Friday, April 13, 2018

Thirty Meter Telescope decision delayed, Mauna Kea bills progress in Legislature, Honolulu rail auditor named, Kauai studies landfill site, Maui ethics board investigates gifts, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Honolulu ranks No. 1 in survey of clean cities. The international consulting firm Mercer ranked Honolulu No. 1 in sanitation in a recent survey analyzing more than 450 cities worldwide. Star-Advertiser.

A recent survey ranked America's most popular and least popular governors. Hawaii's governor ranked in the bottom 10. KHON2.

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Officials: Decision on future of Thirty Meter Telescope project delayed. A decision will be made on the planned location of the Thirty Meter Telescope as further progress is made in the legal and regulatory processes at both proposed sites. Hawaii News Now.

In the closest Senate vote this year, lawmakers voted 15-8 in favor of a ban on new construction atop Mauna Kea, but the effort is likely to collapse as their counterparts in the House say they don’t want to interfere with the Thirty Meter Telescope planned near the mountain’s summit. Star-Advertiser.

The state Senate passed two bills affecting management of Maunakea on Thursday. Both measures — House bills 1585 and 1985 — likely will end up in conference committees since the House is expected to reject changes the Senate made through a process known as “gut and replace.” Tribune-Herald.

The full Senate approved a measure Thursday that would stop construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea if the University of Hawaii doesn’t meet certain requirements. Hawaii News Now.

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The state Legislature’s response to the Jan. 13 ballistic missile false alarm has been a complete dud, according to state Rep. Matt LoPresti. Star-Advertiser.

A controversial bill that would provide funding to a company to build a revolutionary satellite launch facility somewhere in the state is nearing passage despite vocal misgivings from Ka'u residents. Tribune-Herald.

Ag initiatives, potential ADC audit intertwine and head to conference committee. The papaya initiative appropriates funds to study why and where in the growing and transport process the fruit breaks down so as to make it more viable for export, thereby strengthening Hawaii’s agricultural economy, particularly on the Big Island where the vast majority of the state’s papaya is grown. West Hawaii Today.

More than $9 million in fruit and nut exports from Hawaii could be affected by tariffs announced by China earlier this month. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Senate voted to confirm Gov. David Ige's pick for the director of the Department of Human Resources Development on Thursday. The new director, Ryker Wada was deputy director of DHRD since December 2016, and was appointed director by Ige in January, following the retirement of then-director James Nishimoto. Hawaii News Now.

Dozens of kupuna filled the state Capitol grounds Thursday for the annual Kupuna Power Day, an information fair designed to “empower” senior citizens with education and resources. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

New City Council Leadership Challenges Caldwell’s Proposed Budget. The Budget Committee declined the mayor’s request to set aside $44 million for rail operating costs. Civil Beat.

Former prosecutor, judge selected to lead rail investigation. The state legislative auditor has hired former prosecutor and state judge Randal Lee to head the $200,000 rail audit. Hawaii News Now.

Councilwoman calls for more officers, community leaders to help tackle crime on Oahu's Leeward Coast. KITV.

City using private security to lock up some Oahu parks at night. After more than 600 acts of vandalism to city parks in three years, Mayor Kirk Caldwell today unveiled a three-month pilot project that began this month to lock up gates and bathrooms when city parks are supposed to be off limits. Star-Advertiser.

A pilot project to secure park facilities during park closure hours has begun in Urban Honolulu. Hawaii News Now.

Plans to dismantle breakwater at Cromwell's beach run into opposition. Hawaii News Now.

A large residential complex now standing in a prime Honolulu corner lot in Kapahulu went up with no city building permit and despite a stop-work order. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Police Target Bicyclists With No Registration Tags. Advocates for more bike use were irked by recent police enforcements that appeared to target registration more than safety concerns. Civil Beat.

Concern over new type of bike sharing program prompts proposal to change bike laws. KHON2.

Low-income rental tower could break ground in 2020. A state board has selected a developer to put up a low-income rental apartment tower and a new youth shelter and service center on the site of a run-down former juvenile detention center on state land in Pawaa. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Technology Development Corp. to break ground on Kakaako innovation center next week. The Hawaii Technology Development Corp. will break ground on its Entrepreneurs’ Sandbox Facility in Kakaako on Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

Kauhale Kamaile, the modular housing project that opened in Waianae last month, is completely full. Hawaii News Now.

Community shaken after large boulder lands near Manoa home. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Electric to break ground on new solar farm next week. The Honolulu-based utility will host a blessing and ground-breaking ceremony for its new 20-megawatt West Loch Solar facility at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam’s West Loch Annex on Monday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Plans to build a South Kona Police Station remain unknown since the project was put off due to lack of funding, according to Hawaii County officials this week. West Hawaii Today.

County Councilman Aaron Chung has drafted a bill that would allow a farmers market to be set up temporarily at Mooheau Park in downtown Hilo across from Hilo Farmers Market. Tribune-Herald.

After serving as the Acting Director of the Hawaii County Department of Public Works for half a year, Allan G. Simeon was confirmed as the official head of the department on Wednesday. Big Island Video News.

Entrance fees at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii island are slated to go up in 2020, the National Park Service announced today, in order to provide additional funding for infrastructure and maintenance. Star-Advertiser.

Gun-Surrender Laws Don’t Reassure This Doctor After Death Threats. An abortion protester was ordered to surrender his firearms after a temporary restraining order was issued. Civil Beat.

A five-bedroom house at the Kukio Golf and Beach Club on the Big Island sold last month for $27.5 million, eclipsing the sale of a beachfront house on Maui to become the highest-priced residential real estate sale in Hawaii so far this year. Pacific Business News.

Maui

Maui County Council Chair Mike White announced today that he will be retiring at the end of the term and will not be seeking re-election. Maui Now.

Ethics Board looking into tournament gifts. Maui Jim Maui Invitational swag, tickets worth thousands of dollars. Maui News.

Thousands Sign Petition Against Paia Inn Permit Request. A contested case involving a special use permit for the nine-room Paia Inn and café along Maui’s north shore, has been remanded back to the Maui Planning Commission for review. Maui Now.

Maui Police Department employees were disciplined with suspensions ranging from one to 10 days for violations sustained in 16 cases last year, according to an MPD report to the state Legislature. Maui News.

The owner of The Maui Cookie Lady recently signed with retail website Goldbely to sell her handmade cookies on the site, thanks to one of her biggest fans — The Rock, the actor also known as Dwayne Johnson. Pacific Business News.

Kauai

County takes another step in creation of new landfill. In the next 10 to 12 years, Kauai is going to need somewhere to put its trash, and officials are looking at 270 acres near Hanamaulu for a new municipal solid waste landfill. Garden Island.

Twenty more overnight camping permits are becoming available for Kalalau. The first day the peak-season permits will be available is Tuesday. Garden Island.

General Plan available online. This plan updates the last General Plan that was completed in 2000 and reflects diverse community input that was collected over the last three years. Garden Island.