Friday, January 9, 2015

Army grows in Pacific, Tulsi Gabbard to marry videographer, big fight over Big Wind, Hawaiian Electric CEO to get $10M in buyout, study looks at geothermal impact on Native Hawaiians, Maui hospital wants private partners, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Pohakuloa Training Area  © 2015 All Hawaii News
Under a still-developing U.S. Army Pacific deployment concept called "Pacific Pathways," the Army is becoming more expeditionary — like the Marines. Rather than shuttling smaller groups back and forth as in the past, the Army is keeping larger numbers of troops west of the mid-Pacific dateline for extended periods — and adding to security in the region in the process, it says. Star-Advertiser.

One of Hawaii's most eligible singles is tying the knot. U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the popular Hawaii Democrat who easily won re-election to a second term in November, confirmed Thursday she is engaged and planning an April wedding. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. CEO Connie Lau will get an estimated $10.66 million in compensation if the company is sold to Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc. later this year as planned, according to a federal filing Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

On Monday political science professor Monique Mironesco will walk on to the West Oahu campus of the University of Hawaii and resume the job that was taken away from her 18 months ago. An arbitrator ruled last month that the university wrongfully fired the 10-year "temporary" faculty member in what the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly describes as a landmark decision that will affect hundreds of nontenured UH professors who might face the same situation now or in the future. Star-Advertiser.

The commission overseeing public charter schools agreed Thursday to begin shutting down the financially strapped Halau Lokahi Public Charter School, ending a months­-long struggle to keep the Hawaiian culture-based school afloat. Star-Advertiser.

Environmental attorneys say that Hawaii’s Public Utilities Commission likely erred in approving a wind farm before its environmental review was completed. Last week, the PUC approved a contract between Hawaiian Electric Co. and Champlin/GEI Wind Holdings, based in Santa Barbara, Calif., for a new 10-turbine wind farm to be built in Kahuku on Oahu’s North Shore. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Co. said it does not foresee any impact on the development of NextEra Energy's planned 15-megawatt Ka La Nui Solar project in Leeward Oahu from the Florida company's $4.3 billion acquisition of the state's largest utility, according to a public filing. Pacific Business News.

January electric bills at 4-year low thanks to oil. KHON2.

Hawaii

The Windward Planning Commission on Thursday approved the allocation of $293,760 for a study on the impact of geothermal development on Native Hawaiians. The request, which taps Hawaii County’s geothermal asset fund, came from geothermal critics and others who say the state’s indigenous population has been ignored during discussions surrounding the contentious issue. Tribune-Herald.

Palikapu Dedman with the Pele Defense Fund addressed the Windward Planning Commission on Thursday (Jan. 8, 2015), demanding the commission release funds for a study on the possible adverse impacts upon Native Hawaiians associated with the development of geothermal energy generation facilities on the island. Big Island Video News.

Stubborn ice deposited by Friday’s storm continues to keep the summit of Mauna Kea closed to the public. Snow storms typically close down access for a day or so, said Office of Mauna Kea Management Director Stephanie Nagata, but the current conditions are unlike anything seen before at the summit. Tribune-Herald.

When flash flooding crippled the Kohala Ditch last month, it spelled the end of one Kapaau business and forced rationing for other users. It also helped force the question of what to do with a historic water system that barely sustains itself but still serves a critical function — albeit not the one for which it was created. West Hawaii Today.

A 10-unit oceanfront development at mile marker 19 in Ninole got the thumbs-up from the Windward Planning Commission on Thursday, despite concerns by neighbors that the upscale community will make housing less affordable along the Hamakua coast. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The head of the Hawaii Health Systems Corp.'s Maui region plans to discuss a partnership with Hawaii Pacific Health during a news conference Friday morning, but the state-owned hospital network will still need legislative approval to partner with the private nonprofit hospital network, which oversees Kapiolani, Pali Momi, Straub, and Wilcox hospitals. Pacific Business News.

A federal judge last month ordered the now defunct Maui Pineapple Co. to pay a portion of an $8.7 million settlement to Thai farm laborers who suffered hostile and deplorable living conditions after being brought to Hawaii more than a decade ago. Maui News.

Former Maui mayoral candidate Nelson Waikiki Jr. is scheduled to be sentenced in a securities fraud case next month, after he was arrested Tuesday night on a warrant. Maui News.