Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Hawaii Legislature holds secret meeting today on military threat response, Sea-Based X-Band Radar returns to Pearl Harbor, HART submits rail recovery plan, SBA seeks small R&D companies, monk seal dies on Molokai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC: U.S. Missile Defense Agency
Sea-Based X-Band Radar, PC: U.S. Missile Defense Agency
The Sea-Based X-Band Radar returned to Pearl Harbor on Friday after spending months at sea likely watching for any North Korean missiles that would have come across the Pacific in the direction of Hawaii and the mainland. Star-Advertiser.

Internal memo shows HI legislators to hold secret meeting Tuesday to discuss recent military threats (AKA N. Korea) and planned responses. Civil Beat.

Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, added provisions to the National Defense Authorization Act that direct the U.S. Department of Defense to evaluate additional steps that can be taken to protect Hawaii and the Indo-Asia-Pacific region from growing threats, including recent actions taken by North Korea. Maui Now.

Helber Hastert and Fee Planners Inc. Monday received a $20 million architect and engineering contract from the U.S. Department of Defense for the preparation of Navy and Marine Corps National Environmental Policy Act, along with related documents. Pacific Business News.

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The University of Hawaii is tackling Hawaii’s chronic teacher shortage with a public campaign to attract more people to the profession, dubbed “Be a hero. Be a teacher.” Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s emergency rooms see more than 500,000 patients annually, and the most common complaint is long wait times. Star-Advertiser.

Armed with a $400,000 grant, a University of Hawaii researcher is launching a new initiative to find ways to prevent the transmission of the Zika virus between pregnant women and the fetus they carry. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Small Business Administration Looking for Small Company Innovators. Federal agency representatives are on a road tour, visiting Hawaii to offer funding for smaller companies doing research and development. Hawaii Public Radio.

A recent report from the US Drought Monitor showed that 90.65% of the State was abnormally dry or drier than year-ago data. Maui Now.

Oahu

The city announced last week it has sold $767 million in general obligation bonds, including $350 million that the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation deemed significant to keep construction going for the 20-mile, East Kapolei-to-Ala Moana project. Star-Advertiser.

The Estimated Cost Of Honolulu Rail Just Dropped By $1 Billion. A $10 billion figure was often cited as rail’s total cost, but HART tells the feds it thinks it can finish the project for $9 billion. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu rail authority says the cost of the rail system is now at $9 billion. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu rail officials said Monday they submitted their recovery plan to the Federal Transit Administration last week, which includes an updated financial plan, following the state Legislature’s special session last month. Pacific Business News.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) has released its recovery plan for the Honolulu Rail Transit Project. KHON2.

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Condominium sales in Waikiki jumped 40 percent in August, while Kakaako condo sales increased 33 percent, according to a local market update by the Honolulu Board of Realtors. Pacific Business News.

Head of model homeless village: State told me to turn people away. Twinkle Borge oversees the homeless camp at Waianae Small Boat Harbor known as Puuhonua o Waianae. Hawaii News Now.

AEG Facilities has appointed Lee Conching, previously the director of sales, service and support for the Hawaii Convention Center, as vice president of Meet Hawaii citywide sales. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

The 23 parties that sparred and skirmished for more than four months during the Thirty Meter Telescope contested case hearing replay will get one last opportunity to argue their case before the state Board of Land and Natural Resources on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Private wells fail in North Kohala: Situation demands Department of Water Supply resources, creates setbacks in North Kona. West Hawaii Today.

The County Council is proposing to audit the water department as five wells remain offline in North Kona, while the Water Board OK's a permitted interaction group. Big Island Video News.

Manpower and budget issues continue to plague the Hawaii Police Department. Police described to commissioners during the Police Commission’s monthly meeting held Friday of the struggles they face in filling vacancies on the force as well as dispatch. West Hawaii Today.

Updates to Hawaii Island's Flood Maps. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, has taken a new look at the island’s flood zone maps and that could have an impact on your flood insurance. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui

Maui County Council committee members want to protect minors from secondhand smoke but have questions regarding enforcement and privacy issues surrounding a bill to ban smoking in cars when minors are present. Maui News.

The state is proposing improvements to the Lower Waiohuli Trail that would heighten public safety and allow for bicycle use on the 1.5-mile path on Haleakala’s western slope. Maui News.

A Hawaii nonprofit has found a use for Puunene Mill's leftover sugar cane stalks that dot the Maui landscape. Associated Press.

Sugar cane may no longer be processed at the Puunene Mill, but one Hawaii island nonprofit found a use for the leftover stalks still dotting the Maui landscape. Maui News.


Kauai

County looks to bolster use of The Kauai Bus. The County Council is scheduled to review transportation plans at its Wednesday meeting, including a resolution accepting and endorsing the Short-Range Transit Plan. Garden Island.

Another group of Newell’s shearwater chicks took their first flight in mid-September, safely tucked in cardboard carriers aboard a much bigger bird. Garden Island.

Endangered birds left Kauai's Friday night football games in the dark — but not anymore. Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho announced some nighttime games would be brought back after he signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Hawaii News Now.

The county announced Monday it was able to work out a solution with officials from the state and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to play four games at night this season. KHON2.

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee will be meeting Oct. 10-12 at the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort. Garden Island.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Kauai/Niihau Trustee Dan Ahuna will be meeting with the public at 6 tonight at Ko‘olau Hui‘ia Church in Anahola to hear how OHA can serve Kauai and Niihau. Garden Island.

Molokai

The federal government is investigating what it calls a suspicious monk seal death on Molokai. KITV.