Friday, December 27, 2013

Obama's boring vacation, new landing zones for Mauna Kea, Enright named ag chief, PUC rejects Ka'u biofuel plant, Kauai wants to license cats, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Black Hawk helicopter over Mauna Kea (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
The 25th Army Combat Aviation Brigade and Hawaii Army National Guard want to construct four aviation landing zones on Mauna Loa’s northern slope, a location deemed ideal for military helicopter pilots to train on varied terrain, under diverse conditions and at multiple altitudes. West Hawaii Today.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is starting to register volunteers on Kauai, Oahu and the Big Island for an annual humpback whale count. Associated Press.

How President Barack Obama spent the sixth day of his holiday vacation in Hawaii on Thursday. Associated Press.

Dear Barry, There's no two ways about it — you give boring vacation. Your sixth presidential Christmas vacation in Hawaii has so far been as routine as the previous five. Civil Beat.

When it comes to Hawaii politics, here are some of the most distinctive and effective politicians on social media today. Civil Beat.

POLITICO says the Hawaii U.S. Senate primary is one of the ones to watch next year, along with races in Kentucky, Wyoming and other states. Civil Beat.

Enright
The governor is appointing a new chairman of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. Scott Edward Enright has been named to replace Russell Kokubun, who is retiring at the end of the year. Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced Enright's appointment Thursday. The appointment is subject to state Senate confirmation. Associated Press.

The governor appointed a new chairman of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. Scott Edward Enright has been named to replace Russell Kokubun, who is retiring at the end of the year. Associated Press.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has appointed Scott Enright as the new chair of the Board of Agriculture, effective Jan. 1. Civil Beat.

Criminal cases against several charter school leaders prompted oversight improvements for Hawaii's 33 charter schools, the executive director of the state's charter school commission said. Hawaii News Now.

Larry Ellison, who purchased the majority of Hawaii’s island of Lanai in 2012, dominated PBN’s top 10 online stories, ranked by page views, but a $1.3 billion telescope planned for the top of a Big Island volcano beat the Oracle Corp. CEO for the top spot on the list. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

Taller buildings aren’t just coming to Kakaako, and that's mostly thanks to rail. New city plans call for increasing building height limits around future rail stations as a means to spur development. It’s part of Honolulu’s push for transit-oriented development, a planning principle that seeks to gentrify neighborhoods, increase density and make communities more pedestrian-friendly. Civil Beat.

For the second time in two months, vandals have knocked out dozens of traffic cameras across Oahu by ripping out the fiber-optic cables that support them under the H-1 freeway. Star-Advertiser.

Hikers and New Year's revelers will greet 2014 along the scenic Maka­puu lighthouse trail edging Oahu's easternmost tip. The state is inviting the public to participate in a "First Day" sunrise hike at Maka­puu for the third year. Star-Advertiser.

More than 1,000 box jellyfish wash ashore. KHON2.

Hawaii

The Public Utilities Commission has again rejected a contract between Hawaii Electric Light Co. and Aina Koa Pono for a biodiesel refinery outside Pahala, saying it’s too expensive for ratepayers and there’s no proof it won’t harm the environment. West Hawaii Today.

The developer of a proposed biofuel production facility on Hawaii island said Thursday the company will proceed with its plans despite being told by regulators that Hawaii Electric Light Co. will not be allowed to buy its fuel for power generation. Star-Advertiser.

For the second time, a contract for Aina Koa Pono LLC to supply Hawaii Electric Light Co. with 16 million gallons of biofuel at the Keahole Power Plant on the Big Island has been denied by Hawaii regulators, according to public documents. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has once again denied a proposed Aina Koa Pono biodiesel supply contract with the Hawaii Electric Light Company. A proposed surcharge to cover the additional costs to produce the biodiesel was also denied. Big Island Video News.

Hilo Medical Center will receive more than $1.7 million to upgrade dietary equipment that is more than 25 years old after Gov. Neil Abercrombie released funds Thursday for public hospital capital improvement projects. Tribune-Herald.

The Target data breach has reached West Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The Portuguese Association of Maui is the recipient of an estimated $3,000 grant from the HawaiĘ»i Foundation on Culture and the Arts. The non-profit group plans to use the funds to produce a 26-segment radio series titled, “Stories of Our People,” scheduled to air on Sundays at 8:30 p.m. on KNUI AM 550. Maui Now.

Kauai

State officials say they've seen an increase in illegal vendors hawking crafts and other merchandise on Kauai. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said Thursday that citations have been given at Opaekaa Falls and Wailua Falls. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai County considers feline fees. The county is considering treating cat owners just like dog owners by requiring them to license their animals every year. Garden Island.