Thursday, December 4, 2014

Honolulu rail project transforming Oahu landscape, Ige names 6 to Cabinet, Florida company to buy Hawaiian Electric, Kauai mayor vetoes GMO land tax, 11,750-home Hoopili development approved, audit finds need for medical marijuana dispensaries, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation
Honolulu rail heads east into Oahu, courtesy HART
City and rail officials eagerly showed off the transit system's first 220 feet of track on Wednesday and gave the first public view from atop the so-called elevated guideway 37 feet above farmland in East Kapolei. Star-Advertiser.

The administration of Gov. David Ige began taking shape Wednesday as the new chief executive named six Cabinet member appointments and a deputy chief of staff as he continues the transition into office. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige on Wednesday named six more people to his Cabinet and two deputy directors, all of whom are subject to Senate confirmation. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige announced six new members of his cabinet and two new deputies Wednesday. Associated Press.

NextEra Energy Inc. said Wednesday it plans to buy Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. to expand clean energy in Hawaii. The companies value the deal at $2.6 billion, or $4.3 billion including the assumption of Hawaiian Electric’s debt. Associated Press.

Hawaiian Electric Industries will be acquired by Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc., one of North America's top producers of wind and solar energy, in a deal valued at about $4.3 billion, the two companies said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

NextEra Energy announced on Wednesday a deal to purchase Hawaiian Electric Industries, which includes utilities serving Oahu, the Big Island and Maui County, for $2.63 billion. The overall transaction, valued at $4.3 billion, includes the assumption of $1.7 billion in debt. Under the deal, American Savings Bank will be spun off into an independent, publicly traded company. Civil Beat.

A Florida company announced Wednesday it would buy Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. for $4.3 billion and take on the challenge of moving the state off its near total dependence on imported fossil fuels for power generation. Star-Advertiser.

NextEra Energy, one of the nation's largest clean energy companies, announced Wednesday it wants to buy Hawaiian Electric Company in a deal worth $4.3 billion that both sides would mean lower bills for electric consumers on five Hawaiian islands who pay some of the highest rates in the country. Hawaii News Now.

It’s a business deal that will change the face of business in the state. Florida-based NextEra Energy is buying Hawaiian Electric Industries in a $4.3 billion deal. As part of the agreement, American Savings Bank would become a separate publicly-traded company. Hawaii Public Radio.

NextEra Energy is best known in Florida, where it’s based, as Florida Power and Light. But it’s already doing business in 26 other states and in Canada. KHON2.

Hawaiian Electric Co. was not for sale, according to to CEO of the parent of the state's largest electric utility, who said that Florida-based NextEra Energy approached the Honolulu-based utility regarding an acquisition. Pacific Business News.

A new fee showing up on power bills will help secure low interest loans for those who couldn’t otherwise afford to install photovoltaic or make other investments in clean energy. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii lawmakers are moving ahead on bills creating medical marijuana dispensaries, following an audit released this week that said flaws in existing law justify a better way to provide the drug to patients. West Hawaii Today.

Last December, same sex marriage became legal in Hawai‘i. The state Department of Health says same-sex marriages make up about 12% of all weddings here, with more than 3000 registered couples in the past year. Hawaii Public Radio.

Opinion: Education reform in Hawaii is on a really rocky path. Some things, like universal early childhood education, are going way too slow. One really crucial thing is going too fast. Hawaii’s educators and politicians have fallen head over heels for the Common Core. Civil Beat.

Oahu

The 11,750-home Hoopili development on agricultural lands on the Ewa Plain got the thumbs-up Wednesday from the Honolulu Planning Commission. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Planning Commission on Wednesday approved a zone change that would pave the way for developer D.R. Horton to build 11,750 homes in West Oahu. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

The June 27 lava flow hasn’t shown signs of slowing yet as it approaches a low spot that will determine its future course. As of Wednesday morning, the flow’s leading edge had advanced another 420 yards and was about 2.5 miles from Highway 130. Tribune-Herald.

Mayor Billy Kenoi has signed a Second Supplementary Proclamation to the current State of Emergency. Big Island Video News.

The Nature Conservancy acquired a conservation easement to preserve a 922-acre area with an ancient forest and disappearing stream on the Big Island. Associated Press.

Maui

After leasing the Kula Gym for more than 30 years, Maui County now has an opportunity to purchase and preserve the facility that has, over the years, been host to community gatherings, youth sports leagues and pickup basketball games. Maui News.

Kauai

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. has vetoed a bill that would likely have resulted in higher taxes for agricultural lands being used for biotech research. Garden Island.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources will begin a $1 million improvement project at Kokee and Waimea Canyon state parks today. Garden Island.

A reward for information leading to a conviction of the person responsible for bludgeoning a female Hawaiian monk seal pup to death in Anahola has doubled.  The reward is now at $10,000, up from $5,000 on Tuesday. Garden Island.

A longtime Kauai Police Officer has lost his job after being convicted of firearms violations. Garden Island.