Friday, September 12, 2014

NOAA probes grant fund misuse in efforts to delist green sea turtle, University of Hawaii could lose deep-sea submersibles, cost of militarization, affordable housing mulled for Honolulu, lava forces plans for new road routes, new sirens for Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Green sea turtle in Hawaii © 2014 All Hawaii News
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has directed the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Wespac) to investigate the extent to which federal grant funds might have been misused by council staff members involved in preparing the pending petition to remove the Hawaiian green sea turtle from the federal list of threatened and endangered species. Civil Beat.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa is in danger of losing its two deep-water submarines unless the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory, the program that runs the subs, can come up with $3 million in the next month. Pacific Business News.

Opinion: The true cost of Hawaiʻi’s militarization. A thorough examination of the costs and benefits of housing the U.S. military dispels the mythos that Hawaiʻi would not survive without it. Hawaii Independent.

Creating homeless encampments to alleviate the state’s growing problem of homelessness is a bad idea, according to a 2012 report submitted to the Legislature by the Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness, a 24-member task force created by Gov. Neil Abercrombie and composed of state and city officials, homeless providers and community leaders. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell wants to revamp the city’s affordable housing policy to provide more rental spaces and more units that low-income people can afford. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell's ambitious plan to bump up Oahu's affordable-housing count by more than 4,000 in the next five years is already generating myriad questions and a lot of discussion from City Council members and homebuilders alike, just as he predicted. Star-Advertiser.

14 years of disciplinary data compiled and analyzed by Civil Beat shows the Honolulu Police Department has a long history of leniency with cops found to have threatened, beat or otherwise hurt significant others and family members.

A group of lawmakers chided the Honolulu Police Department on Thursday for its handling of a possible domestic abuse case involving a police sergeant that was captured on video. Star-Advertiser.

The Board of Water Supply is getting heat after a city audit report said rates should go down. KHON2.

The State Department of Health is investigating the underground release of thousands of gallons of oil on Sand Island. It was found in a construction trench on the street that leads to the Keehi Boat Harbor. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

Crews started building two alternate routes Thursday as a lava flow continued its advance toward Pahoa and Highway 130. Tribune-Herald.

Lava concerns on Hawaii's Big Island are shifting from it reaching a sparsely populated subdivision to it crossing over a heavily used highway. Associated Press.

Work crews began clearing the first of two little-used dirt roads on Hawaii island that may be pressed into service if lava should overrun the main highway into and out of the lower Puna district, where 8,000 people would otherwise be trapped. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii County officials are considering issuing an evacuation notice for Kaohe Homesteads after the June 27 lava flow changed direction Wednesday. Kevin Dayton, executive assistant to Mayor Billy Kenoi, said Thursday morning such an order could come within the next 24 hours. Tribune-Herald.

As the lava flow from Kīlauea Volcano’s Pu’u ‘O’o Vent continues to advance toward Ka’ohe Homestead and Pāhoa Village, Hawai'i County Civil Defense is addressing some basic infrastructure needs. Hawaii Public Radio.

Marijuana ministry advocate Roger Christie emerged from four years in federal custody Thursday and said he's looking forward to his first hit of marijuana -- "when I'm legally allowed to do so." Star-Advertiser.

Saturday’s grand opening of the new Hilo High School gymnasium has been put on hold as one of the final parts of the project has yet to be completed. Big Island Now.

Maui

A group that supports GMO farming on Maui has filed a lawsuit in Second Circuit court seeking the removal of a GMO initiative from the November ballot. Maui Now.

Kauai

Timeshare owners on Kauai will receive a temporary reprieve from higher property taxes, at least for the next year. Garden Island.

Kauai has nine new civil defense sirens thanks to a statewide modernization program. Star-Advertiser.