Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Schools, businesses close as Hurricane Madeline nears Hawaii, Ige signs emergency proclamation, Obama set to arrive today, World Conservation Congress continues as planned, Syngenta to leave Hawaii, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

National Weather Service
5 a.m. Wednesday Hurricane Madeline track, National Weather Service
At 500 AM HST (1500 UTC), the center of Hurricane Madeline was located 140 miles ESE of Hilo. Madeline is moving toward the west near 14 mph and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the center of Madeline will pass dangerously close to the Big Island later today. NOAA.

At 5 a.m. Wednesday, Madeline’s maximum sustained winds decreased to 80 miles per hour, which still means the cyclone is a Category 1 hurricane. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige signed a pre-landfall emergency proclamation on Tuesday, as the state prepares for possible impacts from hurricanes Madeline and Lester. The proclamation authorizes the expenditure of state monies for quick and efficient relief of disaster-related damages, losses and suffering resulting from the storms. Maui Now.

Hurricane Lester maintained its Category 4 strength early Wednesday as it churned toward the Central Pacific. Big Island under Hurricane Warning as Madeline nears state. At 5 a.m. Wednesday, the eye of Lester was about 1,085 miles east of Hilo. Hawaii News Now.

To hear some describe it, the World Conservation Congress is the Olympic Games, World Cup and Super Bowl of the world’s conservation community. Let the games begin Thursday as more than 8,500 delegates from 194 countries convene in Honolulu for the premier conference of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Star-Advertiser.

Olelo Community Media announced Tuesday that it will provide over 20 hours of “exclusive” live local coverage of the IUCN World Conservation Congress. Civil Beat.

President Obama is coming to the world conservation congress in Honolulu to herald the creation of the world's largest ecologically protected area, Papahanaumokuakea. Hawaii Public Radio.

In 2008, as economies around the world were reeling from the collapse of the U.S. financial market, a taro farmer on Maui had an idea to bring the world’s largest conservation conference to Hawaii. Civil Beat.

One of Hawaii’s biggest seed companies caught up in lawsuits and protests over genetically modified crop farming and pesticide use has decided to sell its local operations. Syngenta, a Swiss agribusiness behemoth, announced a decision Tuesday to seek a buyer for its Hawaii operations, which include nearly 6,000 acres of land it leases or owns on Oahu and Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

Enrollment at Hawaii public schools dipped slightly this school year to 179,902 students, the Department of Education said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Enrollment in Hawaii’s public and charter schools is slightly down for the new school year, according to a report by the state Department of Education. Pacific Business News.

A class action lawsuit recently filed in federal court accuses two prominent law firms, and more than 70 condominium associations they represent, of “the wrongful and unlawful sale” of condominium units through an improper foreclosure process. Civil Beat.

Oahu

The President of the United States will arrive in Honolulu Wednesday evening, and city officials are warning the public of major road closures during rush hour. KHON2.

Honolulu’s tardy, over-budget rail project could lose $1.55 billion in federal funds if it is not built as first planned all the way to Ala Moana Center, the Federal Transit Administration told city officials in a meeting in San Francisco this week. Civil Beat.

Crews on Tuesday began installing three modular housing units in Waianae for working homeless individuals and homeless families with children. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Co. has executed a 35-year lease with the Secretary of the Army for a planned power plant in Central Oahu that has the state’s largest utility paying the Army $308,515 annually for a total of $10.8 million during the entire lease term, Pacific Business News has learned.

U.S. District Judge Michael Seabright has ruled that redactions the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made to a University of Hawaii biolab inspection report were — for the most part — proper. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

The following are closed or postponed due to the approaching hurricanes. Big Island Now.

The Hawaiʻi State Department of Education plans to close public schools on Hawaiʻi Island on Wednesday, Aug. 31 and Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016 as Hurricane Madeline continues its path towards Hawaiʻi. Maui Now.

Ride it out. That was the survival plan for two residents of a Hilo homeless encampment Tuesday as Hurricane Madeline — followed by Hurricane Lester — marched toward Hawaii Island. Tribune-Herald.

The National Weather Service still was expecting the center of Hurricane Madeline to pass just shy of South Point today in a forecast issued Tuesday evening. But the cyclone could deliver more than a glancing blow. Tribune-Herald.

Members of People’s Advocacy for Trails Hawaii, government officials and biking enthusiasts took shelter from the sun under a makeshift canopy at Hale Halawai Tuesday to celebrate the kickoff of Bikeshare Kona Hawaii Island and an accompanying Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Campaign. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Kaiser Permanente's Maui Health System is now set to take over Maui County's three hospitals on July 1, a year later than the original transfer date, leaving hospital officials with "some hard decisions" on how to deliver health care in the interim. Maui News.

Six green sea turtles get a new home. Maui News.

Kauai

The Department of Water will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, Sept. 7, regarding the proposed amendments to the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Water Supply, Part 5 Facilities Reserve Charge (FRC) Section III – Applicability. Garden Island.

Kauai saw an increase in visitors, and their spending, in July. The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported that 120,166 guests came to the island last month, up 3.2 percent from June. Garden Island.