Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Ige focused on Kakaako homeless woes, raises sought for UH administrators, Kenoi's role in hiring campaign manager questioned, new water treatment plant for Maui, lasers keep birds off Kauai light poles, West Hawaii to be short on water, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo
University of Hawaii courtesy photo
The University of Hawaii president is seeking approval of pay raises totaling $1 million for nearly 200 of its nonunionized executives in positions the university says have not seen a salary increase in seven years. Star-Advertiser.

Editorial: The generations-old push to re-establish U.S. recognition of the sovereignty and government of the Native Hawaiian people reached a milestone last week when the Department of the Interior announced it will soon publish a draft rule that would allow Native Hawaiians to leverage that recognition. Civil Beat.

Oahu

A planned August sweep of the Kakaako homeless encampment is on hold as Gov. David Ige and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell pore over disheartening data that show the 293 people living in tents and tarps near the University of Hawaii’s medical school and Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center have few housing options. Star-Advertiser.

More than 40 percent of the people in a homeless encampment in Honolulu's Kakaako district are families, according to a new survey released by Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Monday. Associated Press.

Less than half of homeless individuals living in a camp in Kakaako are families, and the majority of them are Native Hawaiian or Polynesian, a new study has found. Pacific Business News.

The Governor’s Leadership Team on Homelessness met again today to go over the data collected by social service agencies on the homeless encampment at Kaka’ako. Hawaii Public Radio.

The city's homeless village at Sand Island is very quickly starting to take shape. KITV4.

Oregon-based Schnitzer Steel would save nearly $1.3 million each year if the Honolulu City Council approves a subsidy for scrap metal recycling that would cost the city more than $1.45 million in annual revenue. Bill 50, introduced by Chair Ernie Martin, would impose a 65 percent discount on the disposal fee that companies pay when they deliver solid waste to the landfill. The city created the subsidy in the 1990s, but it was discontinued two years ago. Civil Beat.

Citing safety concerns, state regulators want to shift where enthusiasts can ride their personal watercraft at Keehi Lagoon — but the proposal already faces resistance from many local canoe paddlers. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii regulators have denied the applications for power purchase agreements between three large proposed solar energy farms, including Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc.'s 15-megawatt Ka La Nui project in Waianae in Leeward Oahu, and Hawaiian Electric Co., according to public documents. Pacific Business News.

The state Public Utilities Commission said Monday it denied three utility-scale solar projects on Oahu due to concerns about cost-effectiveness and the location of the facilities. Star-Advertiser.

Residents who were invited to choose a color for the refurbished Magic Island pathway have selected reddish-brown. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

Although the Hawaii County Board of Ethics last month cleared Mayor Billy Kenoi of wrongdoing in the hiring of his campaign manager to a top-paying government position, documents obtained by West Hawaii Today raise questions about his role.

If North Kona were built up to the full extent that current land uses allow, the developments would draw 28 million gallons of water a day from the Keauhou aquifer — slightly less than twice what is drawn now. West Hawaii Today.

The State Commission on Water Resource Management (CWRM) held a meeting at the West Hawaii Civic Center on Monday. Once again, agenda items were primarily related to the U.S National Park Service’s petition to designate the Keauhou Aquifer System Area as a Ground Water Management Area, which the County of Hawaii opposes. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County is considering ways to make the Waipio Valley Access Road safer and will discuss options at a meeting next week in Honokaa. Tribune-Herald.

After nearly eight years of talk-story groups, committee meetings, readjustments and revisions, county planners and a steering committee of residents are close to finalizing the draft of a document that will guide future planning decisions for the entire Ka‘u District. Tribune-Herald.

Exonerated of fraud charges for a second time, Hilo's welfare doctor is now seeking payments from the state and insurers that accused him of bilking Hawaii's Medicaid program.  Hawaii News Now.

Maui

Maui County has received approval from the state to begin construction of a water treatment plant that will nearly double the capacity of the existing facility. Associated Press.

Beginning next summer, Maui County hopes to begin work on a new $12 million to $15 million Iao water treatment plant that will nearly double the amount of water handled by the current plant, according to documents filed with the state. Maui News.

A bill that seeks a ban on smoking at county bus stops will be considered by the Housing, Human Services and Transportation Committee this week. Maui Now.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is moving forward with plans to build a 17-acre recreational park and community center in Kula. Maui News.

This Thursday, Aug. 20, Maui residents can talk story with U.S. Senator Brian Schatz at a Town Hall Meeting at Pomaikai Elementary School. MauiTime.

The batteries and transmitters that are a critical part of the Palikea Stream flood-warning system at Seven Sacred Pools were stolen last week, prompting Haleakala National Park to close the famous pools at Oheo. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai

Kauai Island Utility Cooperative is continuing to experiment with highly concentrated beams of light from low powered lasers attached to transmission poles and the use of bird diverters on power lines as part of its ongoing effort to protect endangered seabirds. Garden Island.

The start of a planned renaissance of the long-shuttered Coco Palms Resort will take a little bit more time than expected. Garden Island.

In observance of Statehood Day, County of Kauai offices will be closed on Friday, along with all refuse transfer stations, the Kekaha Landfill, and Kauai Resource Center. Garden Island.