Thursday, July 20, 2017

Superferry project still costing taxpayers millions, Hanabusa war chest dwindles, Police Commission won't pay officer's legal tab, Big Island condo development yanked after public opposition, Tropical Storm Fernanda weakens, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Superferry docked in 2010 in Honolulu © 2017 All Hawaii News
The Hawaii Superferry has been kaput for about eight years, but a new audit shows the state won’t finish paying off its more than $70 million in harbor upgrades and interest for the privately owned service until 2028. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s interisland ferry was shut down eight years ago, but the state still owes $33 million for the costly failure. Associated Press.

Eight years after the Superferry ceased operations in Hawaii, the state is still paying off more than $70 million it incurred from harbor improvements and interest, according to a recent report by the State Auditor’s office. Pacific Business News.

Eight years after the Hawaii Superferry shut down, the State Office of the Auditor says Hawaii must pay $32.6 million in expenses for the ship that once traveled between islands. KITV.

The Hawaii Superferry stopped operations over eight years ago and yet, the state auditor says, Hawaii continues to pay the exorbitant costs incurred to support it. KHON2.

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Tulsi Gabbard Rakes In Far More Campaign Cash Than Colleen Hanabusa. The latest federal campaign finance reports indicate very different strategies by Hawaii’s congresswomen, and reinforce the notion Hanabusa may run for governor. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Health expects to certify Hawaii’s first medical marijuana testing laboratory by the end of the month. Star-Advertiser.

Groups have filed a human-rights complaint that aims to jump-start an investigation into conditions among foreign workers in Hawaii’s commercial fishing industry. Associated Press.

International students studying in Hawaii spent $225 million in the 2016-17 school year, a 25 percent dip from the year before, according to a report released Wednesday by the state’s resource center for economical and statistical data. Civil Beat.

A new report has found that international students have contributed more than $225 million to Hawaii's economy during the 2016-17 school year. Pacific Business News.

A state agency is seeking a buyer for 1,221 affordable rental apartments in an effort to improve the quality of the homes and maintain affordability for most of the existing tenants. The Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. published a request for proposals last week to solicit bids from private investors for its portfolio of six rental projects on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii island. Star-Advertiser.

New Database Of Severe Worker Injuries In Hawaii. The federal government began requiring reporting of certain severe injuries in 2015, in hopes of improving worker safety. Civil Beat.

More than 1,300 people are taking part in the 3-day World Conservation Conference in Honolulu this week. Hawaii Public Radio.

Tropical Storm Fernanda continues to weaken as it inches closer to the Central Pacific. The cyclone, which has maximum sustained winds at 65 mph, is forecast to become a tropical depression by Friday. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Since a city task force looked at the issue in 2005, estimating that about 300 residential high-rises did not have automatic sprinkler systems, not a single one of those projects has voluntarily installed the equipment, according to an informal survey of industry officials and a review of city building permit records. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Police Commission voted 4-2 Wednesday against providing legal counsel to a police officer who’s named in a high-profile civil lawsuit. Star-Advertiser.

Police commission votes against covering officer’s legal fees in lawsuit involving former chief’s wife. KHON2.

Police Commissioners Clash Over “Unconstitutional” Secret Hearings. Despite vehement objections from a former federal prosecutor and retired supreme court justice, the commission voted to hold hearings behind closed doors. Civil Beat.

Two Oahu-based community health centers will receive a combined total of nearly $3 million in federal grants to expand their health services. Pacific Business News.

State officials say a video of monk seal “Rocky” on Kaimana Beach protecting her pup from a nearby male monk seal should serve as a caution to ocean-goers to stay clear of Waikiki’s latest residents. Star-Advertiser.

 The number of homes sold at $1.5 million or higher decreased 16 percent in June, though sales were up 18 percent during the first half of 2017, according to a luxury Oahu housing report by Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties. Pacific Business News.

SolarCity cofounder Peter Rive has quit Tesla Inc., just one month after his brother, Lyndon, exited the company. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

A plan to build a 306-unit condominium in Kahaluu died Wednesday after the developer withdrew its application for a needed permit. Ocean Villas at Kahaluu Bay LLC filed its official withdrawal of their special management area permit application with the county’s planning department, bringing to an end all efforts to develop the 42-acre parcel. West Hawaii Today.

A controversial 306-unit condo development planned for Kahaluu has been terminated. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County is not going to fight an appeals court ruling invalidating a South Kona development and requiring the county to treat Community Development Plans as law. West Hawaii Today.

A developer recently shut shoreline access through their property at Pepeekeo Point following a dispute with Hawaii County. Tribune-Herald.

A Marine officer was critically wounded after being shot during night live-fire training this month at Pohakuloa Training Area on Hawaii island, officials said. Star-Advertiser.

The public is invited to a launch event today to learn more about the Hawaii Island Business Plan Competition, an islandwide contest designed to help small businesses get started and/or grow. Tribune-Herald.

A residential estate on the slopes of Hualalai Mountain has been named the Best Outdoor Retreat in HGTV's 2017 Ultimate House Hunt. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

State Land Use Commission members heard from more than three dozen testifiers Wednesday afternoon, and testimony ran roughly 3-to-1 against approving the Pilani Promenade’s final environmental impact statement. Maui News.

Authorities with the Maui Emergency Management Agency say waves generated by distant Hurricane Fernanda are expected to lead to increasing surf along east facing shores the next couple of days, and this may lead to greater wave run-up along exposed windward coastlines. Maui Now.

Applications continue to be accepted for the one- and two-bedroom apartments at the County of Maui’s 56-unit Kulamalu Hale apartment rentals in Pukalani. Maui Now.

Maui veterans, who fought for years to consolidate medical, psychological and administrative services into a single location to reduce confusion, travel and overcrowding, claimed a significant victory Wednesday with the announcement of the approval of a new lease for a facility near Maui High School in Kahului. Maui News.

Kauai

An experiment in community-based fishery management is underway on Kauai’s north shore. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kumano I Ke Ala, a nonprofit group whose aim is to empower a sustainable West Kauai and restore its resources, is hosting a community work day to remove the slit that has built up in the middle of the Waimea River. Garden Island.

Rotary Club names new president. Garden Island.