Tuesday, December 9, 2014

University of Hawaii AD quits, Tulsi Gabbard stalker sentenced, Honolulu food trucks compete for space, Maui GMO law could be decided this week, Kauai law to restrict coastline construction, students tour lava flow, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo
Photo courtesy Hawaii Wildlife Fund
The Hawaii Wildlife Fund ended its 2014 marine debris season Friday by loading 4.5 tons of net and line, most of which was collected from the southeast Ka’u coast, into a container for shipment to Oahu. The 40-foot trailer was provided by Matson Navigation’s Ka Ipu Aina program. The container will be shipped to Honolulu, where Schnitzer Steel will chop it into pieces and then be burned at the Covanta H-Power plant. West Hawaii Today.

Strong investment returns and steps taken over the past four years by the pension plan's trustees, former Gov. Neil Abercrombie and the state Legislature, helped increase the fund so as of June 30 it was at 61.4 percent of where it needs to be to pay all the pensions promised, according to an independent actuarial report by Dallas-based Gabriel Roeder Smith & Co. That's up from 60 percent as of June 2013 and 59.2 percent as of June 2012. Star-Advertiser.

A federal judge is dismissing a lawsuit by a former nonpartisan candidate for U.S. Senate that said Hawaii television stations discriminated against her for not allowing her to appear in a televised debate. Associated Press.

University of Hawaii athletic director Ben Jay will resign Tuesday, sources told the Hono­lulu Star-Advertiser. The resignation is expected to be made at a news conference on campus, along with the decision to retain football coach Norm Chow for a fourth season. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii Athletic Director Ben Jay will resign
from his position Tuesday, sources have confirmed with Hawaii News Now.

The man who had stalked U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard since she was on the Honolulu City Council has been sentenced to 33 months in prison after pleading no contest to two counts of transmitting threats. Civil Beat.

Former Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee talks about problems at agency. Hawaii News Now.

The state Department of Transportation announced Monday the appointments of former DOT interim director Ross Higashi as Airports Division deputy director and Ed Sniffen, current executive assistant to Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, as Highways Division deputy director. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approved, with certain conditions, a joint plan for the administration of the Feed-In-Tariff program queues to address important issues and promptly move shovel ready projects to completion, according to a media release issued Monday. West Hawaii Today.

A University of Hawaii professor said the recent announcement that American Savings Bank will be spun off by parent company Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. will make operations and goals clearer for both the bank and analysts. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

Oahu food truck operators will need to bid for one of 10 on-street "super stalls" at five locations in order to operate in the Honolulu Capital Special Design District during lunch hours under a two-year pilot project expected to begin soon. Star-Advertiser.

A city plan calls for revitalization near future station sites, especially around Kapalama Canal. Some people fear rising rents and displacement. Civil Beat.

The popular Route E CountryExpress! that starts and ends in Ewa Beach is once again traveling as far east as Wai­kiki as part of restored and expanded bus service that began Sunday. Star-Advertiser.

Days after being put into use, the King Street cycle track is already a hit with cyclists. KHON2.

Opinion: Vacation Rental Scofflaws, Beware. There are hundreds of illegal vacation rentals in Honolulu. The city is discussing a new effort to shut them down. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

There was a soft, rhythmic crunching of the glassy crust underfoot as the group of about 20 journalists trudged their way across the stalled lava flow. Having crossed Apa‘a Street just south of the Pahoa transfer station Oct. 25, the flow crusted over and inflated from its original height of 1 foot to between 6 and 10 feet, and even higher in some places. Tribune-Herald.

Crackling sounds resonated underfoot while geologists walked along the stalled lava flow along the fence line of the Pahoa Recycling and Transfer Station on Monday afternoon. Star-Advertiser.

State officials and gun enthusiasts are hoping the third time’s a charm to persuade dubious neighbors that a shooting range at Puuanahulu won’t be within earshot. West Hawaii Today.

NextEra Energy, a Florida-based company that agreed to purchase Hawaiian Electric Industries for $4.3 billion, is finding a lot to like about the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

Scientists say an emerging infectious disease is afflicting a forest bird native to the Big Island. The University of Hawaii said Monday the disease sometimes called scaly leg was first detected in the Hawaii amakihi in 2007. Associated Press.

Maui

A federal judge is scheduled to rule as early as Friday on the legality of a Maui County ballot initiative that calls for a moratorium on Genetically Engineered Crops. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Old Kahului Railroad Building, one of the last remnants of Maui's rich plantation past, is one step closer to being immortalized in the state and nation. Maui News.

Maui Police found that 43% of truck drivers did not have their cargo loads properly covered and secured during a three hour educational effort held at the Central Maui Landfill on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014. Maui Now.

Kauai

A new, more stringent Kauai law aims to protect the island's coastline by folding erosion data into calculations used to set limits on shoreline construction. A shoreline setback bill was signed into law last week. Star-Advertiser.

Friends of Mahaulepu will host its second meeting in as many months on Thursday opposing Hawaii Dairy Farms’ proposed $17.5 million, 578-acre dairy in Mahaulepu Valley. Garden Island.

Creepy Crawlers. Employees miss work after being bitten by reclusive island spider. Garden Island.