Monday, September 24, 2012

New tool to detect tsunami debris radiation, no gambling to fix Hawaii budget, state Senate to begin UH probe today, Waikiki Natatorium in Abercrombie's sights, Hamakua fights GMO, 6k Maui residents oppose sugarcane burning, Lingle stumps in Kona, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources
Dead Hawaiian boobies trapped in tsunami debris Hawaii DLNR courtesy photo
A new hand-held radiation detector demonstrated Sunday will help the city of Honolulu respond to any flotsam contaminated by the leak at the Japanese nuclear plant in the wake of last year's earthquake and tsunami. Star-Advertiser.

The Smiths Detection RadSeeker, an advanced radiation detector, arrived  Friday at the Honolulu Emergency Services Department, just days after debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan was found near our shores. KITV4.

DLNR worker clears tsunami debris
 A large plastic bin is the first confirmed piece of marine debris from last year’s Japan tsunamis to arrive in Hawaii, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Friday.Associated Press.

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources is working with its federal partners to locate and track the floating dock last reported north of Molokai. KITV4.

The PFM Group — the mainland firm that produced The Study of the State Tax System — also advises that Hawaii not approve a lottery or other forms of gambling. The Hawaii Tax review Commission will meet Wednesday to discuss proposed recommendations to the Hawaii Legislature later this year. Civil Beat.

A special state Senate committee will hold its initial briefing on concerns about how finances are handled at the University of Hawaii. Associated Press.

As the State Senate's Special Committee on Accountability prepared to hold its first briefing Monday afternoon into the University of Hawaii's Stevie Wonder concert fiasco, UH President M.R.C. Greenwood tried to minimize criticism of UH leadership during private meetings, sources said. Hawaii News Now.

Former University of Hawaii Athletics Director Jim Donovan plans to testify before state lawmakers Monday that UH offered him a "take it or leave it" deal for his controversial new job, sources said. Hawaii News Now.

For the first time, Hawaii high school students in expository writing, biology, U.S. history and Algebra I classes will take standardized end-of-course exams this school year to test their mastery of the subjects. Star-Advertiser.

As the school year gets rolling, the state Ethics Commission is reminding public school teachers and coaches that they may not give their students private lessons for pay, as the longtime tennis coach at Mililani High School recently learned the hard way. Star-Advertiser.

State Department of Agriculture officials and a Seattle nut and chocolate treat manufacturer are trying to interest local farmers in growing cashews, saying Hawaii’s climate is well suited for the kidney-shaped nut, which can fetch hefty prices. Star-Advertiser.

Scientists using advanced mathematical models to examine the distribution of open-ocean animals in the North Pacific have concluded that rising ocean temperatures could lead to a significant shift in critical ocean habitats. Star-Advertiser.

With more visitors and more residents across the Hawaiian Islands there are also more people hiking. That also means -- more search and rescue missions for hikers who are lost, injured or otherwise in distress. Hawaii Public Radio.

Native Hawaiian artwork is on display in the hearing room of a Senate committee in Washington, D.C. Associated Press.

State roundup for September 24. Tribune-Herald.

Oahu

Gov. Neil Abercrombie decided to take the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium back from the city in July to build a volleyball arena. The challenge for top city officials was how to keep the media and public from finding out about it. Civil Beat.

For months, Gov. Neil Abercrombie has intended to take the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium back from the city to build a world-class volleyball arena. Civil Beat.

"Hawaii Five-0" kicked off its third season Sunday in true Hawaiian style — with the beauty and warmth of the ocean, sky, breezes and beach matching the spirit and exuberance of the fans and actors. Star-Advertiser.

Community support is sought for Waikiki 20/20, an upcoming planning conference aimed at setting a vision for the next two decades in the district, which is one of the most densely populated communities in the state as well as its top tourist destination and economic center. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council Budget Chair Ann Kobayashi hoped to receive a thorough briefing on the financial picture for the city’s $5.2 billion rail project from the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation department on Wednesday, but instead she and other committee members were left with more questions. Hawaii Reporter.

After sitting down with Honolulu mayoral candidates Kirk Caldwell and former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano on Friday, I got some more insight into how they think when it comes to mass transit to help ease the city's traffic woes. Pacific Business News.

National campaign adopted on Oahu hopes to reduce homelessness. KHON2.

Hawaii

Lingle attempts to woo West Hawaii voters at forum; Hirono a no-show. West Hawaii Today.

An Idaho dairyman who bought the largest dairy in the state is growing genetically modified corn on state leasehold land in Hamakua, and a number of residents are upset about it, saying it violates the Hamakua Agriculture Plan. Tribune-Herald.

A hefty group of community members, many frustrated by intermittent or restricted access to a trail heading to Papaikou Mill Beach, voiced support at a public meeting Friday for a resolution that would have Hawaii County acquire the privately held path through eminent domain. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Electric Light Co. wants to renegotiate its power purchase agreements with renewable energy providers. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

A group of Maui residents who oppose sugar cane burning has circulated a petition to more than 6,000 people asking Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. and the state Department of Health to stop allowing smoke to pollute the air in publicly accessible areas, an announcement said. Maui News.

Maui County Council members voted 8-0 Friday to adopt a resolution asking state lawmakers next year to consider a bill requiring the labeling of genetically modified food products. Maui News.

West Maui residents and visitors are being asked to conserve water until Monday after a broken waterline shut down the Mahinahina Water Treatment Facility, a county Department of Water Supply spokeswoman said. Maui News.

Maui County Council members gave final approval Friday to a bill to establish new zoning for restricted industrial uses. Maui News.

Kauai

University of Hawaii students, engineers and faculty are building a satellite that will be controlled by UH students on the ground and will serve as the key payload on a rocket lifting off from Kauai's Barking Sands in September 2013. Star-Advertiser.

‘Being Out At Work On Kaua‘i’ community forum scheduled for Oct. 4. Garden Island.

Ground for the Pi‘ilani Mai Ke Kai Hawaiian Homes Subdivision, Phase II was celebrated Wednesday and was attended by Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. and a host of dignitaries. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i Police Department officers were busy, monitoring traffic and doing free infant car seat safety inspections along Olohena Road fronting the Kapa‘a Middle School Friday afternoon. Garden Island.