Monday, August 6, 2012

Artificial reefs mulled, Gabbard has big lead over Hannemann in new poll, churches continue civil union battle, foreclosure laws under the microscope, Hilo astronomers cheer Mars landing, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaii reef scientist (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaii's natural resources chief wants to increase fishing and diving opportunities while fighting the effects of climate change. The plan? Dump tons of scrap concrete into the ocean to make artificial reefs. Civil Beat.

Tulsi Gabbard has opened up a decisive 49 percent to 29 percent lead in the bid for Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District, over the more experienced Hannemann with many early votes already cast and the Aug. 11 primary just days away, according to The Civil Beat Poll.

Two Oahu churches have resumed their federal court challenge to Hawaii civil union laws, even though state lawmakers this year passed legislation exempting churches under certain conditions from renting their facilities for civil union ceremonies. Star-Advertiser.

The Legislature overhauled the state foreclosure law in 2011 and passed further changes during its latest session, but a main architect of the reform wants to revisit the legislation, specifically to address publishing requirements for foreclosure notices. Star-Advertiser.

RCO Hawaii LLLC, a law firm that successfully lobbied to loosen Hawaii's foreclosure notice publication requirements last legislative session, has ties to a mainland attorney accused of inflating the cost of foreclosure notices. Star-Advertiser.

State lawmakers considered but ultimately rejected a proposal to switch to an online-only system for foreclosure notices, state Rep. Bob Herkes said. Star-Advertiser.

The crew and operations of Hawaii Life Flight, which provides air ambulance services in the Islands, will be showcased in a new documentary series on The Weather Channel starting in September. Pacific Business News.

State roundup for August 6. Associated Press.

Oahu

Hawaiian Electric Co. and the Army are moving ahead with the development of a 50-megawatt biofuels power plant at Schofield Barracks. Pacific Business News.

With the primary election a week away, officials are making sure that the voting equipment is working properly. Hawaii News Now.

A Department of Health emergency response team has been assigned to assess the environmental impact of a  battery storage fire in Kahuku. The 9,000 square foot warehouse owned by First Wind burned early Wednesday morning. KITV4.

Water service investigator Scotty Sugi­yama placed a microphone on a water meter in Royal Kunia last week and heard the telltale hiss of a leaking underground pipe through his headphones as the never-ending war on broken water mains and dripping pipes continues across the island this hot summer. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

As the first image from the Red Planet arrived to an ecstatic crowd of engineers in Mission Control, another crowd beneath the planetarium dome at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo gave a more muted reaction. Tribune-Herald.

A new nonprofit organization is taking on the difficult task of making Hawaii Island hearts healthier. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County now has 24 acres to turn into a district park in Waimea. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui County Council members gave final approval Friday to budget bills to make available $2.71 million to purchase 100 acres in Waikapu for a county consolidated baseyard project. Maui News.

The agribusiness sector of Alexander & Baldwin, which is mostly Hawaiian & Commercial Sugar Co. on Maui, logged an operating profit of $7 million for the second quarter, down $1.5 million from the April to June period last year. Maui News.

The severe weather is taking a toll on businesses that rely on rainfall and a Maui company is watching its profits dry up. Hawaii News Now.

A new green, sustainably designed cafeteria project will be blessed at Lahainaluna High School in West Maui today. Maui Today.

Kauai

Two days of capacity crews saw three houses in Anahola’s Pi‘ilani Mai Ke Kai subdivision emerge from the red dirt during the Kaua‘i Habitat for Humanity Build-a-thon Garden Island.