Thursday, September 10, 2015

Office of Hawaiian Affairs officials visit Mauna Kea amid protests, arrests; few affordable homes built under Honolulu plan; councilman cleared to accept pro-GMO trip; Campaign Spending Commission fines scofflaws; new solar deal on Kauai; disputes on Maui over energy, cane burning; monk seal rescued off Niihau, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Big Island Video News
Earl DeLeon speaks about Mauna Kea and Thirty Meter Telescope, courtesy Big Island Video News
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ administrator offered his commitment, though few specifics, to protecting indigenous rights and proper stewardship of Mauna Kea after meeting with Thirty Meter Telescope opponents Wednesday morning at their camp site near the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station. The meeting, which also included four OHA trustees, was held only hours after Hawaii County police and state Department of Land and Natural Resources officers arrested eight camp occupants during their second nighttime sweep to enforce emergency rules that prohibit people from staying there between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. Tribune-Herald.

Earl DeLeon, who in the past has stood for Aloha Aina on Kaho’olawe and Hilo Airport, speaks to Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustees during Wednesday’s site visit to Mauna Kea and Hale Kukia’imauna. Big Island Video News.

Eight people were detained early Wednesday in the latest round of arrests in an ongoing battle over construction of a giant telescope atop a mountain many Native Hawaiians consider sacred. Associated Press.

State conservation officers arrested eight protesters on Mauna Kea early Wednesday morning in only the second enforcement action since the Board of Land and Natural Resources enacted a new emergency rule prohibiting camping on the mountain two months ago. Star-Advertiser.

Protesters aren't leaving Mauna Kea, and the state's not backing down on its camping ban. On Wednesday morning, eight protesters were arrested, including a man who was atop a structure at a campsite across the road from the Visitor Center. KITV4.

Seven women and one man were arrested early Wednesday morning for allegedly violating the Board of Land and Natural Resources' emergency rule, which prohibits access in the overnight restricted area along Mauna Kea Observatory Access Road. Hawaii News Now.

Eight people were arrested early Wednesday morning at a protest camp across the road from the Mauna Kea Visitors Center on Hawaii Island. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission on Wednesday approved a total of about $8,000 in fines for 13 political candidates and noncandidate committees, including former Hawaii island Rep. Faye Hanohano and the Castle & Cooke Inc. Legislative Committee, for filing late campaign spending reports. Star-Advertiser.

NextEra Energy Inc. and Hawaiian Electric Co., the two firms involved in a $4.3 billion acquisition, have completed a federal pre-merger notification program, one of the requirements they needed to meet prior to closing the transaction, the two companies said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

The Department of Education is trying to expedite the purchase of as many as 1,000 portable air conditioners in hopes of bringing temperatures to tolerable levels in the hottest public school classrooms. Star-Advertiser.

The Department of Education is setting aside half-a-million dollars to buy air conditioning units to bring relief to students and teachers suffering in the heat. KHON2.

An abandoned Hawaiian monk seal pup found Monday on Niihau is the first from the main Hawaiian Islands to be admitted to the Marine Mammal Center’s Ke Kai Ola Hospital. Star-Advertiser.

An abandoned monk seal pup is now being cared for in Kona. Hawaii Public Radio.

A new survey ranks the Aloha State at No. 4 for best places to have a baby in the nation, and No. 1 for “baby friendly environment.” Civil Beat.

Oahu

Honolulu’s affordable housing policy requires that any developer seeking approval for a zone change set aside 30 percent of their units for people earning moderate incomes or less. Thirty percent may sound like a lot, but in fiscal year 2014, only 33 units were produced under that policy, known as inclusionary zoning. Civil Beat.

A Japanese firm’s 350-foot mixed-use condominium-hotel tower being planned for the former property of the Kyo-ya Restaurant in Waikiki was met with strong opposition by some community members and the area’s neighborhood board. Pacific Business News.

Honolulu Police Department officials are touting the launch of a service that can help first responders handle emergencies quicker and more efficiently. Star-Advertiser.

Behind the homes on Iliaina Street and just down the road from Kalaheo High School lays 10 acres of unused land. The city owns it and it doesn't need to sell it, but it’s an option it's looking into. KITV4.

The city has owned a ten-acre parcel of land above Iliaina Street in Kailua since 1961. Originally the Department of Education was going to build an elementary school on the site. But that idea died. The undeveloped land along Kalaheo Hillside is zoned residential and is now on the city's surplus list. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

One County Council member was cleared by the county Board of Ethics on Wednesday to accept a free trip to New York paid by a pro-GMO group later this month, while the acceptance of two free trips to Honolulu last year from anti-tobacco lobbyists by another council member remains pending before the board. West Hawaii Today.

A new science and technology building two decades in the making will soon be a reality at Waimea Middle School. West Hawaii Today.

Maui
Anaergia Services LLC has filed a complaint with Hawaii regulators against Hawaiian Electric Co. and its subsidiary Maui Electric Co. over a proposed energy project on Maui, according to public documents. Pacific Business News.

The legal firestorm that is Maui Environmental Court’s new cane burning lawsuit. MauiTime.

Kauai

State Attorney: Public May Need Doctor’s OK to Visit Kauai Irrigation Sites. The water commission is planning a field trip to look at ditches and other waterways but state legal advisors are worried about the public tagging along. Civil Beat.

Kauai Island Utility Cooperative has signed a power purchase agreement with SolarCity for electricity from the first utility-scale solar array and battery storage system designed to supply power to the grid in the evening, when demand is highest. Garden Island.

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative has struck a deal with California-based SolarCity to develop what would become one of the first utility-scale systems in the United States to provide the utility with electricity whenever it needs it. Pacific Business News.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of State Parks will continue to accept public comments on the master plan and draft environmental impact statement for Haena State Park through Oct. 8. The required public comment period of 45 days, ended Tuesday, but State Parks will continue to accept comments in response to requests from the public to allow more time to review the large and complex document. Garden Island.