Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Ige reiterates opposition to Hawaiian Electric-NextEra sale, Hawaii Obamacare vendors seek $2.7M, term limits on Kauai, the forbidden island of Niihau, University of Hawaii muzzles anti-GMO researcher, Honolulu battles homeless, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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NextEra Energy Inc. is holding its ground as it faces criticism from the state. The Florida-based company said Tuesday it is committed to its proposal to buy the state’s largest electric utility despite Gov. David Ige recommending the sale be rejected. Star-Advertiser

Hawaii lawmakers are quietly looking at other alternatives should the NextEra Energy Inc. $4.3 billion acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Co. not go through, the state representative overseeing the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection told Pacific Business News Tuesday.

Gov. David Ige said he’s opposing the proposed sale of Hawaiian Electric Industries to Florida-based energy giant NextEra Energy, saying the mainland company has failed to explain how it would align with the state’s renewable energy goals. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige and two key state agencies are not convinced that it would be in the public’s best interest for Hawaiian Electric Industries to sell itself to Florida-based NextEra Energy. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige explained why his administration is opposing the proposed NextEra-Hawaiian Electric merger Tuesday. KHON2.

Gov. David Ige said Tuesday he doesn’t support the sale of Hawaiian Electric to Florida-based NextEra Energy. The sale was approved by Hawaiian Electric’s shareholders in June but still needs approval from the state Public Utilities Commission. Associated Press.

The Governor conducted a news conference today to outline the state’s position in opposing the proposed merger of Hawaiian Electric Industries with NextEra Energy, Incorporated. Hawaii Public Radio.

Two vendors continue to seek a total of $2.7 million in reimbursement for services provided to the Hawaii Health Connector, the nonprofit health insurance exchanged confirmed Monday. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

The biggest encampments are getting the most publicity as Honolulu grapples with homelessness, but it’s the smaller enclaves that a city crew clears away repeatedly in response to complaints. A Civil Beat analysis found 164 sweeps occurred in the latest two-month period.

State Rep. Tom Brower says he will make an announcement early next week pertaining to whether he will press charges against two homeless teenagers who allegedly attacked him last month near an homeless encampment in Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Ethics Commission may backtrack on its recently adopted news media policy that prohibited Executive Director Chuck Totto and other staff members from interpreting or commenting on the commission’s decisions and advisory opinions. Civil Beat.

Sixty faculty members at the University of Hawaii at Manoa have signed a letter sent to Manoa Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman, the vice-chancellor for academic affairs, and Maria Gallo, Dean of the university’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources asking that the university acknowledge the restrictions and violations of academic freedom imposed on CTAHR Professor Hector Valenzuela. Hawaii Independent.

State education officials hope a new public school set to open next week in Kapolei can serve as a model for fast-tracking construction projects while containing costs. Star-Advertiser.

City issues fines for North Shore 'junkyard' property. Land manager says he's building a 'state of the art' farm. KITV4.

A contractor hired by the city began cleaning a Kaimuki home which neighbors have been complaining about for years. Star-Advertiser.

Veteran Honolulu journalist Denby Fawcett is headed to Washington, D.C., to participate in an interesting presentation sponsored by the national museum of journalism history, the Newseum. “Eyewitness to History: Women Reporters Who Covered Vietnam” features Fawcett and three other female former Vietnam war correspondents discussing their experiences. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

Hawaii County Council members say they are prepared to take action on a recent audit recommendation that the nine-member body address gaps in the county’s purchasing card policy. Tribune-Herald.

A project to bring water to a Ka‘u coffee farm, generate electricity to run it and have extra power left over to create a hydrogen filling station has caught the attention of the county Agriculture Advisory Commission. West Hawaii Today.

Opinion: As the protests and civil disobedience against the planned Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea continue, and those arrested are being processed through the courts, one of the repeated themes is the belief the mountain’s self-described “protectors” can’t be charged with violating state law because the State of Hawaii has no jurisdiction over them. Civil Beat.

Maui

Members of the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce recently elected an all-female executive team to lead the board of directors. MauiTime.

Kauai

Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. on Tuesday told The Garden Island that he supports the Kauai County Council’s efforts to give voters the opportunity to repeal term limits, but said the plan should be expanded beyond just council members to also include the executive branch.

Kauai has the largest nene population. It’s home to 90 percent of the world’s Newell shearwaters. And it’s a refuge for many other threatened and endangered birds, thanks to the work of conservationists. Garden Island.

Niihau
A single family has owned the island for more than 150 years and — even though it’s only 17 miles from resort-lined Kauai — Niihau remains surprisingly insulated from the outside world. Civil Beat.