POSTED: Friday, July 17, 2009
This story has been corrected.  See below.

Abercrombie ruling delayed

A state panel delayed a decision yesterday on whether U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie can transfer nearly $919,000 from his U.S. House campaign committee to his state gubernatorial campaign account.

The Campaign Spending Commission spent two hours discussing whether the 10-term Democratic congressman can use money given to his previous House campaigns.

In the end the commissioners said they needed until their meeting next month to clarify how state law affects Abercrombie's request. They and the congressman's attorney, Karl Sandstrom, also suggested a compromise could be reached.

But Sandstrom said time is important.

Abercrombie has all but formally announced his campaign for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and he is busily raising money.


Abercrombie announced his campaign for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination for governor on March 8, and he is busily raising money.

But he might be starting from scratch, in contrast to Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who is exploring the race with $660,000 in his mayoral campaign war chest, as of Dec. 31, that he legally is allowed to use for state races.

Abercrombie has held nine fundraisers for his gubernatorial bid since the announcement.

In February the Campaign Spending Commission's staff informally determined that federal officeholders cannot shift money from a federal account to one set up for a state campaign.







Democratic U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie announced March 8 that he is running for governor. A “;Newswatch”; item on Page 7 yesterday said he had all but formally announced. Abercrombie also has held nine fundraisers for his gubernatorial bid since the announcement. The story was not clear on that.



Outage hits 900 customers

A power failure occurred shortly after 5 p.m. yesterday in the Kaheka Street, Kapiolani Boulevard and Atkinson Drive areas.

About 900 Hawaiian Electric Co. customers, in a mix of high-rise residential and commercial buildings, were affected, said Darren Pai, HECO spokesman. Pai said HECO crews were continuing to work on the underground cable problem at 9 p.m.


Kona man died in Colorado

A Kailua-Kona resident was identified as the man who was apparently swept down the Poudre River in Colorado July 8 after a motorcycle crash.

The Colorado State Patrol said Dennis M. Schultz, 63, was riding a black 1989 Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle on Colorado Highway 14 when he lost control on a curve.

The search for Schultz was suspended last week.


School Street onramp to close

The School Street onramp to the Waianae-bound lanes of the H-1 freeway will be closed from Sunday to Aug. 17 so crews can repair the retaining wall.

The state Department of Transportation advises motorists to use alternate onramps like Vineyard Boulevard. The ramp will be closed around 9:30 p.m. Sunday and reopen around 5 a.m. Aug. 17, a release said. Electronic message boards will remind motorists of the closure.

The repair work is part of a $2.5 million state-funded project to improve drainage facilities and extend the retaining wall in the area.



Feds release $878,023 for Lihue Airport

The state will receive a federal grant of $878,023 for upgrades at Lihue Airport on Kauai, according to a news release from U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka.

The grant will be distributed through the Federal Aviation Administration and will continue the installation of a new runway lighting system, replacing the old one, which is 25 years old, the release said.

“;The new state-of-the-art lighting system will be energy-efficient and will ensure the safety of Lihue's aircraft operations,”; the release said.