Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Thirty Meter Telescope opponents raise $250k, medical marijuana cultivation to start in March, Oahu property values increase 5.9%, Hawaii loses Tom Moffatt, 'Uncle Herb' Weatherwax, new DLNR facilities planned for Hawaii, Maui counties, electricity hike unpopular, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Occupy Hilo media
Thirty Meter Telescope protesters 2015, courtesy Occupy Hilo Media
Opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope have raised $250,000 to pay for the travel costs for Native American and other protesters from the mainland to come to the islands, Hawaii News Now has learned.

The University of Hawaii called its last witness Tuesday, but the Thirty Meter Telescope’s contested case still has a long way to go. Tribune-Herald.

The state Department of Health is expecting Hawaii’s eight medical marijuana dispensary contractors to begin cultivation in February and start sales a few months later — after an online tracking system is installed. Star-Advertiser.

Here are a few tidbits about Hawaii gleaned from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey, based on a four-year period dating to 2011. Civil Beat.

Four Democratic congressmen have written to officials at the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration claiming that Hawaii’s longline fishing fleet is operating illegally by employing — and in some cases possibly abusing — foreign fishermen. Civil Beat.

The state Public Utilities Commission has opened up a possibility for solar customers to get credit on their electrical bills, but that depends on grandfathered customers of a more lucrative program forfeiting their place in line. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers announced Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded Hawaii $3.1 million in funding to combat invasive species across the state. West Hawaii Today.

After months of deliberation and collecting community input, the Hawaii Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt the update and extension of its strategic plan. Garden Island.

In a career spanning more than 60 years, Tom Moffatt became one of the biggest and most popular figures in Hawaii’s entertainment industry. Moffatt died Monday night at home after several months of declining health. He was 85. Star-Advertiser.

Tom Moffatt, the legendary Honolulu radio DJ and concert promoter who introduced such acts as Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson to the Islands, has died. He was 85. Pacific Business News.

Today the Aloha State learned that local concert promoter and radio personality Tom Moffatt had passed away Monday. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

The total assessed value of taxable property across Oahu is rising 5.9 percent in 2017, with residential owners seeing an average increase of 5.2 percent, city tax officials said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Sixty-four military families have now filed suit over fears of pesticide contamination near their homes at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe. Civil Beat.

“Uncle Herb” Weatherwax, one of a handful of remaining local Hawaiʻi Pearl Harbor military survivors, passed away Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. Maui Now.

How many trees would you have to plant to offset the amount of carbon you put into the atmosphere? A UH Manoa professor is leading an effort to help answer that question. Hawaii News Now.

The president of a Honolulu-based oil, gas and real estate company will step into the shoes of his nonagenarian father at the end of this year to lead Barnwell Industries Inc. as CEO. Star-Advertiser.

Former office manager accused of embezzling $1.3M, indicted on 311 counts. KHON2.

Hawaii

Hawaii Public Utilities Commissioners heard testimony in opposition to the Hawaii Electric light Company’s proposed rate increase during a public hearing on Tuesday evening. Big Island Video News.

Former Mayor Billy Kenoi was no longer the mayor when the Clerk’s Office received his veto of a bill giving the County Council more say over the hiring and firing of the county’s civil attorneys. West Hawaii Today.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is planning to consolidate its West Hawaii services in a new administration building and baseyard near Honokohau Small Boat Harbor in Kealakehe. West Hawaii Today.

The new Haihai Fire Station construction project is more than halfway complete and is expected to be finished in early spring. Tribune-Herald.

The state’s Intermediate Court of Appeals Tuesday dismissed a Hawaii man’s claim that he is “not subject to the governance” of the state, instead arguing he is a national of the Hawaiian Kingdom.West Hawaii Today.

A Puna man whose ramshackle three-story home in Kalapana Seaview Estates dubbed the “House of Cards” burned down more than 2 1/2 years ago is back at it again. Tribune-Herald.

Maui
A groundbreaking ceremony was held Monday at the Maui Annex state building on Mahalani Street in Wailuku, as the state prepares to make way for demolition of the 57-year old building, and construction of a new building starting in early 2017. Maui Now.

Kauai

The Department of Water has scheduled an eight-hour water shutdown for Kalaheo residents in the Brydeswood Subdivision and on Kaumualii Highway between Papalina Road and Halewili Road. Garden Island.