Judge Samuel King funeral Today
Abercrombie’s Birther Crusade: Day Five
TEA Party favorite Sheriff Richard Mack to speak in Honolulu, Maui
Hawaii Legislature doesn’t know difference between entrepreneurs and Crony Moguls
Today deadline for City Council special election mail-in ballots
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - All district one mail-in ballots must be received by the city clerk no later than 6 p.m. today in the return envelopes that were provided.
City Clerk’s office: http://www.co.honolulu.hi.us/council/clerk.htm
Results will be posted TONIGHT at www.honoluluelections.us.
Stalling, secret talks doomed prime moment for Akaka Bill
Akaka snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Instead of getting it done while everything was in his favor, he wasted a year in secret talks with the White House and a narrow group of Hawaiian interests to drastically amend the bill from the version supporters had previously agreed to.
Inexplicably, Akaka kept Lingle in the dark on the changes, and she withdrew her support because of a significant weakening of the state's rights….
Akaka is again singing his tired "wait till next year" tune, but the Akaka Bill is dead. If he couldn't get it passed in this favorable Congress, he has no chance next year when Republicans take over the House and gain eight seats in the Senate.
His best course now is to drop the contentious nationhood provisions and try a simpler bill that focuses on just settling the legal question of whether Hawaiians are a racial minority or an indigenous people, which seems to be the key to protecting Hawaiians-only institutions such as Kamehameha Schools, Hawaiian Home Lands and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Boylan: Akaka is a loser
RELATED: How Inouye sabotaged Akaka Bill
$200M up for grabs: Will Hawaii budget be balanced on HTA’s back?
McCartney said HTA's contractor for the North American market, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, and industry partners will be launching new media campaigns early in the new year to make sure business continues to grow.
Here's what McCartney didn't say: Some lawmakers, long uncomfortable with the idea of the state taxing tourists to pay for millions of dollars in marketing that helps hotels and airlines, are once again looking to trim the HTA's wings. And $200 million in contracts to HVCB, the Hawaii Convention Center and other private organizations expire in 2011.
PBN: $200M in HTA tourism contracts will expire
Council on Revenues to release new forecast
Desperate, Star-Advertiser editors suggest ways around earmark ban
Hawaii's federal gravy train appears to have come to a screeching halt with the stripping of earmarks from a major spending bill enacted in this month's lame duck session of Congress. However, members of Congress always have found ways to bring federal dollars to their districts, and Hawaii's delegation should look for alternative tracks to make the deliveries.
Before being stripped under tea party pressure, the $1.3 trillion spending bill included 6,700 earmarks that would have cost $8 billion. Of those, U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye was able as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee to include 141 earmarks for (his) Hawaii (cronies) worth $321 million.
RELATED: Inouye becomes useless? House, Senate Republicans place moratorium on Earmarks
Rick Hamada: gay marriage not an important issue
Does the fact a same-sex couple wants to have their relationship recognized by the very community in which they live, contribute to and steward rise to this level of communal concern?
For some, yes, it does. For me, no it doesn’t.
TOTALLY RELATED: Hawaii Republican Assembly: Home to Hawaii’s moderate Republicans?
Deal means 20 years in Kimura Ponzi scheme: Separate plea still to come in federal court
He pleaded guilty to two charges of making false or misleading financial statements about Maui Finance to state regulators in 2007. By a plea bargain, Cardoza will impose maximum sentences of five years and a fine of $5,000 on each charge.
Kimura also pleaded guilty to two more-serious charges of prohibited securities practices. These were detailed as obtaining more than $100,000 by means of a fraudulent security, $590,655.32 from Barron and Rosaline Souza in 2007 and $235,000 from Ron and Carol Riccio in 2007 and 2008.
Kimura will get the maximum of 20 years and a $50,000 fine for each….
How Kimura managed to continue taking deposits for more than 20 years has not been explained. Young said the state Department of Financial Institutions spotted the fraud during a regular audit, because Kimura was filing IRS 1099 forms showing interest paid out.
CNN: The Honolulu Star-Advertiser is Dead to Me
…one of my colleagues at another network asked me in a semi-serious tone, "Did you see that editorial about you in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser?"
I thought he was joking until he handed over the offending newspaper editorial with the headline, "Reporting live, in my Hawaiian shirt." I was laughing until I got to the sentence that my colleague thought was referring to me because of all the grief CNN anchors have been giving me about my wild Hawaiian shirts - which are actually known as "aloha shirts" to locals.
"Retailers here make extra sales of Hawaiian attire to the on-camera staffers (can't get the national media to call them 'aloha shirts', it seems)," said the editorial.
"The news reports themselves are fluff, but for the tourism industry, any live shot with palm trees in the background is all good," added the editorial.
Ah, a charge of fluff from a newspaper whose front page on the very same day had a hard-hitting lead story headlined "Ahi stuck here for the holidays," which bemoaned the fact that bad weather on the East Coast means less ahi tuna is being shipped out of of Hawaii. The story was so large that it was the only story on the front page.
POLITICO: Henry defends Hawaiian reporting
ILind: Star-Advertiser “staff” criticism of national press corps draws unwanted attention
Who didn’t make Abercrombie’s senatorial cut?
Abercrombie picked Shimabukuro for the seat in District 21, representing Ko Olina and the Waianae Coast, over Cynthia Rezentes, a Neighborhood Board activist and former House candidate, and Hanalei Aipoalani, who previously ran for Congress and the state House.
It was an interesting pick in the context of the turmoil over organizing the House. Shimabukuro was one of the 18 members of the dissident faction led by Reps. Sylvia Luke and Scott Saiki that has prevented Calvin Say’s re-election as speaker.
If they’re so inclined, the Democratic Party and Abercrombie could appoint a replacement who would break the deadlock and give Say the final vote he needs to keep his job and organize the House. Or they could lend support to the dissidents by doing the opposite.
RELATED: Malama Solomon’s meth connection
Herkes: Procurement rules used to steer Ocean View Water tank contract
State Rep. Bob Herkes is questioning what he calls a lack of competition in contracts for the Hawaiian Ocean View Estates water project and he's scheduled a Jan. 6 fact-finding hearing.
Herkes, D-Ka'u, South Kona, said the design standards for the water tank are written so strictly that only one manufacturer in the state qualifies to build the $6.4 million project. In addition, he said, the plans call for a specific brand of submersible pump and prohibit the use of plastic pipes that are commonly used on other water projects.
"It's probably costing taxpayers on the Ocean View project $600,000 to $700,000 more than if it were done by the private sector or other boards of water supply," Herkes said Monday.
Luddite Alert: Target store protest greets president this morning
A small group of protesters held signs asking Obama to save small town Kailua just outside the security checkpoint. One of the signs read "No Big Box Store in Kailua." Another said "Support Small LOCAL Business."
Target plans to open a store in Kailua in 2012 where the Don Quijote store is located.
Mating White Elephants: Questionable economic decisions set up a classic NIMBY conflict at Pepe'ekeo
The problem is that the surrounding cane fields that supplied bagasse to heat the plant's boiler in the past are now slated to grow another crop: homes. In 1996, a Florida company named Continental Pacific LLC bought both the power plant and the cane fields from the Hilo Coast Processing Company, and subdivided the fields into scores of agricultural and residential lots. Now some of the residents who have begun to move into those lots aren't keen to have a smoking power plant for a neighbor. Some of them have sued Continental Pacific, as well as realtor Hank Correa and Hu Honua. At hearings on the Shoreline Management Area use permit required to reopen the plant, residents presented expert witnesses to challenge Hu Honua's statements about the plant's possible emissions.
Tourist spending skyrockets by almost a third
The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported Tuesday that visitor spending last month hit $976 million - a jump of nearly $228 million, or more than 30 percent, over the same month in 2009….
An 18 percent jump in visitor arrivals to the islands contributed to the higher spending.
Authority President Mike McCartney says Hawaii is well ahead of competing destinations, such as Mexico and the Caribbean.
But he says the state's tourism sector has a long way to go to offset declines over the last two years.
Hawaiian, other airlines raising rates
a spokesman for Hawaiian Airlines has confirmed that the airline has raised its airfares due to the cost of fuel. Keoni Wagner said fuel costs have reached a two-year high for the airline; the current cost, according to Yahoo Finance, is $91.26 per barrel.
KITV: Concerns Raised Over Hawaii's Gas Supply
Housing Project Upset Over Laundry Violations
Tenants at a state housing project in Waimanalo have been given two days to get rid of their washing machines, because they're not hooked up to sewage lines and instead empty into storm drains or onto the grass.
Helicopter Tours Adjust To Secret Service Restrictions
Business for helicopter tour companies is not the same these days.
"We have this agreement with the Secret Service. When we tell them that we're going to do this route, that's exactly what we do, if we deviate from the route, they should expect something's wrong," said Richard Schuman of Makani Kai Helicopters.
Helicopters are banned from a 10-mile radius around President Barack Obama's vacation home in Kailua. Beyond that, there's a 30-mile restricted fly zone by permission only.
State flag to fly at half-staff in honor of Judge Samuel King
HONOLULU -(HawaiiNewsNow) - Gov. Neil Abercrombie has ordered the Hawaii state flag to fly at half-staff at all state offices Wednesday from sunrise to sunset, in honor of U.S. District Judge Samuel Pailthorpe King, who passed away Dec. 7….
Funeral services will be held Wednesday starting at 1:30 p.m. At St. Andrew's Cathedral on Beretania Street.