Monday, July 28, 2014

A post-Inouye Hawaii Democratic Party, UH Manoa chancellor Apple ousted, Kauai GMO rules hearing Tuesday, Maui mayor candidate tased, arrested, property tax shock on Oahu, state tops in solar power, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie campaigning ©2014 All Hawaii News
Primary voters will help direct the course of state Democratic Party politics in August in the first election since the death of U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, the dominant figure in Hawaii's political culture for half a century. Star-Advertiser.

How Did the ‘New Day in Hawaii’ Plan Work Out? Four years ago Neil Abercrombie outlined a vision for the state. Civil Beat analyzes whether the governor delivered.

Hawaii now has more solar power per person than any other state in the nation. Star-Advertiser.

Public elementary schools across the state will see around 5,500 fewer kindergartners this upcoming school year, beginning Friday when a new law goes into effect. Maui News.

It’s a pivotal time in history for Native Hawaiians and an unprecedented number of candidates want to be a part of it. Events coalescing around the state have brought a dramatic increase in candidates seeking a seat on the board of trustees for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. West Hawaii Today.

The Army in Hawaii has landed Black Hawk and Kiowa Warrior helicopters on the decks of underway Navy ships in the past as the land service seeks to prove its sea-based flexibility. Star-Advertiser.

Matson Navigation Co. Inc., Hawaii’s largest cargo container shipping company, will pay $9.95 million as part of a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and Illinois freight consultant Mario Rizzo. Hawaii Reporter.

Oahu

Two years into what was supposed to be a five-year appointment, University of Hawaii at Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple will be removed from the position, but he may remain at UH as a professor, sources told Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Hall, where the office of the University of Hawaii's Manoa chancellor is located, was closed for the weekend, but it's been anything but quiet among the allies of Tom Apple. Hawaii News Now.

After just over two years on the job, University of Hawaii at Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple will soon be leaving his position as chancellor at the university, according to sources familiar with the situation. Several sources told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that Apple's ouster as chancellor is imminent, but the UH administration said in a statement Sunday that Apple is still chancellor.

Opinion: What’s the Story Behind Tom Apple’s Ouster as UH Chancellor? UH officials should be forthcoming about why the chancellor has been canned just a few weeks after new president takes over. Civil Beat.

Glass in the trash. A lack of funding for recycling non-Hi5 glass has forced businesses to begin throwing their wine and spirit bottles out with the trash. Hawaii Independent.

The Honolulu City Council’s District 6 covers much of Oahu’s urban core — including downtown Honolulu and a portion of the up-and-coming Kakaako — so it’s not surprising that high-profile issues such as homelessness, development and affordable housing are at play in the four-way Council race. Civil Beat.

This fall, Oahu is poised to be the first place in the United States where electricity generated by ocean waves is connected to a power grid — a milestone in the budding wave energy industry, officials say. Star-Advertiser.

Property valuations by city spur disbelief, derision. Shocked homeowners complain the numbers are way off and their tax bills are unreasonably high. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The Thirty Meter Telescope cleared its last major hurdle Friday. The state Board of Land and Natural Resources dismissed the remaining contested case hearing requests for the $1.3 billion project’s sublease, allowing construction to begin on Mauna Kea. Tribune-Herald.

A final environmental assessment released last week found no significant impacts to a proposed project that aims to improve access from the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority to Queen Kaahumanu Highway and Kona International Airport. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

State Sen. David Ige stopped by a luncheon for seniors Saturday at the Grand Wai­lea Resort in Kihei, Maui. He and his wife, Dawn, met in the afternoon with women who support his Demo­cratic primary campaign for governor at Cafe o' Lei at the Dunes at Maui Lani here. Star-Advertiser.

Maui mayoral candidate Beau Hawkes was arrested and released on bail after an encounter with police that resulted in him being tazed and handcuffed in Wailuku Town. Maui Now.

A bill seeking a ban on the use and sale of polystyrene disposable food service containers in Maui County comes up for review before a council committee on Monday. Maui Now.

One day after a Maui County Council committee deferred a citizen's initiative that calls for a temporary moratorium on genetically engineered crops, Mayor Alan Arakawa said at a Maui Chamber of Commerce luncheon Friday that he, personally, believes genetically modified organisms are not harmful. Maui News.

Maui County voters will cast ballots in November on a proposal to impose a moratorium on the cultivation of genetically engineered organisms. Associated Press.

The state has released $3.5 million to renovate University of Hawaii Maui College student housing and transform the former Hale Haumana into the Hospitality Academy of Maui, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced Saturday. Maui News.

Kauai

The Office of Economic Development will hold a public hearing on draft rules that could be utilized to implement Ordinance 960. The ordinance was passed by the County Council in November 2013 to govern genetically modified organisms and pesticide use by large ag companies on Kauai. The hearing is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall. Garden Island.

Three candidates in Kauai County's mayoral race strongly oppose operations of seed companies on the lush island, while incumbent Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. seeks to strike a balance between the community and the biotech industry. Star-Advertiser.

A French battery maker has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract by Kauai Island Utility Cooperative to provide a battery energy storage system for the Lihue-based utility’s $54 million, 12-megawatt Anahola Solar project, which started construction late last month. Pacific Business News.

The general partners of early-stage investment fund mbloom and the president of the Hawaii State Development Corporation addressed questions from the local tech community regarding conflict of interest in a town hall meeting at Box Jelly in Kakaako on Thursday night. Pacific Business News.

Plans for a Kauai dairy farm are being modified in response to odor and other environmental concerns. Hawaii Dairy Farms modified its application to the state Department of Health, with plans for starting on a smaller scale with 650-699 cows, backers announced Friday. Associated Press.