Welcome to Capitol Watch. Governor-Elect Neil Abercrombie is already in transition mode, there’s new leadership at the Legislature and other government branches, and Civil Beat is reporting on it all.

3:43 p.m. Holiday In

November is a good month for holidays for state and county workers. In addition to Veterans Day, they also had Election Day off and can look forward to Thanksgiving Day (though not the day after).

That brings to 13 the total number of paid holidays this year — including only-in-Hawaii King Kamehameha I Day, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day, Statehood Day and Good Friday — and 15 for the year with Christmas and New Year’s Day, both on Fridays this year. (Speaking of Fridays, tomorrow is a furlough Friday for City and County of Honolulu workers.)

By comparison, there are only 10 federal holidays — including one not observed locally: Columbus Day (it fell on Oct. 11 this year). Hawaii law dictates that the second Monday in October be called Discoverer’s Day, “in recognition of the Polynesian discoverers of the Hawaiian Islands, provided that this day is not and shall not be construed to be a state holiday.”

1:32 p.m. Lingle Not Mentioned for RNC Chair

Linda Lingle‘s announcement this week that she’s going to take six months downtime after leaving office early next month might put to rest persistent talk around town that she is a leading candidate to replace Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.

It doesn’t appear that Lingle’s name is even in the mix. Roll Call earlier this week identified the names of seven possible contenders to replace Steele, all mainland Republicans. A Politico article Thursday includes some of those names and others — but not Lingle’s.

Steele, who visited Hawaii as RNC boss, has not officially said whether he will seek a second two-year term when his current term expires in mid-January.

12:16 p.m. Abercrombie Names Inaugural Planner

Karey Oura Kapoi will handle planning gubernatorial inaugural events.

Kapoi, 36, was the Maui coordinator of the Abercrombie campaign and is the founder of Island Soul Entertainment, a Maui-based events and record production company.

The inauguration will be on the grounds of Iolani Palace on Dec. 6. Ceremonies on the neighbor islands are planned before the end of the year.

10:45 a.m. Lingle Skips Punchbowl, too

Gov. Linda Lingle does not appear to be at the Veterans Day ceremonies at Punchbowl cemetery. Her name was not listed and she’s not sitting up on the dais with the other dignitaries in attendance.

Her public schedule makes no mention of the day’s main Veterans Day ceremony and indicates she will instead be touring the Mormon temple in Laie and honoring vets in Kaneohe this afternoon at the annual Governor’s Veterans Day Ceremony.

Who did show up? Sen. Daniel Akaka is here. So is Mark Recktenwald and Peter Carlisle. Also in attendance is former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland, a disabled Vietnam veteran and former administrator of U.S. Veterans Affair. And Rod Tam, Sam Slom, Gene Ward and Karl Rhoads.

10:10 a.m. Abercrombie a No-show at Punchbowl

Neil Abercrombie is not in attendance at Veterans Day ceremonies at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, though the governor-elect had intended to go.

No reason was given by his campaign. Abercrombie was not scheduled to speak at Punchbowl, unlike Gov. Linda Lingle and Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona.

Ceremonies are on hold until U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka arrives; he’s running late because of slow traffic to Punchbowl Crater.


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