Thursday, October 11, 2012

Honolulu rail costs rise $114M, Kauai plans wood-burning power plant, Hawaii County council chairman clears election ethics charge, Oahu landfill decision delayed, remains found on military site, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation
Honolulu rail route courtesy photo
The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation now estimates that contractor delay claims, change orders and new expenses tied to the court-ordered construction shutdown of the rail project will cost the city more than $114 million, the City Council was told Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The discovery of more human bones in Kakaako along the rail route will mean more delays and more costs to the $5.2 billion dollar project. Hawaii News Now.

Ben Cayetano says the bus rapid transit system he plans to implement instead of rail if elected mayor will be in line for some of the same federal funding as the project it's replacing. Civil Beat.

Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners urged the head of the Honolulu rail authority on Wednesday to find a way to leave burials and other human remains in place when they are discovered along the rail route. Star-Advertiser.

The effects of a state law forcing foreclosure actions in Hawaii to go through the judicial system continued to slash the number of properties going through the process in September, as the number of foreclosure filings dropped 72 percent compared to the same month a year ago, according to RealtyTrac. Pacific Business News.

State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim said she has sent University of Hawaii at Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple a letter asking him to "clarify" some of the statements he made to the Senate Special Committee on Accountability on Oct. 2. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for October 11. Associated Press.

Oahu

A resolution urging Mayor Peter Carlisle's administration to proceed with plans to continue using the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill was shelved by the City Council's Public Works and Sustainability Committee after it received written testimony from West Oahu leaders opposing the idea. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Councilman Tom Berg was fined $250 by the state Campaign Spending Commission on Wednesday for failing to disclose that he had received 24 T-shirts from a campaign supporter. Star-Advertiser.

A former staffer for City Councilman Tom Berg has claimed in a sworn affidavit that he collected $28,643 in city salary for 77 days of work he actually performed for Berg’s political campaign. Hawaii Reporter.

Honolulu City Council member Tom Berg tongue-lashed his former chief of staff Wednesday morning as he defended himself during a tense Campaign Spending Commission meeting. Civil Beat.

A new federal study of security failures at Honolulu International Airport in 2010 partially blames Transportation Security Administration officers for the lapses but mostly faults top TSA managers for poor planning and supervision. Hawaii Reporter.

Three residential high-rises could start coming out of the ground at Ward Centers in 2014 as part of a revised master plan transforming 60 acres of retail and industrial businesses into an almost entirely new neighborhood dominated by condominium towers and twice as many shops and restaurants. Star-Advertiser.

A pre-20th Century linear fish pond once owned by Victor Ward is the inspiration for an open-air plaza that's the centerpiece of redevelopment plans for 60acres of Kakaako land owned by the Howard Hughes Corporation. Star-Advertiser.

Waihonua at Kewalo, a half block from Ala Moana Center, has been under construction for months. In recent weeks, workers came across a burial site with 18 sets of human remains some believe are of historic significance to Hawaii. KHON2.

Beginning Monday, the Haleiwa-bound lane of Karsten Thot Bridge in Wahiawa will be open for afternoon rush-hour traffic as major repairs continue. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will conduct controlled underwater explosions of unexploded ordnance on Thursday that will close Mâlaekahana State Recreation Area. Hawaii News Now.

Unexploded Ordnance Found Off Oahu’s N. Shore. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

A divided county Ethics Board couldn’t muster the votes Wednesday to proceed on a request forwarded by state Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago for an investigation into County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong’s involvement in the county Elections Division. West Hawaii Today.

The county Board of Ethics today deadlocked on whether it should pursue an investigation into whether County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong may have been inappropriately involved in the operations of the county Elections Division. Big Island Now.

Human skeletal remains have been discovered at Pohakuloa Training Area, an Army spokesman said Wednesday. Tribune-Herald.

A call has been issued for Native Hawaiian individuals or organizations with ancestral claims or cultural affiliation with human remains found recently in the US Army’s Pohakuloa Training Area. Big Island Now.

The two men running for Hawaii County mayor highlighted actions their administrations took to help the island’s poorer residents at a forum Wednesday night in Waimea. West Hawaii Today.

The owners of the only trail to Papaikou Mill Beach have made an offer that may be hard for Hawaii County to refuse. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

A hui of beachfront homeowners in Spreckelsville wants to move ahead with installing rock groins at a beach along Stable Road, replacing temporary sand-filled "geotubes" that were laid two years ago to slow beach erosion. Maui News.

A project is being proposed to protect a stretch of beach along Stable Road in Central Maui. Maui Now.

A conversation on plastic pollution comes to Maui this week in a series of presentations planned across the island. Maui Now.

Maui hotel rooms were occupied at a rate of 75 percent in August, a 3.9 percent increase over the same month in 2011, Hospitality Advisors reported. Maui News.

Kauai

A company plants to generate electricity for Kauai by burning wood chips from trees grown and harvested on the island. Garden Island.

A renewable-energy developer building a wood-fired power plant on Kauai has finalized its financing plans and is scheduled to begin construction early next year on the facility that will provide an estimated 11 percent of the island's electricity needs. Star-Advertiser.

The Kaua‘i County Council on Wednesday by a 4-2 vote approved a request of the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney to apply for a federal grant to establish a Keiki POHAKU program. Garden Island.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai‘i, was honored Wednesday on Kaua‘i for a lifetime of public service in Washingont, D.C. Garden Island.