Hawaii Congressional delegation has mixed town hall record
HONOLULU (AP) — An analysis of the number of town halls by Hawaii's Congressional delegation indicates the members have an inconsistent record of holding voter events at home.
Federal transit agency approves Honolulu rapid rail plan
HONOLULU (AP) — A federal agency has approved a rail recovery plan submitted by the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, officials said.
University of Hawaii to add first-ever Navy ROTC program
HONOLULU (AP) — U.S. Navy officials have approved the creation of the first-ever Navy ROTC program at the University of Hawaii, officials said.
The Latest: Tech firms back US privacy law to negate states
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on congressional hearing on privacy (all times local):
Internet companies are hoping to avoid a patchwork of state laws on consumer data privacy. They are supporting a federal proposal that could negate those state laws, including a recently enacted one in California.
Executives from Google, Amazon, Twitter, Apple and AT&T were asked at a Senate hearing Wednesday if they'd support federal privacy protections that pre-empted "inconsistent" state laws.
The Latest: US Senate affirms the press is ‘not the enemy’
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on U.S. newsrooms coordinating a series of editorials speaking up for a free press (all times local):
The Senate has unanimously approved a resolution affirming that "the press is not the enemy of the people."
AP News Guide: The Hawaii primary election
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii voters will head to the polls Saturday to decide who will get their party nominations and advance to the general election. Here's a look at the Hawaii primary races:
HONOLULU (AP) — The Federal Communications Commission is adopting a new rule to boost the reliability of emergency alerts after Hawaii earlier this year mistakenly sent warnings to cellphones and broadcasters that a ballistic missile was heading for the state.
The commission said in a statement Thursday it will require broadcasters and other participants in the nation's Emergency Alert System to notify the FCC when they discover they have transmitted a false alert.
US military aims for $1B missile defense radar in Hawaii
HONOLULU (AP) — The U.S. military wants to install missile defense radar in Hawaii to identify any ballistic missiles that are fired from North Korea or elsewhere, officials said Tuesday.
The $1 billion system would spot warheads on missiles headed for Hawaii and other U.S. states, and provide that information to ground-based interceptors in Alaska designed to shoot them down. It would be able to distinguish warheads from decoys that are designed to trick missile defense systems.
HONOLULU (AP) — Two senators from opposing parties say are introducing a bipartisan bill that would strengthen the United States' missile defenses against North Korea.
U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, an Alaska Republican, and U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, a Hawaii Democrat, announced their bill Thursday.
HONOLULU (AP) — President Donald Trump has approved the state's request for a major disaster declaration for the floods, landslides and mudslides on Kauai and Oahu.
Gov. David requested the federal declaration May 2, following the April storms.
Ige, a Democrat, said the approval prepares the state to receive federal assistance with emergency work and the repair and replacement of disaster-damaged public facilities on Oahu and Kauai.
Trump takes heat for borrowing ‘mission accomplished’ from Bush
Social media erupted with criticism Saturday over President Trump tweeting the phrase "mission accomplished" -- which haunted former President George W. Bush during the Iraq war -- to summarize the latest U.S.-led missile strikes in Syria.
"I didn't think I could be shocked by a tweet anymore but 'mission accomplished' was so surprising I had to double check that it was not a spoof," said Sen. Brian Schatz, Hawaii Democrat, on Twitter.
Hawaii says it implemented missile plan before finishing it
HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency began implementing its plan for responding to a ballistic missile attack before it was entirely drafted, a senior state official said Thursday at a hearing on why the agency mistakenly sent cellphone and broadcast alerts across the islands in January.
"We started flying the plane before we built the whole plan," Maj. Gen. Arthur "Joe" Logan, head of the state Department of Defense, told a U.S. Senate committee hearing in Honolulu.
HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on a hearing held about Hawaii's mistaken missile alert (all times local):
The head of the Hawaii state Department of Defense says the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency began implementing its plan to issue warnings about ballistic missile attacks before the entire plan was drafted.
Maj. Gen. Arthur "Joe" Logan told a U.S. Senate committee hearing in Honolulu on Thursday that "'We started flying the plane before we built the whole plan."
Official: Missile alert employee not cooperating in probe
HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii state employee who mistakenly sent an alert warning of a ballistic missile attack has refused to cooperate with federal and state investigators, officials said Thursday.
Lisa Fowlkes, head of the Federal Communications Commission Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, said the agency was disappointed by the refusal.
Federal responsibility in nuclear attack alerts is unclear
HONOLULU (AP) — A timeline shows Hawaii officials botched efforts to immediately correct a false missile alert over the weekend, taking more than 20 minutes to contact federal authorities for approval they didn't need and then taking another 15 minutes to cancel the alert that was sent to mobile devices statewide.
Trump nominates Jill Otake to be federal judge in Hawaii
HONOLULU (AP) — President Donald Trump is nominating prosecutor Jill Otake to be a federal judge in Hawaii.
She will succeed Susan Oki Mollway if the Senate confirms her nomination. Mollway is now a senior judge, having retired from active service two years ago.
Sen. Mazie Hirono said in a statement Wednesday Otake is well-qualified. Sen. Brian Schatz says she is an excellent choice.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, announced today that the Kauai Island Utility Cooperation will receive a more than $60 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to build and upgrade more than 70 miles of power lines and support smart grid projects.
Grants would fund closer look at body cams
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, and Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee, recently introduced the Police CAMERA (Creating Accountability by Making Effective Recording Available) Act of 2017.
This legislation would create a pilot grant program to assist state and local law enforcement develop safe and effective body-worn camera programs that also protect civilians’ privacy rights.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will award $7.6 million in federal funding to Hawaii to prevent and respond to natural disasters, terrorism, and other emergencies, as well as increase security at Hilo Harbor.
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii announced that the U.S. Department of the Interior will release $1.2 million to the state as partial compensation for the result of migrants from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau.
These funds are in addition to the $12.6 million already released to Hawaii for fiscal year 2017.
LIHUE — An infusion of more than $1 million in federal money has been promised to support research on marine species in the Pacific Ocean.
Some on Kauai are hoping the money will deepen people’s connection to the ocean and others say it should be used for action instead of study.
“It is a critical time for us to learn that the ocean and its animals are just as related to us as our own family is,” said Patrick Ching, a Hanalei artist and former Fish and Wildlife Service wildlife ranger.
WASHINGTON — It is no secret that President Donald Trump's administration is anti-Obamacare — but Sen. Chris Murphy believes that efforts to undermine the healthcare law may be illegal.
In a July 21 letter to Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price, Murphy — along with Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii — requested information regarding the department's use of taxpayer funds to produce anti-Obamacare advertisements.
WASHINGTON — Hoola Lahui Hawaii on Kauai will receive $2.4 million as one of five grants awarded to the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems programs totaling $10.6 million
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, a member of the Senate Appropriations and Indian Affairs Committees, announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will award the funds to programs that support ongoing wellness and preventive health services for Native Hawaiians across the state.
Sen. Chris Murphy wasn’t alive in the 1960s but he’s no stranger to guerrilla theater. There’s the nearly 15-hour Senate filibuster he led just a year ago in search of gun-law votes.
And on Tuesday Murphy was co-star in a joint Democratic production of “Saving Obamacare,’’ a quest to obtain a secret copy of the “repeal-and-replace’’ plan doctored up by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Republican co-conspirators.
HONOLULU — Hawaii lawmakers plan to hold a special session this summer to discuss funding for Honolulu’s troubled rail line.
Senate President Ronald Kouchi and House Speaker Scott Saiki sent a joint letter to the executive director of the Federal Transit Administration stating the Legislature’s commitment to convene a special session in July or August.
They hope to find a way to create a revenue stream so the City and County of Honolulu can complete the Honolulu Rail Transit Project.
Another Big Island man to be deported
LIHUE — At first, Graham Ellis of the Big Island was not going to come to Kauai over Father’s Day weekend.
But he changed his mind, and on Saturday, Ellis and his family with Cirque Ohana were part of the Father’s Day Celebration at Kukui Grove Center.
Hawaii’s congressional leaders reacted to the Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling Monday against President Trump’s travel ban.
“The Ninth Circuit’s decision to uphold Judge Watson’s ruling against President Trump’s Muslim ban is another win for the rule of law,” said Sen. Brian Schatz. “The courts continue to affirm what we already know: the Muslim ban is un-American, unconstitutional, and contrary to everything we stand for.”
Schatz: town core, traffic and PMRF priorities
LIHUE — Sen. Brian Schatz has a list of items he wants to help fund on the Garden Isle.
“I have a lot of things I want to accomplish on the behalf of Kauai,” he said. “My first obligation is to make sure federal funds flow.”
Schatz sat down with TGI after a town hall meeting Friday. He said he’s making sure there’s enough money for infrastructure, health, housing, clean housing and defense.
“In the last couple appropriations process, we’ve done really well,” he said.
Congressional delegation tries to stop farmer’s deportation
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii's congressional delegation is urging U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to stop the deportation of a Hawaii coffee farmer.
Andres Magana Ortiz is ordered to report to U.S. immigration officials in Honolulu on Thursday with a bag packed to return to Mexico, his immigration attorney James Stanton said.
Happy Camper for Sunday, June 4, 2017
Jodi Leong was concerned about mosquitoes during the visit by Gov. David Ige, since she said mosquitoes love her. But Paulo, the oldest operating steam locomotive in Hawaii, moves fast enough that mosquitoes don’t have a chance to find you.
Mahalo to Jodi, Teal Takayama and Carrice Caspillo Gardner for all the help during the governor’s visit.
Senator confident country will remain strong
PUHI — Workers rights, human rights and ways to get involved in government were some of the topics Kauai residents had for U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz on Friday.
About 200 people attended a town hall meeting at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School.
“Our government is in turmoil, and he’s an insider person who knows what’s happening,” said Judy Xenofos.
“I trust Brian. He cares about the same issues I do.”
Schatz honored for ocean work
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, accepted the Peter Benchley Ocean Award for excellence in policy at a ceremony last week.
The award recognized the senator’s work to expand the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, which is the largest permanent conservation area in the world.
“In Hawaii, the ocean is a treasure,” Schatz said in his acceptance speech.
Donald Trump: Our country needs a good ‘shutdown,’ suggests Senate rule change
President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that the country needs a "good 'shutdown,'" as well advocated for changing Senate rules, in a pair of tweets where he complained about the congressional negotiating process.
While government funding is certainly always subject to review, question and criticism, and often seems to be wasteful and free-spending, we have to applaud the latest appropriations deal that includes money for Native Hawaiian health, education, and housing. All are key to the future of pretty much everyone in Hawaii.
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, advanced Hawaii’s priorities during committee consideration.
Dem opposition to Trump court pick grows; Schumer warns GOP
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democratic opposition to President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee swelled Friday as Democrats neared the numbers needed for a filibuster, setting up a showdown with Republicans who have the votes to confirm Neil Gorsuch.
Aloha State’s elected leaders pleased to see ‘TrumpCare’ falter
HONOLULU — Hawaii residents who rely on tax credits to purchase health insurance can take a deep breath.
“This victory is proof that TrumpCare was never on the level. Instead of trying to pass a health care bill, Republicans tried to ram through a tax cut for the wealthy, paid for by 24 million Americans who would lose their health care in the process,” said Sen. Brian Schatz.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Senators from Maine and Hawaii say a proposal they are submitting would help make it easier for seniors to grow older in their own homes.
Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, and Sen. Angus King, an independent, of Maine, are joined by Sen. Brian Schatz, a Hawaii Democrat, in proposing the changes. The senators say the Senior Home Modification Assistance Initiative Act would better coordinate existing federal home modification programs.
HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu's mayor says police are investigating a phone threat that prompted an evacuation of a Jewish preschool.
Mayork Kirk Caldwell says police have opened a terroristic threatening investigation into Monday's threat to Temple Emanu-El's preschool.
Caldwell notes that Honolulu is one of the most diverse places in the world. He says it's cowardly to scare people and disrupt a preschool.
Warren pressing Trump administration on cost of border wall
BOSTON (AP) — Sen. Elizabeth Warren is pressing the Trump administration on how they plan to pay for a wall on the U.S. and Mexico border.
The Massachusetts Democrat and five other Democratic senators have sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly raising concerns about what they said was the potential diversion of funds from key agency priorities.
Senators: Shipyards exempt from federal hiring freeze
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan say the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and all Navy public shipyards will be exempt from Republican President Donald Trump's federal hiring freeze.
The Department of Defense clarification comes in response to calls from the senators, both Democrats, to establish this exemption after Shaheen's office learned that several new hires at the Kittery, Maine-based shipyard received letters indefinitely postponing their start date.
US Sen. Warren backs bill to ban registry based on religion
BOSTON (AP) — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is joining other Democratic senators including New Jersey's Cory Booker in backing legislation aimed at blocking the creation of a federal religious registry.
The Massachusetts Democrat said targeting people based on their religion goes against American values and makes the country less safe.
The bill would bar the establishment of a registry based on religion, race, age, gender, ethnicity, national origin, or nationality.
Schatz to face opposition as Democrats fall behind in Senate
HONOLULU (AP) — Despite his win in heavily Democratic Hawaii, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz says overall losses in his party mean he will have to work harder on issues such as climate change, which are important to his state.
Schatz easily defeated his Republican opponent John Carroll Tuesday. The win gives Schatz his first full term in the U.S. Senate.
The Latest: Schatz calls for healing after divisive election
HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on the race between U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and his Republican challenger (all times local):
U.S. Sen Brian Schatz acknowledges that Democrats didn't win the number of Senate seats they had hoped for, but said he believes there are enough "patriotic Republicans" to prevent the country from heading in the wrong direction.
The Latest: Hawaii voters choose Clinton, Schatz, Hanabusa
HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on Hawaii's election (all times local):
Hillary Clinton won Hawaii's four electoral votes in Tuesday's election, and voters gave U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz his first full-term in office.
Former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa will return to the U.S. House to fill the seat of the late U.S. Rep. Mark Takai.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been re-elected to the U. S. House of Representatives.
Schatz secures 1st full term in US Senate
HONOLULU (AP) — U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz won re-election Tuesday, easily defeating his Republican opponent John Carroll in heavily Democratic Hawaii.
The win gives Schatz his first full term in the U.S. Senate.
"I'm honored by the support that the people of Hawaii have shown me," Schatz told the AP in a telephone interview Tuesday. "We've got tremendous work to do in terms of healing the divisions that were exposed during the campaign and on Election Day, but I'm ready to get to work."
Hawaii voters to choose president, senators, representatives
HONOLULU (AP) — Hillary Clinton won Hawaii's four electoral votes in Tuesday's election, and voters gave U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz his first full-term in office.
Results were delayed to allow for people to vote if they were in line at 6 p.m., when the polls closed.
Voters were awaiting results in the 1st Congressional District, where former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa was hoping to return to the seat she gave up to challenge Schatz in 2014.
Democrat U.S Sen. Brian Schatz wins re-election in Hawaii to begin his first full term in the Senate
HONOLULU (AP) — Democrat U.S Sen. Brian Schatz wins re-election in Hawaii to begin his first full term in the Senate.
Quotations in the News
"I saw a man who was distraught, and a man acting like he was in great pain. And I saw him get gunned down and killed. If he was my son, I would be devastated." — Bill Wells, mayor of El Cajon, California, when asked his reaction to the fatal police shooting of Alfred Olango, an unarmed black refugee from Uganda.
Ige tells Obama he supports Hawaii marine monument expansion
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii Gov. David Ige said he supports expanding a marine monument in the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
Ige's office said Thursday he sent a letter to President Barack Obama declaring his support for enlarging the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.
He told the president that expanding the monument's boundaries carefully balances the real human needs of today with the future health of an ecosystem that sustains life in the Hawaiian Islands.