Friday, September 29, 2017

Land Board approves Thirty Meter Telescope permit, Honolulu police chief candidates narrowed to seven, tourism above expectations, Jones Act debated, Kona water woes continue, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Artist's conception of Thirty Meter Telescope
The state Land Board will require the University of Hawaii to remove three telescopes atop Mauna Kea and create new educational programs as conditions for allowing construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope. Tribune-Herald.

In a 5 to 2 vote, the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources concurred with the recommendation of contested case hearing officer Riki May Amano, approving a Conservation District Use Permit to build the Thirty-Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. Big Island Video News.

The Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources has approved the application for a permit to build the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea, a move that was vehemently opposed by some environmentalists and Native Hawaiians who consider the mountain sacred. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Board of Land and Natural Resources on Thursday granted a construction permit for a giant telescope on a mountain that some Native Hawaiians consider sacred, a project that has divided the state. Associated Press.

The state Land Board voted 5 to 2 in favor of approving the construction permit for the controversial telescope. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources on Thursday approved a permit that will allow construction of the controversial Thirty-Meter Telescope to continue near the summit of Mauna Kea. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources on Thursday said it has voted 5-2 to approve a conservation district use permit for the Thirty Meter Telescope, which would allow the $1.4 billion project to begin construction near the summit of the Big Island’s Mauna Kea volcano. Pacific Business News.

A major decision on the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope, the State Land Board says "build it". KITV.

Advocates of the Thirty Meter Telescope applauding the state land board's decision Thursday to move forward with construction atop Mauna Kea. Meanwhile, those against the project vow to continue their fight. Hawaii News Now.

Opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope vowed Thursday to take their case to the Hawaii Supreme Court following the approval of the project’s construction permit by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources. Star-Advertiser.

Full DLNR news release and order on the Thirty Meter Telescope here.

=====

Hawaii tourism celebrated its best month ever in July, but the fireworks continued into August, which was another boom month for the key state industry. Star-Advertiser.

Monthly visitor spending increased by 6.1 percent year-over-year to $1.39 billion last month as Hawaii welcomed a total of 818,581 visitors, an increase of 4.8 percent, according to preliminary statistics released Thursday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. The figure represents an increase of 6.1 percent compared to August 2016. Pacific Business News.

University of Hawaii economists have weighed in on the state’s economy, and the story is a familiar one: Slowing growth, a tourism industry exceeding expectations and a once-booming construction sector that appears to be leveling out. Star-Advertiser.

Typically, it’s been limited to debate in Hawaii, Alaska and U.S. island territories — but this week the rest of the country is suddenly getting a crash course in the Jones Act. Star-Advertiser.

Nearly 300 species of fish, mussels and other sea critters hitchhiked across the Pacific Ocean on debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami, washing ashore alive in the United States, researchers reported Thursday. Associated Press.

Hawaii’s public school students continue to show growth on Advanced Placement Program Exams. Garden Island.

How Hawaii Schools Are Rethinking Social Studies. Teachers supplement history lessons with real-world projects that encourage students to take action in their communities. Civil Beat.

Undercover stings help health officials enforce new age limit for smokers. KHON2.

Oahu

Seven candidates are now left in the closely watched search for Honolulu’s next police chief, a post that’s been vacant since the end of February. The finalists are retired Drug Enforcement Agency Agent Thomas Aiu, current HPD Maj. Susan Ballard, retired HPD Maj. Kurt Kendro, retired HPD Assistant Chief Kevin Lima, retired Pennsylvania State Police Maj. Mark Lomax, current Arlington (Texas) Police Department Deputy Chief Jim Lowery and retired HPD Deputy Chief Paul Putzulu. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Police Commission announced Thursday it will interview seven candidates to become the city’s next police chief, a process that will take place behind closed doors. Civil Beat.

The list of candidates considered for the next Honolulu police chief have been narrowed down to seven, the Honolulu Police Commission announced on Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu Police Commission has narrowed the field of candidates for Honolulu's top cop down to seven. KITV.

=====

A judge has at least temporarily blocked the city from releasing the names of current and past undercover officers at the request of the statewide police union. Civil Beat.

Starting Sunday, Honolulu’s bus system will no longer accept paper transfers, asking riders who seek transfers to purchase a 1-Day Pass instead, city officials said. Star-Advertiser.

2 years after Accessory Dwelling Units law passes - little to show. To date the city program has produced only 67 units. KITV.

Three nonprofit groups that rely on federal funding administered by the city worry their money could be delayed this year, affecting clients as soon as Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Working to help get Hawaii's homeless off the streets. KITV.

The Army said today that operations to retrieve wreckage and crew from a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter that crashed at sea off Kaena Point Aug. 15 have ended with only trace remains of the five soldiers aboard recovered. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu-based Alutiiq General Contractors LLC Thursday received a nearly $26.9 million construction contract from the U.S. Department of Defense. Pacific Business News.

The Pacific Beach Hotel will reopen next month as the Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach following a $115 million redevelopment that began in 2016. Pacific Business News.
https://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/news/2017/09/28/pacific-beach-hotel-transforms-into-the-alohilani.html

The Hawaii Convention Center's new wooden basketball court has a shiny look and smells of fresh lacquer. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Water service disruptions threaten North Kona as two deep well repairs progress. West Hawaii Today.

As the Emergency Water Restriction remains in effect for North Kona, officials have started to see a decline in the water level in some tanks. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County is ramping up awareness next month about the threat of little fire ants. Tribune-Herald.

The state Public Utilities Commission announced the end of a popular solar energy incentive program on the Big Island last week. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

A community meeting is planned to discuss community design as part of the update of the West Maui Community Plan on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the West Maui Senior Center at 788 Pauoa Street, Lahaina. Maui Now.

Ground is scheduled to be broken this morning for the Kalama Kai residential workforce housing condominium project in Kihei. Maui News.

Maui’s visitor arrivals and spending were up in August, one of the state’s traditionally busy summer months, compared with August 2016, the Hawaii Tourism Authority reported Thursday. Maui News.

Space surveillance experts convene at 18th AMOS conference in Wailea. Maui News.

Gov. David Ige said he’s none too worried about the threat of nuclear attack, but said that as a state, “it’s better to be prepared than not.” Maui News.

Due to crowded conditions at the Maui Humane Society, the organization is seeking immediate short-term foster homes for dogs. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kauai continues to enjoy a strong tourism season. According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, visitor arrivals on Kauai totaled 111,904 for August, a 6.7 percent increase over last August. Garden Island.

Sustainable Food Movement Flourishes On Kauai’s North Shore. A community garden and incubator lots are just the beginning, say organizers looking to answer “big questions about things like food security.” Garden Island.