Monday, October 19, 2015

Hurricane Olaf nears Hawaii, Gabbard, Takai fatten campaign coffers, Section 8 vouchers return to Oahu, Maui march draws thousands, E-Trade founder Porter dies on Kauai, Pahala gym floor redo, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Central Pacific Hurricane Center
Hurricane Olaf 5 a.m. Monday, courtesy Central Pacific Hurricane Center
Olaf is now a major hurricane as it approaches the Central Pacific, according to the National Hurricane Center. At 5 a.m. Monday, Olaf had winds of 115 miles per hour, making it a Category 3 hurricane. It was located approximately 1,345 miles east-southeast of the Big Island. It was moving toward the west at 14 miles per hour. Hawaii News Now.

There’s still six weeks to go, but the 2015 Central Pacific hurricane season is already one for the record books. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s freshman in the U.S. House of Representatives, Mark Takai, raised $234,335 in the most recent fundraising cycle — more than Hawaii’s other House delegate, Tusi Gabbard. But not by much. Gabbard raised just $129 dollars less than Takai — or $234,206 — for the July-September reporting period. Civil Beat.

The embattled Sandwich Isles Communications Inc. owes $108.6 million to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for loans it obtained to finance its telecommunications network on Hawaiian home lands, and has been in default on some or all of those loans for the past two years, according to federal records. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige issued an emergency proclamation Friday to address Hawaii’s homelessness crisis, a move that allows him to tap into the state’s general revenue funds reserved for “the immediate relief of the conditions created by the disaster.” Civil Beat.

The state Division of Aquatic Resources has scheduled public hearings in November on a proposed rule to permanently regulate the harvesting of sea cucumbers in state waters. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu


For the first time in a decade, the state’s public housing office will begin handing out Section 8 vouchers to individuals and families living on Oahu. However, demand is forecast to greatly outstrip available housing units because of the island’s tight housing market and the reluctance of landlords to accept low-income tenants. Star-Advertiser.

The City and County of Honolulu has chosen Massachusetts-based Ameresco Inc. to replace about 52,000 of its streetlights with more efficient LED lighting. Pacific Business News.

As the administrations of Gov. David Ige and Mayor Kirk Caldwell continue to search for new ways to address the estimated 4,900 people who are homeless on Oahu, IHS continues to receive emails, phone calls, tweets and Facebook messages from homeless people on the mainland who are considering coming to Hawaii with no housing and no idea how much it actually costs to live here. Star-Advertiser.

Former Honolulu police officer Vincent Morre was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison Friday for civil rights violations after attacking two men in a Hopaka Street game room last September. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

The first sneaker didn’t squeak across the floor of a new gymnasium in Pahala before it was ripped out to start over. A sign near the massive new green-roofed Ka’u gym and shelter looming over the public school campus in Pahala bears an optimistic completion date of Nov. 15, 2014. But chances are, the $17.3 million project won’t be ready a year from then. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Fire Department is asking for another $6 million to build a new station on Haihai Street in Hilo. The 12,000-square-foot facility will replace a smaller and aging fire house on Kawailani Street. It will serve Panaewa makai to Waiakea Uka, according to the project’s environmental assessment. Tribune-Herald.

The Mohouli Heights Senior Neighborhood is getting ready to expand with the planned addition of 30 new units. The existing 60-unit senior housing project on Mohouli Street in Hilo opened in April 2014 and has a waiting list of more than 400 people, said Keith Kato, Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation executive director. Tribune-Herald.

Next to sparsely stocked shelves at The Food Basket’s Kona Warehouse, Marshall Akamu holds a wicker basket. West Hawaii Today.

It’s rare that a day goes by when Issa Hillweh, owner of the Hilo Town Tavern, doesn’t have a customer ask for the house brew. But a Hilo Town Tavern brew could be on its way soon. Hillweh is in the final stages of the permitting process for a new type of liquor license approved during the last state legislative session. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island police are investigating damage to a fiber optics cable network on Mauna Kea mountain, the site of a hotly disputed project to build a massive telescope. Associated Press.

It may be 10,000 to 100,000 years before Hawaii’s smallest and youngest volcano breaches the surface of the ocean. The Loihi Seamount, whose summit lies some 3,200 feet beneath the waves nearly 22 miles southeast of Ka‘u, was only discovered in 1952 when a flurry of earthquakes drew scientists’ attention offshore. The earliest known mention of Loihi was on bathymetric charts in 1940. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The Aloha ʻĀina Unity March down Front Street in Lahaina on Sunday was a huge success, according to event organizers, calling it a “a beautiful day of activation.”  Maui Now.

West Maui march focuses on overdevelopment, resources. Front Street ran red with marchers Sunday morning as more than 5,000 people joined in the Aloha 'Aina Unity March. Maui News.

West Maui-Maalaea-north Kihei state Rep. Angus McKelvey said Saturday that he "screwed up royally" and apologized to constituents after acknowledging that he was charged last week with failing to report campaign contributions and for unauthorized expenditures of campaign funds. Maui News.

Maui County Council members unanimously approved Friday a 186-unit, fast-tracked affordable rental housing project, the Kenolio Apartments in Kihei, although lingering concerns remained about the capacity of the area's infrastructure. Maui News.

Kauai
Hawaii regulators have approved the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative’s plan to retrofit nearly 3,500 street light fixtures owned by the county and state with energy-saving LED lights, becoming the first island in the state to switch virtually all of its street lights to LED lights, the Lihue-based cooperative said Friday. Pacific Business News.

Two months after Kauai County’s dog barking ordinance was repealed, another rule regulating noisy pups may be ready to get back on the books. Councilman KipuKai Kuali’i is crafting regulation that would try to hold pet owners responsible for excessive barking — one that would require more parties to notify authorities of a potential problem before a dog owner could be cited. Garden Island.

Alaska Airlines and the Kauai Humane Society are setting records this year in dogs and cats flown for free to the mainland for adoption. Hawaii News Now.

Bill Porter, the E-Trade founder who funneled generous portions of his fortune into businesses and nonprofits benefiting organic farming, recreation and community building on Kauai’s North Shore, died Wednesday at his home in Princeville, surrounded by family and friends. Garden Island.