Wednesday, June 15, 2016

June snowfall in Hawaii, Honolulu rail project short on cash, South Korean destroyers arrive ahead of RIMPAC, Island Air resumes Kona route, new Hilo pier advancing, Kauai affordable housing project commences, Maui citizen initiative fails to reach ballot, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy National Weather Service Honolulu
Snow atop Mauna Kea, courtesy National Weather Service Honolulu
Mauna Kea had a white cap once again this week, if only briefly. A moisture-rich weather system brought a dusting of snow to the summit Monday as it drenched lower elevations on the windward side. Tribune-Herald.

About a dozen candidates are running for seats in the state Legislature this year who political observers say make up an emerging progressive faction within the Democratic Party. What constitutes a progressive agenda isn’t easy to define, but for John Bickel, one of the movement’s leaders, it means “standing up for the little guy against the corporate interests.” Star-Advertiser.

Two South Korean destroyers arrived at Pearl Harbor on Tuesday for the Rim of the Pacific war games, while other ships are also heading to Hawaii from around the region for the world’s largest international maritime exercise. Star-Advertiser.

The only Republican woman who Hawaii voters have ever sent to represent them in Washington, D.C., believes she has found the right candidate to follow in her stead. On Tuesday at GOP headquarters in Honolulu, Pat Saiki announced her pick: Shirlene Ostrov, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel. Civil Beat.

The fee Hawaiian Electric’s residential customers pay to finance clean-energy installations for low-income residents will decrease slightly starting in July. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu solar energy company Alternate Energy Inc. has reached a settlement with state regulators after allegedly misrepresenting information related to requirements for interconnecting solar energy systems, according to public records. Pacific Business News.

Kenneth Uemura, former vice president and chief financial officer at Hawaii Pacific University, has been appointed by Gov. David Ige to the state Board of Education. Civil Beat.

Federal judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals are in town this week and will hear oral arguments Wednesday for three lawsuits challenging county regulations on genetically modified farming. Civil Beat.

The Public Utilities Commission is considering Young Brothers Ltd.’s application to raise shipping rates by 4.36 percent, which will generate an increase in revenue by $3.13 million for the shipping company, according to a PUC public docket. Garden Island.

Oahu

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is about to hit a cash crunch, and wants to borrow money that puts taxpayers on the hook. KHON2.

The rail isn’t going to make its way to Dillingham Boulevard any time soon, but HART is already meeting with businesses in the area to talk about what impact the project could have. KHON2.

Honolulu Mayor Candidate Profiles: Peter Carlisle. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu Mayor Candidate Profiles: Charles Djou. Hawaii Public Radio.

The founder of a former Hawaii organization that encouraged the adoption of foster children has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexually assaulting two girls. The girls were 11 and 16 at the time of the assaults in 2011. Associated Press.

A special investigator's report on sex assaults at the Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind provided chilling accounts of the way children were being treated and how the school's principal allegedly tried to cover up the scandal. Hawaii News Now.

It is the small Oahu village that time seemed to forget, and it looked like the city did too...until now. Varona Village was originally built for sugar plantation workers, but now its residents wonder who will live there in the future. KITV4.

Hawaii

Island Air flew from Honolulu to Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii for the first time in about four years on Tuesday, signaling an expansion plan that’s beginning to heat up. Pacific Business News.

Optimism blew in with Island Air’s first flight to Kona on Tuesday morning. West Hawaii Today.

The state initiative to upgrade Hilo’s port by constructing an additional pier remains on schedule, with the next significant construction step expected later this summer. Tribune-Herald.

A federal appeals court has upheld the convictions of Hawaii island marijuana advocate Roger Christie and his wife, Sherryanne, who contend that U.S. drug laws violate their right to freely exercise their religion. Star-Advertiser.

Attorneys for the county and for Kukuihaele residents opposing the county’s planned improvements — especially a fenced baseball park — argued Tuesday before Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura. Tribune-Herald.

Pahoa Village Road will be closed next week between Apa‘a Street and Post Office Road in order for the Hawaii Electric Light Company to relocate utility infrastructure and remove five utility pole protection measures that were installed in response to the June 27, 2014 lava flow. Big Island Video News.

Maui
There will be no citizen-driven initiative on the Nov. 8 general election ballot. Farmland voter initiative falls short on signatures. Maui News.

A partnership led by a Dallas-based real estate investment firm has purchased the 304-acre Pulelehua working-class housing community in West Maui from Maui Land & Pineapple Co. for $15 million. Maui News.

About 80 acres of sugar cane burned Sunday afternoon in an unscheduled fire in Haliimaile, fire and Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. officials said Monday. Maui News.

Kauai

A 54-acre piece of land near the intersections of Kuhio and Kapule highways is being converted into a housing development. D.R. Horton, a national home construction company, is partnering with Kauai County to develop Ho‘oluana at Kohea Loa, a neighborhood that offers both affordable housing options and single-family homes. Garden Island.

The Ocean Course at Hokuala, a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course on Kauai, is undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation. Pacific Business News.

About five months ago, the Hanalei Watershed Hui and several partners created Ahupua’a Explorations as way to engage, entertain, and teach the children of the North Shore when they weren’t in class. Garden Island.