Thursday, August 30, 2012

Kilauea Volcano gets its own quarter, crowds fight new state land development corporation, Kauai budget out of balance, state Senate committee to look into UH blunders, 579 burials found at Honolulu church construction site, Maui hospital mulls partnership with Banner Health, Supreme Court dismisses election protest, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kilauea volcano
Hawaii volcano quarter courtesy photo
The United States Mint is unveiling a new quarter depicting a Hawaii volcano eruption. Associated Press.

At a rain-drenched ceremony near the national park’s visitor center, Superintendent Cindy Orlando, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye and David Croft, plant manager of the U.S. Mint in Denver, tipped their ceremonial calabashes and poured out $500 in newly minted quarters onto a koa platter, inaugurating the ceremonial rollout of what could be a red-hot collector’s item. Tribune-Herald.

Sen. Daniel Inouye joined U.S. Mint Plant Manager David Croft and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando Wednesday in launching the new Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Quarter. KITV4.

Environmentalists, Native Hawaiian leaders and University of Hawaii students crowded a state office building conference room Wednesday night to demand the repeal of the newly created Public Land Development Corp. Star-Advertiser.

The fledgling movement to abolish the Public Land Development Corporation caught fire Wednesday night during a public meeting in Honolulu about the draft rules to regulate the government agency charged with partnering with private companies to develop state lands. Civil Beat.

Hundreds of people showed up at a public hearing regarding proposed rules for the Public Land Development Corporation, formed under a new state law that would allow private development on public land. Hawaii News Now.

An overflow crowd gathered Wednesday night to protest a new law giving the state the ability to sell or lease public lands to developers. KHON2.

A special state Senate committee has been formed to look into recent management blunders at the University of Hawaii. Hawaii Reporter.

Relief has begun to arrive for many Hawaii homeowners threatened by foreclosure under a settlement between the five largest U.S. mortgage lenders and the state and federal government. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii attorney general's office says consumers in the state could receive up to $300,000 in compensation under a nationwide settlement with three of the country's largest book publishers over price fixing allegations. Associated Press.

The state's embattled historic preservation division suffered another blow last week, with the Hawaii Supreme Court ruling that the agency had violated its own rules in allowing the city to begin construction on Honolulu’s rail project without completing an archaeological inventory survey for the entire route first. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's visitor industry continued to heat up in July, with arrivals and spending gains contributing to what continues to be one of the hottest summers ever. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced the release of more than $52.5 million for Capital Improvement Projects last week, including funds for a $2.2 million Transpacific Cable Project. Maui Now.

Kawika Crowley, the Republican nominee for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional seat, pledged Wednesday to put up a strong fight against Democrat Tulsi Gabbard despite being homeless and receiving no financial support from his party. Tribune-Herald.

Oahu

An excavation team has found nearly 600 sets of remains in the very spot where the historic Kawaiahao Church plans to build a multi-purpose center, and Hawaiian activists say it's one of the largest burial discoveries in state history. Hawaii News Now.

It would cost $2.5 million to return TheBus service to what it was before the city began imposing cuts earlier this year, but routes could not be restored until March 2013 even if money were available, according to Wayne Yoshioka, director of the city Department of Transportation Services. Star-Advertiser.

The parallels between Hawaii Superferry and Honolulu rail are obvious. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation … or HART … has stopped all new construction on the City’s $5.2 billion rail project. But as HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports … HART reached out to business and community leaders yesterday with a message of reassurance. Hawaii Public Radio.

The city of Honolulu chose to include only two single-toilet restrooms designated for bus drivers only in the new $19 million Alapai Street Transit Station. Honolulu Advertiser.

Ka’ena Point, Oahu’s wild and windswept northwestern tip, is the ancestral gathering place for souls of the dead, from where they jump off into the next world. Now it has new resonance as the first piece of land in Hawaii that is being allowed to revert to the way our islands were thousands of years ago, when there were no people, the only mammals were seals and bats, and tens of millions of seabirds flocked in from all over the world to nest.  Honolulu Weekly.

Hawaii

The Hawaii Supreme Court has dismissed a Puna candidate’s election protest, the third of four protests filed in the wake of the Aug. 11 primary election that the court has dismissed. West Hawaii Today.

The state would spend more than half a billion dollars in upgrades at Kona International Airport in the next decade, if it constructs all of the projects listed in a recently released draft environmental impact statement. West Hawaii Today.

Cleaning up the broken pipes, metal waste and other debris from the ocean off the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority is more than a pipe dream for Mark Barville. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island delegate Dylan Nonaka has been given a stage role on the final night of the Republican National Convention. Stephens Media.

A new open market on a Hawaiian Home Lands parcel in Puna has been ordered to shut down by the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The Hawaii Health Systems Maui Regional System Board of Directors has begun discussions with Banner Health, one of the country's largest nonprofit hospital systems, to explore a public-private partnership for medical facilities including Maui Memorial Medical Center. Maui News.

Maui and the state overall continued to enjoy healthy gains in the tourism sector last month. Maui News.

The Grand Wailea could be under new ownership before the end of the year as the hotel's owners seek to auction off assets and emerge from bankruptcy protection. Maui News.

Kauai

“There is no money missing,” was the mantra in Council Chair Jay Furfaro’s presentation to the rest of his colleagues at the Kaua‘i County Council meeting Wednesday, when the council’s Committee of the Whole unanimously approved two bills to address an imbalance in the budget for Fiscal Year 2013, which started July 1. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council is working on two bills aimed at correcting a budget imbalance that occurred during the fiscal year 2013 budget deliberation process. KHON2.

The Kaua‘i Planning Commission on Tuesday gave the County Department of Water the green light to proceed with drilling for an exploratory well and with the construction of two half-million-gallon concrete water tanks in Kapahi. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i Community College surpassed the 1,500-student mark Monday, said Cammie Matsumoto, director of community relations and special projects. Garden Island.

Molokai

George Peabody, editor of the Molokai Advertiser-News, emailed several members of the Martin Luther King Jr. Coalition, the African American Heritage Foundation of Maui, and the Hawaii NAACP on Aug. 25 requesting copies of their birth certificates. Civil Beat.