Watching and reporting about Hawaii politics and government.

5 p.m. Nago Reappointed Elections Chief

The state Elections Commission this week unanimously approved the reappointment of Scott Nago to run the state Office of Elections.

“We evaluated Scott, met in executive session, reviewed the materials and unanimously approved him for another four-year term beginning in February,” commission chair Bill Marston told Civil Beat today.

4:45 p.m. Gov Orders Boards to Post Agendas Online

Check out Sophie Cocke‘s story today about Neil Abercrombie issuing an executive memo requiring state boards and commissions to post notices of public meetings online.

Excerpt:

Boards and commissions had been required to post information about their meetings on the online state calendar under former Gov. Linda Lingle, but when Abercrombie came into office the requirement fell through the cracks.

After Civil Beat exposed the problem, it called on the governor to act and lift the state out of the information “Dark Ages.”

Abercrombie in his Thursday memo said his decision will “make the information more readily available and the business of boards and commissions more transparent to the public.”

12:04 p.m. Bunda Named to Rail Transit Board

Former state Senate President Bobby Bunda was confirmed today to serve on the nine-member Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.

Bunda unsuccessfully sought the lieuntenant governorship last year.

Read this account of the board’s membership in Inside Honolulu

10:41 a.m. Hawaii ‘Richest’ State

That’s according to an article from Business Insider.

Hawaii edges out Colorado, Utah, Massachusetts and Virgina, boasting a median income of $59,125, the eighth-lowest poverty rate, the 10th-lowest unemployment and near universal health coverage.

Why are things so good here? Because of “a large number of wealthy retirees and a robust tourism industry.”

9:32 a.m. Hawaii AFL-CIO Endorses Hirono

Mazie Hirono gets another early, and major, endorsement for her U.S. Senate bid, this time from the Hawaii AFL-CIO.

Labor groups have already contributed generously to Hirono’s campaign this year, according to the FEC.

Ed Case? None yet.

Praise for PUC’s Champley

Blue Planet Foundation’s Jeff Mikulina had this to say in a press release about the governor’s appointment of Mike Champley to serve on the Public Utilities Commission:

“A deep knowledge of the technical operations of electricity generation and the grid is imperative to effective decision-making,” said Mikulina, citing Mr. Champley’s success in leading the large Detroit utility through a major transformation that separated their generation business from their transmission and distribution business. “Mr. Champley comes with decades of experience in energy policy and a toolbox of solutions to wean Hawaii from its dependence on fossil fuel.”

Champley served as a policy consultant for Blue Planet for more than two years, advising on clean energy dockets before the PUC and other regulatory matters.

Hawaii’s Cloudy Crystal Ball

The Center for Politics has an item on which states have voted the most times for U.S. presidents.

According to data from 1900 to the present, Ohio has the best record (93 percent) while four states in the Deep South have the worst (below 55 percent).

Hawaii? Not so great — in the 55-70 percent range.

An Online Debate Over Sovereignty

If you haven’t yet followed it, there has been a spirited exchange of views regarding Hawaiian sovereignty on local blogs.

It began with a critical piece by anti-sovereigntist Ken Conklin, an older, related item by conservative wag Andrew Walden and a retort from pro-sovereigntist Keanu Sai.

Spooks, Goblins to Return to Front Street

Check out the latest in Neighbor Island government news:

Hawaii County rules considered for open burning

Kauai emergency responders test capabilities

Kona coffee dispute prompts class-action lawsuit

Halloween to return to Lahaina’s Front Street

Maui Nisei memorial to finish in 2012

Kauai County ends fiscal year with 160 jobs open

Paauilo land lease terms tweaked

Big Isle redistricting meetings set through November

Water outage for Upper Ulumalu, conservation urged

Honokohau Harbor roadway resurfacing update


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