Friday, November 13, 2015

Navy studying sonar effects on sea life, Honolulu contractors decline to roust homeless, Big Island councilwoman wants marijuana tax, Maui Electric seeks rate hike, Molokai plan complete, after-school program price increase, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

2003 courtesy photo U.S. Navy
Navy dolphin, 2003 courtesy photo, U.S. Navy
The U.S. Navy on Thursday started a three-year environmental review process that will examine its use of sonar and explosives during training in the Pacific. Environmental groups are calling on the public to comment on the effects such activities have on whales, dolphins and other marine life. Civil Beat.

One day after Civil Beat reported Hawaii received a D-minus from the Institute for Justice for having some of the worst asset forfeiture laws in the U.S., state Sen. Will Espero took to Twitter and Facebook to say he plans to introduce legislation to reform the practice. Civil Beat.

The state is proposing to raise the price for the A+ after-school program by $35 a month over the next three years, bringing the monthly fee to $120 per child. Hawaii News Now.

The A+ program currently costs $85 per month per child, but the DOE is proposing a price increase starting next year to $100, $110 in 2017 and $120 in 2018. KHON2.

Hawaiian Electric is proposing that the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission allow new, lower daytime power rates for the state Department of Education to allow public schools to better manage their electricity costs as they add more air conditioning to cool classrooms and offices. Maui News.

Hawai‘i 's Department of Human Services projects it will save about 29-million dollars a year by not providing insurance coverage for so-called able-bodied Micronesians of working age. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

The state for weeks warned homeless people camped out along the Kakaako shoreline that they would be removed in sweeps that were to begin as soon as Thursday, but it's now unclear when or how that will happen after no takers were found in the search for contractors to come in and do the work. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu office of Anasaldo, the company that has the $1.4 billion contract to build and operate the cars for the city's rail transit system, expects to complete the designs for the project and move on to the next phase of the project in the next few months. Pacific Business News.

With the pace of construction picking up and major new contract awards on the horizon, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation on Thursday launched its plan to borrow up to $350 million to help cover the ongoing cost of the city's 20-mile rail project. Star-Advertiser.

The recent purchase of Italian train car-maker Ansaldo by Hitachi Group has Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Chairman Don Horner excited about the future of the city’s $6.6 billion rail project. Civil Beat.

There's been another major development in the federal investigation of Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his prosecutor wife, Katherine. Police sources say FBI agents met with Honolulu Police Department brass recently to deliver subpoenas in the case against the department's top cop. Hawaii News Now.

For aspiring homeowners, housing prices on Oahu just seem to keep rising up, up and away. Civil Beat.

A British citizen who is a legal permanent resident of the United States alleges in a lawsuit that the Honolulu Police Department discriminates against non-U.S. citizens by making it difficult for them to obtain firearm permits. Associated Press.

University of Hawaii President David Lassner is recommending longtime university executive Doris Ching to lead the UH-West Oahu campus on an interim basis after the scheduled retirement of Rockne Freitas at the end of the year. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille wants the county to be able to levy a sales tax on medical marijuana, and she wants the counties to have authority over where it can be grown. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Department of Health reports one new, confirmed case of locally acquired dengue fever on Hawaii Island, bringing the total number to 34. Of the confirmed case, 26 are Hawaii residents and 8 are visitors. 30 cases have been adults; four have been children. Big Island Video News.

County and state employees leading a meeting about dengue fever Thursday gave ways to recognize and combat the disease, kill mosquitoes and find further information. But more needs to be done to get the word out across language barriers, said Angela Dean of Comunidad Latina de Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui Electric Co. customers would pay approximately 28 cents more per month on Maui Island and 22 cents more on Molokai and Lanai under a rate adjustment proposed late last month to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. Maui News.

A final environmental assessment has been filed for a fast track affordable housing project in Māʻalaea, proposed for development mauka of the Honoapiʻilani Highway. Maui Now.

The Papakea condominium resort in Kaanapali received approval Tuesday for an emergency special management area permit to repair three sinkholes on its property along Lower Honoapiilani Road. Maui News.

Kauai

A master plan that maps the future of Black Pot Beach Park is the topic of discussion at a community meeting on Tuesday. The meeting is set for 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Hanalei Elementary School cafeteria. Garden Island.

Donations of at least $100 or more to the Kauai Independent Food Bank will be matched up to $10,000, thanks to the start of the Hale Uluwehi Kauai Funds administered by the Hawaii Community Foundation. Garden Island.

Molokai

The Molokai Community Plan Advisory Committee has completed a draft community plan it hopes will guide decisions made on and for the island over the next decade. Maui News.