Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Geothermal plant 'essentially safe' from lava inundation, Kim leads Chin for Congress in poll, state halts Manoa Stream plan after protests, volcano burns Big Island budget, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Janice Wei
Lava spatter from Kilauea volcano PC: Janice Wei
Geothermal plant declared ‘essentially safe’. A geothermal well field next to a volcanic rift that is fountaining lava was declared “essentially safe” Tuesday after measures were taken to prevent uncontrolled releases of underground fluids and gases. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige and the state’s Civil Defense chief expressed confidence Tuesday that the risk of a hydrogen sulfide release at Puna Geothermal Venture has been mitigated as lava creeps onto its property. Tribune-Herald.

State and county officials, including Governor David Ige and Hawaii Emergency Management Agency administrator Tom Travis, told a room full of anxious Puna residents that they have managed to plug up the 11th and final well on the Puna Geothermal Venture property, as lava from the lower East Rift Zone eruption nears. Big Island Video News.

Officials Monitoring Lava Flows and Air Quality; PGV "Essentially Safe". Hawaii Public Radio.

Lava continues to inch toward Puna Geothermal Venture's plant, but officials said Tuesday that efforts to quench or plug all 11 wells at the site were successful and that the risk of hazardous gases being released into the community if lava is low. Hawaii News Now.

Former Hawaii Geothermal site destroyed by lava; PGV says risk of of hydrogen sulfide release ‘minimal’. Tribune-Herald.

"Highly active" eruptions won't let up in lower Puna, where residents whose lives have been upended for nearly three weeks are now facing an increasingly dangerous and multi-faceted threat: Rivers of lava threatening homes and creeping closer toward a geothermal plant, eruptions spitting out elevated emissions, and flows cascading into the ocean and creating clouds of toxic gas, steam and tiny slivers of glass. Hawaii News Now.

Civil Beat Poll: Kim Leads Chin In Race For Congress. Fukumoto and Ing show strength among younger voters, many of whom remain undecided. Civil Beat.

Oahu

A proposal to give the mayor the power to hire and fire Honolulu’s police chief was killed Tuesday by a City Council committee. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Won’t Get Power To Hire Or Fire Honolulu Police Chief. Councilman Ikaika Anderson pulls back his proposals to shake up how the city selects police and fire chiefs and commissions. Civil Beat.

The Case Of A Honolulu Cop Fired For Domestic Violence Is About To Go Public. Darren Cachola, a former HPD sergeant, could get his job back four years after he was caught on tape beating his girlfriend inside a Honolulu restaurant. Civil Beat.

City files class-action suit against service members with abandoned cars. In an effort to speed up its ability to dispose of current and future vehicles abandoned by military service members, the city filed a class-action lawsuit today seeking to consolidate required hearings for the owners into one case. Star-Advertiser.

Manoa Professors Raise A Stink About Sludge Pits — And Get Results. Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources officials say they will postpone a stream dredging plan in Manoa to confer with residents. Civil Beat.

Under pressure from outraged Manoa residents, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources agreed to place a controversial dredging and tree cutting project on hold. Hawaii News Now.

Plans to make improvements to Manoa Stream were put on pause Tuesday after residents in the area voiced their concerns. KHON2.

Campers migrate daily from Kakaako sidewalks to Mother Waldron Park. Star-Advertiser.

Would New Uber And Lyft Rules Hit West Side Drivers Hardest? A lot of drivers live on the Leeward Coast, where incomes are generally lower and driving distances are longer. Civil Beat.

About 82,500 gallons of sewage was spilled in a ditch at the Kailua Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant on Tuesday afternoon. Hawaii News Now.

About 82,500 gallons of wastewater discharged today at the Kailua Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in Aikahi near Kailua Bay. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Council members stood firm Tuesday that they’re not ready to raise taxes to plug a $7 million hole in the budget that county officials attribute to an ongoing volcanic emergency in Puna. West Hawaii Today.

On Tuesday, the Hawaii County Council dove into the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, but there are already deep concerns over how the eruption in the lower East Rift Zone of Kilauea, only two weeks old, will impact revenues. Big Island Video News.

Mayor Harry Kim has been diagnosed with walking pneumonia but is continuing his work, Managing Director Wil Okabe said Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

After 'lava bomb' hit him, Big Island man feared for his life. Hawaii News Now.

A Hawaii island man injured by what officials called a lava bomb spoke from his hospital bed Tuesday. KHON2.

Some residents of areas untouched by lava remain despite call to evacuate. Tribune-Herald.

Masks to protect against ashfall to be distributed on Big Island. Hawaii News Now.

From tourism to farming, many industries are taking a big hit because of the eruption. The Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce says hotels, bed and breakfasts, and tour operators are seeing a 50 percent drop in business. KHON2.

The arrow-shaped Mauna Lani Bay Hotel &Bungalows, a Hawaii island fixture for nearly four decades, will close this fall for a $100 million renovation triggering temporary layoffs for about 400 employees. Star-Advertiser.

Maui

Central Kihei residents can expect intermittent water service from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday while contractors work on a waterline tie-in, the Department of Water Supply announced. Maui News.

Stranded hikers are airlifted from Bamboo Forest trail. Maui News.

Kauai

The county’s operating budget and capital improvement projects budget were approved by the Kauai County Council during a committee meeting Tuesday, and a bill offering a real property tax exemption to home owners who install automatic fire suppression systems was moved to the full council. Garden Island.

Kapaa resident Nelson Mukai, 54, has thrown his hat into the race for Kauai County Council. Garden Island.