Monday, December 16, 2013

Abercrombie signs new West Hawaii fisheries rules, state retirement system faces $8.5 billion shortfall, Oahu train downsized, NOAA facility named for Inouye, telescopes on Maui, Big Island, face Native Hawaiian battles, GMO protest pops up on Oahu, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Abercrombie signs fisheries rules (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed new rules Saturday that would ban scuba spearfishing in waters of West Hawaii. The West Hawaii Regional Fishery Management Area Rules were developed over 10 years of discussion and hearings by the West Hawaii Fisheries Council. The council is a community advisory group formed in the late 1990s to manage conflicts over fishing. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a long-awaited fisheries rules package Saturday, as he and a host of Democratic Party leaders bid goodbye to state Rep. Denny Coffman at the Kona International Airport. West Hawaii Today.

A new scholarly work argues that pre-contact Hawaii — in particular, the society that developed in the 17th and 18th centuries on the Big Island — should join the recognized list of "cradles of civilization," primary states from which "all modern nation states ultimately derive." Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s retirement system tackles $8.5 billion shortfall. Hawaii Reporter.

Newsmakers say the darndest things, and it's time to review my favorite quotes from 2013. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

When local transit officials started planning Oahu's elevated rail project, they envisioned a flexible system that could run trains of two, three and four cars from the instant the rail line started operating — a way to adjust to growing ridership and periods of greater demand. However, after awarding a $1.4 billion contract in 2011 to Ansaldo Honolulu JV to design, build, operate and maintain that system, the local agency overseeing the rail project realized that's not what Oahu would get. Star-Advertiser.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will be dedicating a new facility on Ford Island in Honolulu. The facility is named for the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye and will house 12 NOAA offices with more than 700 staff members. The state-of-the art, $331-million center is a 35-acre parcel on federal land. Associated Press.

Rain couldn't dampen "Kokua for the Philippines." Despite severe weather canceling the television broadcast and outdoor concert portions of the fundraiser, the show still raised more than $1.75 million dollars for victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Hawaii News Now.

After a day of close to perfect weather on Oahu's North Shore for the conclusion of the Billabong Pipeline Masters, world-renowned surfers joined anti-GMO activists Sunday for a rainy march down Kame­ha­meha Highway in Haleiwa. Their aim was to call attention to Hawaii's agricultural experimentation and genetic engineering seed production industries. Star-Advertiser.

City agencies don’t have to wait for Santa for gifts, unlike the rest of us. So far this year, the city has accepted nearly $700,000 worth of gifts from nearly 200 donors. Civil Beat.

Low-income seniors looking for rental housing on Oahu have a new opportunity to consider with a high-rise apartment project in Iwilei wrapping up construction and slated to be completed in March. Pacific Housing Assistance Corp., a local nonprofit developer, is building the 160-unit project called the Senior Residence at Iwilei with state and county assistance, and recently began accepting rental applications. Star-Advertiser.

For this high school class, students punch in when they arrive. During the day they learn how to mop the floor at a food court or plant turf on a commercial property, take a meal order at Zippy’s or change bed linens at the Hilton. They punch out when the leave for the day, too. It’s all part of a program in the works at Kaimuki High School that’s aimed at training kids for entry-level jobs in Hawaii’s hospitality industry. Civil Beat.

Stalled remedies vex homestead residents Some Department of Hawaiian Home Lands lessees have waited years for resolution of problems with their properties. Star-Advertiser.

Retail Partners Hawaii LLC, which purchased Price Busters out of bankruptcy three years ago, said Friday that all eight of the discount retail chain’s stores in Hawaii will close by mid-January. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

Board of Land and Natural Resources defers Mauna Kea lease request. In an interesting turn of events, UH requested that the board make the deferral until a full EIS can be completed. Hawaii Independent.

What began in 1983 at the Hilo Lagoon Center as a small women’s clinic with five staff members has grown into a health care network serving areas in East and South Hawaii, with nine different locations and 170 employees. Tribune-Herald.

'Experiment' episode shot on Big Island helps woman conquer fears. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Hawaii's Board of Land and Natural Resources erred in approving a key permit for a controversial 14-story telescope currently under construction at the summit of Haleakala, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled Friday. The decision marks a major victory for Kilakila O Halealaka, a Native Hawaiian group on Maui that has been fighting for several years against the University of Hawaii Institute of Astronomy's telescope. Civil Beat.

Haleakala Trail dispute heads for March trial. Judge Cardoza denies Public Access Trails call for summary judgment. Maui News.

The state sheriff’s office on Maui is overseeing the eviction today of an estimated 72 people who were living along the ʻĪao River between Piʻihana Road and Wili Pā Loop in Wailuku. Maui Now.

‘Don’t want to leave,’ say Wailuku parcel holdouts. While an excavator faintly rumbled, demolishing a wooden shack some distance away, Martin Aikala, 76, was trying to figure out his next move Saturday morning. Maui News.

Kauai
Residents of Kauai, the state's fourth-largest island — home to about 5 percent of Hawaii's residents — are now preparing for a future that will include a growing population. Star-Advertiser.

To prevent flooding from occurring in Waimea due to the heavy rains, the Kikiaola irrigation ditch was opened this morning, allowing storm water mixed with treated wastewater from the Waimea Wastewater Treatment Plant to flow into Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor. Warning signs are posted at the harbor to inform the public that treated wastewater is present in the outflow from the Kikiaola ditch. Officials estimate that up to 300,000 gallons of treated wastewater may have been involved in the spill. Garden Island.