Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Lassner picked as UH president, electric bills rise statewide, Maui injection wells violate Clean Water Act, court clears way for Waimanalo landfill expansion, Hawaii County Council passes $416.9M budget, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copurtesy Hawaii Public Radio - Molly Solomon
Board of Regents courtesy Hawaii Public Radio, Molly Solomon
The University of Hawaii’s regents selected David Lassner as the institution’s next president Monday after lengthy debate about whether the board should delay selecting a candidate. Associated Press.

After a nearly year-long search, David Lassner was chosen as the new president of the University of Hawaii by the school’s Board of Regents on Monday. Lassner, UH’s longtime information technology executive, has been serving as the university’s interim president since September 2013. Civil Beat.

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents voted Monday to hire its longtime information technology chief to lead the university as its 15th president, saying David Lassner will be able to hit the ground running and help mend the university's bruised reputation while working toward strategic goals to improve UH's delivery of higher education. Star-Advertiser.

In a split vote, the University of Hawaii Board of Regents selected Interim UH President David Lassner as the permanent UH president Monday, while two regents abstained from the vote saying they wanted the university to re-open the presidential search. Hawaii News Now.

David Lassner, courtesy UH
Dr. David Lassner will be the next University of Hawai'i president.  The UH Board of Regents selected interim president Lassner over retired Army Lt. General Frank Wiercinski in a 11 - 2 decision, with two other abstaining from the vote -- insisting instead that UH should start over and re-open the search. Hawaii News Now.

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents voted Monday to choose David Lassner as the next president of the state's 10-campus university system. Pacific Business News.

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents by a vote of 11 to 2 with 2 abstentions appointed David Lassner as the next President of the University of Hawaii System at a special board meeting today.  The board discussed extensively its thoughts on the 11-month search process for the next president, which involved extensive community outreach and feedback from the public on what it wants to see in the next university leader. Hawaii Reporter.

The University of Hawaii has a new president. David Lassner was selected by the Board of Regents on Monday, winning by a vote of 11 to 2 with two abstentions. Hawaii Public Radio.

Electricity bills for most Hawaii residential customers will increase by nearly $5 a month, starting immediately. On Friday the state Public Utilities Commission approved the increase requested by Hawaiian Electric Co., the Hawaii Electric Light Co. on Hawaii island, and Maui Electric Co. as part of an annual adjustment designed to compensate the utility for increased capital expenditures and declines in sales over the past year. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii officials will have millions of dollars less than expected to run state government services over the next several years if the Council on Revenues’ latest fiscal forecast holds true. Civil Beat.

Hawaii is ahead most other states in accomplishing President Barack Obama's goals to cut carbon levels. Associated Press.

As Hawaii's humpback whale and green sea turtle populations have bounced back, a Big Island lawmaker has called on the federal government to take them off of the endangered species list. Hawaii News Now.

Chronic overcrowding and an inappropriate infrastructure have put a strain on the staff at the Hawaii State Hospital and added to the risks of working there, hospital officials say. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa sticks up for her stance on Social Security and Medicare, resurrecting an issue she previously downplayed. Civil Beat.

Commentary: OHA’s controversial and heavily contested strategy to “facilitate [Kānaka Maoli] self-governance” has manifested itself in a number of questionable endeavors; most recently, Kana‘iolowalu (the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission established through Act 195 of the ‘State of Hawai‘i’) and a “re-establishment of a government-to-government relationship” under the Obama administration and without congressional approval. Civil Beat.

Houston-based Par Petroleum, which acquired Tesoro Corp. Hawaii last year, is buying the parent company of Mid-Pac Petroleum, the exclusive licensee of the “76” brand in the state and owner of more than 80 retail sites and four terminals across Hawaii, for $107 million, the companies said Monday. Pacific Business News.


Oahu

The state Intermediate Court of Appeals has determined that the final environmental impact statement the city filed for expansion of the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill is valid, clearing one of the legal issues clouding continued operations at Oahu's only municipal and solid-waste dump. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa has lost another battle in her decade-long fight to shut down the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill on Oahu’s Leeward coast, where the city dumps the bulk of its garbage. Civil Beat.

West Oahu-bound drivers will get a reprieve this week from the latest round of nightly roadwork shutting down Ewa-bound lanes on the H-1 freeway. Star-Advertiser.

Many neighborhoods across Oahu deal with the same problem — piles of junk sitting on the curb, sometimes for weeks. Honolulu City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi has introduced Bill 41, which is aimed at solving the bulky item problem. KHON2.

Private equity giant Blackstone and a team of undisclosed financiers plan to invest $415 million to add a 350-foot time-share tower to the Hilton Hawaiian Village, which is the state's largest single resort property. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says a new law would help get homeless off the streets in Waikiki. Civil Beat.

Hawaii
Facing very little testimony from an apparently apathetic public, the Hawaii County Council made quick work Monday of an operating budget for the new fiscal year, unanimously passing the $416.9 million spending plan Mayor Billy Kenoi proposed to them. West Hawaii Today.

A Native Hawaiian group suing two state agencies over plans to reopen Kulani Correctional Facility has filed a motion in an attempt to prevent the state from enacting its plans to reopen the prison. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

A federal judge in Honolulu has ruled that Maui County's use of injection wells at its Lahaina sewage treatment plant violates the federal Clean Water Act, setting up the county for potential fines reaching into the millions of dollars. Associated Press.

The county’s use of injection wells at the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility in West Maui violates the federal Clean Water Act according to a federal district court ruling on Friday, the environmental law firm Earthjustice announced. Maui Now.

Hana Water Co. and Hana Water Resources have submitted their application to Hawaii regulators regarding the transfer of ownership of the two utilities as part of the thousands of acres bought by a subsidiary of Colorado-based Bio-Logical Capital earlier this year. Pacific Business News.

The final environmental assessment for a project to construct a replacement seawall, drainage improvements and a beach access path at Kahana Sunset has been accepted and published by the state. Maui News.

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration have released an audio recording that features a Hawaiian Airlines pilot talking to air traffic controllers after realizing a teen had stowed away on a flight from San Jose to Maui. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard met with about 40 veterans at the Kauai Veterans Center Monday to discuss what she described as “deep and systematic issues” affecting the Department of Veterans Affairs. Garden Island.

There will be no launch Tuesday of a saucer-shaped test vehicle from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, NASA announced. Star-Advertiser.