Monday, November 5, 2018

Feds consider delisting Io Hawaiian hawk as endangered species, Honolulu rail contractor seeks $200M for delays, filmmaker sues state over Christian chiefess, Maui wind turbines test property tax law, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Io, a Hawaiian hawk, at Panaewa zoo ©2018 All Hawaii News
US Fish and Wildlife Service Seeking Public Comments on Proposal to Remove Io From Endangered Species List. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is reopening the public comment period on the Aug. 6, 2008, proposed rule to remove the Hawaiian hawk, or Io (Buteo solitarius), from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife under the Endangered Species Act. Maui Now.

With just days left, election officials are ready to go ... but are voters? On Saturday, officials tested ballot counting systems on the Senate floor of the State Capitol. The system will be used at counting centers in all 4 counties. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s Big Donors Pump Millions Into Mainland Political Campaigns. Most of that cash — about $7 million for the midterm elections — went to Democrats, according to federal records. Civil Beat.

Backlogged rape test kits yield scores of possible leads. A major effort by law enforcement to test more than 1,500 rape kits that for years sat unprocessed in storage facilities statewide has resulted in DNA matches with more than 120 potential suspects in a national offender database. Star-Advertiser.

Filmmaker Sues Hawaii: My Film Is ‘Not The History They Want Told’. Tim Chey alleges the state film office withheld tax grants for his movie “Islands” because it’s about the Christian conversion of a Hawaiian chiefess. Civil Beat.

Hawaii bankruptcy filings were unchanged in October from the year-earlier period following an upward trend that had seen the number of cases rise in seven of the previous nine months. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Ansaldo seeking $200M over rail delays. The contractor tasked with building the rail cars and installing the driverless operating system for the Honolulu rail line is seeking about $200 million in damages from the city for costs associated with delays in development of the project. Star-Advertiser.

City council delays start date for laws targeting homeless. On Monday, Honolulu City Council members will debate delaying the enforcement of new city laws because they say they want more information about the services and solutions available for people. KITV.

The dangers pedestrians and drivers pose when they meet on the roadways. If the alarming number of pedestrian deaths on Oahu this year has made people more wary when crossing the street, you wouldn’t know it by observing busy traffic spots in Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Roads Ranked 5th Worst in Nation. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu selected as winning city in the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge. Honolulu is one of 20 cities total to be awarded resources and technical support to help achieve their ambitious climate goals under Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge. KITV.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell joins picket as hotel strike persists. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell joined Unite Here Local 5 hotel workers on the picket lines in Waikiki Saturday, the 27th day of what has become the union’s longest-running hotel strike in nearly three decades. Star-Advertiser.

The company that built nearly an entire two-story, two-family house in Kapahulu without a valid building permit — and then later while under a stop-work order — finally got its permit from the city last month and is now undergoing inspections by the city’s Department of Planning and Permitting. Star-Advertiser.

The Marine Mammal Research Program at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology is shifting its research focus under new director Lars Bejder to include the impacts of climate change, human activities and prey availability on whales and dolphins. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu’s only flour mill fading away. Hawaiian Flour Mills, a landmark of multihued 160-foot grain silos and corrugated steel buildings off Nimitz Highway for more than half a century, is slowly being dismantled to make way for a new era of commerce on Honolulu’s waterfront. Star-Advertiser.

Centuries old fishpond in Haleiwa could provide fish for community soon. Behind the busy streets of Haleiwa town, sits a 12 acre fishpond that provides a small glimpse of old Hawaii. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Another step forward for vacation rental bill. Vacation rental operators will have a few extra months to get their paperwork together, now that the County Council moved the effective date for a bill regulating their use to April 1. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii County Council on Friday voted to advance Bill 108 to second reading, after another long day of testimony and discussion. Big Island Video News.

Program to curb homeless trespassing. A new initiative by the Hilo Downtown Improvement Association hopes to alleviate downtown businesses’ homeless burden and make them safer for shoppers and workers alike. Tribune-Herald.

A Hilo judge will decide whether certain defendants will be dismissed from a lawsuit filed by an elderly Leilani Estates couple who allege their insurer is acting in bad faith by not approving the claim they made after losing their home during the eruption of Kilauea volcano earlier this year. Tribune-Herald.

Estimate for wastewater treatment plant doubles. The price tag of a wastewater treatment plant proposed for Naalehu has increased to $40.5 million. Tribune-Herald.

County Council District 7: Drysdale vs. Villegas. There’s just one County Council seat remaining to be filled, and with Election Day less than a week away, two political neophytes are battling to the end to fill it. West Hawaii Today.

State initiates aquaculture accelerator program, investment fund at NELHA. The state announced Thursday a concrete plan to import big ideas, and potentially big dollars, to West Hawaii through the vehicle of the global aquaculture industry. West Hawaii Today.

‘Growing food and growing farmers’. This year marked the ninth annual Aina Fest, which supports HIP Agriculture, an organization focused on the education and practice of conscious agriculture. West Hawaii Today.

Solar project slated for Waikoloa Village, contractor announces community meeting. AES Distributed Energy won the bid for the project and will convene a community meeting from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Nov. 13. West Hawaii Today.

Chancellor candidate forums kick off. Kristin Croyle, the first of four recently announced finalists for chancellor to visit the University of Hawaii at Hilo, met with faculty, staff and community members during a public forum Friday morning. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

County awaits appeal of timeshare tax ruling. Losing lawsuit could mean paying $34 million in tax refunds, hurt bond and credit ratings. Maui News.

Maui Affordable Housing, Transportation Legislation Passes Out of Committee. The bill proposes an expedited review process for county permits for qualifying 100% residential workforce housing projects. Maui Now.

It’s Real Property Because We Said So! A case of wind turbines on Maui, taxes, the courts and the county. Civil Beat.

The status of Maui’s streams, estuaries and native freshwater species will be the subject of a free, public presentation by State of Hawaii Department Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources Aquatic Biologist Skippy Hau at the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 7. Maui Now.

This past September, 5.9 percent more visitors came to Maui compared to September of last year, according to preliminary statistics that the Hawaii Tourism Authority released on Tuesday. Visitor spending on Maui remained the same to a year ago at $334.4 million. Maui Now.

A “perfect storm of erosion” has swallowed up much of West Maui’s beaches over the past three years due to El Nino conditions, record-high sea levels and sustained waves from the north, according to one coastal engineer working on projects along the shoreline. Maui News.

Kauai

Election-day voter registration available. Tuesday is Election Day, and not only will voters elect a new mayor of Kauai, they’ll also decide who of the 14 County Council candidates have earned a seat at the table. Garden Island.

Honeycreepers’ numbers dwindling, and so are their songs. A scientific study that examined the historical recordings of three native honeycreeper species in the forests of Kauai over the past 40 years found a dip in the complexity and variety of songs by two of the species. Star-Advertiser.

Lihue company cited by state Department of Health, fined $6K. Esaki Surveying and Mapping Inc. in Lihue was cited for not submitting their annual fee and semi-annual monitoring reports. Garden Island.