Thursday, September 21, 2017

Land Board to decide Thirty Meter Telescope permit, Big Island to ban foam food containers, firefighters' union blasts Honolulu chief for actions in deadly high-rise blaze, low-income seniors get $800 rent hike, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Telescopes on Mauna Kea © 2017 All Hawaii News
The fate of the Thirty Meter Telescope is in the hands of the state Board of Land and Natural Resources following a lengthy and sometimes emotional final hearing Wednesday to conclude the project’s contested case proceeding. Star-Advertiser.

The Thirty Meter Telescope is again in the hands of the state Board of Land and Natural Resources. After a full day of testimony, and time to ask its own questions of supporters and opponents, the seven-member panel ended a hearing Wednesday in Hilo without making a decision regarding whether the next-generation telescope should be built on Mauna Kea, leaving that for an undetermined date. Tribune-Herald.

The final public hearing over the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope kicked off Wednesday in Hilo. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s land board is hearing arguments for and against building a giant telescope on a mountain some consider sacred. Associated Press.

The Hawaii State Board of Land and Natural Resources began hearing oral arguments in the Contested Case Hearing for the Conservation District Use Application for the Thirty Meter Telescope at the Mauna Kea Science Reserve on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, beginning at 9 a.m. in the Crown Room of the Grand Naniloa Hotel in Hilo. Big Island Now.

VIDEO: University of Hawaii Final Argument In TMT Case. Big Island Video News.

VIDEO: Kahookahi Kanuha Final Argument In TMT Case. Big Island Video News.

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Hawaii stands to lose $5 billion in federal funding for health insurance within a decade if the latest Senate GOP health care bill becomes law. Hawaii News Now.

State to brief people on what to do if NKorea launches attack. Hawaii News Now.

How Some Hawaii Officials’ Paychecks Compare To The Mainland. Some of the islands’ top public employees stack up well, even with our high cost of living. Others, not so much. Civil Beat.

Report: Hawaii among 14 states making strides to combat climate change. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s first two medical marijuana dispensaries sold a combined 57 pounds of buds totaling more than $426,000 in sales since opening in early August. Star-Advertiser.

For the first time in a decade, there’s new management on the way for a $1.5 million annual grant provided by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to Hawaiian-focused public charter schools, and not everyone is happy about that. Civil Beat.

Global Tourism Summit: Japan #1 for Hawaii. One-point-five million Japanese Tourists visit Hawaii and spend more than 2 billion dollars. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiian Airlines has no plans to drop its money-making fees for checked baggage and reservation changes when Southwest Airlines enters the Hawaii market. Star-Advertiser.

Island Air hopes for profit next year after costly upgrades. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: Make It Easier, Not Harder, To Access Hawaii’s Public Records. Gov. David Ige and his Office of Information Practices are sending very different messages about openness and accountability in state government. Civil Beat.

Oahu

The head of the firefighters’ union took his complaints against Honolulu Fire Chief Manuel Neves and his top lieutenants over their handling of the July 14 Marco Polo condominium fire to the city Fire Commission on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The president of Hawaii Firefighters Association criticized Honolulu Fire Department's response to the deadly Marco Polo high rise fire that killed three people on July 14. KITV.

Firefighters Union Protests Lack Of Information On Marco Polo Investigation. The Honolulu Fire Department knows the cause of the fire, but is refusing to reveal it — even to their own firefighters — until reports are finalized. Civil Beat.

A complaint from a decorated police officer who is urging the Honolulu Police Commission to scrutinize police chief applicants who might be involved in the corruption case against former Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife was taken up behind closed doors Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Tensions flared at Wednesday’s Honolulu Police Commission meeting as former Police Chief Louis Kealoha continued his quest to have taxpayers foot his legal bills. Civil Beat.

Monthly rent for several kupuna at a low income senior apartment complex in Honolulu is expected to shoot up by about $800. KITV.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is investing in a new agricultural produce processing and farmer training facility on Oahu through a $1.6 million grant to the Waianae Community Redevelopment Corp. Pacific Business News.

Community concerns prompt landowner to scale back North Shore food truck hub. Hawaii News Now.

Kahuku Medical Center is searching for a new chief executive officer to replace Stephany Nihipali Vaioleti, who is leaving the North Shore hospital in October to join Hawaii Medical Service Association. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu-based Coast Guard cutter Sherman returned Wednesday after a 94-day, 16,000 mile patrol in the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea in a region where melting sea ice is causing commercial and military activity to heat up as well. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii County

Mayor Harry Kim said Wednesday he plans to sign a foam food container ban that passed the County Council by a 7-2 vote earlier in the day. West Hawaii Today.

Rep. Richard Creagan, who has represented South Kona and Ka‘u for the past four years, announced Wednesday his candidacy for the state Senate, recommitting in his announcement to an earlier goal of getting a new hospital and teaching institution for West Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

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Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. announced Wednesday that the owner of an oil-fired power plant on Hawaii Island has agreed to sell the facility to a private subsidiary of HEI. The purchase comes after the state Public Utilities Commission stopped Hawaii Electric Light Co., an HEI subsidiary, from purchasing the power plant. Star-Advertiser.

Pacific Current, a newly created subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries, has reached an agreement with ArcLight Capital Partners to buy Hamakua Energy Partners' 60-megawatt power plant on the Big Island for an undisclosed price. Pacific Business News.

One of the “highest efficiency, lowest emission power plants in the state” is being sold to a new subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. Tribune-Herald.

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Big Island Tourism: Fastest Growing in the Islands. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Food Basket Inc., Hawaii Island’s food bank, is teaming up with KTA Super Stores and farmers markets to help SNAP-EBT cardholders purchase more island-grown produce. Tribune-Herald.

Child porn, trafficking suspect sues his home surveillance company. Star-Advertiser.

Maui

A nearly 29 percent property tax hike could be in store for Maui homeowners who rent out their non-primary residences as transient vacation rentals. Associated Press.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources will hold a public meeting Monday to discuss maintenance dredging scheduled for October at the Lahaina Small Boat Harbor and Mala Boat Ramp. Maui News.

The newly renovated and rebranded Goodwill Store and Donation Center in Kahului will celebrate its grand reopening Saturday, Sept. 30, and Sunday, Oct. 1. Maui Now.

Kauai

Maui Kupono Builders will be conducting roadwork repairs on Maluhia Road, from Kaumualii Highway to Ala Kinoiki, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Garden Island.

Three citizens are being acknowledged for making a difference with aloha in their actions. The Kauai Chamber of Commerce will be presenting the 2017 Mea Ho‘omana‘o Awards to recognize and honor those who demonstrate the importance of aloha with respect and civility in their interactions. Garden Island.