Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Kilauea volcano hurls rocks, restraining order issued in House race, state retirement plan sues over Maui hospital deal, dairy farm selling to rival, Hanabusa congressional coronation, state recommends hepatitis vaccine, residents sue over geothermal gas leak, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
People view lava flow, courtesy Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park reported Tuesday that an explosion at Kilauea Volcano’s summit Saturday night hurled molten and solid rock onto the rim of Halemaumau Crater and destroyed the power system for a scientific instrument used in volcano research. Star-Advertiser.

An explosive event occurred at the summit of Kilauea volcano at 10:02 p.m., HST, on Saturday night. Big Island Video News.

courtesy Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
USGS
The area around the former Halema‘uma‘u overlook has been closed -- due to an explosion at the crater Saturday night. KITV.

Tour operators say they're seeing a spike in customers ever since lava from Kilauea started to drip into the ocean at Kamokuna. Hawaii News Now.

The state repeated its recommendation Tuesday that all Hawaii residents get vaccinated against hepatitis A as the food industry took steps to prevent more outbreaks among workers. Star-Advertiser.

Democracy is far from free, and so is the cost of the election. “We estimate that it comes to a little bit more than $1.5 million per election,” said chief election officer Scott Nago. KHON2.

Tulsi Gabbard was a virtual unknown four years ago when she ran for the U.S. House of Representatives. Political analysts say they doubt that as a political newcomer Shay Chan Hodges poses a serious threat to Gabbard’s re-election bid. Star-Advertiser.

Congressional Candidates Try To Stave Off A Hanabusa ‘Coronation’. The Democratic race to represent urban Oahu looks like a shoo-in for Colleen Hanabusa, but the list of candidates is long. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s largest public pension fund suffered the brunt of three global shocks during the last 12 months to once again fall far short of the returns it needs to meet its financial obligations. Star-Advertiser.

A Hawaii agency is concerned with the way a $150 million state clean-energy loan program may be doling out funding for projects, Pacific Business News has learned.

Some taxpayer services will be limited Thursday and Friday while the state Department of Taxation transfers data to a new computer system as part of its Tax System Modernization program. Services that require access to the current computer system will be affected. Star-Advertiser.

An effort to protect Hawaii’s native plants is proving effective, as about 35 percent more state species have been placed on a global list of threatened species since last year. Associated Press.

Oahu

A state judge has issued a temporary restraining order against a Republican House candidate, requiring him to stay away from state Rep. Della Au Belatti. Hawaii News Now.

Just days before Saturday’s primary election, both Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and his challenger former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou are turning up the heat in television and radio commercials and other campaign material — attacking each other rather than touting their own attributes. Star-Advertiser.

When it comes to the unfinished rail line, Kirk Caldwell and Peter Carlisle agree on many things, including how much it will cost to complete the route to Ala Moana Center: $1.5 billion. Civil Beat.

More than half of O’ahu voters are expected to mail in their absentee ballots or do early walk-in voting before this Saturday’s primary election.   That means the stakes are still high in the race for Honolulu Mayor. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu’s mayor and City Council members currently are allowed to serve two consecutive four-year terms, while the city prosecutor has no term limits. That could change come November should voters elect to give mayors and Council members an additional term and limit the prosecutor to just three terms. Civil Beat.

For nearly a year now, classrooms used by the College of Education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa have been shut down. KHON2.

Councilman says longtime contraflow lane draws concerns, prompts need for change. KHON2.

A state judge Tuesday dismissed the gambling promotion and racketeering case against three men who distributed or owned 77 arcade machines that Honolulu police seized in 2012 and that a federal judge had deemed as gambling devices. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Richard Ha, one of the first people selected to open medical marijuana dispensaries on Hawaii Island, gave the community on Tuesday a glimpse into his company’s budding plans. Tribune-Herald.

A class action lawsuit was filed last week against Puna Geothermal Venture over its gas release two years ago during Tropical Storm Iselle. Tribune-Herald.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday that it had awarded a $750,000 grant to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop a network of low-cost air pollution sensors for detecting volcanic smog on the Big Island of Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

For at least a decade, Hawi dairy farmer Ed Boteilho has pushed the state for incentives to help keep local dairies alive. This time, he’s really leaving. West Hawaii Today.

Community, legislators respond to Donald Trump labeling Philippines ‘terrorist nation’ West Hawaii Today.

Maui

A super PAC of Maui time-share owners has spent more than $43,000 to support Keith Regan, who is running for one of the two open Maui County Council seats, according to campaign spending reports filed last week. Maui News.

When East Maui, Lanai and Molokai voters head to the primary polls to cast their ballots for the 13th District representative in the state House of Representatives, they'll have two Democratic candidates to choose from. Maui News.

The Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System filed a lawsuit in Oahu Circuit Court on Tuesday to block a law providing severance benefits to roughly 1,500 Maui County hospital workers from taking effect. Star-Advertiser.

The state Employees’ Retirement System filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the state of Hawaii and the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation to stop the implementation of a law that offers special retirement benefits to certain state employees. Civil Beat.

Maui Land & Pineapple Co. secured a $27 million revolving credit line with First Hawaiian Bank on Thursday to be used to refinance a loan with Wells Fargo Bank that was to come due Aug. 1, state Public Utilities Commission documents show. Maui News.

Kauai

Dozens of Lihue residents have signed a petition against a proposed project aimed at adding a bicycle boulevard on roadways near their residence. Garden Island.

The Kokee Air Force Base is operating in blackout conditions to avoid grounding anymore endangered seabirds after receiving a June 28 letter threatening a lawsuit. Garden Island.

A change in Hawaii’s care delivery system is in the works and it’s a fundamental departure from the current fee-for-service model, which reimburses doctors based on visit numbers and service types. Garden Island.