Monday, October 28, 2019

Kahuku wind farm project lacks environmental review, Land Use Commission rejects Mauna Kea petition, drug companies paid Hawaii doctors $4.3M, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC: Choon James
Kahuku wind farm arrests PC:Choon James
PUC’s Former Lawyer Says Approval Of Kahuku Wind Farm Violated Law. A former Public Utilities Commission counsel said regulators needed to complete an environmental review before approving the controversial project. Civil Beat.

Kahuku wind farm ‘arrestables’ say breaking the law is their last option. Over the last two weeks, 111 people volunteered to be arrested for protesting a controversial wind energy farm in Kahuku. Star-Advertiser.

Wind farm demonstrators out in Kalaeloa again Sunday night. Wind turbine construction materials are scheduled to move again on Sunday night, leaving from Kalaeloa for the Na Pua Makani wind farm site in Kahuku. KITV.

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Drug companies paid Hawaii doctors $4.3M last year. Hawaii doctors received $4.29 million in total payments from drug companies for promotional talks or consulting work in 2018. Star-Advertiser.

Dispensaries stop selling vapes with outside ingredients. Five out of eight Hawaii medical marijuana dispensaries that had been warned by health officials to stop selling vaping products made with outside ingredients say they are now in compliance with state law. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines flight attendants prepare to vote on a possible strike. Starting Monday, more than 2,100 Hawaiian Airlines flight attendants will begin voting on whether they should authorize a strike. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii kids hit median on Smarter Balanced Assessment. A new analysis shows that Hawaii’s public school students rank in the middle of the pack in both English and math proficiency among the states that use the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Star-Advertiser.

Want a selfie with a Hawaiian monk seal? Don’t get too close. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers recently conducted a study of how social media can play a role not only in monitoring the public’s interaction with endangered monks seals in Hawaii, but in research, education and conservation. Star-Advertiser.

Feds To Audit Wespac’s Handling Of Pacific Tuna Fund. The move by the inspector general comes after a Civil Beat investigation and request from four congressmen. Civil Beat.

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U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s announcement late Thursday that she won’t seek reelection to Congress so she can focus on her presidential bid turns what early challenger Kai Kahele saw as a likely mano-a-mano contest into a political free-for-all. But it’s up for debate whether this makes it more or less difficult for the relatively new state senator from Hilo to win the congressional seat. West Hawaii Today.

Tulsi Gabbard’s decision not to seek reelection to Congress and instead focus on her presidential campaign opens an opportunity for familiar and lesser-known potential candidates who might want to run in 2020 to represent rural Oahu and the neighbor islands. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: Why Tulsi Gabbard Should Quit Congress Right Now. The presidential wannabe can show true aloha for the people of the 2nd District by letting them have proper representation. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Feds Demanded Rail Information From Honolulu City Hall. Officials investigating the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation have either seized or requested information from the city, the mayor’s communications director Andrew Pereira confirmed. Civil Beat.

Acting city prosecutor faces heat over failure to act in wake of scandals. Acting city Prosecutor Dwight Nadamoto continues to dodge questions about the suspected cover-up of crimes by ex-deputy Katherine Kealoha. Hawaii News Now.

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Pro-Labor Bill Becomes Law Without Mayor’s Signature. Caldwell informed the council he wants to work on “legal concerns.” Civil Beat.

Labor bill favoring unions becomes law without the mayor’s signature. Union workers will essentially get priority for all city projects over $2 million thanks to a bill that is now law. Hawaii News Now.

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Ala Wai harbor redevelopment effort falls short — again. The Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation has come up empty-handed after a committee reviewed proposals for redevelopment of the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor — rankling some Waikiki residents and boaters who fear the state will never get it right. Star-Advertiser.

State goes ‘back to the drawing board’ for Ala Wai harbor development. Many people consider the area near the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor to be the gateway to Waikiki. But for years, that area has included a fenced-off vacant lot. Hawaii News Now.

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Kirk Caldwell, developer of Ala Moana playground reject idea of different site. Moving the site of a proposed inclusive children’s playground from Ala Moana Regional Park to Kakaako Waterfront Park will cause suffering to children with special needs by making them wait longer to enjoy the first such playground in Hawaii, said Tiffany Vara, executive director of Pa‘ani Kakou, a nonprofit that has pledged to build the playground with private money and give it to the city. Star-Advertiser.

Support for an inclusive playground is there. But where should it be built? Dozens on both sides of the controversy over a proposed, privately funded playground at Ala Moana Park attended a rally at the park today. Hawaii News Now.

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Bill 25 standoff reveals difficulty in requiring greener energy as part of Oahu’s building code. Improving energy efficiency in residential and commercial buildings is a key element to reducing global climate heating. And on Oahu, there’s plenty of room for improvement, as our built environment is responsible for some 35% of the island’s carbon pollution, according to the city’s recently established greenhouse gas inventory. Star-Advertiser.

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Financial affairs of Abigail Kawananakoa may be overseen by conservator. A hearing will be held to determine whether a conservator will be appointed to oversee the financial affairs of Abigail Kawananakoa outside of her $215 million trust, a judge ruled Friday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian royalty descendant rejects calls for appointment of a conservator. Hawaiian royalty descendant Abigail Kawananakoa was back in court Friday, rejecting claims she can’t handle her own financial affairs and medical needs. Hawaii News Now.

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Waikiki residents concerned by bikers on sidewalks. Riding a bike on the sidewalk is illegal. KITV.

This Run Down Shopping Center In Hawaii Kai Has Neighbors Begging For Repairs. It’s not the only shopping center in Hawaii that is showing signs of decay. But this community, fueled by a neighborhood social media discussion, is fighting back. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Land Use Commission rejects Mauna Kea petition. A petition that challenged the density of development of astronomy observatories on Mauna Kea was denied Friday by the state Land Use Commission, with a majority of the commissioners declaring they have no jurisdiction over the issue. Star-Advertiser.

Land commission votes 5-2 to deny request by two Hilo residents. The state Land Use Commission voted Friday to deny a petition that requested a declaration that the use of land at Maunakea summit is improper for its current zoning. Tribune-Herald.

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Sirens in tsunami-prone areas now ‘highest priority'. Prioritization of emergency warning siren maintenance, repair and installation across the state has changed. West Hawaii Today.

Final review of proposed dolphin swimming ban continues. Federal officials are still working to finalize a rule three years in the making that’ll render it illegal to approach or swim with Hawaiian spinner dolphins in Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui continues to discuss how to meet Hawaii’s renewable-energy goals. The months-long, record-breaking heat wave that has caused spikes in Maui’s electricity use underscores why the island — and the state as a whole — has such ambitious renewable-energy goals. Star-Advertiser.

Column: Tax reform legislation moves to the full council on Nov. 8. Five months ago, the Maui County Council’s Economic Development and Budget Committee decided to study options for more equitable taxation by creating a temporary investigative group, or TIG, on real property tax reform. Maui News.

Local Businesses Open Up Shop at Wailea Village. Wailea Village, a new shopping center in South Maui that promises a “different” and “outdoor-focused” retail experience, is now the home of several locally owned stores. Maui Now.

Kauai

Police Chief Calls For New Procedures In Wake Of School Threats. Responding to recent threats against island schools, Kaua'i Police Chief Todd Raybuck described school lockdowns and evacuations as appropriate when the threats are active and imminent, but said they may not be when unconfirmed. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kauai’s police chief urges parents to remind kids about seriousness of making threats. In light of recent threats against DOE schools, Kauai’s Police Chief Todd Raybuck is strengthening the call for the community to work together to prevent future incidents. Hawaii News Now.

Eyes on the reefs. The sediment in Anini’s shallow lagoon could be saturated with heavy metals, according to results from a study conducted through volunteers with the nonprofit Reef Guardians Hawaii. Garden Island.

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