The Beat

  • Hawaii’s Homeless Population Increases as Nation’s Numbers Decline

    ·By Nick Grube
    Homelessness is on the decline across the United States, just not in Hawaii. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued its latest estimates on homelessness Thursday based on its annual point-in-time count. And while many places throughout the country have watched their numbers dwindle, Hawaii’s continues to rise. A homeless person sleeps on a picnic table in Waikiki. PF Bentley/Civil Beat HUD estimates that the state’s homeless population increased by 18 percent from 2010 to 2014, from 5,834 to 6,918. Nationwide, there has been a 10 percent decrease, from 640,466
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  • Possible Vote Buying in Campaign for Maui GMO Initiative?

    ·By Chad Blair
    Did a supporter of the Maui ballot initiative calling for a temporary moratorium on GMO farming offer to buy votes to help get the measure passed? That’s what the Hawaii Attorney General’s Office is currently looking into. Michael Lilly, a Honolulu attorney, sent an email to the AG and the state Offices of Elections on Oct. 17 asking them to examine what appears to be a Facebook post offering services in exchange for a “yes” vote: I am forwarding the attached snapshot from a facebook page by someone called Luna Carlisle offering to pay anyone for
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  • James Pflueger Donates $4,000 to Libertarian Jeff Davis’ Campaign

    ·By Nathan Eagle
    Two weeks before retired Honolulu car dealership owner James Pflueger was sentenced to jail for his role in the fatal Ka Loko dam breach, he made one of the biggest political donations of his life. State campaign finance records filed this week show Pflueger gave $4,000 to Jeff Davis, the Libertarian candidate for Hawaii governor, on Sept. 30. Pflueger, 88, was sentenced Oct. 15 to seven months in jail after pleading no contest in July 2013 to reckless endangering in the first degree. State prosecutors had alleged that Pflueger had illegally filled
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  • DOH Confirms Four More Measles Cases on Maui, Kauai

    ·By Chad Blair
    The Hawaii State Department of Health today said it has confirmed four additional cases of measles on Maui and Kauai. That brings the total number of confirmed measles cases in two separate “clusters” in Hawaii to seven. “We are very concerned. These additional cases are an example of how contagious this disease is and how quickly it can spread,” Dr. Sarah Y. Park, state epidemiologist, said in a press release. Park added, “However, we also want to reassure the public that DOH staff continue to work closely with healthcare providers
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  • OHA Debate To Be Streamed Live Friday

    ·By Chad Blair
    The candidates who are running for four trustee seats at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs will square off in a debate that will be streamed live at oha.org. OHA and the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs are hosting the 90-minute debate Friday — yep, Halloween — during the civic clubs’ convention in Waikoloa on the Big Island. All eight candidates have been invited to the debate, which is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Three at-large seats will go to the top vote-getters among six candidates: Rowena Akana, John Waihee IV, Lei Ahu Isa, Harvey McInerny, Mililani Trask
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  • Pahoa Lava Flow Slows Down Overnight

    ·By Chad Blair
    Our media partner KITV had this report as of 8 a.m. today: PAHOA, Hawaii —The lava continues to creep closer to Pahoa Village Road Thursday morning. There is good and bad news with the Big Island lava flow overnight.  The good news — no homes have been consumed by the flow.  The bad news — it is getting closer to cutting Pahoa in half. The lava flow has slowed down to around 2-to-3-yards-per hour.  It is closing in on the man-made berm on one
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  • Ige Maintains Lead Over Aiona — in Campaign Fundraisers

    ·By Chad Blair
    Democrat David Ige leads in the polls in the race for Hawaii governor, and he’s raised more money than Republican Duke Aiona. In another category often overlooked, Ige has also held nearly twice as many campaign fundraisers as Aiona since the Aug. 9 primary. Ige has held 17 total, the most recent ones being a $1,000 per head event at Morton’s Steakhouse and a $1,000 per head event at The Plaza Club. Both fundraisers were held Monday, and the Plaza Club fundraiser was chaired by Bill Kaneko, who was campaign manager for Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s
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  • The Maui Weekly is Pau

    ·By Sophie Cocke
    More bad news for print media. The Maui Weekly was closed by its publisher, Joe Bradley, on Monday. The weekly went to press this week with its last edition and its web site is no longer available. Bradley is also publisher of The Maui News and general manager of Hawaii Publications Inc., which publishes The Maui Bulletin and Lahaina News. Bradley told Maui Now that the Maui Weekly “was just never able to achieve the advertising base to make it a viable operation.” The weekly employed three people and relied on freelance writers for content. The paper’s
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  • Lava Could Reach Pahoa Village Road by Wednesday

    ·By Chad Blair
    Our media partner KITV had this report as of 7:30 a.m. today: PAHOA, Hawaii —Smoke is in the air as Pahoa residents wake up Wednesday morning and the lava flow moves closer to town. The lava is burning up trees, bushes and grass on the private properties around Pahoa. While the smoke has been moving over Pahoa town throughout the night, the lava is expected to reach Pahoa Village Road later Wednesday or Wednesday night. The good news is it hasn’t burned
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  • Japanese Dignitary Dies in Waikiki

    ·By Sophie Cocke
    Takehiko Kimura, deputy mayor of the city of Chigasaki, Japan, was found unresponsive in waters off of Waikiki on Saturday morning, KHON reports. He was taken to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Kimura had traveled to Honolulu to join Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Council Chair Ernie Martin for a sister signing ceremony, which was held Friday at Mission Memorial Auditorium, according to the mayor’s office. “We were shocked and saddened to learn of the loss of Deputy Mayor Kimura on Saturday morning,” Caldwell said in a statement. Kimura’s death was
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  • Lava Flow Expected to Cut Off Access to Pahoa Polling Place

    ·By Chad Blair
    Hawaii Chief Election Officer Scott Nago said today that voters assigned to Pahoa Community Center (district and precinct 04-03) who live north of the lava flow are instructed to vote at Hawaiian Paradise Community Center (district and precinct 04-01) on general election day. “The flow is expected to cross Highway 130, cutting off access to voters living in Ainaloa and Orchidlands Estates,” Nago said in a press release. “We’ll be providing poll workers at Hawaiian Paradise Community Center with the poll books and ballots to allow voters in these communities
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  • Lava Flows 20 Feet Into First Pahoa Property in Puna

    ·By Chad Blair
    Our media partner KITV had this report as of 8 a.m. today: PAHOA, Hawaii —After traveling for 123 days, a Big Island lava flow approaches a couple’s doorsteps.  Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira says the lava is 20 feet into the first Pahoa property in its path, as of Tuesday morning. The flow continues to travel at 5-to-10-yards-per-hour.  As of 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, the front of the flow is less than 500 yards from Pahoa Village Road. It forced the closure Sunday
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  • New York-Based Education Super PAC Registers in Hawaii

    ·By Alia Wong
    The New York City-based independent expenditure committee “Education Reform Now Advocacy” registered today with the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission. With just a week to go before the Nov. 4 election, it’s unclear what local issue or candidate the committee is focusing on. The only report available online is the group’s organizational report, which states the committee has ties to Democrats for Education Reform. Students at the Hawaiian immersion charter school Nawahiokalaniopuu Iki. PF Bentley/Civil Beat The committee’s chairman is Patrick van Keerbergen, DFER’s political director and a longtime political organizer
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  • Volcano Could Force Cat Evacuation

    ·By Chad Blair
    Trending on CatChannel.com today are stories such as “Cats & Ebola: Vets Set the Record Straight” and “Cat Cruelty Tracked by FBI.” There are also tips for dressing your cat up for Halloween. Click on the link More Cat News and you’ll also find this item: Volcano Could Force Cat Evacuation. Yep, the lava flow that is now upon the town of Pahoa in the Puna District of Hawaii County isn’t just impacting humans. “As lava runs closer to a rural area on Hawaii, Red Cross and other groups prepare for evacuations of families and pets,” the article explains. Area residents have
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  • Study: Hawaii Is 3rd Least Politically Engaged State

    ·By Anita Hofschneider
    There’s just a week left before Hawaii’s gubernatorial election, but most residents of the Aloha State probably don’t care. A new study by the personal finance website WalletHub has found that Hawaii is the third least politically engaged state. Only Oklahoma and West Virginia are worse. Campaign signs along wall of one house on Waialae Ave in Kaimuki on August 27, 2014 PF Bentley/Civil Beat The study’s metrics include the number of registered voters, voter turnout and amount of money donated each election. Hawaii’s terrible voter turnout and poor
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  • Pahoa Homes Could Be Impacted by Lava As Early As Monday

    ·By Chad Blair
    Our media partner KITV had this report as of 9 a.m. today: PAHOA, Hawaii —The Pahoa Community Center has become the operation center as the lava flow makes its way through Pahoa. The first residence to be affected by the lava flow could happen as early as Monday. On Sunday, the lava flow advanced onto Pahoa cemetery and is currently moving at a rate of 15-to-20-yards-per-hour. That puts it less than 600 yards from Pahoa Village Road. Between 4:30 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 a.m. Monday, the lava
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  • Pat Saiki Says Hawaii Democrats Are ‘Whining’ About TV Ads

    ·By Chad Blair
    Pat Saiki, the chairwoman of the Hawaii Republican Party, says local Democrats “are whining” about television ads produced and paid for by an independent group. “All that complaining is a convenient way for Democrats to try to shift voters’ attention from the facts,” said Saiki, who believes it is appropriate to point out state Rep. Mark Takai’s record on taxes. Saiki was responding to Democrats’ preemptive strike last week against a group called American Action Network, which began airing ads Friday here through a $300,000 advertising buy to help Republican Charles Djou in his
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  • Linda Lingle, Optimist: ‘After All, I’m a Republican in Hawaii’

    ·By Patti Epler
    Former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle spoke to Cornell University students and faculty on Thursday in a presentation that recounted her vision for a sustainable energy future and her role in implementing the Hawaii Clean Energy Intiative. The Cornell Daily Sun was there to cover it — nice picture, too — and you can read the paper’s report here. Among other things, Lingle made a crack about having to be an optimist because she is, after all, a Republican in Democratic-blue Hawaii. And she went on, according to the paper, to decry the
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  • Kilauea Lava Advances, Enters Pahoa Cemetery Grounds

    ·By Chad Blair
    Our media partner KITV had this report as of 10 a.m. this morning: PUNA, Hawaii —The Kilauea lava flow has advanced approximately 250 yards since Saturday morning, entering the Pāhoa cemetery grounds. Lava crossed Apa’a Street around 3:50 a.m. Saturday in Puna, and the area is being evacuated, officials said. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports the lava is about half a mile from Pāhoa Village Road and 0.9 miles from Hwy 130. The flow is moving at approximately 10 yards per hour in a northeast
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  • Lava Crosses Apaa Street; Pahoa Residents Given Evacuation Notice

    ·By Chad Blair
    Our media partner KITV had this report at 10 a.m. today: PUNA, Hawaii —Lava crossed Apa’a Street around 3:50 a.m. Saturday in Puna, and the area is being evacuated, officials said. Civil Defense reports show that the June 27th lava flow front was approximately 250 yards from the intersection of Apa’a Street and Cemetery Road in Pahoa Friday morning. The lava flow had advanced about 300 yards since Friday, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense officials. The flow is moving approximately 10 yards per hour toward Pahoa Village Road
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