Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hawaii beefing Marine presence, map opponents file election injunction, religious exemptions for civil unions mulled, new high in medical marijuana permits, Puna residents oppose geothermal, Kauai utility considers opt-out of smart meters, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Marines at Pohakaloa Training Area Hawaii (c) 2012 All Hawaii News


The U.S. will move more than 2,500 Marines from Japan to Hawaii — a more than 20 percent increase in the islands — as the Pentagon scales back a $21.1 billion blueprint for Guam, U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Ino­uye confirmed Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

It looks like 2,700 more Marines may be on their way to Hawaii as the Pentagon scales back a $21.1 billion plan to move troops from Okinawa to Guam. Pacific Business News.

The U.S. military is expected to announce it will transfer up to 2,700 Marines from the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa to Hawaii, Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Tuesday. Associated Press.

Hours before any formal announcement from Washington, the offices of Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Sen. Dan Inouye said the Pentagon intends to move about 2,700 Marines from Okinawa to Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

The military is expected to announce plans to transfer up to 2700 Marines from Japan to Hawaii. KHON2.

The top members of the Senate Armed Services Committee voiced concern Tuesday over an imminent U.S.-Japan agreement on reorganizing U.S. forces based on the southern island of Okinawa. More than 2,500 Marines would come to Hawaii under the plan. Associated Press.

Plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state's reapportionment plan on Monday filed a motion for preliminary injunction seeking to halt the upcoming election. Civil Beat.


A federal judge has issued a permanent injunction stopping the state from requiring that air cargo carriers charge customers a fee to help pay for efforts to protect the islands from invasive plant and animal species because state law conflicts with federal laws. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers are considering a proposal to the state's civil unions law to allow religious organizations to deny use of their facilities for a solemnization ceremony. Civil Beat.

State lawmakers last night agreed to use the state general fund to support agricultural inspector positions, rather than using a special fund to supplement the associated costs.  Lawmakers say the move is expected to free up more funds for invasive species control. Maui Now.


State funding for school buses has been confirmed at the state Capitol tonight. KHON2.

With the state budget nearly settled, state lawmakers will consider how much to invest in new bond-financed state construction and whether to streamline permitting and procurement to get proj­ects started faster and help with economic recovery. Star-Advertiser.

A bill before the state Legislature could eliminate certification requirements for coffee that's grown in Hawaii. Associated Press.

Hawaii Politicians Received $2.2 Million in Illegal Campaign Contributions. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii Rep. James Tokioka
State Rep. James "Jimmy" Tokioka has voted nearly two dozen times on bills related to telecommunications, broadband and cable television in the 2012 Hawaii Legislature. Civil Beat.

In just more than nine months the number of medical marijuana permits issued in Hawaii jumped 27%. At the end of June, 2011 7,593 people held medical marijuana cards. By April 11, 2012 that number had climbed to 10,454. Hawaii News Now.

State roundup for April 25. Associated Press.

Oahu

Mayor Peter Carlisle's Advisory Committee on Landfill Site Selection ranked the 361-acre Ameron site, which is near the old Kailua landfill that was shut down after reaching capacity in the 1990s, ahead of locations in Nana­kuli and Kahuku. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council Member Tom Berg (District 1 -'Ewa, Kapolei, Waianae Coast) is outraged the city administration has issued the rights to real estate acquisitions and other real estate related work along the designated rail route to a mainland firm. Hawaii Reporter.

A briefing prepared by the office of a Honolulu City Council member shows the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation may access a $450 million line of credit as it builds the city's controversial $5.3 billion elevated rail system. KITV4.

A more than 80 million dollar freeway project aims to shave time off the afternoon rush hour, but not without nearly a year's worth of road repairs. KHON2.

Several agencies are testing Tuesday if Hawaii's first responders are ready should an incident with weapons of mass destruction happen in the islands. KITV4.

People who live alongside Keaahala Stream couldn't believe their eyes when they looked at the water Tuesday morning. It was a blanket of white. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

At a county council meeting attended by more than 300 people in Pahoa, the Pele Defense Fund and other geothermal opponents called for better monitoring of Pahoa’s geothermal plant, protested past leaks, and urged the council not to allow more facilities to be built on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii County Council held a special hearing on renewable energy development in Pahoa on Tuesday night – specifically, a hearing on geothermal development and expansion on Hawaii Island. Big Island Video News.

Ask someone on the Big Island about electricity prices and the conversation, inevitably, turns to geothermal. West Hawaii Today.

Shiny, black and quiet-running, Hawaii County’s five electric hybrid fleet vehicles will hit West Hawaii roads this week. West Hawaii Today.

Here on Hawaii Island, there’s only one choice for electricity. Residents must buy their power from Hawaii Electric Light Co. regardless of the energy price or quality of service — unless they’re living off the grid. West Hawaii Today.

In 1958, two Colorado businessmen bought over 12 thousand acres about a half hour south of Hilo on Hawai’i Island.  They created over four thousand lots and sold them for 500 to a thousand dollars each---they sold well, even with no infrastructure.  Today in Hawaiian Acres, few roads are paved, water is still by catchment, and the community has gone through a lot of changes. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui

Almost a quarter of a million dollars that previously had been earmarked for the Wailuku Main Street Association would instead be available to a variety of local community groups for small-town planning projects, under a proposal by Mayor Alan Arakawa. Maui News.

Maui's nonprofit community members turned out Monday to ask the council Budget and Finance Committee to support their programs, hoping to retain - or gain - a slice of the funding proposed for county grants. Maui News.

Kauai

Federal and state conservation enforcement officials are investigating the death of a Hawaiian monk seal found Sunday in northeastern Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

The Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative board is considering an opt-out program for members who do not want smart meters installed on their property, but meanwhile will defer installation upon request, KIUC CEO David Bissell said Tuesday. Garden Island.

A decade ago, Kauai Island Utility Cooperative became the first utility in Hawaii to switch from private to public ownership — a process that took roughly 40 months. West Hawaii Today.