Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day commemorated in Hawaii, Congressman Takai resting after cancer surgery, state yanks bridge plan opposed by Roseanne Barr, Waikiki Landing off the table, Public Utilities Commission beefs up for electricity battle, $30M for Pacific Missile Range, work to restart on Thirty Meter Telescope, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii military on parade © 2015 All Hawaii News
What’s open and closed, plus events and freebies for Veterans Day. KHON2.

As state regulators gear up for the trial-like phase of one of the biggest business deals in Hawaii’s history — the proposed $4.3 billion purchase of Hawaiian Electric Industries by NextEra Energy — they are also looking for more office space. For years criticized as woefully understaffed, the Public Utilities Commission has lawyered up and hired new policy researchers, a compliance chief and executive officer, among other positions. Civil Beat.

NextEra Energy Inc.’s recent statement that it would take $30 billion for Hawaii to achieve the goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2045 was criticized Tuesday as an extreme estimate that would place a heavy burden on ratepayers. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Mark Takai had surgery to remove a small, cancerous tumor in his pancreas Tuesday and was resting after the operation at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., according to a spokesman. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

The state is finally pulling its lease with Honey Bee USA Inc., the developer of the planned Waikiki Landing at the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor, for nonpayment of more than $500,000 in back rent and a $1 million performance bond. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii agency that owns the land for the long-delayed $35 million Waikiki Landing mixed-use project at the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor is canceling the developer’s proposal and drafting a new request for proposals for the project. Pacific Business News.

Tuesday’s Building Industry Association conference provided more evidence that many in the industry aren’t happy with Mayor Kirk Caldwell's proposal to require every large development on Oahu to set aside a certain percentage of units for low-income or moderate-income people, and that’s delaying the mayor’s plan to roll out the change this year. Civil Beat.

Council members Ann Kobayashi and Kymberly Pine believe the time has come for some out of the box thinking to raise revenue, and that’s why they introduced Bill 78, which would allow companies and organizations to sponsor city facilities for a fee. KITV4.

Online voting begins Thursday for anyone interested in serving on the Maunalua Bay Recreation Advisory Committee, or M-RAC. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources says it is establishing the committee in response to concerns of community members regarding the status of ocean regulations in the Oahu bay. Civil Beat.

On this Veterans Day, outreach workers are still trying to get the last 55 homeless military veterans on Oahu into a system that’s designed to take them from the streets and into a shelter within 30 days and find them a permanent place to live within 90 days. Star-Advertiser.

Thousands of people visit Diamond Head Monument State park every day, but the state fears several problems are putting a black eye on the popular tourist attraction. KHON2.

The city is planning to crack down on some bus riders who leave items on the sidewalk at the Alapai Transit Center to reserve their spot in line. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

A day after releasing a poll showing support from a majority of Hawaii residents, the developers of the stalled Thirty Meter Telescope on Tuesday announced that construction would begin later this month on the initial stages of the $1.4 billion project. Star-Advertiser.

A small crew will return this month to the Hawaii Island mountaintop construction site of a hotly debated giant telescope project. Workers will go to Mauna Kea for equipment maintenance and repairs, Thirty Meter Telescope officials announced Tuesday. An exact date hasn’t been identified, spokesman Scott Ishikawa said. Associated Press.

It’s back to the drawing board for plans to replace the Waiaka Stream Bridge, opposed by actress Roseanne Barr. The state Department of Transportation has yanked its final environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact because of “new circumstances and information that require additional studies,” according to an Oct. 16 letter from DOT Director Ford Fuchigama that was released Saturday by the state Office of Environmental Quality Control. West Hawaii Today.

The number of confirmed cases of dengue fever on Hawaii Island grew by six Tuesday, totaling 33 in all. West Hawaii Today.

State health officials said Tuesday the number of confirmed locally acquired dengue fever cases has climbed to 33 from 27 in Hawaii County. Star-Advertiser.

A public information meetings on the mosquito-borne dengue fever outbreak was held in Na’alehu on Tuesday night, the second in a series of meetings scheduled by state and county officials. Big Island Video News.

In a last-minute move, the health department hired private public relations company The Bennett Group for $75,000 to help spread the word about the dengue outbreak. KHON2.

As West Hawaii contends with dengue fever and the possibility that the disease could become endemic, a researcher has revealed that the another scourge is spreading on leeward slopes — rapid ohia death. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Retired 2nd Circuit Judge Boyd Mossman will moderate a panel discussion on the Na'i Aupuni process to create a governing document for an eventual Native Hawaii sovereign entity beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Queen Lili'uokalani Children's Center. Maui News.

Zen Honeycutt, founder of Moms Across America, will speak about "the danger of GMOs and Glyphosate" at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center's McCoy Studio. Maui News.

The state Department of Health has cited Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. and assessed a $3,300 penalty for a dust violation last year, the department announced. Maui News.

Kauai

Many veterans won’t be able to physically attend today’s Veterans Day observance at the Hanapepe Veterans Cemetery where Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard will deliver the keynote address. Garden Island.

The U.S. Senate passed a revised version of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act on Tuesday by a vote of 91-3. The updated bill authorizes $444 million in funding for programs important to Hawaii’s economy and military community, including $30 million for a grid consolidation project at Kauai’s Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands. Garden Island.

Nominations and elections for seats on the Aha Moku Advisory Committee will take place from 6 to 8 tonight at the Kapaa library. Department of Land and Natural Resources Executive Director Leimana DaMate will be on hand to provide information and answer any questions. Garden Island.