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State roundup for February 25

Campaign fund needs a boost

HONOLULU (AP) — The League of Women Voters of Hawaii is urging taxpayers to support the state’s election campaign fund.

The league asked last week that taxpayers indicate on their income tax returns that $3 for individuals, or $6 for joint filers, should go to the fund.

The league says boosting the fund will make it easier for candidates to run for office without having to use their own money or rely on money raised by private political action committees.

The fund needs help because it has dropped below the $3.5 million minimum threshold required by law for the money to be used for elections.

Once it’s replenished, the league expects candidates will be allowed to use the funds for the 2016 state House of Representatives elections.

Ellison bought $40M in homes

HONOLULU (AP) — Property records indicate Larry Ellison has been buying almost two dozen homes on Lanai for $40 million.

Ever since the co-founder of Oracle Corp. acquired 98 percent of Lanai in 2012, a pair of his companies has been buying mostly luxury vacation homes and condominiums on the island.

Ellison had already acquired 455 rental homes when he bought 98 percent of the island’s 141 square miles, making him the biggest owner of housing on Lanai.

It wasn’t clear what the billionaire planned to do with the homes and condos.

Representatives for Pulama Lanai, Ellison’s management company for the island, and his real estate brokerage firm Island Lanai Properties, declined to comment on the real estate acquisitions.

Teachers fight new evaluations

KILAUEA, Kauai (AP) — Four public school teachers on Kauai are so frustrated with new educator evaluations that they’ve sent the state a protest letter calling the system a “disaster.”

The Kilauea Elementary School teachers complain in the letter sent earlier this month that the new system requires an overwhelming amount of work and that there hasn’t been adequate training in implementing the evaluations.

The evaluations were implemented after a bitter contract dispute between the state and the Hawaii State Teachers Association.

Department of Education spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz says with anything new, there will be some who are unhappy with changes.


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