Friday, February 21, 2020

Cat disease killing endangered monk seals, Schatz slams coronavirus test kit delays, Ala Moana park plan approved, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News
Man feeds feral cats at Hilo bayfront park ©2020 All Hawaii News
Cats blamed for ‘debilitating’ disease striking Hawaiian monk seals. In just the first month this year, two Hawaiian monk seals have been killed or sickened by a disease that is released into the environment by cat feces. Star-Advertiser.

Endangered Hawaiian monk seal sickened by toxoplasmosis, which is spread in feces of cats. Officials from NOAA want the public to know that if cats were kept indoors, toxoplasmosis would not spread through the landscape and kill monk seals and other native species. KHON2.

Study: Marine Monuments Aren’t Hurting Hawaii’s Tuna Fishermen. The commercial longline industry made more money after the feds expanded the protected areas around Papahanaumokuakea and the Pacific Remote Islands. Civil Beat.

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Clean Energy Advocates, Auto Industry Disagree Over How To Promote Electric Vehicles. More than two dozen bills at the Hawaii Legislature aim to increase the use of electric vehicles, but auto dealers and green energy proponents are supporting different approaches. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii lawmakers again propose raising car rental tax. State lawmakers for the second straight year are proposing to increase the state’s daily car rental tax as a way to fund more highway construction projects that would hopefully reduce traffic congestion. Star-Advertiser.

Uber And Lyft Are Fine With Hawaii Regulating Them — Just Not Too Much. The ride-hailing companies take issue with parts of a House bill that gives the state Department of Transportation more power to investigate them. Civil Beat.

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Experts: Hawaii tourism likely to take a hit amid coronavirus fears. Airlines that serve the Asia-Pacific region are bracing for a possible 13% drop in passenger traffic, according to the International Air Transport Association. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii officials ponder new coronavirus’ economic impact. State officials, alarmed about the rapidly spreading new coronavirus, are grappling with how to prevent an outbreak in the islands as tourists from Japan and other countries continue to travel to Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Schatz: Repeated delays of coronavirus test kits for Hawaii ‘unacceptable’. The botched coronavirus test kits that were sent to Hawaii now have to be re-manufactured. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz says he’s been told by CDC that the new test kits won’t be ready until mid-March. Hawaii News Now.

Number of People Being Monitored For Coronavirus In Hawaii Is Dropping. As of Thursday, the Hawaii Health Department had yet to identify any suspect coronavirus cases in Hawaii, but continues to investigate the Hawaii vacation of a Japanese couple who later fell ill. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Ala Moana park plan OK’d without playground or dog park. The Honolulu City Council this week gave Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration a permit for a host of improvements at Ala Moana Beach Park but made sure the list of projects doesn’t include an “inclusive” playground, dog park or changes to the parking on the mauka side of Ala Moana Drive. Star-Advertiser.

How Much Should It Cost To Ride Rail? Honolulu officials are seeking public input on setting rates. Civil Beat.

Public can weigh in on how much transit fares should cost. The Honolulu Rate Commission is asking the public to weigh in on how much they think transit fares should cost. KHON2.

Series of coastal engineering projects underway amid race to save Waikiki Beach. A series of coastal engineering projects aimed at saving Waikiki Beach is underway, and one of the projects that kicked off three months ago is performing well so far. Hawaii News Now.

Applicants sought for affordable rental complex for seniors in Kapolei. A random drawing for units at Hale Moena Kupuna will be held March 5. Hawaii News Now.

Lottery to open in March for Kapolei senior affordable rentals. A lottery is scheduled for March 5 for Hale Moena Kupuna, 153 senior affordable rentals in Hale Moena Kupuna, the first phase of Highridge Costa Cos. and Coastal Rim Development’s mixed-use project in Kapolei. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Mike Ruggles Running For Hawaii County Mayor. Medical cannabis advocate Mike Ruggles filed paperwork on Thursday in order to officially run for Hawaiʻi County mayor. Big Island Video News.

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Thurston Lava Tube set to reopen. After more than a year of closure, the Thurston Lava Tube in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is once again open for visitors today. Tribune-Herald.

Thurston Lava Tube reopens to the public. Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park’s Thurston Lava Tube will open to the public this morning for the first time since it was knocked out of action by the Kilauea eruption nearly two years ago. Star-Advertiser.

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Date for removal of two Maunakea telescopes pushed back. Two telescopes on Maunakea scheduled for decommissioning are expected to be removed from the summit by 2023. Tribune-Herald.

Telescope Take-Down Update Given To UH Regents. University officials say the decommissionings of the UH Hilo Hōkū Ke‘a and the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory on Maunakea are tentatively scheduled to be completed by 2023. Big Island Video News.

Operating rooms of the future: Kona hospital unveils $6M renovation project. Kona Community Hospital unveiled its newly remodeled state-of-the-art operating rooms Thursday morning. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Kanaha closed to remove illegal encampments. Maui County departments and Maui police removed illegal encampments at Kanaha Beach Park, which was closed from Tuesday to this afternoon. Maui News.

Application Period Opening for Hale Mahaolu Ewalu II Senior Housing in Pukalani. Hale Mahaolu will accept applications for Ewalu II, the second phase of its senior housing complex in Upcountry Maui, from Feb. 24 through 4 p.m. on March 6, 2020. Maui Now.

Maui man who traveled on Westerdam returns home. Health officials say coronavirus risk low; quarantine not needed. Maui News.

Mainland, Big Isle eyed for endangered bird move. In the wake of a highly-anticipated translocation project that saw all but one of its 14 birds die on Haleakala, experts are mulling whether to move critically endangered kiwikiu to the Mainland or to the Big Island to save them from extinction. Maui News.

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Mahi Pono Enters Majority Partnership with Maui Cattle Company. Mahi Pono today announced that it has become the majority partner of Maui Cattle Company, a kamaʻāina company. Maui Now.

Mahi Pono becomes majority partner of Maui Cattle Co., acquires slaughterhouse. Mahi Pono, the farming venture that bought 41,000 acres of former sugar cane land on Maui from Alexander & Baldwin, said Thursday that it is now the majority partner of Maui Cattle Co., a collaborative between five family owned ranches on the Valley Isle, and is also the new owner of Maui Cattle Co.’s slaughterhouse and USDA-certified processing facility. Pacific Business News.

Kauai

KIUC ballots are on their way. Ballots will be mailed out for Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative’s board of directors election within the next week. Garden Island.

Kauaʻi Council Advances Polysytrene Container Ban Proposal. Similar to other county bans, Bill 2775 would prohibit the sale and use of styrofoam containers in the county. Hawaii Public Radio.

Community safety meetings kick off. Tuesday was the first in a series of County of Kaua‘i’s safety meetings, “Keeping Your Community Safe,” at the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Anahola clubhouse. Garden Island.

Kahoolawe

State money still needed for Kahoolawe restoration. The Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission is asking the state Legislature for financial support in its ongoing mission to restore an island that remains wounded from decades of abuse in the form of military bombing practice. Star-Advertiser.

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