Friday, July 29, 2016

Hawaii solar panels nearing grid capacity, lobbying law finally comes to Kauai, Department of Education rebuffs lawmaker, tourism up, 3 Honolulu mayoral candidates debate, rail chief under review, Maui rep apologizes for arrest, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Solar panels in Hilo © 2016 All Hawaii News
Oahu and the Big Island are closing in on the total capacity the state allows for residential solar systems that can export excess power to the grid and receive credit. Oahu is at 70 percent of its total limit, and the Big Island is at 70.6 percent, according to Hawaiian Electric Co. numbers released last week. solar applicants on Maui hit the limit in June. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s visitor industry achieved its best midyear performance ever, putting it on pace to achieve its fifth consecutive record-setting year. Star-Advertiser.

A state lawmaker concerned about hot classrooms in his district was rebuffed when he tried to attend a meeting Thursday morning with school officials and contractors involved with an expedited $100 million air-conditioning project. Civil Beat.

The applications for three startup charter schools will be recommended to the state Public Charter School Commission for approval, while three others got a thumbs-down Thursday from the agency’s Applications Committee. Star-Advertiser.

Federal researchers returning from a 30-day expedition to study whales and dolphins around the Hawaiian Islands said Thursday they are looking for clues to help sustain healthy populations of the marine mammals. Associated Press.

Oahu

At the KITV and Civil Beat mayoral debate Thursday night, candidates were asked about Honolulu Police Department mismanagement, homelessness, neighborhood boards — and, of course, rail.

With just over two weeks remaining before the Aug. 13 primary election, the three major mayoral candidates attacked one another’s positions on rail transit and personal backgrounds in their first televised debate. Star-Advertiser.

KITV Island News and Civil Beat hosted a debate with the top candidates running for mayor of the City & County of Honolulu.   Incumbent mayor Kirk Caldwell, former mayor Peter Carlisle and former Congressman Charles Djou participated in the debate.

Honolulu’s policy of moving homeless people out of sight of tourists isn’t likely to change anytime soon, because it’s supported by all three of the best-known candidates for mayor. Civil Beat.

The board overseeing Honolulu’s rail project will hold a special meeting early next month to continue its behind-closed-doors assessment of the executive director’s job performance. Star-Advertiser.

Congressman K. Mark Takai passed away last week with nearly 6 months left in his term. Takai’s chosen successor is now gearing up her campaign to regain her seat. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Navy said it is working on placement of a new $500,000 groundwater monitoring well near the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Facility to check water quality and evaluate how groundwater moves in the vicinity. Star-Advertiser.

Four days after Tropical Storm Darby dumped about a foot of rain on Oahu, some businesses in Kalihi are still suffering from the storm’s impacts. Hawaii News Now.

The muddy, garbage-infused muddle of junk left behind by Tropical Storm Darby in the waters and along the shoreline of Keehi Lagoon is threatening the state sport of outrigger canoe paddling’s largest annual event. Star-Advertiser.

Costco has confirmed a worker at its Hawaii Kai store tested positive for hepatitis A. The employee worked in the store’s bakery department and, according to a Costco spokesman, may have inappropriately handled food products. KHON2.

Hawaii

There’s a dustup in the local Democratic Party over an official’s endorsement of a candidate in a nonpartisan County Council race. West Hawaii Today.

The Big Island race to represent the poorest Senate district in the state pits a lifelong environmentalist and successful businessman against the youngest person to ever be elected to the Hawaii County Council. Civil Beat.

Having made a series of broad sketches over the past months, the Banyan Drive Hawaii Redevelopment Agency and the Hawaii County Planning Department are beginning to tweak details for the ambitious long-term project that will renovate one of Hilo’s most recognizable areas. Tribune-Herald.

Political hopefuls went on the record Wednesday night in regard to one of Hawaii’s most divisive issues. 8 of the 11 Hawaii County mayoral candidates present for a forum held at Aunty Sally’s Luau Hale in Hilo declared their support for the Thirty Meter Telescope project planned for Mauna Kea. Big Island Video News.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources, the American Bird Conservancy and the Mauna Kea Forest Restoration Project have created the Palila Forest Discovery Trail — a one-mile, interpretative loop trail located in the game management area of Kaohe, which falls within the boundaries of the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Representative Kaniela Ing of Maui was apologetic for missing a court date and being served a subsequent bench warrant for failure to appear in court for a vehicle insurance violation. Maui Now.

Last night, state Representative Kaniela Ing, D–South Maui, released a statement on his July 26 arrest on a $250 traffic infraction bench warrant issued back in February of this year. MauiTime.

State Rep. Kaniela Ing was arrested by Maui police Tuesday on a warrant for failing to appear in court for a vehicle insurance violation that the South Maui representative described as "a human mistake." Maui News.

The closure of Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. is costing parent company Alexander & Baldwin less than expected, and the company now expects the cessation of operations to be "a cash positive event" for the full year, A&B said in its second quarter report released Wednesday. Maui News.

Kauai

Lobbyists have to register with the Office of the County Clerk, effective Thursday, thanks to Ordinance 999, passed by the County Council in March. Garden Island.

For more than a decade, county leaders have been working toward a treatment and healing center for Kauai’s youth. On Thursday night, about 50 people gathered at the Lihue Civic Center for the unveiling of the draft environmental assessment of the proposed center. Garden Island.

A measure that would allow vending on county-owned streets was deferred Wednesday to an Oct. 12 Kauai County Council committee meeting. Garden Island.