Thursday, December 17, 2015

NextEra-Hawaiian Electric hearings pau for now, South China activity worries military, construction equipment removed from Mauna Kea, audit blasts Honolulu H-Power, Trump, Bush on Hawaii GOP ticket so far, 'no-drone zone' for Obama visit, Maui Memorial fined for infections, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii fish on ice © 2015 All Hawaii News
Hawaii longline fishermen are on track to haul in a record amount of bigeye tuna this year thanks to a federal rule that lets them sidestep catch limits by paying Pacific island territories for their unused quota. Civil Beat.

The regulatory hearings regarding NextEra Energy Inc.’s proposed $4.3 billion acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Co., recessed Wednesday after 12 days of testimony, but won't resume until February because the current venue at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu is booked until that time. Pacific Business News.

Executives from NextEra Energy Inc. and Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. haven't discussed extending the current sale end date from June 3, an executive from the Florida energy giant said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

When it comes to the utility that provides us with our electricity, what do we care more about, value or local values? That question hung in the air at the end of the 12th day of testimony at the Public Utilities Commission’s hearing to decide whether NextEra Energy’s proposed $4.3 billion purchase of Hawaiian Electric Industries should go through. Civil Beat.

The head of U.S. Pacific Fleet likened the “might makes right” actions usually attributed to China in the South China Sea to those taken by Japan preceding World War II in the Asia-Pacific region. Star-Advertiser.

State agriculture officials are looking to increase Hawaii’s food exports to the Middle East next year. Associated Press.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday announced the first interest rate hike since June 2006, but this historic move will have negative implications on Hawaii’s biggest problem: affordable housing. Pacific Business News.

The United States has more than over 68,000 licensed gun dealers, but less than 140 are in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Donald Trump has registered for the March 8 Hawaii Republican presidential caucus. The billionaire and current GOP frontrunner joins former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on the ballot. The Hawaii GOP Caucuses will be held Tuesday, March 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. at dozens of voting locations statewide. Civil Beat.

Oahu

A pervasive lack of oversight at Honolulu’s waste-to-energy facility in West Oahu has cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars — if not millions — in improper and questionable expenses, according to a city audit released this week. Civil Beat.

The city is paying a construction company $3.6 million to settle a lawsuit filed over construction of a sewer line under the Ala Wai Canal in Waikiki. Hawaii News Now.

Two alleged gambling operations right here in Honolulu have been shut down by police. The busts happened across two game rooms near 1684 Kalakaua Avenue just a couple of blocks away from the Hawaii Convention Center. KITV4.

An ownership dispute of a 10,000-square foot segment of Queen Street in Kakaako is raising concerns over further delays to Honolulu's rail transit project. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu’s chief of police says officers will start testing body cameras in the early part of next year. KHON2.

With the increasing popularity of drones, the Federal Aviation Administration is reminding operators that aircraft are prohibited in the designated security zone during President Barack Obama’s Christmas visit. Star-Advertiser.

Temporary flight restrictions will be in place on Oahu from Dec. 18 until Jan. 3, the same restrictions that have been issued during the holiday season for the last several years. Civil Beat.

Honolulu officials helped 465 homeless people find housing on Oahu this year, Mayor Kirk Caldwell said. Hawaii has the largest rate of homeless people per capita of any state in the nation, and the latest count on Oahu found 4,900 people on the streets or in shelters. Associated Press.

The City and County of Honolulu is planning to spend nearly 140 million dollars over two years to address homelessness on O’ahu. Hawaii Public Radio.

A hospital ship struck the dock of the USS Arizona Memorial in May after the pilot and ship's captain lost track of where the ship was going as it was leaving Pearl Harbor, an investigation into the incident released Wednesday said. Associated Press.

Hawaii
Heavy machinery parked at the Thirty Meter Telescope construction site atop Mauna Kea for nearly nine months was removed Wednesday, two weeks after the state Supreme Court overturned the giant observatory’s land use permit. Tribune-Herald.

Gov. David Ige says he supports construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea, as well as the redevelopment of existing telescope sites to replace older, obsolete equipment with newer instruments. Star-Advertiser.

For 24 years, the Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center helped keep alive the memory of a local hero while introducing travelers — especially children — to the wonders of space. In March — 30 years after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster that claimed the life of South Kona’s Onizuka — that legacy is going away. West Hawaii Today.

With the official count of confirmed cases of dengue fever now identified on Hawaii Island at 157, the state Department of Health released a new map Wednesday showing updated potential areas of infection. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui Memorial Medical Center is expecting to lose about $600,000 in Medicare funding in the current federal fiscal year for scoring poorly on an Affordable Care Act performance measuring program covering hospital infections and other ailments, according to the Maui hospital's top official. Maui News.

The head of the Maui Memorial Medical Center says the hospital expects to lose about $600,000 in Medicare funding after it scored poorly on an Affordable Care Act performance measuring program. Associated Press.

Maui County Department of Finance offices will be closed Thursday for staff training, according to an announcement. The offices include the director's office, accounts/payroll, central purchasing, the Motor Vehicle and Licensing Division (and its satellite offices), the Treasury Division and the Real Property Tax Collection and Assessment divisions. Maui News.

Maui is ranked number 2 on a top 10 list of domestic destinations being booked for 2016, according to the Travel Trends Survey released today by the Travel Leaders Group, a company that touts itself as America’s largest travel agency company. Maui Now.

Kauai

Traffic congestion, crumbling bridges and road maintenance are just the beginning of Kauai’s $104 million backlog of transportation repairs, and county officials are looking at ways to fund those fixes. Garden Island.

A mystery pipe has sent Kauai’s Department of Water on a scramble to find the owner before the upcoming scheduled 9-hour Kilauea water shutdown, but county officials say it isn’t expected to change the timeline of the overnight project. Garden Island.