Thursday, October 15, 2015

Cesspools threaten Hawaii coastline, Honolulu council members cleared on ethics complaint, special prosecutor investigating police chief, bigeye tuna fishing resumes, state selling $750M bonds for projects, tech lawsuit rebuffed, reactions to new solar rules, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii Island coastline © 2015 All Hawaii News
Studies Find Growing Evidence of Cesspool Impacts to Coast, Potable Wells. Hawaii remains the only state that allows new cesspools, but it has started offering tax credits for getting rid of them in sensitive areas. Civil Beat.

Hawaii fishermen are once again being allowed to catch a prized tuna species in the fleet's most productive fishing grounds west of the islands, sparking criticism that they are adding to overfishing. Associated Press.

Despite pending litigation and concerns about disrupting international agreements, the U.S. government has decided Hawaii’s longline fishing fleet can reel in an extra 1,000 tons of bigeye tuna by making payments to one of the Pacific island territories. Civil Beat.

A lawsuit filed by the Attorney General’s Office to try to recoup millions of dollars the state spent on a failed Department of Transportation computer project was tossed out of Circuit Court this week. The state is alleging that information technology consulting company Ciber Inc. defrauded the Transportation Department in a failed effort to set up a new computer system for the state Highways Division. Star-Advertiser.

The state is selling $750 million in bonds this week, the first sale for Gov. David Ige’s administration. Civil Beat.

Today is the scheduled last day to register to vote in next month’s Na‘i Aupuni election of delegates to the Native Hawaiian constitutional convention set to begin in February. Star-Advertiser.

State officials are warning Hawaii’s medical marijuana patients and caregivers to tag their plants and carry their registration cards to avoid getting in trouble with the law. Star-Advertiser.

Most Americans have never even heard of the Compact of Free Association, but that may change as federal aid runs out, raising urgent questions about our moral, financial and legal responsibility to Micronesians. Civil Beat.

Energy industry leaders react to the end of Hawaiian Electric's roofop solar program. Pacific Business News.

Rooftop solar panels will no longer be the great deal for Hawaii Island residents that they’ve been in the past, thanks to a decision Tuesday by the state Public Utilities Commission that more than halves the credit solar owners get for selling excess power back to the grid. West Hawaii Today.

The state Public Utilities Commission will end net metering, but has approved two new rooftop PV programs intended to replace the NEM program. In addition, the PUC also agreed to allow the Hawaiian Electric Companies to submit a revised time-of-use rate proposal to further expand options for its customers. Maui Now.

After years of expansion, many are predicting Hawaii's solar industry is about to fall on hard times after the Public Utilities Commission announced new rules Monday for the installation of photovoltaic systems. KITV4.

Oahu

The Honolulu Ethics Commission on Wednesday dropped complaints against City Council members Ikaika Anderson and Ann Kobayashi, and former Councilman Donovan Dela Cruz over claims that they failed to disclose gifts from lobbyists before taking critical votes on the $6 billion rail project. Star-Advertiser.

The city Ethics Commission has dismissed claims made against three Honolulu City Council members over votes involving Honolulu’s rail project. KHON2.

A special prosecutor appointed from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego has launched a criminal probe into Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, Katherine, a high-ranking city prosecutor. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Wheat is directing the federal investigation, and working with the FBI. Civil Beat.

The city finally cleared out the last of the Kakaako homeless encampment Wednesday after a five-day delay. Star-Advertiser.

For the first time in two years, the sidewalks on Ohe Street in Kakaako are free of tents. Hawaii News Now.

Five condominium towers under construction in Kakaako will soon have more company, with a sixth tower slated to break ground in about two weeks followed by a seventh in March. Star-Advertiser.

Pacific Business News Publisher Bob Charlet to head Houston Business Journal. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

High water temperatures fueled by El Niño are wreaking havoc on East Hawaii’s coral reefs. Tribune-Herald.

County crews are putting the finishing touches on a Kaumana Drive repaving project with the goal of discouraging motorists from speeding. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The J. Walter Cameron Center will undergo its first major renovation since it opened more than 40 years ago by replacing windows, doors and its air-conditioning system next month, officials said. Maui News.

Opinion: We toast Liquor Control Director Frank Silva on his retirement as corruption charges swirl around his department. MauiTime.

Kauai

Demolition of the long-shuttered Coco Palms Resort could begin in the next four to six weeks, a sign of the island’s slowly materializing efforts to revitalize the historic hotel. Garden Island.

The trail leading up to the Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse needs maintenance in order to be safe. Help is on the way. Garden Island.