Thursday, October 24, 2013

Gay marriage debate intensifies as Hawaii Legislature nears special session, HECO seeks big photovoltaic plant, church and state, Maui to regulate home-based businesses, Hawaii County department head case dismissed, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy USGS
Kilauea scientist courtesy USGS
The northeast spatter cone in Kilauea Volcano's Puu Oo vent continues to feed the Kahaualea 2 lava flow, which is burning through forests to the north, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports. Star-Advertiser.

Legal and sociology scholars critical of gay marriage warned state lawmakers on Wednesday night that allowing same-sex couples to wed in Hawaii could weaken traditional marriage, influence the curriculum at public schools and threaten religious liberty. Star-Advertiser.

Why the neighbor islands won't be getting similar informational sessions on the Marriage Equality bill. Hawaii Independent.

The gay marriage debate is heating up on the Big Island. The state is one week away from an October 28th special legislative session, where the topic of same sex marriage will be taken up by Hawaii’s elected officials. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii could begin issuing licenses and performing ceremonies for gay couples on Nov. 18 if a bill passes during a special session that begins next week. A Senate draft of the bill to be considered starting Monday says couples would be able to obtain licenses and be married the same day. Associated Press.

We're days away from the start of a special session that could legalize same-sex marriage in Hawaii. While some believe there's enough votes in support of it, others say it's too close to call. KHON2.

In what has become almost a fall tradition, the Hawaii State Association of Counties — made up of the four county councils — is again flirting with asking the Legislature for a new exemption from the state’s Sunshine Law. Civil Beat.

As students across the state are forced to sweat it out in hot classrooms some school leaders can't take the heat, literally. We've learned that some Department of Education employees went home when their air conditioning didn't work recently. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu
Hawaiian Electric Co. is seeking regulatory approval to build the state's largest solar photovoltaic energy project that would deliver power to the grid at a cost significantly below what the utility pays to generate electricity by burning oil. The 15-megawatt project, planned for a 50-acre undeveloped parcel next to HECO's Kahe Generating Station, would be the first PV facility owned and operated by the utility. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Co. has selected SolarCity to build one of the largest solar farms in Hawaii, a 15-megawatt solar photovoltaic system next to the electric utility’s Kake Generating Station in Leeward Oahu, SolarCity said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

Tensions between Hawaiian Electric Co. and the solar industry may be at an all-time high. Last month, HECO informed solar companies that customers in areas where there is already a high concentration of solar could have to pay more for studies and technology upgrades if they want to hook a solar system up to the utility's electric grid. Civil Beat.

Wayne Cordeiro, New Hope Church’s charismatic founding pastor, has collected hefty salaries in recent years, sometimes more than $300,000 a year, according to tax disclosure forms. Critics say Cordeiro’s pay is a reflection of the megachurch’s corporate business model and an indication that the New Hope churches — three of which are embroiled in a lawsuit alleging they underpaid the state for their use of facilities and utilities at schools such as Farrington High — are in fact shortchanging public education.  Civil Beat.

Honolulu transportation officials aim to replace 18 old city buses with new, fuel-efficient models by next week. Star-Advertiser.

An oceanfront hotel or time share could be part of new plans for Hoakalei Resort as part of a developer's move to build a recreational lagoon instead of a small-boat marina at the master-planned community in Ewa Beach. Star-Advertiser.

More than 250 acres have been scorched at a Schofield Barracks range from a fire that began more than a week ago. The brush fire flared up again Wednesday morning, blanketing the area in dense smoke. Star-Advertiser.

The new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration building on Pearl Harbor's Ford Island is getting a child care center. Associated Press.

Hawaii

A 3rd Circuit Court judge dismissed a case against a Hawaii County official Wednesday because she had not been properly served notice. Councilwoman Brenda Ford, South Kona/Ka‘u, filed a petition against Environmental Management Director Bobby Jean Leithead Todd in August, asking the court to compel Leithead Todd to justify her qualifications for the position. West Hawaii Today.

Faced with an almost 300 percent increase proposed in state surcharges on landfill operations, Hawaii County may have to raise tipping fees for commercial garbage haulers, a price hike likely to be passed on to consumers. West Hawaii Today.

Shizuko “Mary,” “Grandma” Teshima, a fixture in the Kona community who exemplified altruism, hard work and entrepreneurship, died Tuesday. She was 106. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Six hearings on a proposed bill to permit and regulate home-based businesses in certain zoning districts will be held throughout the county by the Maui County Council Planning Committee. Maui News.

The Planning Committee will hold six public meetings from Monday, Oct. 28, to Dec. 3 to receive input on the pending Home Business Bill, Councilmember Don Couch announced last week. Maui Weekly.

The Maui Planning Commission approved a special management area permit Tuesday for a T.J. Maxx store and another retail building on the southwest corner of the Maui Mall. Maui News.

A federal jury Tuesday found two Maui women guilty of conspiracy and mail fraud offenses tied to a scheme by a Hawaiian sovereignty group that bilked about 200 financially strapped residents of a total of $468,000. Star-Advertiser.

A U.S. District Court jury took a few hours Tuesday to convict two Maui residents of using Hawaiian sovereignty claims to bilk approximately 200 people out of nearly $468,000 in fees charged for a bogus debt-elimination program. Maui News.

A federal jury found two Maui residents guilty of conspiracy and mail fraud for offenses stemming from a “marketing of a debt elimination scheme” carried out through their involvement in the group known as Ko Hawaiʻi Pae ʻAina, the Registry and Hawaiʻiloa Foundation, according to the US Attorney’s Office in Hawaiʻi. Maui Now.

Kauai

A bill to repeal the last existing building ordinance created after Hurricane Iniki is a concern for those wanting the Coco Palms Resort returned to its former glory. Garden Island.

The state is projecting big things for the County of Kauai. Specifically, it thinks The Garden Isle will outpace neighboring islands when it comes to industry and occupational growth by 2020. Garden Island.

The state has proposed spending nearly $2 million restoring a 100-foot section of eroded stream bank on Kauai's Hanalaei River. The Department of Land and Natural Resources says a breach dating back to the mid-1990s is polluting the environment, degrading the stream and reef and reducing water flows to nearby taro fields and wildlife refuge. Associated Press.