Thursday, September 19, 2013

Honolulu's Occupy movement still going strong, Superfund to aid in molasses spill cleanup, Kaui shearwaters face pet threat, another name too long for bureaucracy, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Iolani Palace (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
‘Iolani Palace will be the recipient of a $65,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to plan new exhibits for its basement galleries.  IMLS recently announced nearly $30,000,000 in grants to museums across the nation. Hawaii Reporter.

Will the Mormon Church Sit Out Hawaii’s Gay Marriage Vote? Civil Beat.

Does U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard represent the future? That remains to be seen, but there are signs that the fast-rising attention-grabbing young congresswoman is positioning herself to do so. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Companies has again increased the amount of home photovoltaic systems that can be used by its net-metering customers before triggering interconnection studies. Maui Now.

The U.S. House of Representatives recognized all living Medal of Honor recipients Wednesday, reciting the acts of bravery that went far above and beyond the call of duty. Hawaii is down to just one still living here: retired Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Allan Kellogg Jr. of Kailua. Star-Advertiser.

One of the highest-paid administrators at the University of Hawaii is being investigated for lying on her resume, UH officials confirmed Wednesday. If true, such a deception would be illegal. Civil Beat.

Oahu
On the second anniversary of the original Occupy protests in New York City’s Zucotti Park Sept. 17, Honolulu protesters marked their 682nd continuous day of 24-hour vigil at the corner of Ward and Beretania avenues, making it the longest-running Occupy encampment in the U.S. Civil Beat.

University of Hawaii-Manoa students would see a bigger chunk of their tuition dollars go toward repairs on the 107-year-old flagship campus under a plan to eliminate two decades' worth of backlogged repairs. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz says federal Superfund dollars can help with the response to the massive molasses spill in the Honolulu Harbor that has killed thousands of fish and put Hawaii in the national spotlight for the past week. Civil Beat.

A Hawaii state official in charge of cleaning up the spill of 1,400 tons of molasses in Honolulu Harbor says no endangered species have been hurt in the accident. Associated Press.

One of the state's worst environmental disasters was plugged up with wood and cloth.  Matson Inc. said today that it installed the temporary fix last Tuesday after it discovered the fist-sized hole in its pipeline that leaked 233,000 gallons of molasses into Honolulu Harbor. Hawaii News Now.

Kamehameha Schools said Wednesday it is selling two Kakaako blocks fronting Ala Moana Boulevard to MK Development, a joint venture of Koba­ya­shi Group and The MacNaughton Group, to develop two luxury condominium towers with a combined 500 units. Star-Advertiser.

MK Development — a joint venture of well-known Hawaii developers the Kobayashi Group and The MacNaughton Group — is purchasing six acres in Kakaako from Kamehameha Schools for an undisclosed price with plans to develop two luxury mixed-use residential projects totaling about 500 units along the mauka side of Ala Moana Boulevard, a source close to the situation tells Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

Calling geothermal a taonga — or treasure — a representative of a Maori trust in New Zealand promoted the use of the earth’s heat to produce electricity Tuesday evening while highlighting ways it can help indigenous people. Tribune-Herald.

KHON2′s report about a Big Island woman whose name would not fit on her driver’s license gained international attention. It also got the attention of another Big Island woman who is at her wit’s end because of a similar problem.

Maui

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar produces so much molasses that the veteran Maui company says it likely would find another way to export the thick liquid off-island if Matson ceases to ship it. Star-Advertiser.

 South Maui's "inadequate infrastructure" may not be able to shoulder the effects of large-scale future development projects like the expansion of the Makena Resort, the Honua'ula project in Wailea and the Kihei high school, especially if the community does not have a voice in the planning process, retired college professor Dick Mayer said Tuesday. Maui News.

Although a drought watch has been declared for Upcountry, the current conditions would not trigger a water shortage declaration and higher rates under a bill pending before the Maui County Council's Water Resources Committee.  Maui News.

Kauai

State wildlife officials are appealing to dog and cat owners to keep their animals away from coastal paths on Kauai's south shore after a large colony of native wedge-tailed shearwaters was decimated in two attacks this summer. More than 80 uaua kani were killed by dogs and cats in their nesting areas in July and August, state officials said Wednesday. Their burrow was abandoned. Star-Advertiser.

 A large colony of Hawaiian uau kani, or wedge-tailed shearwaters, along Kauai’s South Shore has been decimated in a pair of attacks this summer by dogs and feral cats. Garden Island.

The recent anti-GMO march did cost Kauai’s taxpayers. While the county has not yet tallied all of the costs related to the event, Tokioka said overtime pay to manage the two-hour road closure on Sept. 8 cost $5,627 — $4,602.26 for KPD officers and another $1,024.95 for Public Works Department personnel. Garden Island.