Thursday, June 23, 2016

Offshore windmills could power Oahu, Honolulu rail may pass $10B mark, Osprey coming for RIMPAC, Maui hits solar electric buyback limit, public meets 8 of 13 Hawaii County mayoral candidates, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Offshore windmill, courtesy U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Massive windmills floating miles off the coast of Oahu may power tens of thousands of homes and businesses within the next decade if projects go forward as planned. Civil Beat.

The Obama administration took the first step Wednesday toward leasing two offshore Oahu areas to the wind industry for renewable energy projects. Star-Advertiser.

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to create American jobs, develop clean energy sources and cut carbon pollution, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced the first step to support wind energy development in federal waters offshore Hawaii, by issuing a call for information and nominations to gauge the wind industry’s interest in commercial wind leases in two areas offshore Oahu. Press release.

The first Marine Corps tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft to be based in Hawaii will be arriving by the end of the month to take part in Rim of the Pacific exercises, the Marines said. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Telcom experienced a technical issue that intermittently impacted voice calls statewide Wednesday, including calls to 911. Tribune-Herald.

As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, Hawaiian Telcom says they have resolved the issue that caused intermittent phone service issues across the state. The problem stemmed from a glitch in the call routing equipment, which allowed only some voice calls to complete. Hawaii Public Radio.

Some of the most powerful people in Hollywood are working in or have projects set in Hawaii, according to The Hollywood Reporter’s new list of the 100 most powerful people in entertainment, including the executive at the top of the list, Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Co. Pacific Business News.

Scientists using facial recognition technology and 360-degree underwater photos said Wednesday they have developed new software to quickly assess coral bleaching and other damage to the world’s imperiled reefs. Associated Press.

Oahu
Statistical models done by the firm tasked with management oversight of Honolulu’s rail project show that a 20-mile line from East Kapolei to Ala Moana could cost as much as $10.79 billion, significantly more than the $8 billion figure that federal and city officials have been using in recent weeks. Star-Advertiser.

The FTA has asked HART to submit by Aug. 7 a recovery plan outlining how much of the 20-mile rail route HART expects it can complete with its current amount of funding. Pacific Business News.

The Waikiki War Memorial was recently designated as a national treasure even though it has been closed for almost 50 years. Its last major face-lift was 16 years ago. Next week, the natatorium becomes the focus of a week-long series of meetings in an effort to decide what to do with it. KITV4.

The Honolulu Police Department’s newest batch of police officers is much smaller than usual, in part due to a cheating scandal at the police academy. KHON2.

Hawaii

Eight of the thirteen candidates for Hawaii County mayor introduced themselves to Kona on Wednesday evening. Big Island Video News.

The lengthy process of revitalizing one of Hilo’s most recognizable locations took another step forward Wednesday as members of the newly formed Banyan Drive Hawaii Redevelopment Agency board met to review a draft conceptual plan for the area. Tribune-Herald.

The nonprofit group Friends of the Future is hoping to change the conversation, or at least make it more civil and productive, with a new initiative — EnVision Maunakea. Tribune-Herald.

At 85, Ed Olson says he’s ready to step down and hand the reins of the Edmund C. Olson Trust, which owns 16,500 acres of land in Hawaii, to someone else. Pacific Business News.

Maui

Maui Electric Co. said Wednesday that the county has hit the limit of rooftop solar systems that can send power to its grid. After this week, the Maui utility will not approve any new rooftop solar systems on Maui, Lanai or Molokai that send power to the grid. Star-Advertiser.

Democratic South Maui House candidate Deidre Tegarden will hold a talk-story event from 5 to 6:30 p.m. today at her campaign headquarters in the Azeka Makai shopping center, according to an announcement. Maui News.

Kauai

Work has finally begun on rebuilding the storied resort where Elvis Presley's character got married in the 1961 film "Blue Hawaii," decades after a major hurricane heavily damaged its buildings and forced its closure. The company redeveloping the Coco Palms Resort began demolishing structures this week. It hopes to reopen the hotel in mid-2018. Associated Press.

Feral cats are the culprits in the deaths of a half-dozen endangered seabirds that nest on Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaiian green sea turtle has been on the endangered species list since 1978, but with populations rebounding, some experts are calling for their removal from that list. Garden Island.

Avoiding beach driving for the nesting season, which runs from May through July, and the July through September hatching season, is only one of the tips for helping the honu, or green sea turtleGarden Island.