Monday, June 13, 2016

GMO bans slated for federal court, union to appeal Kauai police cameras, lawsuit filed over medical marijuana dispensaries, Oahu redevelopment spurs opposition, Honolulu ethics director under attack, Maui development nears settlement, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News
GMO papaya at Hilo farmer's market © 2016 All Hawaii News
Hawaii County’s failed ban on outdoor cultivation of genetically modified crops will be aired Wednesday in a federal court in Honolulu, one of three county cases being appealed after local laws were struck down. West Hawaii Today.

State officials are planning to amend a law that exempts certain agricultural structures from building permits, after U.S. officials warned that the law could jeopardize federally funded emergency and flood coverage for Hawaii. Maui News.

A $150 million ratepayer-supported renewable energy program remains almost entirely untapped. Associated Press.

About 2,500 people are expected to attend the International Coral Reef Symposium June 19-24 at the Hawaii Convention Center. It will mark the first time the Aloha State has hosted the quadrennial event, and only the third time it’s been held in the United States. Civil Beat.

Researchers with the University of Hawai‘i are measuring the impact of millions of tons of munitions dumped at sea over several decades.  In 1970, an international treaty better known as “The London Convention” stopped the Department of Defense from disposing of chemical weapons in the ocean. Hawaii Public Radio.

The annual removal of debris in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands hauled in the equivalent of six cars of garbage. West Hawaii Today.

Small boat fishermen have nothing to fear from the potential expansion of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, according to a group of Native Hawaiians. Garden Island.

Hawaii Governor David Ige on Sunday ordered that the Hawaii state flag be flown at half-staff at the state Capitol and at other state agencies and locations until sunset on June 16. The action honors the victims of “the terrible attack” that occurred last night in Orlando, Florida,” the governor’s office said in a statement. Civil Beat.

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal today from a group of American Samoans who say the United States should grant full citizenship to people born in the U.S. territory. Associated Press.

Oahu

The Paradise Park redevelopment plan in Manoa is emerging as a flashpoint in a primary challenge to House Higher Education Chairman Isaac Choy, a Democrat who has represented the state House district that includes Manoa since 2009. Star-Advertiser.

After waiting decades for promised renovations, residents of a former sugar plantation village are being asked for input on redevelopment plans. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu officials are moving forward with plans to redevelop a former sugar plantation village built in the early 1900s after promising renovations to residents of the largely neglected area decades ago. Associated Press.

Dan Grabauskas, executive director of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, and Brennon Morioka, deputy director, recommend that the new elevated rail system terminate Downtown as the board reconsiders options for the over-budget project. Pacific Business News.

A Civil Beat review of Ethics Commission records, meeting minutes, emails, correspondence and interviews with those familiar with the commission’s work show that city Ethics Director Chuck Totto has been under attack by Kirk Caldwell and those he’s appointed ever since the mayor took office in 2013.

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Downtown Honolulu to ‘Iolani Palace on Sunday as part of community rally and cultural event E HUI ANA NA MOKU: ‘Aina Protectors Unite. KITV4.

Hawaii

The embattled president of a now-defunct medical marijuana collective is suing to block the opening of state medical marijuana dispensaries. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s medical marijuana dispensary law isn’t perfect — far from it — but it’s a start, and the state needs to begin somewhere. That’s how lawmakers characterized the up-and-coming dispensary system Thursday evening to a fired up crowd in Pahoa, many who pointed out what they called flaws in the way the law was written. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County Councilwoman Margaret Wille withdrew her proposal to repeal a section in the Hawaii County Code that allows a real property tax exemption for island credit unions. Big Island Video News.

General contractors on Hawaii Island are staying busy even as the construction sector is easing down from last year’s peak. Tribune-Herald.

Melissa Takahashi said that when she graduated from Waiakea High School on Hawaii island in 2000, she enjoyed chemistry and did well in mathematics but never thought she would be working on cutting-edge research to prevent the spread of global diseases like the Zika virus. Star-Advertiser.

Maui

After a revised archaeological survey and pending approval of a habitat conservation plan, the Honua'ula project is nearing settlement of a more than 3-year-old lawsuit in which the Sierra Club and Maui Unite challenged the adequacy of the South Maui development's final environmental impact statement. Maui News.

Hawaii Commercial & Sugar Co. is not admitting fault under a proposed settlement that reduces a $1.3 million air quality and reporting fine tied to Puunene Mill to $600,000. Star-Advertiser.

Solar companies and industry groups say that the cap on residential rooftop photovoltaic system hookups to the power grid on Maui could be reached by this week "and almost certainly no later than the end of the month." Maui News.

An approximately $26 million renovation of Whalers Village is "timely" and sorely needed for the nearly half-a-century-old shopping center, a Kaanapali resort official said Friday. Maui News.

Kauai

The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers said it will appeal a ruling by the Hawaii Labor Relations Board that Kauai police did not need the union’s approval prior to implementing body-worn cameras. Garden Island.

Kauai high school students are making some of the right choices when it comes to their health and well-being, but some improvement is still needed. Garden Island.

Daynette “Dee” Morikawa (D-16, Niihau, Lehua, Koloa, Waimea) is seeking her fourth, two-year term as a state House representative for Kauai. Garden Island.