Watching and reporting about Hawaii politics and government.

2 p.m. Where’s Neil?

Here’s Neil:

• After-School All-Stars, Dole Middle School Cafeteria, 1803 Kamehameha IV Road, 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

1 p.m. Daily Kos Disses Case … Again

DC808 today has an item on Dan Akaka and Dan Inouye attending a recent fundraiser in Washington for Mazie Hirono. The fundraiser prompted Daily Kos elections blogger David Nir to post a nasty item.


Hahah! Suck it, Ed Case. … While neither of the Dans have formally endorsed Hirono, the fact that they’re openly helping her raise money is a great sign. … I’m really wondering if the conservaDem Case thinks he has a path to victory that doesn’t involve bogus polls.

For those who follow Nir’s blog, it’s been clear for some time that he hates Case and has a crush on Hirono.

11 a.m. Progressive Dems Support Local 5 Strike

Progressive Democrats of Hawaii has cast its lot with UNITE HERE! Local 5 and their lingering labor contract dispute with Hyatt hotel in Waikiki, which is part of a national fight between workers and the hotel chain.

Co-chair Josh Frost has asked party members to “take at least an hour between now and Wednesday night to go down to the Hyatt and show your solidarity for the workers. I spent a few hours with them on the picket line on Saturday afternoon and plan to go back every day between now and the end of the strike.”

Marking Day 5 of the strike, today Local 5’s Cade Watanabe says “local state elected leaders will be joining the picket line in support of striking workers. Our state leaders will also be participating in a bed making skit/relay race as a part of a demonstration highlighting the nature of housekeeping work in our industry.”

The strike is set to end Wednesday afternoon

9 a.m. CIP Pork for Kauai

The Garden Island has a report on the recent visit of House Finance to Kauai.


“Your legislative team has done well for Kauai,” Chair Marcus Oshiro said. “They collectively secured approximately $138 million over two years (excluding statewide and lump sum funding) in Capital Improvement Projects in the House Budget.”

The breakdown of the Kauai CIP include $116 million for transportation projects, $17 million for educational facilities and $3.4 million for improvements at state parks and recreational facilities, some of these sites being on the agenda of visits by the House Finance Committee during its Kauai trip.

That’s a pretty healthy CIP take for a Kauai delegation that includes three freshmen lawmakers — Derek Kawakami, Dee Morikawa and Ron Kouchi — in addition to veteran Jimmy Tokioka.

Ethics Commission Gives Invite Advice

In response to inquiries from lawmakers, Les Kondo sent a memo dated Sept. 9 to all state legislators concerning acceptance of complimentary tickets to events.

In the memo, Kondo gave the green light to accepting invitations to a DBEDT conference on clean energy scheduled this week and a celebration of the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China at the Hilton Hawaiian Village next week. (The latter invite came from China’s consul general.)

However, Kondo nixed invites to a “Dancing in the Streets” fundraiser on Sept. 24 to benefit the nonprofit Child & Family Services and an Oct. 14 silent auction for Sacred Hearts Academy scholarships. Kondo said there did not appear to be a “reasonable state benefit” in legislators attending either event.

Mufi’s Higher Profile

Mufi Hannemann (@MufiHannemann, 563,655 followers) yesterday tweeted that the Hawaii Hotel and Lodging Association has changed its name to the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association — “to better reflect our mission and goals as part of our #1 industry.”

Hannemann heads the HLTA, the influential statewide trade association of hotels, management firms, owners, suppliers and related visitor-industry groups. The gig keeps Hannemann’s name in the news and gives him a paycheck while he seeks a return to elected office. Hannemann, you’ll recall, was required to resign as Honolulu mayor to run for governor, and his loss deprived him of a livelihood.

Hannemann also tweeted out a birthday greeting yesterday to Dan Akaka, who turned 87 on Sept. 11:

“Hauʻoli lā hānau to @SenatorAkaka, da man of aloha!”

Tourism + Hawaii = Jobs

In response to President Obama’s call last week for passage of a new jobs bill before Congress, Mike McCartney sent out a press release touting the value of tourism in that regard:

Hawaii’s visitor industry helped to provide 152,864 jobs in the state in 2010, the largest generator of jobs among the major industry sectors. Tourism is also the largest single source of private capital into Hawaii, with visitor spending reaching $11.4 billion and contributing to $1.1 billion total tax revenue.

With new airlift, marketing and destination experience-based programs, we anticipate the number of tourism related jobs to grow to 159,542 by the end of 2011. Tourism is a natural export for Hawaii and the U.S. and provides a strong foundation for our economy.

Good News, Bad News

Hawaii has garned positive headlines recently, including generally good reviews — such as this one — of Disney’s Aulani Resort. There is still concern about Aulani’s troubled time-share sales, however.

UPDATED A blogger for the “Los Angeles Times” says the food options at Aulani are “few and pricey”:

I’d come to expect $10 tropical cocktails in Hawaii. I had my share of agave nectar margaritas rimmed with red sea salt while Nancy preferred the passion fruit mojitos. But $21 for a burger? Come on.

Meanwhile, the new George Clooney flick, “The Descendants,” is getting mostly favorably reviews — like this one. Filmed in, and about, Hawaii, “The Descendants” is based on the debut novel of Kaui Hart Hemmings, stepdaughter of Fred Hemmings.

On the down side, there’s this report about an Alaska lawmaker who refuses to pay his higher-than-expected hotel bills from a recent state-government conference in Hawaii.

Up next: Reviews — good? bad? — for the new season of “Hawaii Five-0,” which had its local debut in Waikiki Saturday night and premieres nationally next Monday.

Tucker Gets Jury Trial

Check out the latest in Neighbor Island government news:

Hawaii County redistricting panel excludes nonresident military

Big Isle reapportionment panel hearings slated for Hilo, Kona

Maui panel approves pay raise for fire chief

Damon Tucker gets jury trial in alleged police assault

Arakawa fields questions from Maui West Siders, Part I

Arakawa fields questions from Maui West Siders, Part II

Army awaits DLNR decision on Black Hawks on Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa

Environmental advocates fear for Ahihi-Kinau reserve

Maui councilman says there are extreme disparities in tax system

Bid for Molokai ‘big wind’ project expected

Catch up on previous coverage:

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