Thursday, February 13, 2020

$1.9B radar dropped from budget, Hawaii woman on cruise ship contracts coronavirus, Blangiardi running for Honolulu mayor, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Renewable energy rises 28% in 2019, Hawaiian Electric says. Hawaiian Electric said its use of renewable energy in 2019 increased over 2018 despite the unavailability of geothermal on the Big Island, and significantly lower wind energy production. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Puts Activist Fund Manager On Board. The once-critical investor changed his tone on Wednesday. Civil Beat.

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Budget drops $1.9B radar. Funding for the $1.9 billion Homeland Defense Radar- Hawaii and a more than $1 billion Pacific radar that was expected to be located in Japan has been zeroed out in the Missile Defense Agency’s fiscal 2021 budget request — raising the possibility that neither radar will be built. Star-Advertiser.

Opponents claim victory as the Missile Defense Agency pulls the plug on a controversial radar project. Opponents were worried the project would harm cultural and environmental sites. Lockheed Martin already had a contract to build the facility, but the latest Defense budget request includes no funding to continue. Hawaii News Now.

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Bill Would Let Hawaii Residents Buy Medicine From Canada. If it passes, Hawaii would be the fifth state allowing importation of drugs from north of the border. Civil Beat.

Bill would eliminate special inspections for lowriders, lifted vehicles. Many car enthusiasts hope that a proposal to get rid of a special inspection for reconstructed vehicles gets the green light from state lawmakers. Hawaii News Now.

Neighbor Island Clinics Worry About Fewer Medicaid Options. A state Med-QUEST plan to simplify its insurance playing field by offering two health plans to Medicaid patients on neighbor islands is receiving pushback. Civil Beat.

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Hawaii woman on quarantined cruise ship off Japan confirmed to have coronavirus. A Hawaii resident who was on board a quarantined cruise ship off Japan has contracted the coronavirus, her family says. Hawaii News Now.

Quarantined Ewa Beach couple tries to stay positive aboard cruise ship. Halfway through a two-week quarantine on a cruise ship docked in Japan, an Ewa Beach couple is trying to stay patient as the number of people aboard the ship who have tested positive for the new coronavirus continues to grow. Star-Advertiser.

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EPA Regional Official Who Covered Hawaii Says His Firing Followed Praise From Pelosi. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official who oversaw Hawaii and portions of the Western states was abruptly forced to resign last week – and is publically questioning why he was terminated. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

Surrounded by various downtown notables, Rick Blangiardi formally announced his candidacy for Honolulu mayor Wednesday. The newly retired HNN television general manager joins a field that includes Honolulu businessman Keith Amemiya, former state Sen. John Carroll, former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, activist and Realtor Choon James and City Councilwoman Kym Pine. Star-Advertiser.

Rick Blangiardi Announces Run For Honolulu Mayor. The longtime media executive will face some well-funded opponents. Civil Beat.

Former HNN General Manager Rick Blangiardi announces run for mayor.  Rick Blangiardi, the former general manager at Hawaii News Now, announced his candidacy for Honolulu mayor Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Blangiardi Announces Bid For Honolulu Mayor. Former Hawaii News Now General Manager Rick Blangiardi officially announced his candidacy for Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu Wednesday. Maui Now.

Former t.v. general manager throws his name into the race for mayor. On Wednesday, former t.v. general manager, Rick Blangiardi, officially announced his run for Mayor of Honolulu. KITV4.

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Military Housing Offered To Teachers In Effort To Address Retention, High Cost of Living. Any DOE teacher can apply to live in the military housing, which is located at Schofield Barracks. Hawaii Public Radio.

Will There Be A New Oahu Jail? The Legislature Has Varying Answers. The Oahu Community Correctional Center continues to present a dilemma for lawmakers. Civil Beat.

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Topgolf could still be coming to Oahu, but it’ll take a few years. The city is moving forward with a $50 million redevelopment of the Ala Wai Driving Range — and it includes the construction of a popular attraction. Hawaii News Now.

Top Golf design may change. Top Golf is heading to Honolulu, but it may look different from how it was originally envisioned. The City and County of Honolulu said Top Golf is making adjustments based on community input. KHON2.

Topgolf still on the table to take over Ala Wai Golf Course. Nearly two years after the City's initial announcement, Topgolf still has plans to come to Hawaii. KITV4.

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Senate Bill Complicates UH Plans for Student Entrepreneurs Center. The bill aims to put a senior citizens center at the same site of a planned student “live, learn and work” hub at the former Atherton YMCA. Hawaii Business.

Honolulu Is A Top Potential Market For E-Scooters — But They’re Still A Year Away. E-scooter rentals have been controversial, but if the rollout is done right they could help soften Honolulu’s traffic woes. Civil Beat.

Rally held for unwed Catholic school director asked to leave because she’s pregnant. About a dozen people held signs outside Maryknoll School on Wednesday for a former school director asked to step down because she’s pregnant and not married. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Legislature mulls handing off SHPD responsibilities to counties. Delays in getting archaeological plan reviews from the State Historic Preservation Division have added years to the construction of Hawaii County projects, but county planning officials are skeptical a bill currently making its way through the Legislature is the answer. West Hawaii Today.

Legislation tackles fire ant abatement. Two bills introduced by Big Island legislators would require the state Department of Agriculture to identify best practices for treatment of the invasive pests. Tribune-Herald.

Schatz, Legislature seek help to combat spittlebug. A U.S. senator has requested federal assistance to manage an invasive insect that has devastated thousands of acres of pasture land on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Mayor touts projects to come. Victorino delivers State of the County address at new Kihei gym. Maui News.

Potential Maui Council Candidates Begin Pulling Nomination Papers. West Maui’s Councilmember Tamara Paltin, filed nomination papers to run for her second two year term on the Maui County Council.  Maui Now.

Cousteau’s underwater classroom: Imparting lessons from under the sea. Jean-Michel Cousteau to speak on Maui this weekend in Kapalua. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauai councilman, out on bail, involved in car crash that injured 6-year-old boy. Councilman Arthur Brun already faces two felony charges after getting arrested in October. The latest incident could lead to more legal trouble. Councilman Arthur Brun already faces two felony charges after getting arrested in October. The latest incident could lead to more legal trouble.  KHON2.

Councilmember Arthur Brun involved in Feb. 7 traffic collision. Kaua‘i Police have confirmed Kaua‘i Councilmember Arthur Brun was the driver of a Hyundai involved in a Feb. 7 collision on Kapa‘a Bypass Road in the vicinity of mile marker 5. Garden Island.

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KPD removes derelict vehicles, installs boulders. On Tuesday around 7 a.m., KPD officers helped community members vacate the area beside the Wailua Bridge, where people had been driving and illegally parking their vehicles for more than a year. Garden Island.

The Office of the Mayor will hold a community open house focused on the Wainiha Community Resilience Center on Wednesday, Feb. 26, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Hanalei Neighborhood Center at the old courthouse. Garden Island.

Lanai

Approvals sought for Lanai observatory. Pulama Lana‘i seeks to build facility for resort guests and locals. Pulama Lana’i wants to construct and operate a 25-foot tall observatory for stargazing at its Four Seasons Resort Lanai and is seeking approval from the Lanai Planning Commission. Maui News.

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