Friday, June 26, 2015

Hawaii blocks access to Mauna Kea visitor's center and summit as protests continue, state Supreme Court rules against marijuana initiative, Hawaii worst state to do business, Honolulu pushes for general excise tax hike for rail, Maui residents fight sugarcane burning, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Big Island Video News
Mauna Kea TMT blockade, courtesy Big Island Video News
Construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope remained on hold for a second straight day Thursday after two rock altars were discovered on the access road leading to the Mauna Kea summit. Star-Advertiser.

Police named the 12 individuals arrested and charged Wednesday with obstructing Mauna Kea Access Road while protesting the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope. Tribune-Herald.

The boulders and rock walls were cleared Thursday, but the road to the top of Hawaii’s tallest mountain remained inaccessible to the public following a dramatic protest against the Thirty Meter Telescope the day before. Tribune-Herald.

Despite a handful of arrests, officers and protesters treat each other well. But this week’s attempt to resume construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope gets off to a rocky start with boulders strewn across the mountain road, forcing its closure. Civil Beat.

Mauna Kea's summit access road, visitor's center remain closed indefinitely. Hawaii News Now.

Boulders cleared, Mauna Kea road remains closed. Hawaii Independent.

Protesters arrested while preventing construction from resuming on a giant telescope have returned to the Hawaii mountain they say they’re protecting from desecration. Associated Press.

The gravel road leading to the summit of Mauna Kea has been cleared of boulders, however the road has been temporarily closed until further notice. Big Island Video News.

VIDEO: Mauna Kea TMT Showdown – Part 1 of 3. Big Island Video News.

VIDEO: Mauna Kea TMT Showdown – Part 2 of 3. Big Island Video News.

VIDEO: Mauna Kea TMT Showdown – Part 3 of 3. Big Island Video News.

The Office of Mauna Kea Management is working on a set of rules that will for the first time give the office legal tools to govern public and commercial access on the mountain. Associated Press.

What happened on the mountain top Thursday took some state officials by surprise, but according to the state's top lawyer, the decision about access sits squarely at the University of Hawaii. KITV4.

Hawaii has ranked as the worst state to do business for the second time in three years, according to CNBC’s annual America’s Top States for Business ranking. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii: Sun, Surf and Suicides. The islands seem to be part of a phenomenon one expert dubbed “suicide tourism,” in which some people seek out final-destination spots in well-known places. Civil Beat.

U.S. Census Bureau released the 2014 state and county population information Thursday, including estimates broken down by age, sex, the five major race groups and Hispanic origin between April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014. Civil Beat.

Oahu

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation estimated that the city would have to raise the median property tax bill by 5.6 percent to cover the existing project’s massive shortfall. How to finance that $900 million shortfall and whether to extend the half-percent surcharge were major issues at the Legislature this year, and Gov. David Ige is now considering whether to sign a bill to extend the excise tax surcharge for Oahu residents for five years to cover the rail project’s cost overruns. Star-Advertiser.

The state has a constitutional obligation to protect productive farmland, Hawaii Supreme Court justices were told Thursday during oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging a land reclassification for D.R. Horton’s 11,750-home Hoopili development. Civil Beat.

The Hawai’i Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in the case challenging the 12-thousand home Ho’opili development project in Ewa. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Howard Hughes Corp. has changed its plans for a Kakaako residential project back to a mostly affordable for-sale condominium tower after requesting a Hawaii agency approve the project as a rental development. Pacific Business News.

The Bikeshare Hawaii program got a big boost when the state and city pledged $1 million each to help put an estimated 1,700 bicycles on Oahu roads next year. Star-Advertiser.

A 14-year police veteran and a former reserve officer are facing federal charges in connection with assaults in September on two gambling house patrons at the hands of another officer. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The Hawaii Supreme Court on Thursday snuffed out proponents’ hopes of enforcing a voter-approved ballot initiative making adult personal use of marijuana on private property the lowest law enforcement priority of Hawaii County. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

It was a packed house Thursday night at the Kihei Community Center as residents concerned about cane burning met with the Department of Health and Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company. KHON2.

A long-awaited high school stadium on Maui finally has the green-light. It certainly seems to have been on the fast track since there’s resolution. KHON2.

Bus drivers at Maui Economic Opportunity voted to form a union Tuesday night, an official with Hawaii Teamsters Local 996 said Wednesday. Maui News.

Kauai

A public meeting to discuss Kauai’s housing shortage started with a bit of irony: so many people showed up that several were turned away due to lack of space. Garden Island.

Next month, a public hearing is set for a measure that would require hikers in need of rescue — who disregard warnings — to pay the county for recovery missions. Garden Island.