were motivated by a desire to help Athletics raise revenue.” The fate of the missing $200,000 was referred to federal law enforcement.
A redacted version of the report is available here. More at UH Media Release »

‘Artists of Hawaii’ exhibit going broad

Honolulu Museum of Art’s biannual Artists of Hawai‘i exhibition is shifting to a broader, more inclusive format. More info here. Read More »

Council votes to restore bus routes →

The city council is reacting to grassroots outrage at cuts in rural bus service. But cuts are still planned for Sunday. More at KHON »

CIty releases new bike plan →

Some roads that could see new bike lanes include Waialae Avenue, Date Street and Kalakaua Avenue. The master plan also adds markings on major roadways to remind drivers to share the road and new bike lockers and parking near rail and bus stops.
The full plan is available as a PDF here. More at KITV »

PLDC to hold hearings on proposed admin rules

The proposed rules are posted here. Read More »

Community wants alternative to Kaneohe-Kailua sewer tunnel → Kaulukukui quits state →

Guy Kaulukukui is leaving the Department of Land and Natural Resources to lead the Hawaii operations of Bio-Logical Capital, a land investment, development and conservation company. More at Star-Advertiser (paywall) »

Who’s Running Federal judge upholds same-sex marriage ban →

The judge issued a 117-page decision which throws out the lawsuit filed by a lesbian couple and a gay man who contended the state laws violate the U.S. Constitution due process and equal protection provisions. Kay ruled in favor of state Health Director Loretta Fuddy and the Hawaii Family Forum, and against the three plaintiffs and Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who contended the law violated the Constitution.
More at Star-Advertiser »

Ed Case interview

Interview with Ed Case, Senate candidate. Read More »

Cayetano released from hospital Construction begins on rail control center →

"This is the brains, and the trains. The maintenance facility is where we house the 80 trains. We will maintain them and it will also be our operation control center," said HART Executive Director Dan Grabauskas.
More at KITV »

Pahoa shopping center seeks community input →

...The proposed shopping center is intended to “reflect the history of Pahoa town,” but to accomplish that goal, Pahoa residents will be asked to submit recommendations.
More at Hawaii Tribune Herald »

Damien welcomes first class with female students →

For the past 49 years, Damien has been an all-boys school. On Monday, some 70 girls grades 6 through 9 became a part of the student body.
Enrollment is up 24 percent at the independent school. More at KITV »

Olympics 2016: get ready for the gene tests → How Apple and Amazon security flaws led to my epic hacking →

A journalist details how his digital life was hacked. A must-read for anyone who leads an online life (including you, web news reader). More at Wired »

300 volunteers still needed for election day →

Here are the minimum qualifications: you need to be at least 16 years old on or before June 30, 2012, a registered voter in Hawaii (Hawaii laws allow US citizens to pre-register at age 16), you must be able to read and write English, and lift 25-30 pounds.
Volunteers earn an $85 stipend. Call (808) 453-VOTE (8683) for more info. More at KHON »

Cayetano hospitalized for bleeding ulcer →

The candidate is expected to be discharged Wednesday from Queen's Medical Center. More at Hawaii News Now » Read More »

The Hawai’i Environmental Coalition Endorses Ben Cayetano for Mayor of Honolulu Charter schools top 5% of public school enrollment →

As the new school year opens, enrollment in charter schools tops 5% of the student body population, with more than 10,000 students. It's an important milestone for a movement that has seen its share of growing pains over the last 18 years. More at KHON »

Gas Company changes its name – and focus