Watching and reporting about Hawaii from Washington Place to Washington, D.C.

4 p.m. Hanabusa Hires Rapoza for Re-election Campaign

Richard Rapoza is handling communication for Colleen Hanabusa‘s re-election campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Rapoza previously served as communications director for Hanabusa when she was Senate president.

Hanabusa has not ruled out a run for the U.S. Senate, which would pit her against colleague and former competitors Mazie Hirono and Ed Case.

3:20 p.m. Barbour to Run NELHA

The Board of Directors of the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority has appointed Greg Barbour as the agency’s new executive director. He takes over next week.

NELHA is the state’s largest technology park with 870 acres of coastal property at Keahole Point on the Big Island.

Barbour most recently spent seven years as the state’s Foreign Trade Zone administrator.

12:57 p.m. VanPool Hawaii Ends Ride-sharing

Vanpool Hawaii says it is notifying van-poolers that the Department of Transportation will discontinue funding for a 17-year-old statewide ride-sharing program effective June 30.

The cuts mean about 1,600 van-poolers on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island will be a daily means “to reduce transportation costs and further energy independence,” according to a press release.

In a statement, VanPool Hawaii‘s Vicki Harris said:

“Our top priority is to continue to provide the current level of superior operations, services and coverage that our vanpoolers have come to expect. While we are expeditiously working to control operational costs, we are simultaneously working with the state to find a way to tap available federal funds that will allow us to keep customer monthly fees down, thereby keeping the program a competitive transportation option that helps to reduce the number of cars on Hawaii roadways.”

Despite the cuts, day-to-day operations for van-pool groups are expected to remain unchanged.

9:41 a.m. GOP Wants You?

“Thinking about running for elected office?”

That’s one of the banner headlines on the homepage of the Hawaii GOP.

A link directs viewers to a phone number and email contact for Gene Ward. But the party did manage to field credibile candidates for most races.

In 2010, Hawaii Republicans picked up two state House seats but lost a state Senate seat, a congressional seat and the governorship.

Pine Staff: Ignore Hacked Email

Kymberly Pine‘s staff sent out an email Friday that asks constituents to disregard what they say was a hacked email sent on Thursday via her official legislative account, reppine@Capitol.hawaii.gov.

As Civil Beat reported, the hacked email alleges that Pine has not paid an unidentified Ewa resident for work on Pine’s 2010 re-election campaign.

The staff email reads:

Representative Pine works very hard for her constituents — most importantly, with integrity.

Please disregard the email you received yesterday. Our email service has been hacked. We are working to investigate and correct this issue quickly so that focus can be kept on the important issues affecting our district.

To those of you who have contacted our office to inform us of this crime, we thank you very much for your concern.

This serves as a reminder that politics can be a difficult and dirty business, but Kym is choosing to take the high road.

She appreciates your support as she overcomes this.

Mazie Wants $5

Mazie Hirono has sent an email to supporters asking for a minimum contribution of $5 for her U.S. Senate campaign.

That seems small potatoes for a campaign that can be expected to cost millions of dollars.

But, Hirono argues she needs all the help she can get:

The cheap attacks and outright insults from the Hawaii Republican Party began within hours of my announcement. They and the big special interests in Washington, DC don’t want a Senator who fights for the middle class and the progressive values you and I share.

Hirono’s email provides a link to a contribution form on the Internet that says the campaign can accept from an individual “totaling up to $2,500.00 per election.”

Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted.

Neighbor Isle Gov’t News

The Maui News reports that a Wailuku publisher is invoking Hawaii’s journalist shield law “to oppose efforts by the Maui police and prosecutors to subpoena information” about his newspaper’s online commenters:

In a court filing last week, attorneys for Maui Time publisher Tommy Russo said the information being sought in the subpoena was protected by reporter privilege. The law, passed by the state Legislature in 2008, protects journalists from having to turn over their sources or other unpublished information gathered in the course of news gathering or reporting.

According to the filing, a Maui police officer served Russo with the subpoena on May 16, ordering Maui Time to provide subscriber information, billing records, Internet protocol addresses and physical addresses for comments posted on the paper’s website over a 24-hour period.

West Hawaii Today reports that, “its status as the fastest-growing region in the state notwithstanding,” the Big Island is unlikely to gain greater representation in the state Legislature:

“My gut tells me we’re going to stick with what we’ve got,” Sen. Josh Green said. “Some say last time we got a little more than we should have in the House and a little less in the Senate.”

Reflecting a trend also shown in County Council districts, state House districts in Hilo are the only ones not showing double-digit percentage increases. But House District 4, representing Puna, grew by a whopping 50 percent, making it the third-fastest growing House district in the state.

The Garden Island reports that the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative had difficulty at a weekend meeting obtaining the trust of some members:

Trust and water rights were the core issues of the meeting, called for by co-op members who said they wished to discuss an upcoming vote on whether the utility should continue its contract with Free Flow Power to develop hydroelectricity on Kauai using the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s permitting process.

The special member meeting was the first of its kind. It was initiated by Adam Asquith and more than 250 certified petition signatories. An estimated 150 people attended the meeting, which started at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and wrapped up several hours later.

Town Hall: Hilo

Mark Nakashima, Jerry Chang, Clift Tsuji and Bob Herkes are scheduled to attend a town hall meeting tomorrow at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Topics include include “the state budget, capital improvements, a mortgage foreclosure overhaul and Big Island issues,” according to a new release. Marcus Oshiro is also expected to be on hand.


Catch up on previous coverage:

About the Author