Friday, September 20, 2019

OHA records subpoenaed over TMT Thirty Meter Telescope, tourism expected to drop with vacation rental crackdown, new HART board chairman selected, Kealoha sentencing delayed, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Protest sign at Mauna Kea ©2019 All Hawaii News
Subpoena issued to learn how OHA is helping protesters. The state Attorney General’s Office has slapped a subpoena on the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs demanding detailed infor­mation about support that OHA has provided to the Thirty Meter Telescope opponents who are blocking Mauna Kea Access Road, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser has learned. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Kim Previews Path Forward On Mauna Kea. The Hawaii County Mayor testified before the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees during a meeting held Thursday morning. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii Mayor Kim says his plan includes building TMT, but that is a nonstarter for protesters. Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim confirmed Thursday that his long-awaited blueprint for the future of Mauna Kea will include a plan to build the Thirty Meter Telescope near the summit, but the TMT opponents said that is still unacceptable to them. Star-Advertiser.

OHA trustees meet with protesters, offer support. Three trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs met with protesters at Maunakea Access Road Thursday in support of their opposition to the Thirty Meter Telescope. Tribune-Herald.

Kaleikoa Kaʻeo, one of the leaders in the movement opposing the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea, gave passionate testimony at Thursday's Office of Hawaiian Affairs meeting. Big Island Video News.

TMT enforcement effort nets 547 citations, 11 arrests. Officers assigned to the Thirty Meter Telescope protester blockade and encampment on Maunakea Access Road issued 547 traffic citations and arrested 11 suspects in the week between Sept. 12-18, police said Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

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Hawaii economy approaching standstill, report finds. Brace yourselves, Hawaii residents. The state economy is expected to slow to a near “standstill” for the next three years, according to a new University of Hawaii analysis. Star-Advertiser.

Pay Increase Approved For Hawaii School Officials. The salary adjustments impact three leadership tiers below the top-level superintendent and will help with recruitment challenges, according to the DOE. Civil Beat.

Kaiser Permanente study reveals healthy Hawaiians still at higher risk of developing diabetes. Kaiser's study found even at a normal weight, Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders have a rate of diabetes three times higher than Caucasians. KITV.

Why The Growing Demand For AC Threatens Hawaii’s Renewable Energy Goals. Far more residents now have air conditioning to deal with a warming climate.Civil Beat.


Oahu

Federal Judge Postpones Sentencing Of The Kealohas For Two Weeks. The couple will now be sentenced on Oct. 31. Civil Beat.

Kealoha Conspiracy Sentencing Re-Scheduled For Halloween. Associated Press.

Sentencing for Kealohas delayed until Halloween. District Chief Judge J. Michael Seabright agreed Thursday to delay the sentencing of Katherine and Louis Kealoha for their conspiracy and obstruction convictions while settlement talks continue related to the couple’s upcoming trial on bank fraud charges and a later drug-related trial involving Katherine Kealoha and her brother. Star-Advertiser.

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HPD: No one will be disciplined after emergency sirens were mistakenly set off. Honolulu’s police chief says no one will disciplined after an employee participating in a training exercise at the main station Wednesday accidentally set off emergency sirens on Oahu, sending people scrambling for information on what was going on. Hawaii News Now.

Faster corrections and training changes called for after latest false emergency scare. Figure out how to tell the public immediately that there is no danger after false alarms. That’s what the mayor and lawmakers want from anyone able to trigger emergency sirens and alerts. KHON2.

Economists: Airbnb Crackdown Will Likely Cause Big Drop In Oahu Tourism. The expected decline could cost the island more than $30 million per month in direct spending, based on state tourism data. Civil Beat.

Caldwell: Delay Of Dillingham Rail Plan Reaching ‘Crisis’ Level. Rail officials admit progress on a utility relocation plan has been too slow. Civil Beat.

Caldwell voices frustration over rail’s utility relocation. Honolulu rail officials are now wrestling with what they’ve said all along is the most difficult part of the $9.2 billion, East Kapolei-to-Ala Moana mass transit project: the relocation of a multitude of utility lines along the congested and key commuting corridor known as Dillingham before actual rail construction begins. Star-Advertiser.

HART Gets Its First New Board Chair In About Three Years. Toby Martyn joined HART as a state appointee. Now, he’s the agency’s board chairman. Civil Beat.

Manahan’s Chief Of Staff Running For City Council Seat. Radiant Cordero wants to represent the greater Kalihi area at Honolulu Hale. Civil Beat.

City Unsure of Trees Already Planted To Reach Its 100,000 Goal. Despite having an ambitious goal to plant 100,000 trees by 2025, the city has been unable to keep count of exactly how many have already been planted. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Committee signs off on Mass Transit multi-year contract request. Finance Committee members on Tuesday gave favorable recommendation to Mass Transit Administrator Brenda Carreira’s request to fast-track approval for a multi-year contract for Hele-On bus service with no financial information attached. West Hawaii Today.

Council mulls electric buses. Members of the Hawaii County Council met with a representative of an electric bus manufacturer Tuesday to discuss the possibility of converting the county’s bus fleet to electric vehicles. Tribune-Herald.

Maui


Mayor: Injection well settlement could cost county $800 million. Supporters of ending suit call this ‘Chicken-Little’ predictions. Maui News.

An ethics complaint has been filed against Maui County Council member Tamara Paltin, alleging that she should not be voting on the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility injection wells case – because she was once on the board of one of the plaintiff organizations which originally filed the lawsuit. Maui Now.

Maui siren was not supposed to be triggered by Honolulu Police. KHON2.

DOE seeks input on teacher compensation Wednesday. Two meetings to discuss changes to the teacher compensation system, staged by the state Department of Education, will be held on Maui from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Baldwin Auditorium. Maui News.

Kauai

Judge rules for Water Department. Kia‘i Wai O Wai‘ale‘ale is well on its way to losing its lawsuit against the county Department of Water, but a lawyer representing the water-rights organization said the legal battle over a proposed 18-inch water main in the Wailua watershed has broader implications, and believes the case will ultimately be settled in the Hawaii Supreme Court. Garden Island.

HTA rolls out campaign to educate visitors. Sharing the dos and don’ts with visitors for their time in the Hawaiian Islands is the goal of a campaign launched through a partnership between the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. Garden Island.

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