Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hawaii Public Land Development Corp. new rules aired, DLNR in fish fight, Elections Commission to mull ballot problems, state pension fund hits record, Kauai Hanalei development meets resistance, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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The Public Land Development Corp. heard another torrent of criticism Tuesday as it attempts to adopt administrative rules that would allow the new agency to launch projects. Star-Advertiser.

A hearing Tuesday to determine administrative rules for the Public Land Development Corporation turned into a call for repeal, as an overflow crowd descended upon a tiny board room at the Department of Land and Natural Resources. KITV4.

The Public Land Development Corporation conducted a public hearing yesterday following a contentious round of state-wide hearings in August. Hawaii Public Radio.

Nearly four hours of public testimony was received today at a statewide hearing on Oahu to discuss proposed administrative rules for the Public Land Development Corporation. Maui Now.

The Attorney General’s office late Tuesday filed a brief response to a lawsuit brought against DLNR last month asking that a complaint filed by environmental groups, divers and fishermen that it failed to follow the Hawaii Environmental Policy Act be dismissed. West Hawaii Today.

Senate Minority Leader Sam Slom, R-Hawaii Kai-Diamond Head, is the only Republican in the 25-member state Senate. But Democrats want him to feel the love. Hawaii Reporter.

The state Elections Commission will meet next month to discuss ballot problems on election day that led to long lines and frustrated voters across Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

It took five years, but assets in the state's largest pension fund have returned to record levels. Star-Advertiser.

New rules issued by the Hawaii Department of Taxation last week aimed at clarifying how solar tax credits should be calculated are pitting solar companies against each other, angering environmental groups and forcing legislative leaders to grapple with how to manage an increasingly hostile debate this upcoming legislative session. Civil Beat.

A lawyer for University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood sent the UH Regents a demand letter last month, saying she had been "severely defamed" after the Stevie Wonder blunder and would be willing to leave the university for a payment of $2 million, a demand her lawyer has since withdrawn. Hawaii News Now.

In a letter that prompted discussions by the Board of Regents on the future of University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood, her attorney asked the regents for a $2 million settlement — and offered text messages and a recording that he said showed inappropriate political pressure from the governor and top lawmakers to reinstate former athletic director Jim Donovan. Star-Advertiser.

A legal letter claims Greenwood blew the whistle on threats to the school. KITV4.

Members of two special University of Hawaii committees have been advised they must file personal financial disclosures with the State Ethics Commission as the result of amendments to the state ethics code passed by the Legislature earlier this year. Civil Beat.

State roundup for November 14. Associated Press

Oahu

A broken pipe in Manoa Tuesday caused an estimated 1,275 gallons of untreated wastewater into a storm drain which leads to the Ala Wai canal, according to state health officials and city environmental officials. KITV4.

A new park play ground on Oahu's North Shore that was supposed to be opened by now remains off limits. KHON2.

Unite Here Local 5 workers rallied in front of the Ilikai Hotel on Tuesday, protesting the latest contract offer from management and possible conversion of the property's remaining hotel rooms into condominiums. Star-Advertiser.

Charles E. "Chuck" Frankel, a passionate newsman who was devoted to the Hono­lulu Star-Bulletin, died Tuesday at age 84 after suffering an aneurysm. Star-Advertiser.

State Civil Defense officials will conduct siren maintenance testing at several locations on Oahu on Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

The Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems on Tuesday received a $2.3 million boost in funding officials hope will make the state agency more appealing to NASA and other space agencies. West Hawaii Today.

NRA president speaks in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

The Queen Liliuokalani Trust will be going out for a new environmental impact statement, likely early next year, its Vice President, LeeAnn Crabbe, said. West Hawaii Today.

Man convicted in axis deer case feels unjustly targeted. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The University of Hawaii announced Tuesday the state has reaffirmed its support for the school to build the world’s largest solar optical telescope on Maui’s Hale­akala. Star-Advertiser.

Lahaina Bypass Now, a group formed in March 2006 to kick-start the long-awaited highway, will dissolve at the end of this year because it has accomplished what it set out to do. Maui News.

About $300,000 of volunteer work and donations were unveiled today when the Lahaina Public Library reopened its doors after a three-month renovation made possible by community organizations and volunteers. Maui News.

The state is bringing back a popular volunteer program in which people help educate visitors and residents about South Maui's fragile and almost pristine Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve, which was established in 1973. Maui News.

Kauai

Hanalei Plantation Resort developers Ohana Real Estate Investors were met with strong resistance from a standing-room-only crowd Tuesday night as hundreds of community members crowded into Hanalei School to voice their opinion on the proposed development. Garden Island.

Hundreds Pack School Cafeteria to Protest Hanalei Ridge Development. Civil Beat.

The Kaua‘i Planning Commission’s Subdivision Committee took about an hour to decide that the fate of a 2,029-acre proposed development across from Kealia Beach wouldn’t be decided Tuesday. The three-member committee reluctantly pushed the decision back another month. Garden Island.

Brennecke’s Beach Broiler has paid a fine of more than $47,000 to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to close two large capacity cesspools in Po‘ipu, the agency announced Tuesday. Garden Island.

Lanai

Billionaire Larry Ellison has tapped a local resort industry executive to run the day to day business operations on Lanai. Hawaii News Now.

Billionaire Larry Ellison has tapped a Lanai native who once was in charge of the two hotels there to be the top executive on the island Ellison bought in June. Star-Advertiser.

It was quite telling that the Oracle Corp. CEO decided to hire Lanai native and Hawaii hotel industry veteran Kurt Matsumoto to oversee the island's business operations, which include the two Four Seasons resorts, the economic drivers of the Pineapple Island. Pacific Business News.