Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Most support Thirty Meter Telescope, Hawaii gets D+ in anti-corruption measures, state Libertarians gather, dengue fever outbreak slows, Honolulu rail bosses warn project needs half-cent tax, Kauai wants state bond money, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Mauna Kea telescopes as seen from Hilo ©2015 All Hawaii News
A majority of Hawaii residents support the stalled Thirty Meter Telescope and say construction should move forward on the summit of Mauna Kea. That’s the conclusion of a new statewide poll commissioned by the TMT International Observatory Corp. and released Monday. Star-Advertiser.

A majority of Hawaii residents support building the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea, according to a poll commissioned by TMT International Observatory. Tribune-Herald.

About half of the Native Hawaiian and part-Hawaiian respondents to a poll released Monday on the Thirty Meter Telescope project oppose moving ahead with construction of the telescope atop Mauna Kea. Civil Beat.

Hawaii earned a grade of D+ when it comes to integrity, but that was still the fourth-highest rating in the country, according to the recently released State Integrity Investigation. Civil Beat.

Hawai’i’s third largest political party, the Libertarians, conducted its state convention over the weekend and marked the official start of its 2016 election season. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Defense Department on Monday recovered for identification and return to families the last of 388 sailors and Marines killed on the battleship USS Oklahoma on Dec. 7, 1941, and later buried as “unknowns” in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service announced that starting in January 2016, the agency will do a “green bean pricing valuation” for all coffee grown in Hawaii. This, according to Hawaii’s congressional delegation, is a better way to “reflect market values.” It also makes reporting easier on the growers. MauiTime.

Over the next six years, roughly 6,000 inmates will be released early from prisons nationwide. Some 279 of those prisoners are from the islands, and 55 have already been released. The early releases are meant to address growing criticism over the practice of strict mandatory sentences for drug offenders with no prior records. Hawaii News Now.

Rent has increased statewide 10- to 12-percent since 2012, while the housing inventory is way down -- and real estate experts those two factors are contributing to a housing crisis that's only forecast to get worse. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Uneasy about giving the OK to extend the 0.5 percent surcharge on general excise tax on Oahu consumers for five years to build the contentious rail project, City Council members continue to press transit officials for alternatives. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell reiterated his support Monday to build a 20-mile, 21-station commuter rail line from East Kapolei to Ala Moana Center, and said that a five-year extension of a half percent general excise tax surcharge from 2022 to 2027 should provide enough money to do so. Civil  Beat.

The city has reached a development agreement with a private company to put up a minimum of 151 senior rental units in two midrise towers along River Street near Vineyard Boulevard, the Caldwell administration announced Monday. Star-Advertiser.

The Minnesota developer of a long-planned $39 million affordable rental housing project for artists in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako could start construction in the summer of 2016. Pacific Business News.

Who Is Sticking Up for Tenants in Honolulu? Unlike in many American cities, there is no organization here dedicated to advancing the rights of renters. Civil Beat.

Hawaii businessman Duane Kurisu and his son, Robert, have purchased a commercial unit at the Pacificana Atlas condominium in Honolulu for $11.8 million. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

Dengue fever on Hawaii Island appears to be limited to older cases, the state reports, but the number of confirmed cases continues to climb. West Hawaii Today.

Presenting a unified front, State and County officials held a press conference on Monday to launch a statewide “Fight the Bite” public education campaign that seeks to end the spread of dengue fever in Hawaii. Big Island Video News.

The Hawaii State Department of Health Monday launched “Fight the Bite,” a statewide public education campaign that seeks to end the spread of dengue fever in Hawaii. KHON2.

State Department of Health officials met Monday with residents of South Kona, a hot spot of dengue fever exposure, with 23 of the 27 cases on Hawaii island so far. Star-Advertiser.

Two North Kohala properties are at the top of the county’s purchasing list for next year, according to a report finalized Monday by the county Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Commission. West Hawaii Today.

A nearly 30-year Hilo holiday tradition is in danger of coming to an end. Funding and manpower woes led the Lehua Jaycees to cancel this year what would have been the 30th annual Hilo Christmas Light Parade. But, in what might turn out to be a holiday miracle, a group of interested community members is working to save the beloved event. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company was cited for an alleged “fugitive dust violation” that state Health Department officials say occurred on Dec. 13, 2014. Maui Now.

More than 10,000 people passed through the gates of the second annual Made in Maui County Festival at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, topping last year's attendance and causing some vendors to sell out of their products early. Maui News.

Kauai

The County Council is discussing a list of projects that will go before the state Legislature for potential general obligation bond funding opportunities. Garden Island.

Hawaii BioEnergy AlgaeCo, LLC aka Hawaii BioEnergy, LLC was cited by the state Health Department for late submittal of a 2013 monitoring report on their algae farm in Lihue. Garden Island.