Monday, July 6, 2015

Hawaii kills non-compete clause for high-tech workers, Tetris inventor goes off grid, Hanabusa to discuss Hawaiian homelands, open records less open, Waimanalo landfill could close, $1.2M land money not spent, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy Solar Impulse
Solar Impulse 2 approaches Honolulu, courtesy Solar Impulse
Solar Impulse 2 made its first U.S. landing Friday in Hawaii, an event that highlights the state’s goals to create a clean energy sector that has “tremendous economic potential,” the head of the State Energy Office said after the solar-powered aircraft touched down at Kalaeloa Airport in West Oahu. Pacific Business News.

A plane attempting to fly around the world, powered only by the sun, has landed safely in Hawai‘i. The 4,000 mile flight over the Pacific Ocean was the plane’s longest and most challenging leg. Hawaii Public Radio.

A plane powered by the sun’s rays has landed in Hawaii after a record-breaking five-day journey across the Pacific Ocean from Japan. Associated Press.

A bill that supporters believe will help attract high-tech workers to Hawaii and encourage growth in the local technology sector has been signed into law by Gov. David Ige. Act 158 prohibits technology companies from requiring their workers to enter into "noncompete" agreements as a condition of employment, a change that is supposed to make it easier for technology workers to move from job to job. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed several health-related bills Thursday as the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs unveiled an online service for insurance agents to file general liability and workers compensation coverage information for contractors and pest control operators. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige has approved a new exemption from the state open records law that will withhold government records from the public if releasing the information "would create a substantial and demonstrable risk of physical harm" to a person. Star-Advertiser.

The state would halt acceptance of new charter school applications for a year starting next fall under a proposed hiatus before the Hawaii State Public Charter School Commission — a move advocates say would stifle growth of the local charter movement. Star-Advertiser.

Kathryn Xian is determined to get a sex trafficking law in Hawaii, despite opposition from the governor and the Hono­lulu prosecutor. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Despite a multiyear waiting list for slips at the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor, state operators have a vacancy rate above 10 percent, potentially costing the state tens of thousands of dollars annually. Star-Advertiser.

City Councilwoman Kymberly Pine hopes to expedite the closure of the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill, a contentious issue prompting years of frustration and concerns. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Pacific Health is no longer considering an acquisition of Wahiawa General Hospital. Star-Advertiser.

Will the Hammer Fall on Homeless Encampment in Kakaako? After an attack on a legislator, some homeless people expect their tent city to be dismantled. But so far, officials are showing restraint and acknowledging there’s no place else for many of the campers to go. Civil Beat.

Tetris video game inventor Henk Rogers has taken his home off the grid and will announce his new company, Blue Planet Energy Systems, on Monday. The new venture, which will sell and install battery systems for homes and businesses running on solar technology, plans to begin sales on Aug. 1. Star-Advertiser.

Hiking survey shows some Oahu trails bursting at the seams. KITV4.

Hawaii

Almost $1.2 million has accumulated in a special account since voters in 2012 approved setting aside money for nonprofits to compete for grants to help take care of land bought with open space funds. But the county has yet to award its first stewardship grant. West Hawaii Today.

At least two incidents of vehicular violence have been committed atop Mauna Kea against its protectors, even as state agencies accuse protectors of endangering public safety through their blockade. Hawaii Independent.

Encouraged by a sound study showing their noise will have minimal impact on neighbors, backers of the Kona Motorsport Park are pushing for the project to get higher priority at the county. West Hawaii Today.

Medical marijuana dispensaries could start operating on the Big Island next year, after Gov. David Ige this week indicated he would not be vetoing the bill authorizing them. Tribune-Herald.

The Big Island — specifically, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park — saw a boom in visitor numbers in May as people flocked to catch a glimpse of a Madame Pele in action. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on the control or eradication of invasive rodents and mongooses in native Hawaiian ecosystems. Maui News.

The group Stop Cane Burning and three Maui residents Wednesday filed the first lawsuit in the newly established Maui County Environmental Court that challenged as unconstitutional the state Department of Health's issuance of a cane burning permit to Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. Maui News.

Kauai

A pair of proposed federal rules that spell out the process by which the 95-year-old Hawaiian Homes Commission Act should be administered is the topic of a public meeting in Anahola Tuesday night. Colleen Hanabusa, the former U.S. representative and state Senate president, is billed as the guest speaker. Garden Island.

A makeshift junkyard overtaking a stretch of undeveloped land held in trust for Native Hawaiians has grown so problematic that community leaders are binding together in an effort to put a stop to it. Garden Island.