Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Arizona comes looking for Obama birth certificate, Hirono ducks debates, Honolulu parking meters accept credit cards, EPA to cap utility emissions in shadow of Kilauea, wetter weather next winter, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

White House courtesy photo
Obama birth certificate White House courtesy photo
Two men who identified themselves as being from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in Phoenix arrived at the state Department of Health on Monday, requesting verification of President Barack Obama's birth certificate, a state spokeswoman said. Star-Advertiser.

The so-called "birther" movement did not die off completely when President Barack Obama placed his "long-form" birth certificate on the White House website in April 2011. Civil Beat.


U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono on Monday declined an offer from Hawaii Pacific University to participate in a forum on Thursday with former congressman Ed Case in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Star-Advertiser.

Ed Case has accepted an invitation by Hawaii Pacific University to debate Mazie Hirono this Thursday (May 24), with time and place yet to be determined. Civil Beat.

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann has picked up the endorsement of some Maui County executives, past and present. KHON2.

Honolulu City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard is officially seeking higher office. KHON2.

The deadline for the next round of campaign spending reports could move up a couple of weeks from the existing July 31 due date. Civil Beat.

The National Weather Service says Kauai and Oahu are more likely to recover from drought during the upcoming rainy season from October through April. Associated Press.

Rainfall during Hawaii's wet season was definitely wet for the western part of the state, but most areas of Maui, Molokai, Lanai and the Big Island of Hawaii had below normal rainfall, according to the National Weather Service. Hawaii News Now.

Drought lingered in West Hawaii through another dry winter and is returning this summer to more deeply ravaged, already water-stressed places. These next five months aren’t expected to bring any real reprieve, especially for leeward areas, said Kevin Kodama, senior hydrologist for the National Weather Service. West Hawaii Today.

Oahu

A state judge is scheduled to hear a request today by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and other news organizations to argue for the release of defense documents and surveillance tapes filed by a State Department special agent charged in a fatal shooting at a McDonald's restaurant in Waikiki. Star-Advertiser.

New parking meters that accept credit and debit cards along with coins will be installed next month around the Civic Center, part of a pilot project to replace all meters on Oahu with the technology. Star-Advertiser.

No one can put up a tent in City parks on Oahu without a permit, under a law that went into effect last year. But a Honolulu City Council member is pushing for an exemption at Hanauma Bay. KHON2.

The developer of a proposed 12,000-home master-planned community in Ewa has asked state officials to delay Tuesday’s final decision on whether its project can move forward by a month. Civil Beat.

Schuler Homes LLC will ask the Hawaii Land Use Commission    for more time on its Hoopili project case. The LUC is expected to make a decision on Tuesday on the planned 11,750-home subdivision on 1,554 acres of land in Ewa. Pacific Business News.

More than 500 hotel workers at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki are in their second year of working without a contract. Hawaii Public Radio.

Charles Alan Pflueger, head of Pflueger Auto, one of the state’s largest auto dealerships, pleaded guilty on Friday in federal court to tax fraud after he cut a deal with prosecutors. Hawaii Reporter.

The Missile Defense Agency's 280-foot-tall Sea-Based X-Band Radar returned to Ford Island on Monday after being at sea during North Korea's failed April 13 rocket test. Star-Advertiser.

A state work crew on Monday began picking up large and tiny remnants of a floating dock system that washed ashore at Kalaeloa last weekend and turned a leaf blower into a vacuum cleaner to collect the smallest bits of Styrofoam from endangered plants and tide pools. Star-Advertiser.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources mobilized quickly Monday to remove large amounts of Styrofoam that washed ashore on Feedlot Beach at Campbell Industrial Park about a week ago. KITV4.

Hawaii has known of Genshiro Kawamoto for nearly a quarter century now, but still little is known about the famously reclusive real estate mogul. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposes to cap emissions at three Hawaii Island electrical plants to improve visibility at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, even as Kilauea continues to be the largest contributor to haze on the island. West Hawaii Today.

A renewable energy company that plans to burn locally grown eucalyptus trees to generate 10 percent of th Big Island's electricity needs signed an agreement Monday to sell the power to Hawaii Electric Light Co. Star-Advertiser.

Hu Honua Bioenergy took another big step toward the start of operations with the announcement Monday that it has signed a power purchase agreement with Hawaii Electric Light Co. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island and State briefs. Associated Press.

Maui

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals plans to return to Maui for its annual conference in August, but unlike its 2010 meeting this one is raising eyebrows on the heels of the General Services Administration scandal over a lavish 2010 conference in Las Vegas. Star-Advertiser.

An upcoming conference on Maui involving federal judges from throughout the western U.S. and its island territories has two Republican senators trying to disrobe the event as being too lavish for taxpayers. Civil Beat.

On average, Maui residents can expect to pay about 4 percent more for water under a proposed rate increase for the county Department of Water Supply, department Director Dave Taylor said Friday. Maui News.

Mokulele Airlines is expanding its interisland operations by returning service between Honolulu and Kapalua Airport in West Maui for the first time in three years. Star-Advertiser.

A $26 million project to widen Piilani Highway from two to four lanes between Kilohana and Wailea Iki drives is moving ahead as a collaboration between the state Department of Transportation and developers of the Makena Resort and Honua'ula projects in South Maui. Maui News.

Kauai and Maui will receive $400,000 to create 20 temporary positions dedicated to the cleanup and repair of public structures, homes and land damaged by the heavy rains that inundated Hawaii in March, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Senator Daniel K. Akaka, U.S. Representative Mazie K. Hirono and U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa announced today. Hawaii Reporter.

Kauai
Agriculture is alive and well on the Garden Isle. Pacific Business News.

Officials announced on Monday that Kaua‘i and Maui will get a combined $400,000 to clean up damage from heavy storms that hit Hawai‘i in March. Garden Island.

United States Coast Guard Senior Chief Boatswain’s Mate Buddy Gilbert never realized how fast four years would pass. Garden Island.