Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ala Wai legal fight looms; Gabbard, Hanabusa at odds over spying; China to play Pacific war games; Kauai water wars, sewage polluting Maui; no threat from TS Flossie, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Along the Ala Wai (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
A legal fight brewing in federal court is raising questions about the integrity of the new six-foot-in-diameter pipe that snakes under the Ala Wai. The Frank Coluccio Construction Co. installed a pipe that it believes to be substandard. The Seattle-based company wants to be absolved of any blame should the force main fail, and it is seeking more than $10 million from the city for delays and damages resulting from various issues allegedly caused by having to use that pipe. Civil Beat.

Twenty nations — including China — sent representatives in May to the first planning conference for 2014 Rim of the Pacific war games off Hawaii, which the Navy said could be bigger than ever next summer. Star-Advertiser.

Curtail NSA Surveillance? Hawaii Congressional Reps Split Votes, with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-CD2) voting yes and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-CD1) voting no. Civil Beat.

Vice President Joe Biden may be stopping by Hawaii this weekend. He’ll be returning from a week long trip to Asia, where he’s spending most of his time in India. Hawaii Public Radio.

Alaska Airlines and Hawaii BioEnergy LLC have signed an agreement for the Seattle-based air carrier to buy biofuel for its planes, both companies said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii is tied with Alabama in a new study that ranks the states by honesty. The beverage company, HONEST Tea, conducted a hidden camera experiment a 61 locations throughout the United States between July 8- 18. The company staff left bottles of tea for sale in unmanned kiosk with a sign that said to leave $1 to purchase the tea. People in Hawaii and Alabama were the most honest in the country and they were honest 100 percent of the time. Hawaii Reporter.

Fish, it's what's for dinner for many families in Hawaii. Unfortunately new research from the University of Hawaii, Manoa shows some fish are eating a lot of plastic. Hawaii News Now.

As of 11 p.m. Wednesday, the cyclone now known as Tropical Storm Flossie was still more than 2,000 miles east-southeast of the Big Island. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

The transition of Hawaii's largest electric vehicle charging network to new ownership has hit a bump in the road, with several hundred of the company's new customers unable to access its network of charging stations. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Transportation is working with the state Department of Health to stop the spread of a mosquito that can be a transmitter of dengue fever. Beginning today, July 24, 2013, and continuing throughout the week, state crews will be removing bromeliads currently in planters along the H-1 Freeway near the Honolulu International Airport. Civil Beat.

The Lanikai Pillbox hike on Kaiwa Ridge was once a sleepy neighborhood trail, but it’s not so secret anymore. KHON2.

A McDonald's cashier testified Wednesday that she told Kollin Elderts to stop his verbal exchange with a customer at the restaurant counter before the deadly 2011 confrontation with U.S. State Department Special Agent Christoper Deedy. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii
More than two hours of discussion wasn’t enough Wednesday for the County Council to decide whether council members could give nonprofits money from their district contingency funds. Stephens Media.

A trial will be held in September for two sovereignty activists who are challenging charges that they were illegally camping on state land earlier this year while protesting the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Abel Simeona Lui and Kittrena Morgan were among 11 people arrested for camping near the King Kamehameha the Great statue in Hilo in April. Stephens Media.

The public got its first look at the much-anticipated final master plan of the Kealakehe Regional Park Tuesday evening at the West Hawaii Civic Center. Stephens Media.

Maui

A final study has been released with data supporting claims that county wastewater discharge negatively impacted nearshore water quality, according to the environmental law firm, Earthjustice. “This study confirms what we’ve been saying for years: wastewater injected at the Lahaina facility travels underground and ends up in the ocean offshore of Kahekili Beach, contributing pollutants to nearshore waters,” said Caroline Ishida, an attorney for Earthjustice. Maui Now.

With the number of brush fire calls in less than seven months this year approaching 12-month totals for previous years, Mayor Alan Arakawa said that the Fire Department may need additional funding if brush fires continue at the same rate. Maui News.

Maui Film Studios - boasting the largest soundstage in the state - is booked through next year with three projects lined up, including a pilot television series to begin production in September and a feature film. Maui News.

Kauai

Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law firm, filed a petition Wednesday accusing a farmers’ cooperative and a state-run corporation of excessively diverting water from Waimea River and wasting some of it. Garden Island.

A community group has filed a complaint against a state agency, claiming that water diverted from Kauai's Waimea River is being wasted, contrary to Hawaii law and policy that fresh water resources are a public trust, which the state is obligated to protect and restore. Star-Advertiser.

The river that weaves through Waimea Canyon on the west side of Kauai has lost its luster over the past few decades due to stream diversions for a sugar plantation that shut down 12 years ago, according to a petition filed against the state Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Volunteers to visit dive sites around Kauai. Garden Island.

Kauai County is asking the public for input on a draft master plan for the county's parks and recreation facilities. Associated Press.