Monday, July 27, 2015

Astronomers to gather amid Mauna Kea protests, military kids shortchanging school system, Hawaii Health Systems Corp. workers on Kauai lose jobs, Maui neighbors oppose homeless camp, Honolulu mulls charter changes, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Case Western University
Stars over Mauna Kea, courtesy Case Western University
Forget the lei and mai tai greeting. When more than 2,500 astronomers from around the world converge on Honolulu for their triennial convention Aug. 3-14, they are likely to be welcomed by demonstrators. Star-Advertiser.

The International Astronomical Union will hold its triennial general assembly in Hawaii next month, attracting astronomers from around the globe to discuss science and international collaboration. The 11-day assembly will be held at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu and will attract roughly 2,500 to 3,000 people from more than 75 countries. Pacific Business News.

Convention center preparing security plan for possible protests at upcoming astronomy conference. Ian Lind blog.

Hawaii Schools Missing Out on Aid They’re Due for Serving Military Families. The state relies on federal funding to partially offset the cost of educating the children of service members, but difficulties with tracking how many such students are enrolled could be costing it millions of dollars. Civil Beat.

Oahu
Oahu residents interested in making the government of the City and County of Hono­lulu operate better are asked to participate in the work of the 2015 Honolulu Charter Commission. Star-Advertiser.

The Save Ka Iwi Coast Coalition has raised more than half of the remaining funds needed by Aug. 30 to purchase 182 acres above the seven-mile Ka Iwi coast. The coalition has raised $268,000, or 54 percent of private funding required from the community to protect and preserve the south shoreline on Oahu. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii Community Development Authority gave its final approval Wednesday on The Howard Hughes Corp.’s Kakaako residential project at 988 Halekauwila St. Pacific Business News.

It's not permanent housing, but people who are homeless in Kakaako may finally be getting a place of their own. KITV4.

The Honolulu Ethics Commission has rescinded its restrictive news media policy, and adopted a new version that allows its executive director to speak to the press without needing permission and to comment on the potential impact of advisory opinions. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

Plans to fast-track changes to the county concurrency law to accommodate a Hilo judge’s rezoning have come to a screeching halt. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Councilman Greggor Ilagan plans to introduce legislation aimed at further clarifying the county law prohibiting the use of public funds for personal purposes. The bill was drafted in response to a recent audit report detailing misuse of county purchasing cards, or pCards, by Mayor Billy Kenoi’s office and the county Department of Liquor Control. Tribune-Herald.

After years of planning and months of lava-related postponement, construction work on a roundabout at one of the most dangerous intersections in the county is set to begin in August. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

A Maui-based outreach organization is proposing to build a new campground facility in Lahaina as a way to help with the island's growing homeless population, but residents are fighting the project. Associated Press.

Kauai

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. may be open to the possibility of serving a third term in office, but councilmembers aren’t planning to give him that chance. Garden Island.

Thirty employees in the Hawaii Health Systems Corp., Kauai Region were notified of their pending layoffs on Friday. Garden Island.

A new ordinance allows the Kauai County Fire Department to bill reckless hikers who have to be rescued. But Kauai Fire Chief Robert Westerman said it’s unclear whether the department ever will do so. Star-Advertiser.