Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hawaii officials powerless against protestors who sow road with rocks, line barricade with children, block Thirty Meter Telescope construction. Also, Honolulu ethics chief muzzled, state aquatics director flies first class amid budget cutbacks, state grows younger, more diverse in census count, Kauai rethinks barking dog law, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Big Island Video News
Children block access to Thirty Meter Telescope, courtesy Big Island Video News
 The construction relaunch of the Thirty Meter Telescope got off to a rocky start Wednesday, thanks to some antics by protesters — 12 of whom got arrested — and now the $1.4 billion project is on hold again. Star-Advertiser.

Mauna Kea Access Road remained closed Wednesday evening after opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope again halted construction of the $1.4 billion observatory following a highly coordinated protest. About 300 protesters used their bodies and large rocks to prevent construction crews from traveling more than a mile past the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station, and about a dozen continued to block access above Hale Pohaku after the group claimed victory for the day. Tribune-Herald.

State law enforcement officers arrested 11 people Wednesday who were blocking a road up Mauna Kea in protest of the Thirty Meter Telescope project. Hundreds were gathered on the mountain early in the morning to stop construction crews from resuming work on the $1.4 billion project. Civil Beat.

Hundreds of protesters on a Hawaii mountain road erupted in cheers Wednesday after construction crews turned around and retreated from the site for what would be one of the world's largest telescopes. Associated Press.

On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters forced construction crews for the Thirty Meter Telescope to come to a halt, but it didn’t come without sacrifice. KITV4.

Construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea is on hold once again. Hawaii News Now.

After a seven-hour demonstration, Hawaii DLNR (Department of Land and Natural Resources) agents just informed the hundreds of protesters on Mauna Kea that officers and TMT workers will turn around and no longer ask anyone to leave. No further arrests will be made today, they say. Hawaii News Now.

The road to the summit of Mauna Kea is closed and Gov. David Ige’s chief of staff says construction on the Thirty Meter Telescope is on hold until further notice. KHON2.

10 citizens of Hawaii were arrested on Mauna Kea today for physically impeding construction crews for the controversial Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT) project, which has resumed with the blessing of the state. Hawaii Independent.

Scientists hoping to build a telescope that will allow them to see 13 billion light years away, offering a look into the early years of the universe, are facing opposition from Native Hawaiian groups who say the construction site is on sacred land. Associated Press.

A Kauai man was at the Big Island’s Mauna Kea when protesters stopped construction from continuing on a giant telescope. Garden Island.

At a time when the Department of Land and Natural Resources Aquatics Division was struggling for funding, its former top administrator spent more than $40,000, mostly for first-class travel. A review of former Aquatics division head Frazer McGilvray's government credit card, or pCard, expenditures shows that he took more than 30 first-class flights to the Mainland and the Neighbor Islands. Hawaii News Now.

The Department of Health has asked physicians statewide to be on alert for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome after a deadly outbreak of the infectious disease hit South Korea. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: Bridging the Space Between Islands Could Lower Costs. An interisland ferry system and kamaaina discounts on air travel could stimulate economic activity, create jobs and lower prices — especially on the neighbor islands. Civil Beat.

Oahu

The Honolulu Ethics Commission voted Wednesday to adopt a media policy that severely restricts what any of its seven members, longtime Executive Director Chuck Totto and staff can tell news reporters. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Ethics Commission approved a new media policy Wednesday that effectively muzzles Executive Director Chuck Totto, who has long been an outspoken voice for good government. Civil Beat.

A group of farmers has sued the owner and developer of a controversial Kunia agriculture tract, claiming the farmers were misled into believing they were buying fee-simple land in the project instead of shares in the nonprofit organization that actually owns the property. Star-Advertiser.

The oceanfront parcel of land in Honolulu that had been reserved for the development of President Barack Obama’s presidential library has a new proposed use as a sports complex and for parking, the head of the Hawaii agency regulating development in the area confirmed to Pacific Business News.

Protesters lined Kamehameha Highway near Kualoa Regional Park several times in the past week to block sheriff’s deputies from enforcing a court-ordered eviction and removing members of an extended Hawaiian family from a disputed parcel of land on Johnson Road. Civil Beat.

The population of Kaka’ako is expected to double to about 30-thousand in the next 15 years or so.   That’s one of the reasons the state is currently looking at ways to retain park space in the area. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Howard Hughes Corp. will have to wait another month to learn whether Hawaii regulators will allow the Texas-based developer to change a previously approved Kakaako residential project from for-sale condominium units to rental apartments. Pacific Business News.

It has been almost a year since the city took action to resolve staffing issues within EMS, but now we are learning the department may go back to its old schedule. KHON2.

A landowner on a historic Punchbowl property has until mid-July to get a permit from the city to cut down about 50 trees that he’s already chopped down. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

We’re growing faster, younger and more diverse. The Big Island continues to lead Hawaii in the rate of population growth, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which late Wednesday released county-level estimates of population, sex, race and age for 2014. West Hawaii Today.

As rumors swirl about who will and won’t be on the ticket in 2016, two Big Island figures have confirmed they are considering a run for mayor. Former Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann and Puna Sen. Russell Ruderman both say it could be months before they make a final decision. Candidate filings open Feb. 1, 2016. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

While much of the attention has been on the Thirty Meter Telescope being built atop Mauna Kea on the Big Island, resistance by native Hawaiians to the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope on Haleakala continues. KITV4.

A rally and aloha ‘āina night vigil will be held at the Central Maui Baseyard tonight in support of those who are protecting Mauna Kea from construction on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi, and ongoing issues surrounding development at the summit of Haleakalā on Maui. Maui Now.

County Council Member Bob Carroll has sent two bills and a resolution to the council that would encourage the creation and maintenance of affordable housing with a centerpiece of allowing ohana affordable units on properties as small as 5,000 square feet. Maui News.

Kauai

The Kauai County Council is considering a proposal to repeal the barking dog ordinance. Garden Island.