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Hawai'i Now 'Bluest' State in Nation

Hawaii's overwhelmingly Democratic Legislature is now the nation's most one-sided, although Republicans managed to pick up one seat.

With 88 percent of legislative seats held by Democrats, Hawaii passed Rhode Island as the nation's most politically monolithic state, according to an Associated Press analysis of National Conference of State Legislatures' figures.

Democrats will control all but nine seats in Hawaii's 76-member Legislature following Tuesday's election. Republicans gained eight seats in Rhode Island to give it the second-most lopsided House and Senate, with 84 percent Democratic control.

The addition of just one Republican to the Hawaii Legislature fell far short of the Republican Party's hopes in a year in which 10 races had no incumbent and the party had targeted about 15 seats.

"Republican voters didn't turn out," said Dylan Nonaka, executive director for the Hawaii Republican Party. "We thought a lot of races should have been much closer."

Republicans gained two seats in the Hawaii House but lost a seat in the Senate, shrinking their number in that chamber to one.

Of the 10 seats without an incumbent, Republicans won two.

"A lot of the Democratic candidates just outhustled the Republican candidates," said Speaker of the House Calvin Say, D-St. Louis Heights-Wilhelmina Rise.

In the House, former Maui police captain and Republican George Fontaine defeated incumbent Joe Bertram. Bertram, D-Makena-Kihei, was criticized for appearing in court last year to defend a friend convicted of Internet enticement of a minor.

The other Republican elected to the House was Gil Riviere, a mortgage broker and Oahu North Shore Neighborhood Board member, who won an open seat vacated by Vice Speaker of the House Michael Magaoay. Magaoay, D-Schofield-Kahuku, unsuccessfully ran for state Senate.

"The Republican Party needs to get more candidates who are more active in the community," Riviere said. "We've got to have more people step up with more of a track record, but there are a lot of Democrats in the state."

Besides Riviere, the other Republican to win an open seat was Aaron Johanson, who replaces Republican Lynn Finnegan. Finnegan, R-Mapunapuna-Foster Village, unsuccessfully ran for lieutenant governor.

In the Senate, former Democratic Party Executive Director Pohai Ryan won a race to replace Republican Fred Hemmings. Hemmings, R-Lanikai-Waimanalo, is resigning.

Democratic Rep. Marilyn Lee was holding on to a 17-vote lead over Republican Shaun Kawakami, a former youth pastor.

"We're still essentially a blue state," said Lee, D-Mililani-Mililani Mauka. "The history of the labor unions, and also the state's diversity and the years and years that many different ethnic groups have struggled to be recognized as equal, that plays a role."

Because Democrat Neil Abercrombie won the governor's race, the Democratic Legislature will have an easier time passing new laws than they did over the last eight years, when Republican Gov. Linda Lingle kept her veto pen ready.

Republicans will hold eight out of 51 House seats and one out of 25 Senate seats when the Legislature convenes in January.

(Report Provided by The Associated Press)

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NEWS FLASH - November 4, 2010 8:15 a.m. HST

Huge Waves Still Pounding, But Getting Smaller

1. EVENT: The National Weather Service in Honolulu has continued the HIGH SURF WARNING for NORTH FACING SHORES of MOLOKAI and MAUI in effect until 4:00 p.m. today. A HIGH SURF ADVISORY for EAST FACING SHORES of MOLOKAI and MAUI in effect until 4:00 p.m. today.

A High Surf Warning means that dangerous, battering waves will pound the shoreline. This will result in very dangerous swimming conditions and deadly rip currents.

2. EFFECTS: Surf along north facing shores of Molokai and Maui will be 18 to 25 feet through this afternoon.

Surf along east facing shores of Molokai and Maui will be 6 to 10 feet through this afternoon.

Forecast surf heights are estimates of the height of the face or front of waves.

A high tide of approximately 2.0 feet is expected between 12:33 p.m. and 1:51 p.m. this afternoon.

3. PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: BEACH GOERS ARE URGED TO STAY OUT OF THE WATER AND WELL AWAY FROM THE SHORE BREAK DUE TO THE HAZARDOUS WAVE ACTION AND STRONG RIP CURRENTS.

4. INFORMATION: Maui County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts for any updates.

NOAA Weather Broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather Internet services can be found at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.

Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200. The same information is available on the Maui County website at www.mauicounty.gov.

(Report Provided by Maui County Civil Defense)

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NEWS FLASH - November 4, 2010 6:35 a.m. HST

Visitor Spending Soars in September

HONOLULU - Total expenditures by visitors who came to Hawai'i in September 2010 soared 22.2 percent, or $160.1 million, to $880.2 million over the same period last year. Total expenditures for the first nine months of 2010 were $8.4 billion, an increase of 13.7 percent compared to 2009, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawai'i Tourism Authority.

The growth in visitor spending for September 2010 was due to a boost in average daily visitor spending (+11.5%) and an 8.9 percent increase in total visitor arrivals to 538,516 visitors.

Total arrivals by air rose 8.9 percent from September 2009 to 528,304 visitors. U.S. West (+13.5%) and Canada (+13.3%) showed strong, positive growth. Japan (-.4%) and U.S. East (-.7%) exhibited slight decreases in arrivals, although growth in visitor days for Japan (+5.7%) and U.S. East (+1.3%) was positive, due to a longer length of stay.
For the first three quarters of 2010, total visitor days for all visitors grew 7.6 percent compared to year-to-date 2009, and total arrivals rose 7.2 percent to 5,298,830 visitors.

Maui County led the state in visitor arrivals with all three major islands boasting double-digit increases in arrivals in September, 2010 over the previous year.

Read the entire report here.

(Report Provided by The Hawai'i Tourism Authority)

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NEWS FLASH - November 3, 2010 5:40 p.m. HST

High Surf Subsiding - Still Slamming North Shores

1. EVENT: The National Weather Service in Honolulu has continued the HIGH SURF WARNING for NORTH FACING SHORES of MOLOKAI and MAUI and HIGH SURF ADVISORY for EAST FACING SHORES of MOLOKAI and MAUI both in effect until 4:00 p.m. THURSDAY.

A High Surf Warning means that dangerous, battering waves will pound the shoreline. This will result in very dangerous swimming conditions and deadly rip currents.

2. EFFECTS: Surf along north facing shores of Molokai and Maui will be 18 to 25 feet through Thursday.

Surf along east facing shores of Molokai and Maui will be 6 to 10 feet through Thursday.

Forecast surf heights are estimates of the height of the face or front of waves.

A high tide of approximately 2.7 feet is expected between 1:22 a.m. and 2:40 a.m. tomorrow morning. The next high tide of approximately 2.0 feet is expected between 12:33 p.m. and 1:51 p.m. tomorrow afternoon.

3. PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: BEACH GOERS ARE URGED TO STAY OUT OF THE WATER AND WELL AWAY FROM THE SHORE BREAK DUE TO THE HAZARDOUS WAVE ACTION AND STRONG RIP CURRENTS.

4. INFORMATION: Maui County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts for any updates.

NOAA Weather Broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather Internet services can be found at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.

Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200. The same information is available on the Maui County website at www.mauicounty.gov.

(Report Provided by Maui County Civil Defense)

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NEWS FLASH - November 3, 2010 4:50 p.m. HST

State Seeking to Fill Vacant Slot on Water Resources Commission

HONOLULU - The State is seeking nominations to the Commission on Water Resource Management. A Nominating Committee will screen the applicants and send to the Governor the names of at least three individuals for one open position.

The Water Commission is composed of seven members that have jurisdiction and final authority on matters relating to implementation and administration of the State Water Code.

Five members are appointed by the Governor subject to confirmation by the State Senate. Other members by law are the chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, who serves as chairperson of the Water Commission, and the director of the Department of Health.

State law requires that each member have “substantial experience in the area of water resource management.” Members serve without pay except for reimbursement for expenses, including travel, necessary to do the job.

Nominations along with resumes and applications for the State Boards and Commissions may be sent by November 22, 2010 to the Nominating Committee, Commission on Water Resource Management, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 227, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813.

Please visit our website at http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/cwrm/ to learn more about the Commission, or to download the application form. You may also obtain a copy of the application form at our office located at the above address.

(Report Provided by the State of Hawai'i, Department of Land and Natural Resources)

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NEWS FLASH - November 3, 2010 11:15 a.m. HST

A&B Profits Triple from Same Period in '09

Alexander & Baldwin Inc. tripled its third-quarter profit with greatly improved performances from its ocean transportation service in China and sugar business on Maui.

The Honolulu-based company reported today earning a net profit of $25.7 million, or 62 cents per diluted share of stock, in the July-September period, up from $8.5 million, or 21 cents per share, in the same period last year.

The big gain was largely from A&B's ocean cargo subsidiary, Matson Navigation Co., which posted a 67 percent rise in operating profit to $40.4 million in the third quarter from $24.2 million a year earlier.

A&B said Matson's performance was principally driven by higher volume and yields in its China service, which it expanded in mid-September.

Another contributor to the rise in profit was A&B's Maui sugar subsidiary, Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co., which benefited from higher sugar prices and production.

HC&S, along with Kauai Coffee Co., delivered an $800,000 operating profit for A&B, which represents a $13 million improvement from a $13.8 million operating loss in the 2009 third quarter.

Operating profits from real estate leasing and sales were lower for A&B.

Reach Andrew Gomes at agomes@staradvertiser.com.

(Report Provided by The Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

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NEWS FLASH - November 3, 2010 9:45 a.m. HST

Waves Topping 30 Feet Still Pounding North Shores

1. EVENT: The National Weather Service in Honolulu has continued the HIGH SURF WARNING for NORTH FACING SHORES of MOLOKAI and MAUI A HIGH SURF ADVISORY for EAST FACING SHORES of MOLOKAI and MAUI both in effect until 4:00 p.m. THURSDAY.

A High Surf Warning means that dangerous, battering waves will pound the shoreline. This will result in very dangerous swimming conditions and deadly rip currents.

2. EFFECTS: Surf along north facing shores of Molokai and Maui will be 20 to 30 feet through Thursday.

Surf along east facing shores of Molokai and Maui will be 6 to 12 feet through Thursday.

Forecast surf heights are estimates of the height of the face or front of waves.

A high tide of approximately 2.2 feet is expected between 12:00 p.m. and 1:18 p.m. this afternoon. The next high tide of approximately 2.7 feet is expected between 1:22 a.m. and 2:40 a.m. tomorrow morning.

3. PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: BEACH GOERS ARE URGED TO STAY OUT OF THE WATER AND WELL AWAY FROM THE SHORE BREAK DUE TO THE HAZARDOUS WAVE ACTION AND STRONG RIP CURRENTS.

4. INFORMATION: Maui County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts for any updates.

NOAA Weather Broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather Internet services can be found at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.

Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200. The same information is available on the Maui County website at www.mauicounty.gov.

(Report Provided by Maui County Civil Defense)

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NEWS FLASH - November 3, 2010 8:45 a.m. HST

Carroll Edges Medieros by 56 Votes for East Maui Seat

It took until the wee hours of the morning for returning East Maui County Councilmember Bob Carrol to finally get the news he craved. He had - in fact - defeated incumbent Bill Medieros for the post by a mere 56 votes. The finaly tally was released shortly after 1 a.m. Read the final Maui County results here.

A Honolulu Star Advertiser poll this morning showed that 42 percent of their readers were, overall, dissatisfied with the results of the election. Election officials echoed what Mana'o Radio's Kathy Collins said on Akaku's live election coverage last night shortly before midnight, "Maybe some day more than half the people who bothered to register to vote will actually do something with that responsibility." Turnout in Maui County was 49.7 percent. Statewide, 55.7 percent of voters made their voices heard.

We'll have complete results on this week's broadcast edition of Maui TV News. The show will be posted on this website Friday evening.

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NEWS FLASH - November 3, 2010 7:35 a.m. HST

Fontaine Lone Republican Victor in Maui Races

After losing by a thousand votes the first time out, businessman and retired police captain George Fontaine knocked off incumbent state Rep. Joe Bertram III by 172 votes Tuesday in House District 11 (South Maui).

It was the only real contested legislative race in Maui County, and Fontaine stands as the lone Republican in an otherwise Democratic Maui delegation. Reps Joe Souki, Gil Keith-Agaran, Mele Carroll, Kyle Yamashita and Angus McKelvey all won re-election by easy margins.

"I'm super happy," said Fontaine. Bertram, who notoriously goes to bed early on election night, win or lose, could not be reached for comment. Fontaine had 3,051 votes (48.9 percent) to Bertram's 2,879 (46.1 percent).

Since other Republican candidates running on the economical, less-intrusive government platform that Fontaine also advocates were smashed, some other factor accounts for the results in District 11.

Fontaine said he thought "a lot of people realized you had a representative who would go out and support a child molester."

He said Bertram also made other "gaffes," such as supporting medical marijuana.

Bertram, who first came to public attention by lobbying for bikeways, but proved a liberal among liberals in the state Legislature, provided a sharp contrast to Fontaine, the businessman-cop.

Fontaine said he hoped to be appointed to the Public Safety Committee, and possibly Finance.

As a member of a small minority party, he will not necessarily get his first choices, but he said he thinks his background makes him a natural for Public Safety. If he gets it, he plans to quiz county police chiefs to see what sorts of support they want.

He would like to see Hawaii pass a Jessica's Law, mandating "hard time" for sexual offenders against children.

But while the collision of liberal pot smoker and conservative cop dominated much of the campaign discussion, Fontaine said he is also a budget hawk Republican, too.

He said he will attempt to stop the Legislature from piling more fees and taxes on businesses. In walking door to door, he heard about jobs. "There were 123 foreclosures in South Maui in September," he said. Doing something about that has to take precedence even over his public safety issues.

"If people have jobs, then people can pay mortgages," he said.

He said he thinks a newcomer has to be ready to run once for name recognition, then a second time for effect.

Although he lost by a wide margin the first time out, he said he had expected to win, and, even more so, he believes his supporters expected him to cruise against Bertram and didn't bother to vote.

That it was Barack Obama's year in Hawaii didn't help.

But he started campaigning the moment the books closed in 2008, and this time his supporters got the message that winning is hard work.

"This time people saw I was serious. I went door to door," he said. Instead of eight or 10 volunteers, he had 20 or 30 this time, stuffing envelopes and also pounding the pavement on his behalf.

The next closest House race also featured an incumbent against a Republican challenger who lost handily in a first try. Ramon Madden lost his second try, too, but not by nearly as much as the first-time Republican challengers.

Democratic incumbent Angus McKelvey won his District 10 seat (West Maui-north Kihei) with 3,191 votes (61 percent) to 1,773 (33.9) percent, for Madden. McKelvey won by more than 2,000 in 2008.

"We're excited over here at our little event," McKelvey said via phone from the Lahaina Hongwanji social hall after the second printout.

He's already to get back to work and "roll up his sleeves" and "rolling full tilt."

"We got these projects going and want to get them finished and most importantly get finished right," he added.

Madden could not be reached immediately after the second printout.

McKelvey, a 42-year-old Lahaina resident, said he was grateful and thankful for the support he has received and said he hoped to go back to the Legislature to keep projects going such as the Lahaina Bypass and improvements for the Lahaina Harbor.

Madden, 36, of Lahaina was also energized even though the first printout showed him trailing by around 300 votes early in the evening.

"This already is a big improvement over last time," said the Teppan chef and graphic designer.

He had been campaigning all day Tuesday and held signs in front of the Lahaina Cannery Mall as his supporters pounded the pavement to garner support for him.

Madden said win or lose, he already has a working group to help solve problems in his district. He also expects to run for office again in the future.

Laurie Rinaldi, loser in the 12th District, also said she plans to try again, and Fontaine encouraged her to keep thinking that way.

Democrat Rep. Kyle Yamashita enjoyed a rather easy victory for a fourth term in District 12 (Upcountry) with 6,242 votes (69.9 percent) to Rinaldi's 2,134 (23.9 percent).

Acknowledging the advantage of incumbency, Yamashita said, it's still "never easy."

And newcomers can turn out incumbents. "That's how I got my seat," he said, although it took him two tries.

Now that he's going back, he expects to again focus on the Finance Committee, where much of the action is. "Ninety percent of the bills end up in the Finance Committee," he said.

He has hopes of finding more support from the new administration - he was interviewed early in the night, before it became certain that would be Neil Abercrombie - for a bill he sponsored last year to give more teeth to the Small Business Regulatory Review Board.

He said he had expected more support for the idea from the Linda Lingle administration than he got for a move to weed-whack some of the regulations that have grown rank over the years.

The review board is supposed to curb proposals that put unnecessary burdens on small businesses, but it has had at best modest results. Yamashita said he thinks innovations in technology have made some regulations out of date, and he hopes to prune them.

Last year, the House came into session knowing it would have to deal with a shortfall of $1.8 billion, but tax revenues fell faster than the Council on Revenues could keep up with, and the lawmakers had to deal with a $2.1 billion gap between desires and income before it was over.

Yamashita said he hopes things will ease a bit on the revenue front this session.

He will again work to provide state funds for water development, both wells and reservoirs, Upcountry, preferably with a federal contribution, to help the county.

For incumbent Democrats, sweeping victories in House races are the rule rather than

the exception. Yamashita, Keith-Agaran, Souki, McKelvey and Carroll all enjoyed advantages over opponents with little name recognition who had never (except in the case of McKelvey's opponent, Madden) run before.

It only seems easy, Yamashita said.

It helps to have name recognition and resources, but "it's still a lot of work, even if it's an open seat."

Rinaldi said she was disappointed but her first bid for public office was "a great experience."

She said she "definitely" will consider a second run at Yamashita in District 12 two years from now. "I will be watching Kyle's every move," she promised.

She said she had voted for Yamashita in the past, based on his promises to stand up for small businesses, but was disappointed that he voted instead for tax increases.

"I'm surprised (my) numbers weren't higher. All the people I talked to weren't happy with Kyle." She drew the conclusion that she needs to do more to teach them about the Democrat's record next time.

Rinaldi, who allied with the Tea Party, was attending an after-election party at Windward Construction in Kahului. Tea Party candidates did not do well in Maui County.

"The mood is not depressed," she said. "There are decent numbers," and the Tea Party was hoping that the early spreads would narrow as more votes were counted.

Keith-Agaran won his first term at the ballot box after being appointed to fill out the unexpired term of Bob Nakasone, who died in office. He had 4,884 votes (70.8 percent) to Jeff Hoylman's 1,307 (18.9 percent).

Keith-Agaran said he hopes to be appointed to the Finance Committee, or perhaps Consumer Protection or Judiciary.

He said he hopes to

continue to press for better services to the Neighbor Islands, for example access to the records system of the Bureau of Conveyances.

He is something of a rarity in the House, a state legislator with extensive county management experience. With that background, he wants to look at some state support for infrastructure improvements in the counties.

Taking wastewater as an example - Keith-Agaran was in charge of that as Maui director of public works at one time - he said that there will have to be some sort of state support.

In Maui, wastewater (and water as well) are set up as stand-alone utilities that are supposed to support themselves from their rates, without grants from the county general fund.

When it comes to basic infrastructure - building the pipes that could carry reclaimed wastewater for use in agriculture, for example - the state will have to assist. "You will not see a mayor ready to raise fees enough to fund infrastructure."

He said that, fortunately, he expects a Neil Abercrombie administration to be supportive of state grants to counties.

But he cautioned that Maui County has already gotten more than its share of past grants, so other counties probably will be at the head of the line when any new money is spread around.

Keith-Agaran, a lawyer as well as a local government administrator, had not run for office before being appointed to the 9th District seat. He said winning an election has not turned him into a career politician.

"Oh, no," he said. "My niece is still in school, and I just paid part of her tuition." Whether he ends up representing District 9 for year after year, the way Nakasone did, is an open question. "It is something I will take election by election."

Hoylman, who said he planned to spend time with his family after the polls closed, could not be reached for comment.

In District 8 (Kahakuloa-Wailuku-Waikapu) veteran Democrat Joe Souki will extend the 28 years he has already spent in the Legislature. He defeated Republican newcomer Dean Schmucker 5,686 votes (71.8 percent) to 1,694 (21.4 percent).

"I'm very happy with the results so far," said the 77-year-old Souki earlier in the evening.

Souki could not immediately be reached for comment after the second printout.

He said it was premature to talk about the committees he was going to be on this sessions, since reorganization is going on. But he thanked his campaign committee for their hard work.

After the first printout showed Schmucker down nearly 1,700 votes to Souki, he said he expected he wouldn't do well with the walk-ins as Souki had the support of unions who make sure that their members vote and vote early.

He said it wasn't a "huge surprise."

"I'm cool with it," said the 52-year-old Waikapu resident and state general excise tax assessor.

While he wasn't ready to conceded just yet, he didn't expect the tide to turn his way, but was still slightly optimistic early in the evening.

"Well, certainly anything could happen, I suppose," Schmucker said.

He said it was a pleasure to run and he may even run for office again.

"I've really enjoyed the process and feel like it's nice to get to know a lot of people I wouldn't have known otherwise."

Rep. Mele Carroll is going back to represent District 13 seat (East Maui-Molokai-Lanai-Kahoolawe). She had 5,013 votes, 71.1 percent, to Republican Meiling Akuna's 1,476, 20.9 percent.

"It feels great. I'm excited. I have so much work to do. I can't wait to get started," said Carroll.

Carroll said she's not sure what committees she'll be on, but her passions are Hawaiian affairs and water, land and ocean resources.

After the first printout Carroll said she was "humbled" by the votes she received.

"It's a very good lead," said the 46-year-old Haiku resident early in the night.

"I'm just very humbled and honored that people have confidence in me."

Trailing after the first printout, Akuna said, "I'm not concerned with it."

She said conservative candidates like her don't have much of a chance as "Hawaii is a very liberal state."

Akuna said that on a television interview, she told viewers that if they use common sense and put God back in their lives "things will be great" for themselves as well as for America.

"If they don't put God back in our lives it's going to be very chaotic and threatening," added the Keanae farmer.

Akuna said she was happy for Carroll and said she didn't really campaign against the incumbent and instead shared her own personal ideas during the race.

Harry Eagar can be reached at heagar@mauinews.com. Melissa Tanji can be reached at mtanji@mauinews.com.

(Report Provided by The Maui News)

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NEWS FLASH - November 3, 2010 7:15 a.m. HST

It's 'Governor Abercrombie' Now

Neil Abercrombie, who evolved from a fiery Vietnam War protester to a respected Democrat in Congress, was elected governor of Hawaii last night on a message of change after eight years of Republican rule at Washington Place.

Abercrombie easily defeated Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, the Republican, to become the seventh governor since statehood. He is expected to be sworn in to replace Gov. Linda Lingle on Dec. 6.

The combustible liberal overcame doubts about his lack of chief executive experience to sweep to dominating victories over former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann in the primary and Aiona in the general election. Abercrombie led in all public polls taken since January.

With most of the vote counted last night, Abercrombie was leading Aiona 58 percent to 41 percent.

An Abercrombie victory gives Democrats control of Washington Place and the state Legislature. Lingle was the first Republican governor in 40 years when she was elected in 2002, and she held the office for two four-year terms.

Abercrombie and former Democratic Party of Hawaii Chairman and state lawmaker Brian Schatz, his lieutenant governor running mate, raised their hands in victory before several hundred cheering supporters at the Abercrombie campaign's election night party at the old CompUSA building on Ala Moana Boulevard.

At Dole Cannery, where Republicans were gathering for their party, a hush swept through the crowd as the results were posted on large screens showing Aiona trailing. But some tried to put a positive spin on the initial numbers.

"We're looking forward to the very last printout," said Jonah Kaauwai, state GOP chairman.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, said voters sensed that Abercrombie would do a better job than Aiona. "We had a strong governor (in Lingle) who somehow overshadowed the lieutenant governor. In a way I feel sorry for him because he was not the focal point."

James Burns, a retired judge whose father was the iconic Democratic Gov. John Burns, was relieved that Hawaii did not follow the Republican wave yesterday in many states on the mainland. "The Hawaii voter is a little more akamai of what's going on in government," he said. "The stuff I hear on the mainland: 'I want to cut. I want to cut. I want to cut.' And you say, 'Where?' And they don't have an answer. In Hawaii I think they understand a little more.

Kaauwai said Aiona felt the brunt of a coordinated campaign by Democrats and their union allies. "It says that the unions did everything they possibly could to smear Aiona," he said. "Obviously, those things have an effect."

Many voters interviewed yesterday said they were ready for change.

Marshall Ochi, a radiologic technologist who lives in Mililani, said he was looking for change after eight years under the Lingle administration. He said he was disappointed in some of the administration's budget cuts to education and with Furlough Fridays for public school teachers. He said he thinks Abercrombie may be more supportive of autonomy for the University of Hawaii and likes that he wants to decentralize decision-making at the state Department of Education down to local schools.

"I disagree with some of the values of the previous administration," he said.

Ochi said he was also influenced by the connections Abercrombie built in Washington, D.C., during two decades in Congress.

"I think that it could," he said of the ability of the federal government to help Hawaii, "that's also the reason why I'm supporting Daniel Inouye as well."

Michael Jackman, an engineer for a construction company who lives in Kahului on Maui, was also motivated by change and by Abercrombie's experience. "I didn't really enjoy the way the Lingle administration handled the last term," he said. "So, I guess, the biggest thing is change.

"And I think the second thing would be that he's been in Congress," he said. "To me, that's a guy that's a little smarter, a guy that's a little more educated if you would, and would probably do a little better for the long term of Hawaii versus somebody that was local" in experience.

Tracy Miyashiro, a homemaker who lives in Moanalua Valley, said she believes Aiona would have been more fiscally accountable and less likely to raise taxes or expand the size of state government. But she was particularly drawn to Aiona, a father of four, on family values.

"Family values and the fact that they seem to listen to what the constituents want," she said of Aiona and state House Minority Leader Lynn Finnegan, his lieutenant governor running mate.

Abercrombie, who flirted with a run for governor against Lingle four years ago, launched his campaign in March 2009 to give himself enough time to raise money and to reconnect with the islands after being in Washington for two decades.

Political analysts and some of Abercrombie's own advisers say privately that they believe many in the party's establishment underestimated the former congressman.

Inouye acknowledged that he urged Hannemann to run in the Democratic primary, and Hannemann secured important business and union endorsements even before he officially entered the race in May.

While business executives were always more likely to be comfortable with Hannemann, who had business and chief executive experience, the union endorsements he received were more of a surprise given Abercrombie's unabashed loyalty to labor. Several union leaders privately described it as a calculated bet that Hannemann would likely win the primary.

While many Democrats nationally avoided ties to President Obama, Abercrombie, branded his campaign from the start as an extension of the "hope and change" message Obama used to win the presidency two years ago.

Abercrombie, who knew Obama's parents as students at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, calls his relationship with the president the "Abercrombie advantage" that could benefit Hawaii in Washington.

Abercrombie also used the theme of change against Aiona, portraying him as an ineffective second fiddle to Lingle who shared responsibility for teacher furloughs and the collapse of the Hawaii Superferry project.

But several Democrats privately thought the Abercrombie campaign was slow to engage Aiona after the primary and gave the Republican an opening.

Aiona characterized Abercrombie as a liberal who would expand the size and scope of state government. He challenged the former congressman to explain exactly how he would finance new state programs in early childhood education and energy -- other than the hope for federal money and promises of setting new priorities -- but did not aggressively sharpen these attacks until a television advertisement in the past week.

Several insiders from both political parties have questioned why neither Hannemann nor Aiona made much effective use of Abercrombie's background as a war protester or some of his voluble rants in Congress.

The Republican Governors Association waited until last weekend to touch the subject with a television ad that describes Abercrombie's "extreme makeover" and showed excerpts from some of his fiery speeches.

Voters appeared to reject a turn toward the negative in the primary -- and know enough about Abercrombie to distinguish between fact and caricature -- but some believe Abercrombie was fortunate not to have more of his excesses thrown back at him during the election.

The Aiona campaign may also have relied too much on the evangelical community. Religious conservatives vowed to play a more active role this year after the civil unions debate at the state Legislature, so Aiona, a Catholic, was in a position to benefit.

The Aiona campaign's outreach to the evangelical community was mostly done behind the scenes, but when religion did surface publicly -- such as after state GOP chairman Kaauwai told pastors in August that Aiona was the only "righteous" candidate -- it may have alienated independent and moderate Democrats.

Aiona, who started raising money for his campaign three years ago, also may have made a tactical mistake by spending so much of it early. Without the $1 million invested in Hawaii by the RGA, Aiona would have struggled to compete for air time during the past three months against the combination of Abercrombie, the Democratic Party of Hawaii, the Democratic Governors Association and labor unions.

Abercrombie raised more than $4.3 million for his campaign, while Aiona collected more than $3.4 million. Abercrombie did particularly well in fundraising during the summer when he was building momentum against Hannemann, and he significantly out-raised Aiona since the primary.

"It's essentially a Democratic state. He identified himself with the president. He had a close identity with a president who is still at a 60 percent approval rating," said Dan Boylan, a political analyst and retired University of Hawaii-West Oahu history professor. "He ran a very smart campaign in which he kept his enthusiasm in check and ran as a statesman."

Reach Derrick DePledge at ddpledge@staradvertiser.com.

(Report Provided by The Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

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NEWS FLASH - November 2, 2010 1:50 p.m. HST

Brisk Activity Means Steady Voting Across Hawai'i

Many of Hawaii's more than 690,000 registered voters who hadn't voted absentee made their way to the polls today in one of the most hotly contested elections in recent years. On Maui, one Kihei precinct reports a line of about 25 voters were ready to cast ballots before the location opened at 7 a.m. today.

By 10 a.m. at least 10 percent of the people registered to vote at the state’s 242 polling places had cast a ballot, said state Office of Elections spokesman Rex Quidilla.

“This just suggests that we are really busy and doesn’t take into consideration people who have voted early. That’s what we expected. Everything is moving along smoothly.”

More than 45,000 voters have already cast absentee ballots through the weekend or at early voting walk-in sites.

Quidilla said he didn’t have figures from previous general elections to use as a comparison.

During the Sept. 18 primary elections the state’s elections officer reported that 42.8 percent of registered voters cast ballots.

Many of Hawaii’s voters from Hanalei on Kaui to Naahalehu on the southern tip of the Big Island chose to cast their ballots when the polls opened at 7 a.m.

The state’s 242 polling sites (137 on Oahu, 40 in Maui County, 48 on the Big Island and 17 in Kauai County) will remain open until 6 p.m. The first election returns are expected to be available about an hour later.

BESIDES THE HOT contest for governor between Republican James "Duke" Aiona and Democrat Neil Abercrombie, voters on Oahu will choose between Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Charles Djou and his Democratic challenger, state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, for the right to represent Hawaii's 1st Congressional District. Also on Maui, there is close race for mayor between incumbent Charmaine Tavares and Alan Arakawa, a former Maui mayor who was unseated by Tavares in 2006.

There are two proposed amendments to the state constitution before voters. One would allow the governor to appoint members of the state school board, which now is elected. Both Abercrombie and Aiona back it. The other amendment would alter a law that requires the state to rebate budget surpluses to taxpayers. Instead, it would allow the state to bank surpluses in an emergency or budget reserve fund.

In Honolulu, a proposed charter amendment would create a semi-independent agency charged with planning, building and operating the 20-mile-long rail project. It would remove those responsibilities from city government, though the mayor and city council members who appoint the agency board will continue to hold some sway.

Reach Greg Kakesako at gkakesako@staradvertiser.com.

(Report Provided by The Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

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NEWS FLASH - November 2, 2010 1:40 p.m. HST

Surf Champ Andy Irons Dies in Texas

Three-time world surfing champion Andy Irons of Kauai died today in Texas, family and friends confirmed.

Irons, 32, was on his way home from a World Championship Tour contest in Puerto Rico where he was suffering from dengue fever, his family said in a statement released this afternoon. He had competed in the first round of the Rip Curl Pro Search over the weekend, but was too sick to continue and withdrew before the second round, his family said. Dengue fever is a viral illness that is transmitted by mosquitoes in tropical areas.

Randy Rarick, executive director of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing on Oahu's North Shore, said Irons died during a layover in Texas.

"Because he couldn't compete, because he was too sick, he decided to fly home," he said. "He checked into a hotel and that's where they found him."

Irons leaves behind a wife, who is seven-months pregnant with the couple's first child.

Irons was expected to compete in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing this month, Rarick said. He had returned to the contest circuit this year after taking a break last season. He was not in contention for the title, but had won a contest earlier this year in Tahiti.

"We were all looking forward to having him here," Rarick said. "Andy Irons was a very passionate about his competitive drive and that's what really allowed him to win world championships."

Irons won three consecutive world titles, from 2002 to 2004, and had 19 victories on the professional tour. He also won the Quiksilver Pro France championships from 2003 to 2005 and the Rip Curl Pro Search titles in 2006 and 2007.

He withdrew from the full ASP world tour in 2009 and was granted a wildcard entry to tour events this season, winning the Billabong Pro Tahiti in August.

Irons was raised in Hanalei, Kauai, where he began his days surfing the breaks around the island with his younger brother, Bruce, who is also a professional surfer.

(Report Provided by The Associated Press)

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NEWS FLASH - November 2, 2010 10:25 a.m. HST

Monster Waves Expected on North Shores

1. EVENT: The National Weather Service in Honolulu has continued the HIGH SURF WARNING for NORTH FACING SHORES of MOLOKAI and MAUI until 4:00 p.m. THURSDAY.

A High Surf Warning means that dangerous, battering waves will pound the shoreline. This will result in very dangerous swimming conditions and deadly rip currents.

2. EFFECTS: A powerful low, passing well north of the Islands, has generated a large north northwest swell that will continue through Thursday. Surf heights are expected to be between 25 and 35 feet. Larger waves can be expected on outer reefs.

Forecast surf heights are estimates of the height of the face or front of waves.

A high tide of approximately 2.0 feet is expected between 11:25 a.m. and 12:05 p.m. today.

3. PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: BEACH GOERS ARE URGED TO STAY OUT OF THE WATER AND WELL AWAY FROM THE SHORE BREAK DUE TO THE HAZARDOUS WAVE ACTION AND STRONG RIP CURRENTS.

4. INFORMATION: Maui County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts for any updates.

NOAA Weather Broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather Internet services can be found at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.

Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200. The same information is available on the Maui County website at www.mauicounty.gov.

(Report Provided by Maui County Civil Defense)

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NEWS FLASH - November 2, 2010 8:05 a.m. HST

Surprise! It's Election Day!

Here we go! Polls in Maui County opened at 7 a.m. and will remain open until 6 p.m. Walk-in voting is only allowed at the polling place listed on the yellow Voter Registration card you should have received in May of this year. Polling officers at one Kihei location reported a line of about 25 voters waiting to vote when the location opened at 7 a.m.

Be sure to join Jeff King of Maui TV News and Kathy Collins of Mana'o Radio along with a host of political experts and reporters for live coverage of the election returns tonight on Akaku:Maui Community Television on cable channels 52, 53 and 54 and streamed on the web at www.akaku.org. Coverage begins at 6 p.m. and viewers are encouraged to come to the Akaku studios at 333 Dairy Road to meet the candidates, hear live performances from Grammy winner John Cruz and enjoy great local food.

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NEWS FLASH - November 2, 2010 6:45 a.m. HST

Mayor Backs Permit Streamlining Effort

WAILUKU - Mayor Charmaine Tavares has asked the County Council to consider legislation to help streamline the process of acquiring a permit from the county Department of Planning - a major issue in nearly every county campaign this election season.

For at least a year, the county Planning Department has been cooperating with the three island planning commissions in Maui County to address the long-standing problem of getting planning permits approved in a timely fashion.

But this latest announcement came last week, just days before today's general election, in which Tavares is up for re-election against former Mayor Alan Arakawa.

In the same week, the County Council's Planning Committee spent two days reviewing related bills that would legalize more home-based businesses and allow for more small alternative-energy systems in homes.

Arakawa said timing of the measures is politics for both the mayor and council members seeking re-election.

But Tavares said she wanted her planners' due diligence, and a lot of community and industry input, to make headway in the council's Planning Committee. She said she talked to some council members to get the items on the agenda. The streamlining items, though, have not yet been put on any committee agendas.

It's all ready for council consideration, and it needs to be done, county spokeswoman Mahina Martin said.

The call to expand allowable home-based businesses in residential areas had already been on the lips of business owners and residents alike for some time. But with media-covered debates, it came to the fore as a campaign issue in the mayoral and council races with the economy still lagging and unemployment stubbornly high.

Now, the home-based business and new permit streamlining bills have made their way to the Planning Committee, which has been occupied with the General Plan update for months.

But it's unlikely much will get done before the new year, when Council Members Mike Molina and Jo Anne Johnson leave due to term limits and Council Member Sol Kaho'ohalahala, the Planning Committee chairman, departs after an unsuccessful run for mayor. In addition, three incumbents - Mike Victorino, Bill Medeiros and Wayne Nishiki - are facing challenges in today's general election.

The alternative energy and home-based business measures did receive two days of hearings last week before they were deferred without action.

Some council members, such as Gladys Baisa, said they still thought the home-based business strategy was too complicated and expensive for the average small-business owner struggling to stay in business.

No matter what happens today, the bills will remain on the council's agenda. County planners have been working on streamlining the permitting process - and finally updating the planning and building codes for more than a year.

These latest measures already have had public hearings devoted to permit streamlining and home-based businesses.

Last week, Tavares said the bills she introduced would "remove bureaucracy by simplifying the approval process for certain projects." She called it the "planning permitting streamlining package." And, when it was first announced in January, the planning director at the time, Jeff Hunt, said it was not a power grab but rather a continuation of an ongoing process between the department and council since 2007 to delegate nearly two dozen kinds of reviews to lower levels of government or to administrators.

That way, the County Council could focus more on legislation and less on permit processing.

"What it primarily does is shift a lot of the permitting responsibilities to the planning commission or Planning Department instead of the County Council," said Planning Department Deputy Director Ann Cua.

In other words, an administrative decision could be made in a matter of weeks while it might take months just to get on the agenda of a planning commission, Cua said.

Tavares' office stated that "the existing processes for planned development, off-site parking and project district permits require more complex approvals, with conditional permits requiring approval by the full County Council."

Tavares said the bills "would provide a more efficient process for certain approvals than the current requirements for many projects in Maui County.

"This package is a result of discussions my administration has had with developers, professional planners and design professionals," she said. "Recommendations from these professionals will help us improve our permitting processes. By working together to help each other, our community wins."

Cua said the measures would allow a shortcutting of the current process.

"In simple terms, the process right now for certain permits requires the approval of the individual planning commission or the County Council, and these bills would shift some responsibility for planned development, for instance, to the Planning Department just to be able to shorten the time for people to be able to get their permits," she said.

But the key would be getting the council to support bills that relinquish some of its authority, Cua said.

"We're hopeful that it will happen," she said. The bills "already went through the three planning commissions (Maui, Molokai and Lanai)."

She added that there are more streamlining bills in various stages as part of a Planning Department effort that's been going on for some time. For instance, some of the changes are as simple as eliminating outdated terminology. Or it is as complicated as installing matrixes to help make decisions or allowing for mixed-use development in some planning zones and districts where apartments, a coffee shop and offices wouldn't be allowed in the same building.

Tavares said that the Planning Department's streamlining package is related to the home-based business bill.

The mayor's administration said that opening a home-based business would be streamlined to a special use permit from the appropriate island planning commission rather than going through the lengthy process of getting a conditional permit from the County Council.

The bill also would provide a simplified format for the residential zoning code to make it more reader-friendly, and it would allow small-scale energy systems, such as wind turbines, in residential districts.

"We're in the last week of the campaign," Arakawa noted of the hearings and news releases about the hot topics. "Does it surprise me that we are seeing a focus on something that should have been a focus when we knew that the economy was going down? The reality is the mayor and the council members are up for re-election."

Arakawa took aim at the home-based business bill. He said it would make the process even more complicated.

Arakawa said the Tavares administration is "feeling the pressure big time to at least go through the motions. Even then, it's too complicated and expensive."

Baisa said she isn't opposed to the home-based bill, but it would need a lot of work before it becomes the law.

She said a home-based business owner would need to go before the planning commission and get the approval of inspectors from a variety of departments, such as Fire and Public Works, before acquiring a permit just to be able to open up a family-run business - which would then have a limit of just one employee who isn't a family member living in the residence.

Baisa said her problem with the home-based business bill is that it's too confusing. It asks would-be entrepreneurs to figure out - and then limit - their work space square footage to 25 percent. There also are setback requirements and other conditions that could force people to add a second floor to their homes if they want a business there.

Even the simplest permit under this proposed bill would probably cost a lot of money, Baisa said.

Tavares said her staff has been working diligently with people to get them into compliance.

The home-based business bill has "been sitting at the Planning Committee for more than a year now," she said. "And contrary to the rumors out there, we have levied no fines and issued no notices of violation or issued any warnings."

Ultimately, she said it is a complex issue because this is about finding the right balance between commerce and maintaining the quality of life for residents in their neighborhoods.

The county must take into consideration homeowners' views, their on-street parking and the allowable hours of operation so neighbors aren't disturbed, she said.

"The community told us what they want," Baisa said. "It was a very clear-cut, small ordinance so people could work at home. We should emphasize what's not allowed instead of what is allowed."

A current home-business ordinance does exist. But it's mostly limited to churches, day care for children and adults, hospitals, and nursing or convalescent homes. It also includes businesses that are "normal functions of the home," such as baking, sewing and piano playing."

Council Member Mike Victorino said the law is too complicated now, and officials have to face that people are running all kinds of "illegal" businesses out of their homes already. It should be the council's job to get them into compliance and make sure they aren't disturbing their neighbors, he said.

The new ordinance would say what's not allowed, such as group instructional classes (except for traditional Hawaiian practices, such as hula) engine repair, manufacturing, animal breeding, training and kenneling, dispatch centers or gathering places for construction crews.

There's also no retail sales allowed of products not made in the home and a prohibition against business signs. It would also limit customers at the door to two at a time and no more than eight in a day.

But under the new bill, if it passes, personal computer experts, lawyers, real estate agents or accountants could run offices from their homes - legally.

The Maui Chamber of Commerce has already made a list of amendments to loosen up the standards.

Chris Hamilton can be reached at chamilton@mauinews.com.

(Report Provided by The Maui News)

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NEWS FLASH - November 1, 2010 6:05 p.m. HST

ML&P Shows First Quarterly Profit in Two Years

Maui Land & Pineapple Co. booked its first quarterly profit in two years, during the three months ended Sept. 30, though the achievement was due to recognizing a previously deferred gain from the sale of a golf course last year.

The owner of Kapalua Resort earned $20 million in the third quarter, which contrasted with a $25.5 million net loss in the same period last year.

The gain ended a string of losses that amounted to $210 million over the previous eight quarters for the Lahaina-based company.

But the turnaround in earnings was the result of Maui Land booking a $25.7 million gain from the March 2009 sale of its Plantation Golf Course.

Fundamental operations — running Kapalua Resort and developing and selling real estate around the West Maui resort — continued to be a drag on earnings.

Tim Esaki, Maui Land's chief financial officer, said in a statement that the company continues to make progress streamlining operations and strengthening its financial position.

"While we still need to work through a number of challenges, we have a sound business plan and a solid team that is focused on building shareholder value," he said.

Excluding the contribution from the golf course sale, Maui Land's resort division had an operating loss of $2.2 million in the third quarter, which was an improvement from a $3.4 million operating loss in the same period a year earlier. The company's real estate development division had an operating loss of $499,000 in the third quarter, an improvement from a $16.2 million operating loss a year earlier.

Reach Andrew Gomes at agomes@staradvertiser.com.

(Report Provided by The Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

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NEWS FLASH - November 1, 2010 2:15 p.m. HST

Bankruptcies Dip To Lowest Level in Eight Months

The number of Hawaii residents filing for bankruptcy in October fell below 300 for the first time in eight months, according to federal Bankruptcy Court statistics.

The 297 filings were 8.4 percent more than in October 2009. It was the smallest increase in nearly a year, the court reported.

Although the volume of cases is still relatively high by historical standards, filings have been trending down since peaking at 391 in April.

The bulk of the October cases, 177, were filed on Oahu. The Big Island accounted for 55 cases, while Maui had 53 and Kauai had 12.

(Report Provided by The Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

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NEWS FLASH - November 1, 2010 1:45 p.m. HST

State Agency Gets $88,750 Grant to Prevent Fraud, Abuse Attempts

HONOLULU – The State Executive Office on Aging (EOA) has received $88,750 from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to expand the capacity of the Senior Medicare Patrol project also known as SMP. The funds will be used to recruit and train retired professionals for outreach and education about detecting, reporting, and preventing Medicare and Medicaid fraud, errors, and abuse.

In acknowledging the award, Noemi Pendleton, Director of the Executive Office on Aging, said, “Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries are a potent force in fighting fraud and abuse. They are in a front-line position to detect billing errors and potential fraudulent activity. This underscores the importance of the Senior Medicare Patrol project in showing beneficiaries how Medicare and Medicaid fraud happens; how to check for fraud, errors, and abuse; and where to call if they detect errors. In stepping up our educational campaign, we call on seniors to join our Senior Medical Patrol project and become SMP volunteers.”

The new grant will help to recruit increased numbers of SMP volunteers in all four counties; recruit dual-language SMP volunteers to reach targeted limited English proficient populations; provide training to expand outreach, answer beneficiary inquiries, and resolve complex issues; increase the number of presentations in the community; and facilitate the development of a public service radio campaign and a website.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced grants to over 50 SMP projects nationwide to ramp up local community resources to educate seniors and people with Medicare about how they can prevent fraud. The grants are administered by the Administration on Aging and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under the federal government’s Department of Health and Human Services.

In September, the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association (NHCAA) selected the Senior Medicare Patrol program for its NHCAA 2010 Excellence in Public Awareness Award. Louis Saccoccio, NHCAA Executive Director, stated the award is “given annually to an organization or individuals who have done the most in the past year to raise awareness about the problem of health care fraud in our nation’s health care system.” The NHCAA is a partnership of private and public entities, working to combat health care fraud.

The Senior Medicare Patrol program is based in the State Executive Office on Aging and may be reached at (808) 586-7281 or 800-296-9422.

(Report Provided by the State of Hawai'i, Department of Health)

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NEWS FLASH - November 1, 2010 1:40 p.m. HST

Caregivers Invited to Ninth Annual Conference

WAILUKU, Maui, Hawaii-- The County of Maui Department of Housing and Human Concerns’ Office on Aging has announced it will commemorate National Family Caregivers’ Month by hosting its Ninth Annual Caregivers Conference, Caring for Others...Caring for Ourselves on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Maui Beach Hotel. This year’s conference emphasis has been expanded to include a focus on caregivers of individuals with disabilities.

Keynote speaker Ted Anderson is a physical therapist who will offer insights on improving balance and preventing falls. Educational breakout sessions include:

• Powerful Tools for Caregivers, by Heather Greenwood, Extension Educator, Intergenerational Programs
• Creating Access, Choice and Independence for People with Disabilities, by Independent Living/Outreach/Interpreter Specialist Nani Watanabe, Hawaii Centers for Independent Living, Maui County
• Reducing Your Risk for Alzheimer’s, by author Thomas C. Harding, PsyD, among others
• How To Eat During Stressful Times, by Saundra Gaskey, Director of Nutrition Services, Hale Makua

Other conference features include resource booths, fun activities and door prizes. Cost to attend is $10 for seniors and informal caregivers and $20 for others; cost includes continental breakfast, lunch, printed materials and educational sessions. Scholarships are available for low-income residents and Native Hawaiians or caregivers of Native Hawaiians through the Maui County Office on Aging and ALU LIKE, Inc.

To register, send check payable to Maui County Office on Aging, 2200 Main Street, Suite 547, Wailuku, HI 96793 by November 4. Conference attendees are advised to bring a sweater.

For more information, or to become an exhibitor, contact event coordinator Norma Circle at 270-7755 or mcoa.aging@mauicounty.gov.

(Report Provided by the Maui County Office of Information)

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NEWS FLASH - November 1, 2010 1:30 p.m. HST

November 'Brown Bag Workshops' Offer Free Business Advice

WAILUKU, Maui, Hawaii - The County of Maui Office of Economic Development today announced a “Brown Bag” workshop scheduled for the month of November. The workshop is free of charge and will be presented at the Maui County Business Resource Center, a County of Maui facility located across from IHOP in the Maui Mall.

Have some investment dollars and unsure what to do with them? “The Best Things In Life Can Be Tax-Free” is being presented on Friday, November 12 from noon to 1 p.m. Find out how owning municipal bonds can get you double tax-exempt income, and allow you to invest in our community. These bonds help to fund vital infrastructure, creating jobs
and improving the quality of life for all Hawaii citizens. Sherri Foster, Senior Vice President and Regional Sales Manager for the Aquila Group of Funds and Hawaiian Tax-Free Trust, is a registered representative of Aquila Distributors, Inc., and has been affiliated with the trust since its inception in 1985.

Seating is limited; reservations are requested and may be made by calling the Maui County Business Resource Center at 873-8247. Attendees are asked to bring their own lunches. MCBRC also offers free business counseling sessions with experienced SCORE counselors that may be arranged by calling the MCBRC. For more information, visit www.mauicounty.gov/mcbrc.

(Report Provided by the Maui County Office of Information)

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NEWS FLASH - November 1, 2010 10:05 a.m. HST

Waves Could Reach 35 Feet On North Shores Tomorrow

1. EVENT: The National Weather Service in Honolulu has CONTINUED a HIGH SURF WARNING for the NORTH FACING SHORES of MOLOKAI and MAUI in effect from this afternoon to 4:00 p.m. Thursday.

2. EFFECTS: A powerful low passing well north of the islands has generated a large North-Northwest swell that will begin arriving in Hawaiian waters this afternoon. The swell will build rapidly during the evening. The surf will build to 8 to 12 late this afternoon. Surf will rise rapidly tonight and peak on Tuesday with peak heights between 25-35 Feet. Larger waves can be expected on outer reefs. Although this swell is expected to diminish slightly during the day Wednesday night, another large swell is expected to arrive Wednesday night maintaining high surf through Thursday.
Forecast surf heights are estimates of the height of the face or front of waves.

3. PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: A HIGH SURF WARNING INDICATES THAT DANGEROUS BATTERING WAVES WILL POUND THE SHORELINE. THIS WILL RESULT IN VERY DANGEROUS SWIMMING CONDITIONS AND DEADLY RIP CURRENTS.

4. INFORMATION: Maui County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts for any updates.

NOAA Weather Broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather Internet services can be found at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.

Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200. The same information is available on the Maui County website at www.mauicounty.gov.

(Report Provided by Maui County Civil Defense)

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NEWS FLASH - November 1, 2010 8:25 a.m. HST

Samo-Samo or All-New? You Decide

WAILUKU - When Maui County voters go to the polls Tuesday, they'll decide whether to send local incumbents back for another term or to take a chance on a fresh face.

But both faces are familiar in the race for the county's top job, where current

Mayor Charmaine Tavares and former Mayor Alan Arakawa go head to head in a redo of their close 2006 battle. In addition to a mayor, Maui, Molokai and Lanai voters will pick a full slate of Maui County Council members as well as legislators, a state Board of Education delegate and Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday. Voters who don't know their polling place can check their yellow voter card, call the Office of the County Clerk at 270-7749, or check online at elections3.hawaii.gov/ppl/. Voters should bring a photo ID with a signature on it.

In the final weeks of the campaign the mayor's race has been a bitter one. In recent interviews, Tavares said her opponent didn't have a basic grasp of the county's budget, and Arakawa accused the mayor of doing nothing to alleviate the economic crisis.

Arakawa has pulled in a spate of endorsements since the Sept. 18 primary election, when he finished second to Tavares by around 200 votes. But Tavares still has a substantial edge in fundraising.

The Valley Isle also has a number of competitive races for County Council - of which one of the most talked-about may be the rematch between incumbent Council Member Wayne Nishiki and challenger Don Couch for the South Maui council seat. Nishiki, who has spent more than two decades on the council over the course of his career, most of it as an outsider, remains a favorite of environmentalists and slow-growth advocates, while Couch is seen as the choice of the business community.

Although council members must reside in their districts, voters cast votes for all council seats, not just the one for the district they live in.

Other contested council races include two where voters will choose between newcomers to fill a vacant council seat. Kaanapali Beach Hotel General Manager and former state legislator Mike White is vying against environmentalist and community advocate Kai Nishiki for the Makawao-Haiku-Paia district. In West Maui, Save Honolua Coalition founder Elle Cochran faces off against businessman Alan Fukuyama.

In state races, all eyes will be on South Maui, where Republican George Fontaine will try again to unseat incumbent Democratic Rep. Joe Bertram III for the 11th House District seat. The quirky Bertram won voters' loyalty two years ago but this election season has been fending off attacks from Fontaine, a former police captain, for his positions on marijuana and crime.

Among the other districts where Democratic incumbents face Republican challengers, two-term West Maui Rep. Angus McKelvey will have a rematch with 2008 opponent Ramon Madden for the 10th House District seat. In Kahului, Rep. Gil Keith-Agaran will seek election to the office he was appointed to in 2009, after the death of longtime state Rep. Bob Nakasone. Keith-Agaran is being challenged by Republican Jeff Hoylman for the 9th House District.

And in the state Senate, Democratic incumbent Sen. Shan Tsutsui faces Republican challenger Eric Seibert.

Finally on the Board of Education, voters can choose between retired public school teacher Ray Hart and entrepreneur Leona Rocha-Wilson to fill the vacancy being left by outgoing Board Member Mary Cochran.

For more information on voting, look online at www.hawaii.gov/elections. Or call the County Clerk's Office at 270-7749 or the state Office of Elections at (800) 442-VOTE.

(Report Provided by The Maui News)

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NEWS FLASH - November 1, 2010 6:45 a.m. HST

TVR Enforcement Yields Desired Effect

Maui County has gotten tough with illegal vacation rentals.

Aware of the growing number of illegal rentals intruding into residential and agricultural areas, the county Planning Department began aggressively enforcing zoning laws in early 2007 and shut down a number of operators.

Deputy Planning Director Ann Cua said the department gave illegal operators a reasonable time to close.

Later, in January 2009, in an attempt to bring vacation rentals into compliance, the Maui Council passed an ordinance allowing a limited number of bed-and-breakfasts to operate in various areas.

Since then some 33 rentals have received permits, including coastal residences in Paia and Kuau.

Former Kuau store manager Leona Nomura said she supports enforcement of zoning laws because neighborhood beaches have become crowded with visitors. She said people have been treating residences as vacation investments, then complaining when they are told to shut down.

"They're trying to get laws to fit their needs," she said. "They're all about buying and selling."

Cua said while there are still many illegal vacation rentals, the new ordinance has provided a path for those homeowners who want to legally operate their properties as B&Bs.

The county defines a bed-and-breakfast as a dwelling occupied by guests for fewer than 180 days on a property with no more than two detached dwellings. The ordinance requires the owner to live on the property and allows for no more than six bedrooms for short-term rentals.

An off-street parking space is required for each guest bedroom in addition to the owner's dwelling. A homeowner seeking a bed-and-breakfast permit is required to post a sign giving residents notice of the application.

The ordinance allows the planning department to issue permits administratively for most of Maui.

But the permit requires approval from the Planning Commission - and possibly the Council - if the application is protested by more than 30 percent of residents within 500 feet. Approval also is needed if there already is a B&B within 500 feet.

The ordinance prevents the bed-and-breakfast homes from being held by firms, partnerships or companies, and the permits are not transferable.

The department, meanwhile, has processed about a dozen conditional-use permits for transient vacation rentals - visitor accommodations on properties not occupied by their owners.

Reach Gary Kubota at gkubota@staradvertiser.com.

(Report Provided by The Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

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NEWS FLASH - November 1, 2010 4:30 a.m. HST

3.5 Quake Jolts Big Island

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials say a magnitude 3.5 earthquake struck the Big Island last night.

It happened just before midnight.

The earthquake was located eight miles south, southwest of Honokaa.

No tsunami was generated and no damage was reported.

(Report Provided by KHON-2)

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NEWS FLASH - October 31, 2010 4:30 p.m. HST

High Surf Headed to North, West Shores Tomorrow

1. EVENT: The National Weather Service in Honolulu has ISSUED a HIGH SURF ADVISORY for the NORTH FACING SHORES of MOLOKAI and MAUI in effect from 4:00 p.m. Monday.

A High Surf Advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area, producing rip currents and localized beach erosion.

2. EFFECTS: A powerful low passing swell north of the islands has generated a large North-Northwest swell that will begin arriving in Hawaiian waters Monday afternoon. The swell will build rapidly Monday evening. The surf will build to 8 to 12 feet late Monday afternoon. Surf will rise rapidly Monday night and peak on Tuesday with peak surf heights between 25-35 Feet. Larger waves can be expected on outer reefs. Although this swell is expected to diminish slightly during the day Wednesday night, another large swell is expected to arrive Wednesday night maintaining high surf through Thursday.

Forecast surf heights are estimates of the height of the face or front of waves.

3. PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: BEACH GOERS ARE URGED TO STAY OUT OF THE WATER AND WELL AWAY FROM THE SHORE BREAK DUE TO THE HAZARDOUS WAVE ACTION AND STRONG RIP CURRENTS.

4. INFORMATION: Maui County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts for any updates.

NOAA Weather Broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather Internet services can be found at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.

Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200. The same information is available on the Maui County website at www.mauicounty.gov.

(Report Provided by Maui County Civil Defense)

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NEWS FLASH - October 31, 2010 7:45 a.m. HST

Lady Farmers Win State Championship

HONOLULU - Kalei Vaivai swung away at the ball, burying kill after kill that pumped up the Molokai High School girls volleyball team.

While she was carrying the Farmers on offense, she needed her teammates to ease the nerves pulsing through her.

"I was really tense and my teammates helped me a lot to relax," Vaivai said. "I really commend them for that. They really helped me through this whole game."

It took that sort of team effort to enable second-seeded Molokai to sweep top-seeded University 25-12, 25-10, 25-18 in Saturday night's title match of the New City Nissan Division II State Championship at the McKinley gym.

The Farmers finish the season 12-0 and are the first Maui Interscholastic League team to win a girls volleyball state title.

"We were fired up," said Vaivai, who had 19 kills and was named the tournament's most outstanding player. "We came here wanting to win the state title. Who doesn't come here not wanting to win the state title?"

Molokai dominated the first two sets against a University team that looked shocked and was unable to come up with digs and pass the ball. Vaivai was unstoppable, hitting down the line all night and finishing with just three hitting errors.

"They executed and did everything they wanted to do," said Junior Rainbows coach Walt Quitan. "They were by far the better team tonight. They outperformed us in pretty much every aspect of the game."

In the third set University (16-4), the Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion, trimmed a six-point deficit to 10-9 on Kaena Kaina's kill, and Molokai called timeout. Suddenly, there were signs of a close match many had envisioned.

During the timeout, the Farmers reminded each other why they were there.

"Our coach, he calls a timeout and we talk amongst ourselves," Vaivai said. "We remind each other what our goals are. We remind each other what we came here for for each other."

Quynne Eharis' kill helped the Junior Rainbows close to 13-11 before the Farmers scored the next six points. Kalei Adolpho had two kills, Kailana Ritte-Camara had a kill and Natalia Levi had a pancake dig - one of 19 digs she had on the night - that went over the net and dropped for a kill.

University got no closer than five the rest of the match and when it was finally over, Molokai's bench rushed the floor to join a giant embrace while the staff had a group hug near the bench. The Farmers' green-clad fans roared and cheered, much like they had all week in Honolulu.

"It's a great feeling, it's hard to describe," Molokai coach Matt Helm said. "We came to states our first year and took sixth. The next two years we took fourth, last year we took third and now it's kind of nice to take first. It's a nice steppingstone."

Since the start of D-II girls volleyball in 2005, no team from outside the ILH had won the state title.

Adolpho, Molokai's six-foot hitter who will play basketball and volleyball next year at the University of Hawaii, didn't have her first kill until the beginning of the second set and finished with just five, but the Farmers got big production from everyone else. Levi, who rarely gets swings, had three straight kills to put Molokai ahead 12-5 in second set, and finished with eight. Ritte-Camara had seven kills, using angled shots to get the ball in, and added four service aces and 19 digs.

"That what makes our team really click," Helm said. "When one person is not having their best game or when they're keying on one person, another person steps up."

Adolpho also helped Molokai win the D-II basketball title in 2009.

"I'm blessed to be on two awesome teams. It's not just me," she said.

Kainoa Ocasek had seven kills and Eharis had five for University, which was looking to win its first state title since 1990, when there was just one state classification. The Farmers' attack threw off the Junior Rainbows' passing game, keeping the ball away from Eharis in the middle.

"We were clicking on all cylinders," Helm said. "We really wanted to stop their middle and we put three blockers on her. I think that was really key to throwing them out of their offense."

Molokai's Kawena Puhi, who finished with 32 assists, said it was a team effort that helped the Farmers carry home the trophy.

"Everybody says that we have talent on our island," she said. "It feels good to show it and bring it back to our school."

(Report Provided by The Maui News)

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NEWS FLASH - October 30, 2010 9:25 a.m. HST

Former Police Officer Sentenced for Deceiving Fellow Officers

WAILUKU - Former Maui Police Department officer Allison Moore, whose co-workers rallied to help when they believed she was terminally ill, was sentenced Friday to a one-year jail term for crimes including forging doctors' notes that made it appear she was undergoing cancer treatment when she was actually battling a methamphetamine drug addiction.

"What distinguishes this case from many that the court has seen is the level of sophistication and the high rate of functioning that she was operating at to pull this all off," said 2nd Circuit Judge Richard Bissen. "She fooled an entire police department."

Eighty-eight department employees, most of them fellow police officers, donated work leave time to Moore, although only 23 had their leave deducted before police discovered what she was doing.

Moore, 29, was ordered to pay $12,554 in restitution to 18 of those employees. The others, including Police Chief Gary Yabuta, declined restitution.

Moore also was ordered to pay $1,000 to the Maui Police Relief Association, which gave her a check after hearing of her illness; $5,904 for sick leave benefits she received after presenting the forged doctors' notes from August 2008 to April 2009; and $2,835 for extradition costs to bring her back to Maui from New Mexico earlier this year.

She was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs and to undergo mental health treatment as part of five years' probation.

Moore had pleaded no contest to seven counts of second-degree forgery, three counts of second-degree theft and seven misdemeanor charges of tampering with evidence from police vice evidence lockers. The prosecution reduced an attempted first-degree theft charge to second-degree theft and dismissed seven counts of third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and one charge of prohibited fixing of tickets.

Along with donating leave and cash to Moore, police employees organized fundraisers after hearing reports that she had been diagnosed with cervical cancer in November 2008 and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in February 2009.

In a sentencing memorandum, Deputy Prosecutor Lewis Littlepage said Moore's deception began to unravel in mid-July 2009 when her father saw an Internet site raising funds for her medical needs. He called Moore's mother and sister, who contacted two of Moore's police friends, who went to her apartment to check on her.

Police obtained a search warrant for Moore's apartment, finding evidence from drug cases that was supposed to be in police custody and what appeared to be attempts to forge doctors' notes.

At the time, Moore had exhausted her sick leave and co-workers were donating their vacation so she could remain on leave.

She had told friends and police supervisors that she had cancer. But when police contacted the doctors who were supposed to have provided notes excusing her from work, police learned they were forged, and Moore had never been a patient.

Because Moore was working as a vice officer, police checked cases she had been involved with. In seven cases where Moore did testing showing methamphetamine was seized, police did retesting and determined what was in evidence wasn't narcotics and that weights differed from what Moore had listed.

"It was a longtime deception of her co-workers, of the Police Department," Littlepage said. "It showed planning. It showed forethought."

Moore was a Maui police officer for five years, working in the Wailuku, Lanai and Lahaina patrol districts, before she resigned in September 2009.

While Littlepage recommended a five-year prison term for Moore, defense attorney Robert Rivera argued for probation so she could continue in therapy.

He said an indication of Moore's remorse was her "great internal suffering" described in therapists' letters.

The victims weren't just her co-workers, "they were her brothers and sisters in blue," Rivera said. "She has never disputed that to betray them was probably one of the worst things she could have done in her life."

Moore said she had no explanation or excuse for her actions.

"The only thing I can offer is a spoken apology, which seems frail compared to the gravity of my actions," she said. "MPD not only offered me a chance to create a career of my dreams, but they welcomed me with open arms as one of their own, a part of a very special and unique family.

"This family showed me unconditional love and friendship, and the betrayal I imposed upon them will forever haunt me."

When Bissen asked her what she thought her sentence would be, Moore said she wanted probation with no jail time.

But the judge said jail was appropriate, in part so others would know they would be punished for similar crimes.

Bissen noted that Moore reported she began drinking alcohol at age 14 and used marijuana daily starting at age 16. She also reported trying crystal methamphetamine because she was "curious."

"You were a vice officer. You were a drug user," Bissen told her. "You knew what was going to happen. You're the same as the drunk that gets behind the wheel and tries to drive a car. For someone who was an addict, you were quite cold and quite calculating. I don't visualize you as the addict you make yourself out to be. You're highly sophisticated."

Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.

(Report Provided by The Maui News)

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NEWS FLASH - October 30, 2010 8:15 a.m. HST

Obamas Planning Christmas on O'ahu Again

President Barack Obama will be returning to Honolulu, where he was born, for the third straight Christmas, three sources told the Star-Advertiser today.

No immediate details were available, but the last two years, the president has spent at a vacation home in Kailua.

Last year, he and his family were here for 11 days including Christmas and New Year's. Day trips included visits to the Honolulu Zoo, Sea Life Park and shave ice shops.

Obama also spent nearly two weeks here in December 2008 when he was president-elect. That trip was highlighted by the scattering of ashes of his grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, in waters off Lanai Lookout.

He also visited Oahu in August and October 2008.

(Report Provided by The Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

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NEWS FLASH - October 30, 2010 7 a.m. HST

40,000 UH Students' Personal Data Posted Online

The Social Security numbers, grades and other personal information of more than 40,000 former University of Hawaii students were posted online for nearly a year before being removed this week.

University officials said that a faculty member inadvertently uploaded files containing the information to an unprotected server on Nov. 30.

That exposed the names, academic performance, disabilities and other sensitive data of 40,101 students who attended the flagship Manoa campus from 1990 to 1998 and in 2001. A handful of students from the West Oahu campus were included in the security breach.

UH-West Oahu spokesman Ryan Mielke said there was no evidence the faculty member acted maliciously or that any of the information was used improperly. The faculty member, who retired from the West Oahu campus in June, was conducting a study of the success rates of Manoa students, and believed he was accessing a secure server.

The university apologized for the incident, saying it was investigating how it happened. It was notifying the former students by e-mail and letters, and has also alerted the FBI and Honolulu police.

(Report Provided by The Associated Press)

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NEWS FLASH - October 29, 2010 11:35 p.m. HST

Moped Operator Killed in Traffic Crash

A Kahului man is dead after his moped was struck by a BMW SUV last night. Maui Police say 26 year-old Travis Diego was traveling south on South Kamehameha Avenue at Ku'uhoa Street when a northbound 2011 BMW X5 sport utility vehicle turned left onto Ku'uhoa, striking the moped.

Police say Diego was not wearing a helmet. He was transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the SUV was not injured. The accident happened at 6:27 p.m. Friday. The involvement of speed, alcohol and drugs are being investigated. This is Maui County's 12th fatal accident of 2010. There were 18 fatalities at this time last year.

(Information Provided by the Maui Police Department)

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NEWS FLASH - October 29, 2010 7 p.m. HST

Accident Closes South Kamehameha Avenue

South Kamehameha Avenue is completely closed due to a motor vehicle accident. We will update the information when it becomes available. You may also call the road notifictation number at 986-1200 option 2.

(Report Provided by the Maui Police Department)

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NEWS FLASH - October 29, 2010 4:20 p.m. HST

Mayor Announces Bikeway, Roundabout Projects

WAILUKU, Maui, Hawaii—Mayor Charmaine Tavares announced that two County construction projects worth over $4 million are moving forward.

“We have continued to invest in projects that help our community,” Mayor Charmaine Tavares said. “Getting projects like these completed means that we are able to help our local economy recover.”

A Notice to Proceed was issued by the Department of Public Works today for the construction of the Liloa Drive/Piikea Avenue roundabout project in Kihei. The notice to proceed, which was issued to contractor Maui Master Builders, allows the $1.92 million project to begin.

“I am extremely pleased that my Administration worked hard to secure the necessary land entitlements and approvals so that construction can begin on this much-needed project,” said Mayor Charmaine Tavares. “In addition to the added road safety, this project will provide work for local contractors.”

A Notice to Proceed also was issued earlier this month for the Kihei Bikeway project; work is expected to begin in early November by contractor Goodfellow Bros., Inc. The $2.15 million project was redesigned to accommodate the Liloa Drive/Piikea Avenue Roundabout. “The South Maui community has long advocated for a bike path in this area as part of smart growth design and development,” Mayor Charmaine Tavares noted.

For more information, contact the County of Maui Department of Public Works at 270-7745.

(Report Provided by the Maui County Office of Information)

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NEWS FLASH - October 29, 2010 1:30 p.m. HST

First Metal Recycling Event to Help Molokai Residents

KAUNAKAKAI, Molokai, Hawaii-Mayor Charmaine Tavares today announced that the County Department of Environmental Managements Solid Waste Division has awarded a contract for multiple collection events at the Molokai Metals Facility (MMF).

The first event begins Tuesday, November 16, 2010. Metals and related materials will be collected, processed and recycled, including junk and abandoned vehicles, motorcycles, appliances, propane tanks, vehicle tires and batteries, ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metals, and miscellaneous metal items such as roofing, gutters, tubs, sinks, faucets, pipes, metal furniture, bicycles, mowers, engine parts, tools, fencing.

We appreciate the patience of the Molokai community as we worked to put in place a viable option to help preserve the longevity of the islands landfill and give residents a way to safely dispose of metals that can be recycled, Mayor Tavares said.

The Molokai Metals Facility is located within the Molokai-Naiwa Landfill, off Maunaloa Highway between mile markers 3 & 4. The MMF will accept materials from Tuesday, November 16 through Saturday, December 11, 2010 during regular landfill hours, Tuesday through Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. All metals items must be brought in during the collection event; at the end of this collection event, metals will not be accepted at the landfill until the next collection event is held. The next collection event is expected to take place in the spring of 2011.

The public is asked separate the metal items from other recyclables and waste materials; stop at the landfill scalehouse; then proceed to MMF; wait to be checked in by the MMF staff and sign for the items delivered. All items must be delivered directly to the MMF staff. These materials may not be dropped off at the scalehouse, recycling center, or landfill face.

Vehicle owners must complete and file a Vehicle Junking form with the Division of Motor Vehicles & Licensing (DMVL) office, and complete and submit a Vehicle Acceptance form at the MMF to scrap a vehicle.

Similar to the landfill procedures, materials from residents homes (non-commercial sources) will be accepted by the MMF at no charge to residents. All materials from commercial sources, such as businesses, agencies, and organizations, will be charged a fee as determined by the MMF contractor. The $200,625 contract for the collection event program was awarded to Kitagawa Towing & Metal Recycling.

Community Work Day Program (CWD) will be on Molokai from November 30 to December 11, 2010 clearing metal-related dumpsites around the island. CWD will also be assisting elderly and disabled residents in getting their items to the MMF for recycling. Please call CWD to report areas containing dumped items, or to request assistance, at (808) 877-2524.

For more information, call 270-6102; callers on Molokai may dial toll-free: 1-800- 272-0117 and request extension 6102.

(Report Provided by the Maui County Office of Information)

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NEWS FLASH - October 29, 2010 7:15 a.m. HST

Inouye Tells Wife's Story at Cancer Center Groundbreaking

The University of Hawaii Cancer Center, whose mission will be to develop high-caliber cancer treatment and research, finally broke ground yesterday in Kakaako.

The long-awaited six-story, 150,000-square-foot building will be located near the John A. Burns School of Medicine and occupied by more than 300 research faculty and staff. Previously called the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, it was renamed the University of Hawaii Cancer Center yesterday. Construction of the $120 million facility is slated to be completed by the end of 2012.

Dr. Michele Carbone, director of the cancer center, said the facility will be a consortium with Hawaii Pacific Health, Kuakini Medical Center and the Queen's Medical Center. "The cancer center will pull the best resources together to give the best options to patients," he said. In the coming months, Carbone said, he will continue to focus on recruitment and fundraising efforts.

Among the 200 people attending the groundbreaking were U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, UH President M.R.C. Greenwood and members of the Legislature. Inouye, the keynote speaker, said, "We will have a first-class center here, one that we can be proud of, the nation that can be proud of."

He shared with attendees the insurmountable emotional and physical pain he and his first wife, Margaret "Maggie" Inouye, endured when she was diagnosed with colon cancer six years ago. "That was something that I hope none of you would have to go through," he said. As her cancer worsened, Maggie Inouye was eventually admitted to the hospital. Sen. Inouye spent more than a month in a cot next to his wife's hospital bed. In her last days, Inouye recalled his wife telling him she was going to be dead in 10 days after she arranged with her doctor of her decision to limit her treatment to painkillers and water. "Can you imagine your wife telling you, 'In 10 days I'll be dead'?" said Inouye.

Maggie Inouye died in March 2006. She was 81.

Inouye also shared how his grandmother suffered from urethral cancer, and his own personal scare after doctors diagnosed him with lung cancer in 1967. After undergoing surgery in which doctors removed a rib and left him with 16 inches of stitches, it was discovered he did not have cancer. The scar, Inouye said, is a daily reminder of cancer's dangers.

More than 6,000 people annually in Hawaii are diagnosed with cancer, according to Jackie Young, chief staff officer of the American Cancer Society Hawaii and a breast cancer survivor. Two thousand people die of cancer every year in Hawaii, she said.

The center will give patients access to the best care to increase their chance of survival, Young said.

The cancer center was delayed for several years. UH had selected Townsend Hawaii LLC to oversee the plan for the center and negotiate a deal on the project's design, financing and construction. But talks ended in June 2009. UH officials later hired the Kobayashi Group LLC.

Yesterday the Board of Regents unanimously approved a $2.5 million settlement involving a breach-of-contract lawsuit Townsend filed against UH. Details of the settlement were not available as it had yet to be finalized by Circuit Court Judge Karl Sakamoto, according to Tina Shelton, spokeswoman for the John S. Burns School of Medicine. The settlement is expected to be finalized within 60 days.

Reach Rosemarie Bernardo at rbernardo@staradvertiser.com.

(Report Provided by The Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

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NEWS FLASH - October 29, 2010 6:45 a.m. HST

LG Candidates Spar on Education

Candidates for Hawaii lieutenant governor are defending their team's education plans while questioning their opponents' proposals.

Republican lieutenant governor nominee Lynn Finnegan on Thursday asked why Democratic gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie last year supported an audit of the Federal Reserve but opposes an audit of the Hawaii Department of Education.

Democratic lieutenant governor nominee Brian Schatz responded that Republican gubernatorial candidate James "Duke" Aiona, the state's incumbent lieutenant governor, failed to make an education audit happen during his last eight years in office.

Finnegan says an audit would ensure education money reaches students.

Schatz says Abercrombie would make the schools superintendent part of his Cabinet.

(Report Provided by The Associated Press)

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NEWS FLASH - October 28, 2010 2:50 p.m. HST

Hawaiian Telcom Emerges from Chapter 11 Reorganization

HONOLULU (Thursday, October 28, 2010) – Hawaiian Telcom Communications, Inc. (together with its affiliates, the “Company”) announced that effective today, the Company has successfully completed its reorganization and has emerged from its Chapter 11 proceedings, pursuant to the plan of reorganization (the “Plan”) approved by the bankruptcy court. As expected, the new ownership and capital structure of the Company have been approved by the Federal Communications Commission and the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.

“Thanks to the dedication of each of our employees statewide, the ongoing support of our customers and suppliers, and the cooperation of our lenders, we have successfully completed our reorganization which marks a new beginning for the Company," said Eric K. Yeaman, Hawaiian Telcom’s president and CEO. "As was our goal, we have significantly reduced our debt through the Chapter 11 process and have emerged a much stronger, more financially secure company better positioned to address the growth opportunities as the leading communications provider in the Hawaii marketplace.”

Through its reorganization, Hawaiian Telcom has reduced its debt by over $850 million, or approximately 74 percent, and has emerged with $300 million of debt.

“Providing the highest quality products and services has always remained our priority, and we are now in a stable position to commit even more energy to meeting, and hopefully surpassing, our customers’ communications needs and expectations,” said Yeaman. “We continue to implement our strategic plan focused on leveraging our advanced network infrastructure to introduce new products and services, while improving processes and systems so we can enhance our service delivery.”

Throughout the reorganization, Hawaiian Telcom has launched several new services including its Business All-in-One package, a business communications service for small business customers. Based on voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Business All-in-One unifies all communication services on a single broadband IP connection.

The Company also launched this year its new customer portal, hawaiiantel.net, which offers its high-speed Internet subscribers a single on-line destination combining personalized account management, e-mail and voice mail with a rich content experience including the latest news, weather and sports together with a wide selection of streaming music and video.

Additionally, ongoing strategic investments in its advanced fiber optic network has enabled Hawaiian Telcom to introduce leading class business data services such as Routed Network Services and Enhanced IP Data Services, drive its market share of high-speed Internet through broader reach and enhanced speeds as well as form the backbone of its future “Next Generation” IP-based TV service.

The Company has also been delivering competitive new promotions and services to consumers quicker than ever, in conjunction with new legislation enacted in 2009 and 2010. The new legislation has removed some of the long-standing regulatory approval requirements that lengthened the Company’s timeline to offer these services.

In addition, as provided for in the Plan and effective with the emergence from Chapter 11, the Company has a new Board of Directors that brings both in-depth knowledge of Hawaiian Telcom and vast experience in the telecommunications industry. The Company’s existing management team continues to lead Hawaiian Telcom.

“Today marks a new beginning for Hawaiian Telcom driven by the commitment of our incredibly dedicated employees and the Company’s strong management team,” said Yeaman. “Along with our new Board of Directors, we are charting a new course for the Company, shaping it for future growth so we can continue providing the people and businesses of Hawaii with solutions tailored to meet their communications needs.”

Hawaiian Telcom has emerged a well capitalized company with $300 million of senior secured debt and following post-emergence payables will have approximately $75 million in cash, supplemented with an undrawn credit line of up to $30 million. Holders of the Company’s prepetition senior secured debt will receive 100 percent of the new common stock under the Plan, subject to dilution. Additionally, as provided for in the Plan, the Company is pursuing the listing of its common stock on a nationally recognized public exchange.

On December 1, 2008, the Company filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, later transferred to the District of Hawaii. In June 2009, the Company filed with the Bankruptcy Court a Chapter 11 plan of reorganization. The Bankruptcy Court confirmed the Plan at the conclusion of the confirmation hearing on November 13, 2009 and entered a written confirmation order on December 30, 2009. The Federal Communications Commission approved the Company’s transfer of control applications on September 15, 2010. On September 22, 2010, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approved applicable portions of the Company’s Plan of Reorganization. Hawaiian Telcom emerged from Chapter 11 protection on October 28, 2010.

(Report Provided by Hawaiian Telcom)

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NEWS FLASH - October 28, 2010 1:30 p.m. HST

Southwest Airlines Eyeing Service to Hawai'i

DALLAS — Southwest Airlines Co. CEO Gary Kelly said today that Southwest likely will buy new, larger planes from Boeing that would allow it to fly to Hawaii.

Southwest is considering adding the Boeing 737-800 aircraft to its fleet.

"It's certainly more likely than not that we're going to do it (add 737s)," said Kelly, speaking at the company's annual media day in Dallas, according to Dow Jones newswire. "It brings us the opportunity to consider a destination like Hawaii."

The airline will need federal approval to fly the long over-water route to Hawaii with the Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Hawaii would provide a plum destination for regular Southwest customers redeeming their frequent-flier credits.

(Report Provided by The Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

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NEWS FLASH - October 28, 2010 11:10 a.m. HST

Wind Advisory Extended for Maui, Lana'i

1. EVENT: The National Weather Service in Honolulu has extended the Wind Advisory for Maui and Lanai now in effect until 6:00 p.m. this evening.

A Wind Advisory means that winds of 30 mph are expected.

2. EFFECTS: East winds of 25 to 35 mph are expected through this evening, with locally higher gusts to near 50 mph.

3. PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT, ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION. SECURE ANY LOOSE OBJECTS THAT MAY BECOME AIRBORNE OR MOVE THEM INDOORS.

4. INFORMATION: Maui County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts for any updates.

NOAA Weather Broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather Internet services can be found at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.

Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200. The same information is available on the Maui County website at www.mauicounty.gov.

(Report Provided by Maui County Civil Defense)

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NEWS FLASH - October 28, 2010 10:50 a.m. HST

Hawai'i Legislative Assistant to 'Tweet' Discovery's Final Launch

Honolulu, Hawaii. Danielle Bass, who serves as office manager to Rep. Ryan Yamane, will be covering the liftoff of the space shuttle Discovery via Twitter. Bass was selected by NASA to participate at the “NASA Tweetup” to cover the events 24 hours prior to the launch and the launch itself, targeted to take place at 4:40 p.m. EDT on November 1, 2010.

NASA is hosting 150 people from around the world and will provide them with a behind-the-scenes perspective to share with their followers via the social networking service Twitter. Bass is the only “tweep” from Hawaii going to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. According to NASA, attendees will be coming from 38 states, the District of Columbia, Australia, Canada, Chile, England, Japan, Latvia, New Zealand and the Philippines; all were selected randomly from more than 2,700 online registrations. Attendees are responsible for their own travel.

Twitter users can follow Bass’s tweets at www.twitter.com/dani_bass.

In addition, Bass created her own website at www.imuanahoku.com, especially for schools and classrooms to follow the launch, and for those who are not on Twitter.

“I’m excited and honored to be representing Hawaii at this historic event,” said Bass. “This will be the last launch and flight of the space shuttle Discovery, the oldest orbiter of the shuttle fleet. I’ve always been interested in flying and in the NASA program, and I’m grateful for this incredible opportunity. I’ll be tweeting and updating my website all weekend.”

Reporters interested in interviewing Tweetup attendees should contact Stephanie Schierholz at 202-358-4997 or Stephanie.schierholz@nasa.gov.

Link to NASA Media Advisory: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/oct/HQ_M10-146_Tweet_Credentials.html

(Report Provided by the State of Hawai'i, House of Representatives)

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NEWS FLASH - October 28, 2010 8:40 a.m. HST

High Winds Still Blowing on Lana'i

1. EVENT: The National Weather Service in Honolulu has extended the Wind Advisory for Maui and Lanai until noon today.

A Wind Advisory means that winds of 30 mph are expected.

2. EFFECTS: East winds of 25 to 35 mph are expected through noon today, with locally higher gusts to near 55 mph.

3. PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT, ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION. SECURE ANY LOOSE OBJECTS THAT MAY BECOME AIRBORNE OR MOVE THEM INDOORS.

4. INFORMATION: Maui County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts for any updates.

NOAA Weather Broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather Internet services can be found at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.

Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200. The same information is available on the Maui County website at www.mauicounty.gov.

(Report Provided by Maui County Civil Defense)

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NEWS FLASH - October 28, 2010 8:20 a.m. HST

High Surf Advisory Continues for East Shores

1. EVENT: The National Weather Service in Honolulu has continued the HIGH SURF ADVISORY for EAST FACING SHORES of MAUI and MOLOKAI in effect until 6:00 a.m. Friday.

A High Surf Advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area, producing rip currents and localized beach erosion. If caught in a rip current, do not try to swim against the current. Instead swim parallel to shore until you are out of the current and then swim toward shore.

2. EFFECTS: Rough and choppy surf along east facing shores will be 5 to 8 feet with occasional larger waves breaking on outer reefs through Friday morning.

Forecast surf heights are estimates of the height of the face or front of waves.

A high tide of approximately 2.4 feet is expected between 7:55 a.m. and 9:13 a.m. tomorrow morning.

3. PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: BEACH GOERS ARE URGED TO STAY OUT OF THE WATER AND WELL AWAY FROM THE SHORE BREAK DUE TO THE HAZARDOUS WAVE ACTION AND STRONG RIP CURRENTS.

4. INFORMATION: Maui County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts for any updates.

NOAA Weather Broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather Internet services can be found at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.

Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200. The same information is available on the Maui County website at www.mauicounty.gov.

(Report Provided by Maui County Civil Defense)

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NEWS FLASH - October 28, 2010 7:10 a.m. HST

Single Wind Gust Injures Four on Big Island

Four people were injured Wednesday by a strong gust of wind that flipped over lounge chairs, cabanas, and a lifeguard tower at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.

A caller reported the incident at 2:01 p.m., and a bystander described the gust as a "whirlwind," the Hawaii County Fire Department said.

Firefighters took two people to the hospital with minor injuries, and two other people with minor injuries left without treatment, firefighters said.

(Report Provided by The Associated Press)

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NEWS FLASH - October 28, 2010 6:40 a.m. HST

Original 'Danno' from 'Hawai'i Five-0' Passes Away

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Stage and screen actor James MacArthur, who played "Danno" in the original version of television's "Hawaii Five-0," died Thursday at age 72.

MacArthur's agent, Richard Lewis, said the actor died in Florida of "natural causes," but no direct cause was specified.

In a career that spanned more than four decades, MacArthur was most recognized for his role as Detective Danny "Danno" Williams on "Hawaii Five-0," which aired from 1968 to 1980. Episodes often ended with detective Steve McGarret, the lead character, uttering what became a pop culture catch phrase: "Book 'em, Danno."

Jack Lord, who starred as McGarret, died in 1998.

MacArthur quit the role of McGarret's sidekick a year before the program's final season.

"Quite frankly, I grew bored," he explained on his website. "The stories became more bland and predictable and presented less and less challenge to me as an actor."

"Hawaii Five-O," one of the longest running crime shows in TV history with 278 episodes, was shot on location in the Hawaiian islands. It was the first Hawaii-based national TV series.

The drama has been remade by CBS with a new cast this season.

MacArthur, born Dec. 8, 1937, seemed destined to become an actor. He was the adopted son of playwright Charles MacArthur and Helen Hayes, an award-winning actress often referred to as "First Lady of the American Theatre." Silent film star Lillian Gish was his godmother.

"They did teach me a lot about the theatre just through my life with them," he said of his parents in a 1957 interview in Teen Life magazine. "They never pushed me in any direction. Any major decision has always been my own to make."

James MacArthur made his stage debut at age 8 in a summer stock production of "The Corn is Green."

His breakout role was in the 1957 "Climax!" television series production of "The Young Stranger," in which he starred as the 17-year-old son of a movie executive who has a run-in with the law.

He entered Harvard that same year, but dropped out in his sophomore year to pursue an acting career.

As a young actor, MacArthur appeared in the Walt Disney movies "Kidnapped," ''Third Man on the Mountain," ''Swiss Family Robinson" and "The Light in the Forest."

He also had roles in "The Interns, "Spencer's Mountain," ''Battle of the Bulge" and "Hang 'Em High," as well as many guest roles on TV series such as "Gunsmoke."

He performed in many stage plays, including the lead role of Hildy Johnson in a 1981 production of "The Front Page," which was co-written by his father in the late 1920s, at the Stanford Community Theatre in Palo Alto, Calif.

His live acting career won him the 1961 Theatre World Award for best new actor for his performance in "Invitation to a March."

MacArthur said that one of his favorite "Hawaii Five-O" episodes was a 1975 segment called "Retire in Sunny Hawaii Forever" because it marked one of the rare times that he worked on screen with his mother. Hayes played Danno's Aunt Clara, who visits Hawaii and helps the detectives solve a murder.

Asked by the Hawaii Star Bulletin newspaper in 2003 about his fondest memories about working on "Hawaii Five-O," MacArthur replied: "Living in Hawaii."

(Report Provided by The Associated Press)

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NEWS FLASH - October 27, 2010 5:35 p.m. HST

County Looks to Purchase Lower Waiehu Beach Park for $75,000

WAILUKU, Maui, Hawaii— Mayor Charmaine Tavares’ proposal to purchase Lower Waiehu Beach Park for $75,000 with the Open Space Fund received early support from the County Council. The County Council passed a resolution last week authorizing the land purchase. Lower Waiehu Beach Park, which comprises 1.65 acres of property, is bordered by the Waiehu Golf Course and a County park.

“I appreciate the Council’s support of this proposal as it went through First Reading,” Mayor Tavares said. “The County’s acquisition of Lower Waiehu Beach Park is a critical step in preserving this area as a public park for our residents to enjoy for generations to come. It’s a great opportunity to be able to preserve open space for our public at a cost that’s reasonable. Thanks to the assistance of the private landowner, we have been able to purchase the land at a
significantly discounted price for the community’s benefit. This is a win-win for everyone.”

The purchase price of $75,000 is significantly lower than the appraised value of $344,000, the value determined by ACM Consultants, Inc., which prepared the land appraisal for the County.

The County currently manages the property as a County park under an agreement with the landowner, C. Brewer and Company, Ltd. However, C. Brewer had indicated to the County that it intends to dissolve by the end of the year and could not guarantee that the park would be maintained for public use by another private owner.

A bill appropriating monies from the Open Space, Natural Resources, Cultural Resources, and Scenic Views Preservation Fund for the land purchase passed first reading by the County Council last Tuesday, but must still pass second and final reading before the County can purchase the property.

(Report Provided by the Maui County Office of Information)

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NEWS FLASH - October 27, 2010 4:55 p.m. HST

Lana'i, Maui Expecting High Winds Through the Night

1. EVENT: The National Weather Service in Honolulu has ISSUED a WIND ADVISORY for Lanai. The WIND ADVISORY for Maui has been extended and both are in effect until 6:00 a.m. Thursday.

A Wind Advisory means that winds of 30 mph are expected.

2. EFFECTS: East winds of 25 to 35 mph are expected through late tonight, with locally higher gusts to near 55 mph.

3. PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT, ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION. SECURE ANY LOOSE OBJECTS THAT MAY BECOME AIRBORNE OR MOVE THEM INDOORS.

4. INFORMATION: Maui County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts for any updates.

NOAA Weather Broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather Internet services can be found at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.

Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200. The same information is available on the Maui County website at www.mauicounty.gov.

(Report Provided by Maui County Civil Defense)

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NEWS FLASH - October 27, 2010 4:15 p.m. HST

Mayor Proposes Changes to Streamline Permitting for Small Business, Energy Projects

WAILUKU, Maui, Hawaii-- Mayor Charmaine Tavares today transmitted to Council a legislative package designed to streamline the Planning Department’s permitting process. The proposed bills, also known as the “Planning Permitting Streamlining Package,” remove bureaucracy by simplifying the approval process for certain projects. The existing processes for planned development, off-site parking and project district permits require more complex approvals, with conditional permits requiring approval by the full County Council.

“These bills would provide a more efficient process for certain approvals than the current requirements for many projects in Maui County,” Mayor Tavares said. “This package is a result of discussions my Administration has had with developers, professional planners, and design professionals. Recommendations from these professionals will help us improve our permitting processes. By working together to help each other, our community wins.”

The Planning Permitting Streamlining Package is summarized as:

1. A Bill for an Ordinance Amending Chapter 19.32, Maui County Code, Relating to Planned Development- Allows the Planning Director to review the step III unified site and building program.

2. A Bill for an Ordinance Amending Chapter 19.36A, Maui County Code, Relating to Off-Street Parking and Loading- Allows the Planning Director to approve off-street parking located on a separate lot further than 400 feet from the lot the parking serves and establishes off-street parking requirements for the SBR service business residential district.

3. A Bill for an Ordinance Amending Chapter 19.40, Maui County Code, Relating to Conditional Permits- Allows the Planning Director to approve minor amendments and time extensions to conditional permits.

4. A Bill for an Ordinance Amending Chapter 19.45, Maui County Code, Relating to Project District Processing Regulations- Allows the Planning Director to review and approve minor revisions to approved Phase II preliminary site plans and Phase III final site plans.

In addition to the bills transmitted today, a bill proposed by the Tavares Administration and submitted to Council in September to amend the County Code to clarify permitting for home-based businesses is currently before the County Council. The bill would comprehensively amend the Maui County Code 19.08, relating to residential districts. The proposed amendments call for the streamlining of the permitting process for home-based businesses, an update of the residential zoning development standards, and a measure that will allow residents to install small alternative energy systems (i.e. solar and wind).

Specifics of the proposed bill include:

• Defines the terminology and standards for a “home-based business,” and establishes a streamlined permitting process that would allow applications to receive a special use permit from the appropriate planning commission rather than a lengthier conditional permit that must be reviewed by the respective planning commission and issued by the County Council. The special use permit review process would take into consideration potential neighborhood impacts of the home-based business such as noise, traffic and increased density
• Provides a simplified format for the residential zoning code to make it more reader-friendly
• Allows small-scale energy systems in residential districts as an accessory use to encourage residents to reduce their use of fossil fuel-produced electricity.

(Report Provided by the Maui County Office of Information)

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NEWS FLASH - October 27, 2010 11:25 a.m. HST

Water Line Break Dries Out Pa'ia, Skill Village

PAIA -- Paia town and Skill Village residents were without water Wednesday because of a waterline break near the Maui Country Club in Spreckelsville, county Department of Water Supply officials reported.

Other parts of Paia were having "very low water pressure," the department said.

The waterline break was discovered Wednesday morning. Repairs were ongoing and should not affect traffic on Hana Highway, officials said.

Residents and businesses will have no water or very low water pressure until the waterline is repaired.

"Department of Water Supply personnel are working to restore water service as quickly as possible," the department said. "However it may take seven hours to fix the break (until around 2 p.m.). Customers are urged to use water for health and safety purposes only to preserve the water remaining in storage tanks."

(Report Provided by The Maui News)

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NEWS FLASH - October 27, 2010 9:55 a.m. HST

Coalition Unveils New Cancer Data Book About Hawai'i Cases

HONOLULU – Over 6,000 people in Hawai‘i are diagnosed with cancer every year. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Hawai‘i; more than 2,000 people die from the disease annually. Today, the Hawai‘i Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition unveiled a new publication, Hawai‘i Cancer Facts & Figures 2010, which outlines cancer’s devastating effect on people of all ages, genders, demographics, and ethnicities.

In Hawai‘i, the lowest cancer incidence rates are seen among Filipino and Chinese females. Native Hawaiians have the highest incidence rate, followed by Whites. Among males, Whites have the higher incidence rates followed by Japanese. In terms of cancer deaths, among both males and females, Native Hawaiians and Whites have the highest mortality for all cancer sites combined.

“Everyone in Hawai‘i, at some time, will be touched by cancer, whether it is their own personal struggle or supporting and caring for loved ones battling against the disease,” said Health Director Chiyome Fukino, M.D. “The good news is that every year, the number of cancer survivors in our state increases, due largely to the timely use of new cancer screening methods, the discovery of innovative treatment options and more effective medications, but there is still much to be done in cancer control.”

The Hawai`i Cancer Facts & Figures 2010 is a collaborative effort of the American Cancer Society, Cancer Research Center of Hawai‘i and the Hawai‘i State Department of Health and is intended as a tool for public health education, research, and planning.

The coalition also unveiled the Hawai`i State Cancer Plan 2010-2015, an action plan to reduce the burden of cancer in Hawai‘i developed by key stakeholders working together in a coordinated, comprehensive, statewide approach. It is intended to guide cancer control and prevention efforts throughout the state. The plan organizes partners’ objectives under four major goals:
• Prevent future cancers by reducing exposure to known factors
• Increase early detection to decrease late stage cancer
• Provide all Hawai‘i residents, especially cancer survivors and the medically underserved, to facilitated access to the health care system
• Improve the quality of life for cancer survivors and others battling the effects of cancer

"Allowing health disparities to exist in our community is not acceptable,” stated Senator Rosalyn Baker, the Hawai‘i State Cancer Plan working group chair. “We must strive to offer the best available strategies for cancer prevention and risk reduction, early detection and treatment to all segments of our populations.”

“We invite anyone interested in joining the Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition in our efforts to reduce the burden of cancer for Hawai‘i residents,” said Paula Higuchi, Chair of the Hawaii Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition and Community Partnership Coordinator at the University of Hawai`i Cancer Center. “Together we can attain our vision of no more cancer!”

(Report Provided by the State of Hawai'i, Department of Health)

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NEWS FLASH - October 27, 2010 9:15 a.m. HST

Hawai'i Receives $3.6 M for Mental Health Services

HONOLULU — The Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) has received a $3.6 million Mental Health Transformation grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This new grant brings over $730,000 each year for five years to provide enhanced mental health services with a focus on trauma-informed, recovery-oriented care for adults with severe mental illness.

“This grant will help provide advanced services and training that will enhance the quality of care for some of our most vulnerable people in Hawai‘i,” said Health Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino. “The award is another example of our continuing commitment to improve services and support recovery for those with severe and persistent mental illness by using evidence-based, proven treatments.”

The grant will fund training and service delivery for the department’s Adult Mental Health Division (AMHD) network of providers helping to integrate the use of trauma management skills into their current practices. Providers will learn the neurological and psychological effects of stress and traumatic experiences and how to avoid or mitigate trauma and re-traumatization, particularly in forensic settings. This effort will also engage those who receive services in the planning and delivery of trauma-informed care.

Specifically, this grant will fund:
1) Training and consultation to AMHD service providers and service recipients on trauma and trauma-informed care;
2) Widespread comprehensive trauma screening and assessments; and
3) Trauma-specific recovery and crisis planning.

In its first year, the grant will concentrate on preparing providers to screen for, assess and treat trauma. In the second year, qualified service recipients who are ready will have the opportunity to receive training to become providers of trauma-informed services or find supports toward other employment. These new options will ease some of the challenges faced by both service providers and service recipients as they work on the road of recovery to independence.

This year’s grant follows SAMHSA’s 2006 award to Hawai‘i of a $10.95 million five-year Mental Health Transformation State Incentive Grant (MHT SIG). As a result of the 2006 grant, trauma was identified in a needs assessment as an important workforce and training area for Hawai‘i communities. Trauma-informed care projects were implemented in 2009 and 2010 in several community hospitals and a correctional facility.

Based on experience since 2006 under MHT SIG, and on efforts of AMHD, Hawai`i pursued additional federal grant funds for services to consumers with severe mental illness who have been affected by trauma. The effect of trauma in the lives of persons with severe mental illness has become more apparent in recent years and new evidence-based practices have emerged. Hawai‘i is proud to be one of 22 states nationwide to be awarded funding to enhance our state’s capacity to provide quality care.

(Report Provided by the State of Hawai'i, Department of Health)

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NEWS FLASH - October 27, 2010 8 a.m. HST

High Wind Advisory Extended Through This Evening


1. EVENT: The National Weather Service in Honolulu has continued the WIND ADVISORY for MAUI in effect until 6:00 p.m. this evening.

A Wind Advisory means that winds of 30 mph are expected.

2. EFFECTS: East winds of 25 to 35 mph are expected through late this afternoon, with locally higher gusts to near 50 mph.

3. PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT, ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION. SECURE ANY LOOSE OBJECTS THAT MAY BECOME AIRBORNE OR MOVE THEM INDOORS.

4. INFORMATION: Maui County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts for any updates.

NOAA Weather Broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather Internet services can be found at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.

Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200. The same information is available on the Maui County website at www.mauicounty.gov.

(Report Provided by Maui County Civil Defense)

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NEWS FLASH - October 26, 2010 8 a.m. HST

East Shores Expecting High Surf Until Friday

1. EVENT: The National Weather Service in Honolulu has continued the HIGH SURF ADVISORY for EAST FACING SHORES of MAUI and MOLOKAI in effect until 6:00 a.m. Friday.

A High Surf Advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area, producing rip currents and localized beach erosion. If caught in a rip current, do not try to swim against the current. Instead swim parallel to shore until you are out of the current and then swim toward shore.

2. EFFECTS: Rough and choppy surf along east facing shores will be 6 to 8 feet with occasional larger waves breaking on outer reefs through Thursday night.

Forecast surf heights are estimates of the height of the face or front of waves.

A high tide of approximately 1.4 feet is expected between 2:41 p.m. and 3:59 p.m. this afternoon. The next high tide of approximately 2.4 feet is expected between 6:38 a.m. and 7:56 a.m. tomorrow morning.

3. PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: BEACH GOERS ARE URGED TO STAY OUT OF THE WATER AND WELL AWAY FROM THE SHORE BREAK DUE TO THE HAZARDOUS WAVE ACTION AND STRONG RIP CURRENTS.

4. INFORMATION: Maui County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts for any updates.

NOAA Weather Broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather Internet services can be found at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.

Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200. The same information is available on the Maui County website at www.mauicounty.gov.

(Report Provided by Maui County Civil Defense)

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NEWS FLASH - October 25, 2010 3:45 p.m. HST

New Automated Refuse Truck Arrives on Lanai

LANAI CITY, Lanai, Hawaii-- The County of Maui Department of Environmental Management has announced that a new automated refuse truck has arrived on the island of Lanai and is expected to be put in service in early November.

The previous automated refuse truck was more than 10 years old; the new vehicle was approved in the FY 2010 budget and cost $303,928.

The old truck will be utilized by the Solid Waste Division as a backup vehicle in the event that the new truck is out of service for repairs.

(Report Provided by the Maui County Office of Information)

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NEWS FLASH - October 25, 2010 5:20 a.m. HST

Arakawa, Tavares Race Still Very Tight

Fewer than 300 votes separated Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares from challenger Alan Arakawa in the September primary, and their runoff contest for the county's top job is expected to be close as well.

Arakawa has picked up the endorsements of former rivals Randy Piltz and Sol Kaho'ohalahala, who placed third and fifth, respectively, in the primary and had a combined 30 percent of the vote.

Tavares was the top vote-getter in the 11-person primary, with 26 percent; Arakawa was second with 25.1 percent.

Arakawa, a former Maui mayor who was unseated by Tavares in 2006, has focused on increasing employment and rebuilding the local economy, with unemployment at 7.9 percent in September in Maui County.

He said he wants to engage in public-private partnerships, including a program to make Maui a center for software development, and has formed a working group that includes Silicon Valley executives.

Arakawa, 59, who served as mayor from 2003 to 2007, also wants to build more reservoirs Upcountry.

Arakawa was criticized as mayor for allowing the developer of the Maui Lani subdivision to increase the elevation of new houses, obstructing the view of older homes. Critics also said he allowed illegal vacation rentals to operate, causing rents and property tax assessments to rise.

Tavares, 67, cracked down on illegal vacation rentals but also upset some small businesses that benefited from them. The operators said she hurt them at a time when the economy was in decline.

Unemployment in the county is more than a percentage point lower than the 9.3 percent of a year ago, and Tavares has argued that the economy is recovering and that she wants to complete various projects begun by her administration.

She has expanded bus service, gaining support from some senior citizens, while others question the costs of subsidizing mass transit.

Both candidates agree government operations should be trimmed.

Tavares said her administration has identified many areas to make small reductions while trying to maintain services at reasonable levels.

"We have reduced power costs at water and waste-water plants through energy conservation and efficient technologies, and closed swimming pools and landfills one day a week," she said.

Tavares said she has not supported cutting jobs because it would hurt employees, the level of services provided in the community and the local economy.

Arakawa said the first place he would start cutting is in the mayor's budget.

"It has become abundantly clear that the current administration has grown their appointed staff to the largest it has ever been under any past administration," Arakawa said.

In addition to Piltz and Kaho'ohalahala, Arakawa is endorsed by the Maui Contractors Association and Maui Chamber of Commerce.

Tavares has received the endorsement of the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association and the ILWU, which represents workers in the sugar and hotel industries.

"She's always open to us," said William Kennison, Maui County division director for the ILWU. "She's been very supportive of the sugar industry."

Reach Gary Kubota at gkubota@staradvertiser.com.

(Report Provided by The Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

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NEWS FLASH - October 24, 2010 8:10 a.m. HST

Hawaii's Second Congressional District Race Overshadowed

In a Hawaii congressional contest overshadowed by more competitive races, Democratic U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono says she's fighting hard to hold on to her seat against tea party-endorsed airline pilot John Willoughby.

Willoughby, a Republican, wants to make a race out of his challenge to two-term Democratic incumbent Hirono, and he has picked up endorsements from tea party groups, former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in hopes of closing the gap.

Hirono, 62, holds a big edge in fundraising and name recognition over Willoughby, 52, heading into the Nov. 2 election to represent Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District, which encompasses the state's neighbor islands and rural Oahu.

"Every race is competitive. That's how I look at it, and I don't take anything for granted," Hirono said. "In my district, what they care about is having someone who's going to fight for them and listen to them."

For Willoughby, he has made a point of emphasizing how different he is from Hirono, saying he can't think of anything they agree on.

"We're opposed on virtually every single issue," Willoughby said. "She knows that all these dollars she's spending on her wasteful bailout schemes and her special interests are coming from the American people."

Although both candidates say they're campaigning hard on every neighbor island, the race isn't generating the kind of voter interest needed to unseat an incumbent Democrat in Hawaii, said Todd Belt, a University of Hawaii at Hilo political science professor.

"It's pretty under the radar," Belt said. "There are very few stickers and signs. It's a very low-profile campaign."

The two candidates have met just once, at their first and only scheduled debate or forum this week in Kailua.

Hirono has aired two TV ads — on education and renewable energy — and she's emphasizing her support for President Barack Obama's initiatives to create jobs through federal funding for teachers and infrastructure.

She said she's worked to bring federal money to Hawaii for neighbor island busses, Oahu's rail project and early education for the homeless.

"I have a record for fighting for the working people and the middle class people in Hawaii," Hirono said. "In my district, what voters care about is having somebody who's going to fight for them and listen to them, and that's what I've been doing."

Willoughby said that if elected, his top priority would be to get Hawaii an exemption to the Jones Act, a federal law that requires vessels transporting goods between states to have been built in the United States, be crewed and owned by U.S. citizens, and fly the U.S. flag. He said the exemption would lower the price of goods sold in Hawaii by up to 22 percent.

"It there's more money in the pockets of the people, it's going to start generating through the economy, and that's going to create jobs," Willoughby said. "I'm not afraid of stepping on someone's toes. I'm not afraid of doing the right thing."

Hirono has a giant financial advantage over Willoughby, as she had raised $918,706 through Sept. 30, according to Federal Election Commission reports. Willoughby had raised $16,081 through Aug. 29, and the commission's website didn't list a more recent report from him.

(Report Provided by The Associated Press)

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NEWS FLASH - October 24, 2010 6:40 a.m. HST

HMSA Seeking 14.8 Percent Rate Increase for Large Groups

The Hawaii Medical Service Association, the state's largest health insurer, is requesting an average rate increase of 14.8 percent for its large employer groups that come up for renewal in January.

The rate request, which must be approved by the state Insurance Division, covers about 77,500, or 11 percent, of HMSA's 680,000 members. The new rates would take effect in January.

HMSA officials said the increase is needed to counter a rise in medical costs, and hospital costs in particular.

It's not certain the same rates would apply when other large employer groups come up for their renewal.

"The rate request is necessary to cover rising health care costs -- particularly hospital costs -- and to move HMSA toward a break-even operation," said Steve Van Ribbink, HMSA's executive vice president and chief financial officer, in a news release.

HMSA has been locked in a negotiating stalemate with Hawaii Pacific Health -- which operates Straub Clinic & Hospital, Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, Pali Momi Medical Center and Kauai's Wilcox Memorial Hospital -- over a new contract that would include how much HMSA reimburses the hospital system for services.

Earlier this month, HMSA issued a statement warning that unless negotiations can be concluded successfully by Jan. 31, Hawaii Pacific Health and its facilities might leave the HMSA network, requiring its members to seek services elsewhere.

Yesterday's release announcing the proposed increase for large employer groups did not mention the Hawaii Pacific Health dispute directly.

However, the release does state that to reduce health care costs, "HMSA is aggressively pursuing a new methodology of provider reimbursement that rewards health-care providers for quality rather than volume." The release also refers to an agreement reached in June between HMSA and the Queen's Health Systems that would have the health insurer pay the hospital group based on quality and efficiency, known as a "pay-for-performance" model.

"We know it's very difficult for business owners right now during the current economic downturn, and the last thing we want to do is make things more difficult," Van Ribbink said. "But health care costs continue to rise and in the last five years HMSA incurred $289.8 million in operating losses because we've chosen not to pass these excessive increases on to our members. We can't afford to continue doing that."

Elisa Yadao, HMSA's vice president of community affairs, said yesterday she could not say immediately if a similar increase would be asked of other large employer groups when they come up for renewal down the line.

(Report Provided by The Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

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NEWS FLASH - October 23, 2010 7 a.m. HST

Maui Accountant, Investors Charged in 'Ponzi Scheme'

WAILUKU - The trustee in the Maui Industrial Finance Co. bankruptcy case has sued 25 investors in the company.

The Maui News reports trustee Dane Field is trying to recover money the investors received as interest over and above their original investment or deposit.

Field's attorney, Bradley Tamm, says the money wasn't really interest, but rather the fruits of a Ponzi scheme.

Tamm says Maui Industrial's owner, Lloyd Kimura, has acknowledged he used money from late investors to pay off early investors, without really generating income from operations. Tamm says that's the definition of a Ponzi scheme.

Maui News says it's unclear how much money went into the company.

Kimura's attorney, James Wagner, had no comment on Field's legal action.

(Report Provided by The Associated Press)

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NEWS FLASH - October 22, 2010 4:20 p.m. HST

Fifty-Meter Pool at Kihei Aquatic Center Closed for Pump Repairs

KIHEI, Maui, Hawaii— The 50-meter pool at the Kihei Aquatic Center has been closed for repairs to a circulation pump motor, the County of Maui Department of Parks and Recreation announced. The training pool and keiki pool at the complex are open.

The 50-meter pool is expected to remain closed through the early part of next week; reopening may be subject to the availability of parts.

The public is advised to call the Maui County Pools information line at 270-8208; the recorded message is updated by 9 a.m. daily.

(Report Provided by the Maui County Office of Information)

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NEWS FLASH - October 22, 2010 10:45 a.m. HST

Maui Memorial Gets $2.5M for Upgrades

HONOLULU – Governor Linda Lingle has released $4,500,000 to the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation for improvements to state hospital facilities on Maui and O‘ahu.

On Maui, $2,500,000 will be used to finance the design, construction and equipment to upgrade the patient monitoring system at Maui Memorial Medical Center. Once the project is completed, Maui Memorial will have an upgraded telemetry system that can be used by staff to monitor and access patient data in a timely and efficient manner, regardless of where the patient is located in the hospital. The current telemetry system is over eight years old and consists of a combination of systems. The project is expected to begin immediately and be completed in August 2011.

On O‘ahu, $2,000,000 will go toward the design and construction of a new parking lot at Maluhia Hospital, a long-term care and skilled nursing center. The additional parking, which is being made possible by the availability of a remnant parcel of land resulting from the realignment of Keola Road and Kuakini Street, will enable employees to park in the new lot and help free up more visitor stalls. The new parking capacity will also free up parking on nearby streets, especially Keola Drive, where staff and visitors often park when the main lot is full. The project will be coordinated with the City’s project to realign Keola Road.

“These projects are part of our ongoing commitment to upgrade our public hospital facilities and improve the delivery of health care services, as well as ensure the safety of patients, staff and visitors,” said Governor Lingle.

(Report Provided by the Office of Governor Linda Lingle)

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NEWS FLASH - October 22, 2010 8:55 a.m. HST

Maui County Leads State Dip in Unemployment

The Hawai'i State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations announced today that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September was 6.3 percent - down slightly from 6.4 percent in August. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.6 percent in September. There were 594,250 employed and 40,200 unemployed in September, for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 634,450. There were 2,700 more Hawai'i residents employed in September compared to last year.

September 2010 Unemployment
(Not Seasonally Adjusted)

September, 2010
August, 2010
September, 2009
Maui County
7.9
8.1
9.3
Maui Island
7.8
7.9
9.1
Moloka'i
12.8
13.9
13.5
Lana'i
5.5
6.3
11.1
Honolulu
5.3
5.6
6.2
Hawai'i
9.5
9.8
10.4
Kaua'i
8.6
8.6
9.2
State
6.3
6.6
7.3
U.S.
9.2
9.5
9.5
Source: Hawai'i State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations

Read the entire report here.

(Report Provided by The Hawai'i State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations)

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NEWS FLASH - October 22, 2010 6:45 a.m. HST

Abercrombie, Aiona to Meet for Last Televised Debate Tonight

Hawaii's candidates for governor are meeting for their final televised debate before the election.

Democrat Neil Abercrombie and Republican James "Duke" Aiona face off Friday night for an hourlong debate on KITV-TV.

Abercrombie, who stepped down from Congress to run for governor, recently changed his position on whether to appoint the state Board of Education when he voted for the measure this week.

Aiona, the incumbent lieutenant governor, has been responding to claims that he's tied to an evangelical Christian group called the International Transformation Network.

The winner of the Nov. 2 general election will succeed Republican Gov. Linda Lingle.

(Report Provided by The Associated Press)

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NEWS FLASH - October 21, 2010 1:15 p.m. HST

Ho'okipa Beach Park to Close for Half-Day Monday

PAIA, Maui, Hawaii - The County of Maui Parks and Recreation Department announced today that Hookipa Beach Park will be closed on Monday, October 25, 2010 from 5:00 a.m. to 12 noon. The temporary closure is due to work scheduled for the replacement of the existing lifeguard tower. A larger lifeguard tower will be put in place. The parking lot will not be available to vehicles due to heavy equipment being used during the temporary closure. Ocean access and pavilions will remain available.

(Report Provided by the Maui County Office of Information)

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NEWS FLASH - October 21, 2010 11:40 a.m. HST

State Declares Victory Over Little Fire Ants on Maui

HONOLULU – Rapid response and the development of innovative pest control methods coordinated by the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) has resulted in eradication of an infestation of a highly invasive pest, called Little Fire Ants (LFA), on Maui. LFA, which delivers painful stings, were reported by a Maui farmer in October 2009 and were found to infest about a half acre of the farm in Waihee.

After LFA was detected one year ago, HDOA conducted an aggressive response to survey, contain and treat the infestation. HDOA obtained a special permit from the Environmental Protection Agency to use a special experimental ant bait developed by scientist, Cas Vanderwoude, with the Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (PCSU). Until this new bait was developed, there were only ground treatments for LFA. The new bait provided treatment in trees and vegetation where LFA nest. The area had been treated monthly and by February of 2010, no LFA have been detected at that site. Monitoring will continue for at least another year.

“We have been routinely monitoring the area and we are confident that the ants have been eradicated on the property,” said Dr. Neil Reimer, manager of HDOA’s Plant Pest Control Branch. “It’s pretty clear that without the development of the experimental bait, we would not have been able to eradicate this pest so quickly, if at all.”

“The new pest control methods the state deployed were successful in part because the Little Fire Ants were detected early,” said Sandra Lee Kunimoto, Chairperson of the Hawai`i Board of Agriculture. “This incident serves as an example of why early detection is so important if we are to have any chance of eradicating a pest. We need everyone to be on the lookout for potentially invasive species and, most importantly, to report it to us as soon as possible so appropriate action may be taken to minimize the impact to Hawai`i’s agricultural sector and environment.”
- more -

HDOA, PCSU, the County of Maui, the Maui Invasive Species Committee (MISC) and the U.S. Geological Survey are working together to deliver public awareness programs and survey key risk areas on Maui for this ant. HDOA staff has also trained County of Maui employees, MISC and private pest control operators to assist in recognizing and reporting possible infestations on the island. MISC is also assisting HDOA in conducting surveys at high-risk areas on the island. So far, there have been no other detections of LFA on Maui. More information on this invasive pest is available at http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/pi/ppc/npa-1/npa99-02-lfireant.pdf

Originally from South America, LFA is considered among the world’s worst invasive species. LFA are tiny ants, measuring 1/16th inch long, are pale orange in color. LFA move slowly, unlike the Tropical Fire Ant which is established in Hawai`i, which move quickly and are larger with a larger head in proportion to its body. They can produce painful stings and large red welts and may cause blindness in pets. They can build up very large colonies on the ground and in trees and other vegetation and completely overrun a property. They will also freely move into homes. Any Maui resident who suspect they have Little Fire Ants are encouraged to report it to the state’s Pest Hotline at 643-PEST (7378). This hotline is toll-free on all islands.

The first detection of LFA in Hawai`i was on the Big Island in 1999. Surveys determined that LFA appeared to have been on the east side for several years prior to their initial detection and was widely distributed in Puna. Attention was then focused on controlling ant populations and preventing the spread to uninfested areas on the island and to other islands.

(Report Provided by the State of Hawai'i, Department of Agriculture)

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NEWS FLASH - October 21, 2010 11:30 a.m. HST

Police, Fire, Coast Guard Crews Searching for Missing Maui Paddler

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard, Maui Fire Department and Maui Police Department are searching for a 62-year-old man reported missing near Kaupo, Maui today.

A Maui resident reported the paddler missing to the Maui Fire Department at 1 p.m. Wednesday. The fire department requested Coast Guard assistance at 6 p.m. He is described as wearing a black top and black shorts. The fire department immediately launched its rescue helicopter crew but suspended the search at sunset.

A 45-foot Medium Response Boat from Coast Guard Station Maui and a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point reached the search area at approximately 7:30 p.m. The response boat searched until 11 p.m. and the Dolphin searched until 2 a.m. The Coast Guard Cutter Ahi, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Honolulu, arrived at approximately 2:30 a.m. and searched through the night.

A second Dolphin helicopter crew and the cutter Ahi are currently searching. The fire department rescue helicopter and shore crews from the Maui Police Department are also searching.

Weather conditions are reported to be winds of seven to 15 mph and seas of three to four feet. The Coast Guard asks anyone with information to call the Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600.

(Report Provided by The U.S. Coast Guard)

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NEWS FLASH - October 21, 2010 9:20 a.m. HST

Kahului Man Receives Life Sentence in Son's Murder

WAILUKU - A Kahului man was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison with the possibility of parole, after he was found guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting of his 19-year-old son.

Because he also was convicted of using a semi-automatic firearm to commit the crime, Joe D. Antonio was ordered to serve at least 20 years in prison before being eligible for parole.

Antonio, 47, who is also known as Jose Antonio Sr., has been incarcerated since he turned himself in at the Wailuku Police Station within an hour of the fatal shooting at 10:40 p.m. Dec. 16, 2008, at the family's two-bedroom cottage on South Kamehameha Avenue.

Jose "JR" Antonio Jr. was found lying on the ground just outside the home with five gunshot wounds in his body.

Police recovered seven bullet casings and the father's .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol at the scene.

"I just want to apologize once again to my family," Joe Antonio said in court Wednesday, turning to several family members in the courtroom. "Sorry for causing the pain. I'm not the perfect father. I'm not the perfect husband. I'm not the perfect person.

"I just want to ask for forgiveness."

According to testimony during Antonio's nonjury trial that began in June, there were arguments in the home in the hours before the shooting.

Antonio's wife, Zenaida, confronted him that afternoon about going to the Philippines with a woman who was allegedly his girlfriend.

Later that evening, after Antonio had been drinking with relatives and friends in the garage of the main house on the property, he and his son argued over a video game cord running from a living room computer to the son's bedroom, where he was playing an online game. The father had repeatedly asked the son to remove the cord, saying someone might trip over it.

The two also argued over $1,400 the father had borrowed from the son, in part for gambling debts. At one point, the father slapped the son's cheek and both threw money at each other that the father tried to repay to the son.

The son lifted one end of a couch and punched a hole in a closet during one confrontation.

The father twice pulled out the video game cord that night, breaking it the second time.

Joe Antonio said he heard his son swearing in his bedroom when the cord broke. Antonio testified he was afraid when he went into his bedroom, got and loaded his gun, and went outside. He said his son had kicked open the screen door and was swearing, and had a hand on the father's neck before he fired, emptying the pistol.

Then Antonio went into the house, got his keys and drove away.

"It's a terrible family tragedy beyond anything you could imagine," said defense attorney Philip Lowenthal. "There's no question Mr. Antonio loved his son."

Lowenthal asked 2nd Circuit Judge Joel August not to impose the 20-year mandatory-minimum term, saying the prosecution hadn't presented evidence to prove the pistol was a semi-automatic firearm.

But Deputy Prosecutor Melinda Mendes said that, in finding Antonio guilty, the judge had found that the evidence showed a semi-automatic firearm was used.

Although Antonio asked for his family's forgiveness, "I haven't heard him say, 'I'm sorry I killed my son' today," Mendes said. "This tragedy was of the defendant's own making."

August said the court received "many, many letters" from family members of Antonio and his wife, with letter writers hoping Antonio wouldn't receive a lengthy prison sentence.

"This court has virtually no discretion to determine the length of the sentence," August said.

He said Hawaii law mandates a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole for a second-degree murder conviction and a 20-year mandatory minimum term for using a semi-automatic firearm to commit second-degree murder.

August found Antonio guilty of both charges in July.

At the time of the shooting, Antonio had worked as a pressman at The Maui News for 18 years. His son had graduated from high school and was living at home and working as a stock clerk at Safeway in Kahului.

"What is particularly disturbing about the incident we're dealing with is it involves the murder of a young man who had a bright future," August said. "It was a murder of this young man by a hardworking father who was and is loved by his entire family, including, I believe, the son JR who passed away."

He noted that the family appeared to have successfully migrated to Hawaii from the Philippines.

"Ultimately, this case represents emotion over reason," August said. "It grew out of extreme anger over perceived disrespect for parental authority and reached a level which no reasonable person in a well-ordered society is prepared to accept or condone. It is truly a tragedy for everyone concerned - Mr. Antonio, JR, and the family."

Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.

(Report Provided by The Maui News)

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NEWS FLASH - October 21, 2010 9 a.m. HST

12-15 Foot Waves Expected on North Shores Today

1. EVENT: The National Weather Service in Honolulu has continued the HIGH SURF ADVISORY for NORTH FACING SHORES of MOLOKAI and MAUI and remains in effect until 6:00 p.m. this evening.

A High Surf Advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area, producing rip currents and localized beach erosion.

2. EFFECTS: Surf will be 12 to 15 feet along exposed north facing shores of Molokai and Maui.

Forecast surf heights are estimates of the height of the face or front of waves.

A high tide of approximately 2.1 feet is expected between 1:02 p.m. and 2:20 p.m. this after afternoon.

3. PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: BEACH GOERS ARE URGED TO STAY OUT OF THE WATER AND WELL AWAY FROM THE SHORE BREAK DUE TO THE HAZARDOUS WAVE ACTION AND STRONG RIP CURRENTS.

4. INFORMATION: Maui County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts for any updates.

NOAA Weather Broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather Internet services can be found at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.

Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200. The same information is available on the Maui County website at www.mauicounty.gov.

(Report Provided by Maui County Civil Defense)

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NEWS FLASH - October 21, 2010 8:20 a.m. HST

6.9 Baja Quake Does Not Generate Tsunami

A 6.9 magnitude earthquake shook Mexico's Gulf of California this morning, but there is no tsunami threat to Hawaii, officials said.

The quake was centered 6.2 miles deep, 65 miles south of Los Mochis in Sinaloa, and 85 miles northeast of La Paz in Baja California, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It struck at 11:53 a.m. at the epicenter, 7:53 a.m. Hawaii time.

"Based on all available data, a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected and there is no tsunami threat to Hawaii," said officials with Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach.

(Report Provided by The Associated Press)

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NEWS FLASH - October 21, 2010 6:40 a.m. HST

Rain's Coming - But Not For a While

Government forecasters on the mainland are saying Hawaii can expect drier than normal weather through November.

But the Climate Prediction Center said Thursday that there should be wetter than normal conditions from December through February.

Statewide, the current drought is expected to continue through the winter. Several locations are on track to have the driest year on record.

Drought recovery is more likely on Kauai and Molokai, and over the windward slopes of the Big Island and Maui.

(Report Proviuded by The National Weather Service)

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NEWS FLASH - October 20, 2010 10:10 a.m. HST

First Humpback of Season Spotted Off West Maui

The first humpback whale sighting was reported this morning 2.3 miles off the west coast of Maui.

Megan Haertling, spokeswoman for the Pacific Whale Foundation, said that Capt. Chris Howard, skipper of the catamaran Alii Nui, reported seeing a single young male whale at 9:35 a.m.

She said humpback whales migrate nearly 3,000 miles from Alaska where they feed during the summer to breed and deliver calves in Hawaiian waters during the winter.

"The greatest number of sightings are in February and March," Haertling said. For more information go to www.pacificwhale.org or call (808) 249-8811.

(Report Provided by The Associated Press)

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Breaking News Archives

NEW FOR 2010: Maui TV News Breaking News stories are now being archived. Each month (or more frequently if needed) we will save an archive of all the Breaking News stories covered to date on this page. And you can use the search box in the upper right corner of this page to locate a specific story or topic. Now available:

 
October 21 - November 4, 2010

March 30 - April 16, 2010

March 19 - 30, 2010

March 11 - 19, 2010

March 4 - 11, 2010

February 25 - March 4, 2010

February 9 - 25, 2010

February 1-8, 2010

January 2010

December, 2009 (partial)

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