Why Gov. Neil Abercrombie Lost & Other Things We Learned From The Hawaii Primary Election


There were about a dozen people in the room when it happened. They were seated around tables, watching two televisions. Patriotic bunting and white signs bearing the name “Abercrombie” hung around the windows that faced Main Street in Wailuku. There was a stack of pizzas off to the side, as well as a few cakes, plates of ahi sashimi, bowls of noodles and rice and a cooler full of bottled water. These were Governor Neil Abercrombie’s most … [Read more...]

SNAP Recipients Can Get Reimbursements For Food Lost During Hurricane Iselle


It looks like most, if not all, Maui County residents who lost power during Hurricane Iselle have gotten back online, though thousands of people across the state remain in the dark (and heat) even now. We forget sometimes that losing power in the tropics causes more trouble than simply forcing us to cope with high humidity–it also spoils food, which can be devastating for poor people on government assistance. According to the state Department … [Read more...]

Hawaii To Get Tiny Share Of Tiny Pfizer Prescription Drug Settlement


So the state Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) recently announced that Hawaii–along with 41 other states–really put the screws to drug maker Pfizer and managed to squeeze a $35 million settlement out of the company over its immunosuppressive drug Rapamune. The states’ complaints were that Pfizer had misrepresented the uses and benefits of Rapamune, which violated our consumer protection laws. “OCP has taken action in multiple cases over the … [Read more...]

MANA Magazine Dropping Print, Going All Digital


These are tough times for newspapers and magazines. Print circulation is declining, readers are increasingly going to the Internet–specifically social media sites and mobile apps–for news and the whole advertising business model that has sustained journalism for decades is breaking down. “And with ads declining at a steep rate, newspapers (and magazines) are trying to turn toward readers for digital revenue at the same time that they have … [Read more...]

An Early Look At Hawaii Primary Election 1st Printout


Maui County polls closed at 6pm or so in the Hawaii Primary Election, but the treasured 1st Printout–representing a little over 104,000 votes, didn't get released until shortly before 7pm. Here are some early looks at a few key races. By now, most everyone in the state knows that incumbent Governor Neil Abercrombie is careening towards an historic upset defeat. I was sitting in his campaign's Wailuku headquarters when the 1st Printout came … [Read more...]

Today: Hawaii Primary Election


The polls are open across Maui County and won't close until 6pm tonight. Just two polling places are closed on the Big Island due to Hurricane Iselle. Given the relative calm weather out there, we should have our normally poor turnout, rather than the abysmal numbers political analysts were forecasting. You'd think that since Hawaii votes on Saturday rather than a workday, we'd have better turnout rates (the 2012 Primary turnout was 42.3 … [Read more...]

Amazed That Two Hurricanes Are Threatening Hawaii This Week? Get Used To It.


There have been many stories about Hurricanes Iselle and Julio coming to Hawaii this week, and virtually all of them mention how rare and unusual it is to have even one large named storm threaten the state (the last one that actually caused substantial damage was Hurricane Iniki, which hit Kauai in 1992–as a Category 4 storm, it was far more intense than either storm currently headed to Hawaii). "It is rare for two storms to threaten Hawaii so … [Read more...]

2014 Hawaii Primary Election Endorsements


For us political junkies, the late summer of an even-numbered year is a magical time. Our airwaves, email and inboxes get jammed with misleading, often shameless propaganda. Battalions of volunteers line roadsides to wave colorful but still bland signs at passing motorists. And, for the true believers, forums pop up at community centers around the island, where earnest residents can sit on metal folding chairs while someone at the front of the … [Read more...]

Prepare Now: Hurricanes Iselle, Julio Headed To Hawaii Later This Week


As you've no doubt heard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says that two hurricanes are currently on track to hit Hawaii later this week. First up is Hurricane Iselle, which is scheduled to hit Maui–as a tropical storm–late Thursday, early Friday. Then Julio, assuming it stays on its current track–hits the Big Island on Saturday or Sunday. Of course, big storms move in ways computer modeling sometimes misses. For that … [Read more...]

Washington Post Says Hawaii Election Polling Is ‘Notoriously Unreliable’


Well, this is it–the final week before the Hawaii Primary Election on Aug. 9. So who’s going to win? Depends on which candidate you ask, or which poll you read. And if it seems to you that polls around here–which, right now, seem to show both incumbent U.S. Senator Brian Schatz and challenger Rep. Colleen Hanabusa leading in the Democratic Senate race–aren’t very helpful, take heart: others around the country have noticed, too. “One problem: … [Read more...]