Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New rules advanced for Mauna Kea access as Thirty Meter Telescope construction to resume, Hawaii gets pass from No Child Left Behind, GMO seed industry falters, Waipahu rail work to close roads, Maui council overrides mayor's budget veto, Kauai mulls county manager government, water rates rise on Big Island, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Sunset on Mauna Kea © 2015 All Hawaii News
The Office of Mauna Kea Management is rolling out a set of rules that will for the first time give the office the legal tools to govern public and commercial access on the mountain. West Hawaii Today.

An ‘ahu or altar has gone up on the summit of Mauna Kea as protesters who say they're standing in protection of Native Hawaiian sacred space prepare for construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope to resume Wednesday morning. Hawaii News Now.

Thirty Meter Telescope construction crews will not only confront protesters in the road to the summit of Mauna Kea on Wednesday, but apparently also at least one rock altar constructed near the work site. Star-Advertiser.

A day before construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope was expected to resume, opponents made their way to the summit of Hawaii’s tallest mountain Tuesday to build a second ahu, or stone altar, within the project boundary. Tribune-Herald.

After being put on hold for more than two months, work to build the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea is set to restart. The project has already felt the resistance, and now, it'll have to face it again. KITV4.

Multiple modifications have been made to the University of Hawaii's and the state of Hawaii’s approach to Mauna Kea on the Big Island, the Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory Board said. Pacific Business News.

In the hours before the Thirty Meter Telescope project will attempt to restart construction on Mauna Kea after months of delay, the office of Governor David Ige issued the following statement. Big Island Video News.

Dozens of people are sleeping on Mauna Kea Tuesday night. Many are calling themselves the protectors of the mountain, and dozens more are expected by Wednesday morning. KHON2.

The U.S. Department of Education on Tuesday renewed Hawaii's waiver from mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind law, allowing the state to continue evaluating public schools on a state-developed accountability system known as Strive HI. Star-Advertiser.

The Obama administration is giving seven more states and the District of Columbia more flexibility from the requirements of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind education law. In addition to Washington, Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Tuesday renewed waivers for Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, New York, and West Virginia. Associated Press.

What Is Really Being Sustained by 100 Percent Renewable Energy? Two UH economists raise concerns that subsidizing local alternative energy production might be a fiscal drain that is about paying off special interests. Civil Beat.

The leader of a white supremacist group said to have influenced the Charleston, S.C., church shooting suspect contributed $2,000 to the campaign of Charles Djou, the former Hawaii congressman. Civil Beat.

Oahu
With construction of 3 miles of the rail guideway from East Kapolei completed, crews will now move into areas populated by businesses and residents to begin constructing the guideway in Waipahu. Star-Advertiser.

Retired bank executive Don Horner has been reappointed to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s board of directors by Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Star-Advertiser.

PVT Land Co., which owns the only construction and demolition debris management facility on Oahu, plans to expand its West Oahu facility as it focuses more on recycling and generation of feedstock for renewable energy, according to public documents. Pacific Business News.

Honolulu’s Mayor has been engaged in an ongoing verbal battle with the Chair of the nine-member City Council. Their latest exchange was over the City’s 2-billion dollar budget which passed without the Mayor’s signature.  As Hawaii Public Radio’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, this could be only the beginning of a long political rivalry.

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 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Health are giving the public more time to comment on a proposal to better prevent and detect leaks from 20 giant fuel storage tanks near Pearl Harbor. Star-Advertiser.

Those with plans to buy Fourth of July firecrackers could be out of luck. Permits to use firecrackers on the holiday are on sale through Wednesday, but having a permit doesn't mean you'll be able to find fireworks in a store. Star-Advertiser.

After investing nearly $1.4 million to open a dune buggy rental shop on Oahu's North Shore, Matt Brown was blindsided earlier this year when he found out Hawaii law won't allow him to rent his gas-powered vehicles. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The county Water Board, meeting Tuesday in Hilo, unanimously approved a five-year water rate plan that hikes rates 3 percent on July 1, followed by 4 percent next year and then 5 percent annually for the next three years. West Hawaii Today.

Nearly two miles and more than $110,000 worth of ungulate-proof fencing on the Big Island was cut and destroyed by vandals recently. West Hawaii Today.

Kamehameha Schools plans to begin demolition of the shuttered Keauhou Beach Hotel in early 2016 as the trust moves forward with plans for its educational complex known as Kahaluu Ma Kai. West Hawaii Today.

Maui
With the clock ticking down, the Maui County Council on Monday voted to override Mayor Alan Arakawa's line-item veto of a provision in the budget that takes effect July 1 that limits spending in county departments to specific accounts. Maui News.

Maui County deals with beach erosion. KITV4.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and the County of Maui’s Immigrant Services Division will be hosting three “Information Sessions” later this week for immigrants. The workshops will cover “employment eligibility, green cards, naturalization, petition for relatives and other issues,” according to a June 22 news release from the county. MauiTime.

The Friends of Joe Blackburn will be selling kalua pig for $8 a pound, as he plans another run for the Maui County Council's Wailuku-Waihee-Waikapu residency seat. Maui News.

Honolulu media outlets are looking to Maui as the implementation date of their plastic bag ban nears the July 1, 2015 start date. Maui Now.

Kauai

Idled trucks and tractors are spread out in a field behind DuPont Pioneer’s parent seed facility in Kekaha, a small town on the west side of Kauai. The noise of a generator is the only hint of activity at the site where researchers have worked for years growing genetically modified seeds used to create hybrid crops. Civil Beat.

The Kauai County Council will form a subcommittee to study the possibility of switching to a county manager system of government. Garden Island.

Mayor Bernhard Carvalho, Jr. signed the B&B bill on Friday, making it more difficult for Kauai residents to earn income by renting out rooms in their home on a short-term basis. Garden Island.

A $3.5 million project aimed at removing 2,500 albizia trees along Kuhio Highway between Kalihiwai and Kahiliholo roads was pushed back to next year. The project, originally scheduled for April, was suspended as tree removal coincided with the birthing season of the Hawaiian hoary bat and the breeding season of the Hawaiian shearwater. Garden Island.

Nearly 20 picketers outside the entrance to the Kauai Humane Society Tuesday protested the firing of two employees and called for the removal of KHS Executive Director Penny Cistaro. Garden Island.