Monday, January 12, 2015

Native Hawaiians irked over Ige land policy, Oahu preps for plastic bag ban, public can comment on University of Hawaii Mauna Kea telescope plan, Kauai lighthouse cleanup under fire, overfishing worries Molokai residents, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Native Hawaiians guard the Hokulea canoe © 2015 All Hawaii News
Barely a month into his term, Gov. David Ige already is in hot water with some Native Hawaiians. Two key actions taken at the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands since he took office have prompted some to question whether Ige will bring the change he promised during the campaign to the agency that manages the 203,000-acre land trust on their behalf. Star-Advertiser.

Where Real Estate Is King. A key driver of our cost of living is the high price of land. A collision of interests and actions push its value upward. Civil Beat.

Former Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s chief of staff Bruce Coppa has landed a lobbying job with Hawaii’s top lobbying firm, Capitol Consultants of Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Nearly 14 years after the use of medical marijuana was legalized in Hawaii, medical marijuana patients may have a legal way to purchase it, rather than just grow it themselves, within the next few years. Garden Island.

New details have emerged regarding Florida-based NextEra Energy's planned $4.3 billion acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Co., including the fact that talk of a deal first began as early as May 2014, when NextEra Chairman and CEO Jim Robo first requested a meeting with Connie Lau, president and CEO of HECO parent Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc., according to a document filed with federal regulators on Thursday. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

Starting July 1, Oahu will join the growing list of places that have banned the plastic checkout bag. Businesses will be prohibited from giving out plastic bags and nonrecyclable paper bags to their customers at the point of sale for carrying groceries or other merchandise. Star-Advertiser.

State and federal officials are pursuing the possibility of designating a part of Kaneohe Bay as a research-focused estuarine reserve. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: Hawaii Reporter’s Malia Zimmerman Bids Aloha. The loss of the longtime local investigative reporter is another a blow for independent media — and the citizens of Hawaii. Civil Beat.

The former Porlock madam who said she ran an elite prostitution business for 10 years servicing celebrities, politicians and law enforcement, has been convicted on federal drug charges. A federal jury on Jan. 9 found Malia Elena Arciero guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, two counts of distribution and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and one count of distribution of some quantity of methamphetamine. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii

The University of Hawaii issued its first document exploring a new master lease for astronomy facilities on Mauna Kea. The 160-page environmental impact statement preparation notice was published Thursday and explores its proposal for a new 65-year lease covering the Mauna Kea Science Reserve and Halepohaku mid-level facilities, and potential alternatives. Tribune-Herald.

The public has 30 days to comment on the environmental impact of UH's proposed new master lease for the Mauna Kea Science Reserve. Hawaii Independent.

The University of Hawaii has taken its first steps toward a new Mauna Kea "master lease" for astronomy facilities on the mountain. Associated Press.

It took almost five years of negotiating between the state and county, but an almost 8-foot boa constrictor, the latest addition to the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo &Gardens, was settling in Friday, its distinctive tan and black geometric patterns undulating as it stretched to its full length for perhaps the first time in that many years. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources will be holding a public hearing to discuss proposed management changes to areas on Maui in the state forest reserve system, including three state parks, at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Hannibal Tavares Community Center's upstairs room in Pukalani. Maui News.

Economist Paul Brewbaker predicted that Maui's struggling housing construction industry will benefit from the Maui County Council's action last month to ease the county's affordable housing requirement for developers from 50 percent to between 20 to 25 percent. Maui News.

Maui region hospitals seek solutions for hospitals’ longevity. HHSC Maui region to enter into partnership discussion with Hawai‘i Pacific Health. Hawaii Independent.

Jet pack rides off Kaanapali proposed. Maui News.

Kauai

State and federal officials are trying to determine who is responsible for cleaning up areas around Ninini Point Lighthouse, which has been blighted by a pair of stripped, abandoned cars and other discarded trash for several months. Garden Island.

Molokai

Opinion: Since statehood, the people of Molokai have relied on state government to manage Molokaiʻs ocean resources. We are currently witnessing profound shortages in our subsistence gathering sources, which island families rely heavily on. We have fewer income opportunities and higher costs of living than most of the other islands. Molokai Dispatch.