Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hawaii County bans aerial hunting, Honolulu rail scrutinized, debated, UH officials on leave for $200k Stevie Wonder fiasco, Hurricane Emilia strengthens, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Mouflon sheep, courtesy photo
Shooting animals by helicopter on Hawaii Island, even by government agencies such as the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, is now illegal. Mayor Billy Kenoi on Wednesday signed into law a largely symbolic bill that prohibits “any person to engage in the eradication of any animal for any reason while being transported by helicopter, airplane, or any similar means.” Tribune-Herald.

Both Democrats U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono and former U.S. Rep. Ed Case, and former Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, have received the endorsement of the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association in its respective primaries for the state's open U.S. Senate seat. Star-Advertiser.

Republican Senate candidate Linda Lingle on Wednesday released the results of an internal poll showing her ahead of Mazie Hirono and tied with Ed Case in projected November matchups. Civil Beat.

While Hawaii languishes at or near the bottom among the states in voter turnout, several other states have established enviable records of high voter participation. Civil Beat.

Hawaii consumers carried the nation's second-highest credit card debt in June despite the average balance falling 3 percent over the previous year, according to CreditKarma, a California-based credit scoring website. Star-Advertiser.

After downgrading Emilia to a Category Two hurricane, the National Hurricane Center says it has strengthened to a Category Three. Hawaii News Now.

A memo sent to Hawaii sheriffs ordering them to stand down, needs to be clarified. That's according to the interim director who didn't even see the memo before it was sent. KHON2.

State roundup for July 12. Associated Press.

Oahu

Former Gov. Ben Cayetano, campaigning for mayor on a platform to halt the city's $5.26 billion rail project and use the money to improve Honolulu's crumbling infrastructure, would be unlikely to accomplish any of that if he wins the office, his campaign rivals charged. Star-Advertiser.

Peter Carlisle and Ben Cayetano focused many of their attacks on Kirk Caldwell in the KITV-Civil Beat debate Wednesday night, offering a window in the strategies the candidates are implementing a month before the Aug. 11 primary. Civil Beat.

Pacific Resource Partnership is a leading pro-rail spender in this year’s election cycle just as it was in 2008 and 2010, but where the group’s money comes from is shrouded in secrecy. Hawaii Reporter.

Resolutions requesting an audit of all rail-related public relations contracts and seeking tighter controls on rail contract change orders won easy approval from the Honolulu City Council Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii has placed two longtime officials on indefinite leave and is seeking the help of an independent investigator and the FBI to get to the bottom of its ill-fated Stevie Wonder concert venture. Star-Advertiser.

Just a day after the embarrassing announcement that a University of Hawaii athletics fundraising concert featuring Stevie Wonder was canceled, the UH placed Athletics Director Jim Donovan on paid leave and began an investigation into the botched event. Hawaii News Now.

A debate raged during a community meeting Wednesday night, over the spread of deadly infectious diseases and plans for a bio-safety laboratory at Kalaeloa. KITV4.

The Honolulu City Council voted 7-2 on Wednesday to approve a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week ban, on commercial activity at Kailua Beach Park and at nearby Kalama Beach Park. Star-Advertiser.

Aloha Petroleum Ltd. and AeroVironment have installed electric vehicle fast chargers at three Aloha gas stations on Oahu. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

The state Department of Health Underground Storage Tank Section has issued a Notice of Violation against Aloha Petroleum Ltd., the registered owner and operator of Island Mini Mart, a fuel service station in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

A local tour company that led youth to Kealakekua Bay’s Kaawaloa shoreline did not have a permit to be in the area where large waves a week ago swept a 15-year-old New York boy into the ocean. West Hawaii Today.

As quickly as David Choe painted an eye-catching mural below Big Island Harley-Davidson on Palani Road, it was painted over and rendered back to its original form: a gray cement retaining wall. West Hawaii Today.

Everybody knows astronauts like Tang, but what about Spam musubi? Six men and women, culled from a field of 700 applicants, will help to answer that question and many more from their perch upon a Hawaii Island lava field next year as part of HI-SEAS, or Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, a joint NASA study between the University of Hawaii and Cornell University that will simulate a mission to Mars. Tribune-Herald.

The slopes of Mauna Loa are often described as “Mars like” terrain. Soon a handful of people will spend 4 months there living as they would on Mars. It’s a collaborative effort including researchers from the University of Hawai`i and one surprisingly qualified O`ahu mom. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui

Maui landowners in agricultural districts could be in for a shorter permitting process to offer short-term rentals under a new state law. Maui News.

The San Francisco-based investment firm co-developing a planned wind farm on Molokai says that it is interested in buying Hana Ranch in rural East Maui. Maui News.

Deer watch, wait while management plan developed. Maui News.

Judge Kelsey Kawano on Wednesday dissolved a temporary restraining order that had kept Dallas-based RadCare from taking over exclusive radiology services at Maui Memorial Medical Center. Maui News.

State crews begin emergency repair work next week to restore damaged sections of the Hana Highway. Maui Now.

Kauai

The biennial exercise known as RIMPAC is hosted by the U.S. Pacific Fleet, with some ships of the 22 participating nations training with hull-mounted active sonar around Hawai‘i’s islands. Despite efforts to reduce deadly exposure of high-pressure sound waves to sea mammals, advocates say the measures fall short. Garden Island.

The memories of Kaua‘i’s Taylor Camp still ripple across the globe, even though the camp was dismantled some 35 years ago. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i Planning Commission on Tuesday granted a set of permits to McBryde Gardens in Lawa‘i, allowing the National Tropical Botanical Gardens to move along with a new philosophy of making its gardens more accessible and utilizing its vast collection as a tool to teach sustainability. Garden Island.