Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hawaii faces active hurricane season, teachers await new performance ratings, state to host 2016 conservation conference, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Central Pacific Hurricane Center
May 22, 2014 image, Central Pacific Hurricane Center
As many as seven tropical cyclones could hit the Central Pacific this hurricane season. Forecasters expect the Central Pacific Basin, which includes Hawaii, will experience four to seven tropical cyclones — an uptick from the annual average of four to five for the June-November season, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center announced on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

El Nino conditions developing this summer could lead to a busier than average hurricane season, experts said Wednesday morning. Central Pacific Hurricane Center officials predict four to seven tropical cyclones in the Pacific Basin this year. West Hawaii Today.

Climate conditions point to a near-normal or above-normal season in the Central Pacific Basin this year, thanks to the influence of El NiƱo, weather officials said Wednesday. Garden Island.

Hawaii could see an uptick in tropical cyclones this hurricane season. Weather forecasters are predicting an 80% chance of normal or above-normal activity. Hawaii Public Radio.

Rainfall during Hawaii's recently ended wet season surprised scientists who expected to see drought conditions persist in some parts of the state. Instead, the isles have come out of the October-April wet season relatively drought-free. Star-Advertiser.

As public school teachers await their first performance ratings under the state's new evaluation system, Department of Education officials say they are weighing ways to improve the controversial evaluations for next year, and plan to make changes by July 1. Star-Advertiser.

Wading into murky legal waters, the Hawaii State Ethics Commission decided Wednesday that members of task forces that advise boards and commissions must disclose their financial interests. Civil Beat.

Watchdog agencies have more questions on lawmaker spending. KHON2.

The evolving nature of warfare will be on display in this year's Rim of the Pacific war games off Hawaii in late June and through July. Star-Advertiser.

Alan Yonan Jr., a longtime business reporter who covered energy and other industries for The Honolulu Advertiser and Honolulu Star-Advertiser, becomes the chief communications officer for the Hawaii State Energy Office starting Thursday. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has selected Honolulu as the first U.S. venue to host the 2016 World Conservation Congress. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaii will host the world’s largest conservation conference in 2016, drawing leaders from 1,200 organizations worldwide that are part of The International Union for Conservation of Nature. Associated Press.

It took Hawaii about six years to secure the International Union for Conservation of Nature's coveted 2016 World Conservation Congress, and now the real work begins as organizers begin to raise the $11.5 million needed to pull the event off. Star-Advertiser.

More than 3,000 delegates from all over the world are on O'ahu this week for the World Indegenous Peoples Conference on Education to discuss education models that support their unique indigenous world views. Hawaii News Now.

The preliminary finding of high levels of diesel at a monitoring well at Tripler Army Medical Center is prompting new alarms from state and city officials. Star-Advertiser.

There are concerns about the filth created by the homeless at the city-owned Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Park in Chinatown, which is next to the Hawaii Theatre and lacks a restroom. Star-Advertiser.

The Campbell Industrial Park lease for the Oahu Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter was extended Wednesday, temporarily sparing it from closure. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

A subsidiary of a Japanese company has unloaded 252 acres of South Kohala property for $70 million less than it paid in 1990. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo Medical Center is now regularly performing a simple and cheap test on newborns that can help catch congenital heart defects while they are still capable of being corrected. Tribune-Herald.

On the hunt for the elusive coqui frog. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

About a month after water service was disrupted, relief is in sight for farmers and tenants at the Maui County Kula Agricultural Park with the completion of repairs to a siphon in East Maui Irrigation's Hamakua ditch system. Maui News.

Maui residents are invited to attend a community meeting to learn about the planned West Maui Hospital and Medical Center. Maui Now.

Kauai

The U.S. military on the Hawaiian island of Kauai has conducted the first flight test of a new missile defense system designed to protect NATO forces in Europe from ballistic missile attack, the Pentagon said Wednesday. Associated Press.

Condensed water vapor trailing a missile that was launched off Kauai drew quite a bit of attention Tuesday, prompting speculation about a strange light in the night sky. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai’s Pacific Missile Range Facility is planning to drop the missile — from its own name. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council has finalized its changes to the mayor’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year. The only question now is which version — the one proposed by Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. or the one modified by the Kauai County Council — will be adopted and serve as a guideline for decisions countywide over the 2014-2015 fiscal year, which begins on July 1. Garden Island.

The historic and once hurricane-devastated Coco Palms Resort on Kauai will reopen under Hyatt Hotels' management. Star-Advertiser.