Friday, September 6, 2019

Feds approve Honolulu rail recovery plan, HART staffer keeps job despite vote-rigging conviction, Ala Moana Park upgrades progressing, Kauai still seeks auditor, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy HART
Honolulu rail construction PC:HART
Rail recovery funds get federal approval. The Federal Transit Administration finally has approved the city’s recovery plan for the Honolulu rail project, a development that rail authority Executive Director Andrew Robbins called a “significant milestone” for the 20-mile rail line. Star-Advertiser.

Feds Approve Rail’s Recovery Plan, Signaling Continued Support. The FTA won’t release rail’s remaining $744 million, however, until the project’s actual costs are clearer. Civil Beat.

In ‘milestone,’ feds approve recovery plan for city’s beleaguered rail project. Despite ongoing concerns over construction of Honolulu’s beleaguered rail project, the Federal Transit Administration has approved the rail authority’s revised recovery plan. Hawaii News Now.

Feds approve recovery plan for Honolulu rail project. The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration approved HART's recovery plan for rail on Thursday. KITV.

FTA Approves of HART Honolulu Rail Recovery Plan. The approval clears the way for the remaining $743+ million in federal funding for the project to be released as outlined in the Full Funding Grant Agreement. Maui Now.

Federal rail payout depends on City Center bid prices. After years in limbo and federal money frozen for Honolulu’s rail project, the Federal Transit Administration has approved the project’s recovery plan. KHON2.


HART Boss Sees No Reason To Fire Staffer Convicted In Union Vote Rigging. The rail agency’s top executive won’t say who’s advising him to keep Russell Yamanoha at HART after his plea deal. Civil Beat.

Despite conviction, rail spokesman allowed to stay on the job. A rail official who pleaded guilty earlier this week to falsifying the results of an election when he worked for a Hawaii union will keep his job for now. Hawaii News Now.


Caldwell gives update on Ala Moana Regional Park’s master plan. Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Wednesday hailed the completion of key renovations at Ala Moana Regional Park and took aim at critics of his far-ranging master plan for Oahu’s most popular recreational stop, calling the critics “a very small group of people.” Star-Advertiser.

City shows off much-needed upgrades to Honolulu’s most popular park. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell showed off improvements to Ala Moana Beach Park on Thursday, including newly-renovated bathrooms at the Ewa end of the park. Hawaii News Now.

Kirk Caldwell holds presser to discuss Ala Moana Regional Park improvement projects. At a press conference earlier today, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell discussed progress at Ala Moana Beach Park and future renovation projects. KHON2.


Board balks at landfill plan. A community panel Wednesday night took a stand against expanding a construction debris landfill in Nanakuli after two hours of sometimes heated testimony. Star-Advertiser.

Neighborhood board supports banning helicopter tours over Kailua. Kailua neighborhood board members passed a resolution on Thursday requesting the FAA to ban all helicopter tours over their community. Hawaii News Now.

New ambulances raise safety concerns for paramedics. New ambulances for EMS on Oahu had to be taken off the road after complaints were filed to the state labor department. KHON2.

Alleged legal tours to Haiku Stairs faces push back. But the Board of Water Supply, the owner of the stairs and some land surrounding it says there's no legal way. KITV.

A new $310 million Mauka Concourse underway at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport is designed to increase the number of passengers boarding a plane at the state’s largest airport by about another 1.5 million. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu home sales decline, prices mixed, over 12 months ending in August. Sales of single-family homes and condominiums on Oahu declined by 8% over the last 12 months as median prices were mixed, with single-family homes rising by 2% and condos declining by 2%, according to a report by Honolulu real estate firm Locations. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Upped Traffic Enforcement on Maunakea. Police efforts during the new weeklong period covering last Thursday, Aug. 29 to Thursday, Sept. 5 has resulted in the issuance of an additional 566 traffic citations and three suspects arrested for five offenses. Big Island Now.


Kilauea lava triggered massive algae bloom. In the midst of the destruction during last year’s lower East Rift Zone eruption of Kilauea volcano, scientists from the University of Hawaii and the University of Southern California observed how one of nature’s most devastating forces can also create and sustain life. Tribune-Herald.

During the 2018 eruption, heat from the lava ocean entry caused nutrient-rich deep waters to rise, which led to a phytoplankton bloom, researchers say. Big Island Video News.

Here’s how rivers of lava flowing into the ocean created a massive algae bloom. Hawaii News Now.

Kilauea lava stimulates phytoplankton bloom off Hawaii Island. KHON2.


Team that captured first image of a black hole wins international award. About 30 scientists and engineers from two Maunakea observatories have won an international award for their involvement in the project that captured the first image of a black hole. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii scientists net ‘breakthrough’ award for first image of black hole. The team that captured the first image ever of a black hole has received a prestigious Breakthrough Prize for Fundamental Physics. Hawaii News Now.


Flu hitting Big Island schools; vaccination program starts next month. Big Island schools have been back in session for a month, and already cases of influenza are being reported among the student population and staff members. West Hawaii Today.

Kuawa Street park completion date still uncertain. The completion of the Kuawa Street park is delayed yet again despite county officials in July saying the new ballfields were on track to open in August. Tribune-Herald.

Single-family home sales, prices jump on Hawaii Island in August. Sales of single-family homes on Hawaii Island jumped by 22% in August, compared to last year, and the median price rose 13%, while condominium sales and prices both declined for the month, according to statistics provided by Hawaii Information Service on behalf of Hawaii Island Realtors. Pacific Business News.


Hike in illegal rental fines moves forward. Planning, vendor make enforcement progress. Maui News.


New Maui traffic cameras now live on Free for public use, the cameras provide real-time footage of traffic conditions at 10 key intersections on Maui. Maui News.

New Maui Traffic Camera Images Now Available Online. Department officials say the images will also provide additional tools for the state and counties to manage the roadway system. Maui Now.

New Maui traffic camera images available on KHON2.


Council still seeks an auditor. The Kauai County Council is still seeking qualified candidates for county auditor in the Office of the County Clerk. Garden Island.

County Council continues recruitment for County Auditor position. The Kauai County Council is continuing its ongoing recruitment and acceptance of applications for the position of County Auditor. KITV.

Who is responsible for regulating the number of passenger flights that arrive on the island every day? That was one of the main questions brought up at a recent County Council meeting during a discussion of the Kauai Tourism Strategic Plan 2019-2021, which aims to mitigate the effects of “overtourism.” Garden Island.

Kauai condo prices jump 32% in August as sales drop. The median price of a condominium on Kauai soared by 32% last month even as sales dropped, compared to a year ago, while single-family home prices declined, according to statistics from Hawaii Information Service on behalf of the Kauai Board of Realtors. Pacific Business News.


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