Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Gubernatorial candidates debate, Oahu to raise smoking age, Puna prepares for lava, Hawaiian Electric companies file long-term plans, Kauai property tax bills rise, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii gubernatorial candidates debate, screen grab
Hawaii can stimulate its economy and generate jobs without raising taxes, the state's gubernatorial candidates said in a forum Tuesday. The debate hosted by the West Oahu Economic Development Association marked the first time that the four candidates met since the primary election earlier this month. Associated Press.

Mufi, David, Duke and Jeff: Our Candidates for Governor Get Together. Hawaii's contenders for top job talk about economic growth in West Oahu, same-sex marriage and elephants in the room. Civil Beat.

The first forum featuring all four candidates for Governor overlooked the first section of Oahu's rail line from the UH West Oahu Campus Center. It was a fitting focal point to discuss the economy and future of Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Two weeks after his upset of Gov. Neil Abercrombie for the Democratic Party's gubernatorial nomination, Oahu state Sen. David Ige expressed confidence Saturday that he and Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui would ride a wave of voter support to win in the Nov. 4 general election. Maui News.

The Hawaiian Electric Cos. plan to lower customers' electric bills by 20 percent, nearly triple the amount of rooftop solar and give customers more service options by 2030, while attaining the highest level of renewable energy in the nation, according to response released late Tuesday to directives by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission that were handed down in April. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaiian electric companies filed new long-term energy plans with the state Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday that outline their strategies for increasing clean energy, reducing consumer costs, and improving the integration of solar into their electric grids on Oahu, Maui County and the Big Island. Civil Beat.

The Hawaiian Electric Companies late Tuesday afternoon filed what can be described as a massive energy transition plan with the Public Utilities Commission. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Electric delivered on its promise on Tuesday, presenting its plan to reduce costs and allow more people to use renewable energy . HECO delivered binders full of documents late Tuesday afternoon to the Public Utilities Commission.  The PUC then posted it online. KHON2.

It’s Women’s Equality Day. How Does Hawaii Compare? Very well on a number of fronts, thank you, and overall we're No. 1. Civil Beat.

A new University of Hawaii report on global warming doesn't specify when the impacts will hit but warns the tourism industry to start preparing now for the effects linked to climate change because they likely will have a profound effect on the state and its No. 1 business. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: Puna Voters Had Practical Problems, Not Legal Defects. Natural disasters occasionally disrupt elections but legal challenges have not materialized or succeeded in other states. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann said Tuesday that the city, not the Hawaii Community Development Authority, should have planning oversight in Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

A bill that would raise the smoking age to 21 won preliminary approval Tuesday from the City Council's Public Safety and Economic Development Committee. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu may join a growing number of jurisdictions throughout the country, including Hawaii County, to raise the minimum age for buying cigarettes from 18 to 21. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources will hold a public meeting Wednesday to discuss a proposed one-year pilot project to regulate the use of stand-up paddleboards at certain surf breaks on Oahu's South Shore. Star-Advertiser.

Legislation seeking to create a quasi-independent agency to manage Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve was shelved by a Honolulu City Council committee Tuesday to allow the Parks and Recreation Department time to provide specific financial information to Council members and others who want to know where up to $6 million in annual revenue from the popular attraction is being used. Star-Advertiser.

Hanauma Bay to be audited over repair backlog and improper budget accusations. Hawaii News Now.

The City Council Executive Matters and Legislative Affairs Committee on Tuesday deferred Bill 50, which would have given the Council the authority to determine how much in fines should be paid by those who violate city land use laws. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Co. wants 65 percent of its power to come from renewable sources by 2030, cut customer bills by 20 percent, convert remaining power plants to liquefied natural gas and charge customers with rooftop solar much more. Star-Advertiser.

Drivers in Honolulu rank among the top 30 percent accident-prone motorists in the U.S., according to an annual ranking of the nation's 200 biggest urban areas, according to Allstate Corp. Star-Advertiser.

Homeless people living on University of Hawaii Manoa land just steps away from dorms and faculty housing have left behind piles of trash, making parts of Waahila Ridge look like a small garbage dump. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

One of the finalists for Hawaii County’s waste-to-energy incinerator is expected to penalize the City and County of Honolulu big bucks for not providing enough garbage for its plant last year. But Hawaii County Environmental Management Director Bobby Jean Leithead Todd said Tuesday the Big Island isn’t likely to run into the same problem because it’s planning a much smaller facility. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Island public safety officials are asking lower Puna residents to remain vigilant as scientists continue to track a lava flow that is within 2 miles of homes. The June 27 flow, named for the date it began, is moving at a speed of about 200 to 300 feet per day, according to Jim Kauahikaua, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist-in-charge. Tribune-Herald.

The ordinarily quiet streets of Kaohe Homesteads south of Pahoa bustled with activity Tuesday. Neighbors visited with each other to share the latest news, and residents from nearby communities were busy driving through to see what they could see — scoping out the area public safety officials say could be the first in line if an unpredictable lava flow 2 miles away continues on its path. Tribune-Herald.

Councilwoman Brenda Ford says South Kona needs a new well — the sooner, the better. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Developers for the proposed Piʻilani Promenade in South Maui have filed a draft environmental impact statement for the project. Maui Now.

Opponents of Revised Pi‘ilani Promenade Project Express Concern. Maui Weekly.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources approved a deal Friday to resolve encroachments onto Kihei state beach reserve land, officials said Monday. Maui News.

Kula Elementary School lowered its student absentee rate by nearly 20 percentage points in the last school year, after a third of its students missed 15 days or more in the previous school year, according to statistics released Monday by the state Department of Education. Maui News.

Kauai

County officials say 5,293 property owners in the county’s homestead class received increases on their real property taxes this year. Another 5,651 people, according to Department of Finance data, received decreases on their tax returns. Garden Island.