Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Thirty Meter Telescope to be the last on Mauna Kea, Hanabusa joins Honolulu rail board, windmills posed for Oahu coastal waters, Hawaiian Telcom to double Internet speeds, EPA, and Navy reach deal on Red Hill storage tanks, Kauai buses could be powered by landfill gas, mayor's entertainment spared in Big Island budget, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

current telescopes before the Thirty Meter Telescope
Telescopes on Mauna Kea, courtesy photo
University of Hawaii officials affirmed Monday that the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope project will be the last new observatory developed on Mauna Kea and pledged to decommission one-quarter of existing telescopes atop the Hawaii island mountain as requested by Gov. David Ige. Star-Advertiser.

Following Gov. David Ige’s lead, the University of Hawaii on Monday outlined its plan for improving stewardship of Mauna Kea that includes a commitment to reduce the number of observatories by the time the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope is complete. Tribune-Herald.

The University of Hawaii announced a plan Monday that will lead to the removal of several large telescopes on Mauna Kea. School officials will meet with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources this week to discuss the decommissioning process. Associated Press.

On Monday, June 1st, the University of Hawaii issued its promised written response to Governor David Ige’s requests concerning stewardship of Mauna Kea, which were announced at a news conference on May 26. The governor’s intervention comes as construction of the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea has been delayed due to strong opposition. Big Island Video News.

It’s been one week since Governor David Ige told the University to do a better job of managing land atop Mauna Kea. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiian Telcom will double its fastest Internet speeds to 1 gigabit-per-second, starting next week, the Honolulu-based company said Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii’s energy future could hinge on a June 10 vote by Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. shareholders. During a special meeting last month, a majority of the company’s shareholders voted in favor of the $4.3 billion sale of Hawaiian Electric Co. to Florida-based NextEra Energy. However, the 75 percent super-majority required by Hawaii law was not secured. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is seeking to fill seven alternate and one primary seat on its advisory council. The sanctuary is accepting applications for the following seats: commercial shipping (primary), commercial shipping (alternate), Hawaii County (alternate), Lanai Island (alternate), citizen-at-large (alternate), education (alternate), tourism (alternate), and whale watching (alternate). MauiTime.

Oahu

State and federal regulators will meet Wednesday to discuss a Danish company's plan to build 102 floating wind turbines off Oahu's shores and generate about 30 percent of the island's electric power needs. Star-Advertiser.

Former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa was appointed to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Board of Directors by Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Monday. Civil Beat.

Colleen Hanabusa is taking on a new challenge outside of the political arena: Honolulu's public rail transit project. Starting later this month, the former congresswoman from Waianae will replace Carrie Okinaga on the Hono­lulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board of directors, which oversees the cash-strapped rail project that's currently under construction. Star-Advertiser.

When Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced his preliminary affordable housing strategy last September, housing advocates praised it as aggressive, even revolutionary. Nine months later, little has changed. Civil Beat.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell is now looking at putting up modular or container-style transitional shelter units at Sand Island for between 75 and 100 of Honolulu's chronically homeless. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Hawaii state Department of Health on Monday announced a tentative deal with the military to better prevent and detect leaks from 20 giant fuel storage tanks near Pearl Harbor. Associated Press.

The Navy has reached an agreement with federal and state regulatory agencies to improve technology aimed at better preventing and detecting fuel leaks at its Red Hill Bulk Storage Facility following last year's spill of an estimated 27,000 gallons of aviation fuel from one of its World War II-era tanks. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Teed-off golfers were able Monday to persuade the County Council not to dip into Hilo Municipal Golf Course accounts to beef up recycling programs during a long day of tweaking the county’s $438.8 million annual budget. West Hawaii Today.

Four tsunami warning sirens on Hawaii Island failed Monday’s test, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Before serving as a hearings officer in the Haleakala Telescope contested case, attorney Lane Ishida had never done any legal work for the University of Hawaii. But two years after he issued an order giving the controversial, $300 million project the green light, the university awarded him with four contracts for legal work, budgeting $110,000 for the work. Three of those contracts were issued during a two-day period in October 2014. Hawaii News Now.

The economic downturn in 2007 sparked a series of delays for a proposed 103-unit condominium project in Kahului, but Alexander & Baldwin Properties executives said they're optimistic that the project will come to fruition now that the Maui County Council has relaxed workforce housing requirements. Maui News.

East Maui County Councilman Robert Carroll is hosting a community meeting tomorrow, June 2, at 5 p.m. at the Hāna Community Center cafeteria to address community concerns regarding the proposed operation of Skydive Hawaiʻi out of the Hāna Airport. Maui Now.

Kauai

A NASA flying saucer is set to take to the skies offshore of the Pacific Missile Range Facility as early as Wednesday, a test flight designed to land heavier payloads on Mars during future human and robotic missions. Garden Island.

The launch window for the low density supersonic decelerator officially begins Tuesday. Late Monday, Scientists decided ocean conditions were not right and would have made recovery operations unsafe.  They have postponed any testing until Wednesday, no earlier than 7:30 a.m. KHON2.

Methane gas generated by the decay of organic matter in the Kekaha landfill could one day be used to power Kauai County’s public bus fleet. The plan is part of a long-range strategy to reduce the island’s dependence on fossil fuels and move toward a more sustainable system. Garden Island.

If you’re looking for a home on Kauai — and have an extra $18 million handy — your search could be over. Garden Island.