Watching and reporting about Hawaii politics and government.

3:25 p.m. OIP Survey Gives Props to OIP

The Office of Information Practices has released the results of a survey that reports 94.1 percent (or 48 of 51) of respondents reported being satisfied or very satisfied with OIP’s services overall, and only three persons (5.9 percent) were dissatisfied.

Press release excerpt:

Moreover, eight (89 percent) of the nine people who had requested OIP’s assistance in obtaining government records or concerning a potential Sunshine Law violation were satisfied with the help they received from OIP.

3 p.m. Job Openings at the Ledge

Looking for work and interested in government and politics? The Hawaii Legislature may be right for you!

Among the jobs being advertised in the state House are committee clerks, legislative aides, bookkeepers and attorneys. The state Senate is seeking a legislative analyst and assistant, among other positions.

1:15 p.m. Takai Uses PV for EV

The local Sierra Club has this article about state House Rep. Mark Takai, who powers his Nissan LEAF with photovoltaic panels for his home’s roof.

12:30 p.m. Dissenting Views on OHA Land Deal

Jon Osorio has penned this essay that says the Office of Hawaiian Affairs needs to hear from its beneficiaries before agreeing to accept Kakaako Makai land in exchange for ceded land revenue payments from the state.

Larry Geller has penned this argument that the land deal was struck in secret, perhaps violating the state’s Sunshine Law.

9:45 a.m. Women and the U.S. Senate

Hawaii’s 2012 contest for the U.S. Senate is getting more national attention. Here’s the latest:

National Journal says that Democrats are banking on female candidates to win Senate seats, including Mazie Hirono locally — though the conservative publication thinks Linda Lingle will make the race competitive.

9 a.m. Tobacco Sales to Minors Below Average

The Department of Health’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division announced today that survey results for illegal tobacco sales to minors show this year’s 6.1 percent rate in Hawaii falls below the 9.3 percent national average.

Press release excerpt:

In 1996, the state’s first survey results showed a noncompliance rate of 44.5 percent. After the implementation of law enforcement operations, this rate steadily dropped and was maintained below 10 percent with the exception of 2008. Over the past three years Hawaii has been able to reduce and maintain a lower rate. With stronger enforcement of tobacco laws being implemented, the aim is to eliminate teenage tobacco use.

8:30 a.m. Nurses and Churches

KITV has this story on unionized nurses at Queen’s Medical Center agreeing to a new three-year contract that includes pay raises.

(Last we checked, the nurses unit of the HGEA had not settled its own contract talks with the state, having rejected the offer accepted by the HGEA’s other units — something that has now changed because the union has invoked its “favored nation” clause to re-open the talks due to UPW‘s recent settlement.)

KITV also has this report on the lawsuit to stop Kawaiahao church construction because of the treatment of ancestral remains.

Year-End Tax Workshops

The Department of Taxation‘s Year-End Workshops on Kauai, the Big Island, Maui and Oahu begin today — click here for the dates, times and locations.

Excerpt from press release:

Presentations of particular importance for the upcoming 2012 tax filing season will cover changes to Hawaii tax forms and the expansion of the Department’s e-filing program. In addition, Director of Taxation Fred Pablo will address some of the collection-related issues that practitioners have raised with him over the last few months, and the Department of the Attorney General will provide an update on Hawaii tax cases being litigated.

Jon Van Dyke Passes Away

A distinguished law professor at the William S. Richardson School of Law, Jon Van Dyke, is dead at 68.

According to a press release from the school, Van Dyke passed away in his sleep yesterday while at a conference in Australia.

Van Dyke was known for his work on Hawaiian ceded lands, for which he wrote an article for Civil Beat. He also urged passage of the Akaka bill on Hawaiian federal recognition.

Van Dyke is survived by his wife, attorney Sherry Border. Their son, Jesse, is communications director for Dan Akaka.

UPDATE: The senator released a statement today that said in part:

Jon always stood up for what he felt was pono — right and just. He was an inspiration for our community and his students. Because of Jon’s work, the principle of protecting our cultural and historic resources has been preserved, and the tradition of sharing our beautiful beaches and other natural resources with all continues to be honored.

Big Isle Has Highest Poverty

Check out the latest in Neighbor Island government-related news:

UPDATE: Kalaupapa airfares to drop

UPDATE: Court rejects Lui motion to stay Kau eviction

UPDATE: Old Kona Airport Park vandalized

Hawaii County tries to delay insects’ release

Big Island has highest poverty

Continental: Demand not sufficient for Orange County-to-Kahului flight

Maui water panel defers action on proposals for ordinance

Students put final touch on Kamalani pavilion

Catch up on previous coverage:

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