About The Kaʻū Calendar

Ka`u, Hawai`i, United States
A locally owned and run community newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) distributed in print to all Ka`u District residents of Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Village and Miloli`i on the Big Island of Hawai`i. This blog is where you can catch up on what's happening daily with our news briefs. This blog is provided by The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper (kaucalendar.com), Pahala Plantation Cottages (pahalaplantationcottages.com), Local Productions, Inc. and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Ka'u News Briefs Feb. 1, 2012

Everyone is invited to join the Ka`u `Ohana Band, which rehearses every Wedneday and Thursday at Ocean View
Community Center. Photo from Ka`u School of the Arts
CONGRESSWOMAN MAZIE HIRONO AND FORMER CONGRESSMAN ED CASE are battling it out for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat that Sen. Dan Akaka will leave at the end of the year. According to a release from Case yesterday, he has raised almost $112,000 for his campaign, while the Hirono camp reports $625,000 in contributions from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31. Former Gov. Linda Lingle, who is seeking the Republican nomination, has raised almost $1.8 million.
Ed and Audrey Case
Mazie  Hirono
      According to Civil Beat, the majority of Lingle’s money comes from individuals. However, she is bringing in more money from mainland PACs, the Political Action Committees, than the other candidates. The online news service reports that her war chest took in more than a quarter of a million dollars from 75 Political Action Committees, as filed with the Federal Election Commission. See http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/fecimg/?C00504159
      The only PAC that gave to Lingle that is based in Hawai`i is Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. which provided Lingle with $2,500 and Hirono $3,000. A&B also gave U.S. House of Representatives candidates Mufi Hannemann and Colleen Hanabusa $2,500 each, Civil Beat reports.
      The story also states that many of the PACs contributing to Lingle are inside the Beltway around Washington, D.C. – the place where many lobbyists set up headquarters. Civil Beat is tracking political money during this campaign year, since a new ruling allows corporations and unions unlimited contributions to independently support or oppose candidates and ballot measures. Donations made directly to candidates are still limited.
Linda Lingle
      Civil Beat reports that Lingle has received money from such far away places as Mississippi, where Gov. Haley Barbour’s PAC gave her $10,000; from Arizona, where Sen. John McCain’s Country First PAC gave $5,000; and Kentucky, where Mitch McConnel’s Bluegrass Committee threw in $10,000 to Lingle for the U.S. Senate race here in Hawai`i.
      See more at civilbeat.com.

DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM WASHINGTON, D.C. TO HAWAI`I should make it easier for Ka`u’s representatives in the U.S. House and Senate to come home more often and visit such remote districts as the south end of the Big Island. United Airlines announced yesterday that it will begin direct flights from Dulles Airport outside of Washington to Honolulu beginning June 7. This will be the only direct flight between the two cities, and Hawai`i Tourism Authority CEO Mike McCartney estimates another $135 million a year in visitor spending as a result of the new route. He also pointed to Hawaiian Airline’s recent announcement of a new direct flight beginning June 5 between New York City and Honolulu. Both flights will contribute to more visitors coming here from the East Coast, he said.

LEGALIZED GAMBLING IN HAWAI`I lacks support by the majority of the population, according to a Civil Beat poll. The recent poll of 1,358 likely voters shows that 62 percent would oppose even the one casino in Waikiki that is proposed through a bill before the 2012 Hawai`i State Legislature. Utah and Hawai`i remain the only two states in the U.S. where gambling is prohibited. Supporters of the casino bill state that people in Hawai`i gamble illegally or fly off to Las Vegas to gamble legally, and that much needed state revenue could be garnered by allowing a casino in Waikiki. The bill at the Legislature would allow the state to take a 15 percent tax on gross revenues from gambling and establish a Hawai`i Gaming Control Commission.
      See more at civilbeat.com.

ELECTRIC RATES IN HAWAI`I ROSE 79 PERCENT in a decade, nearly twice as much as in other places in the U.S., reports the U.S. Energy Information Agency. The statistics from 2000 to 2010 show Hawai`i electric rates are the highest in the nation. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser carried the report this morning, showing electric rates rising from 14.03 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2000 to 25.12 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2010. Across the nation, the average electric rate increase over the same decade was 41.9 percent, from 6.81 cents per kilowatt-hour to 9.83 cents per kilowatt-hour. 
      After 2010, the discrepancy became worse, according to the Star-Advertiser story. The national average for electric rates declined. In Hawai`i, electric rates continued to climb to 33.43 cents per kilowatt-hour, as of last November. The national average rate was 9.67 cents per kilowatt-hour.

KA`U `OHANA BAND HOLDS rehearsals today and every Wednesday and Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. Ka`u School of the Arts sponsors the band, and everyone is welcome to join. Call 929-7544 for more information.

ALSO AT OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY CENTER, certified instructor Erin Cole offers Zumba classes tomorrow and every Thursday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Contact Cole at 640-8473 for more information.