Thursday, June 9, 2016

Honolulu considers alternatives for over-budget rail, solar slump continues with loss of incentives, Maui mayor up on ethics charges, Kauai dairy farm releases environmental assessment, Big Island students truants, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii coral reef with bird wrasse  © 2016 All Hawaii News
NASA and top scientists from around the world are launching a three-year campaign Thursday to gather new data on coral reefs like never before. Associated Press.

The once-booming solar industry continued its slump in May due to the removal of a state incentive program, according to a report released Wednesday by the Hawaii Solar Energy Association. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority has appointed a new director of cultural affairs about six months after the abrupt ouster of the previous director drew criticism from the Native Hawaiian community. Star-Advertiser.


Local rail leaders will have until Aug. 7 to tell federal transit officials what they plan to do about Oahu’s massively over-budget transit project — even though they don’t like any of the options presented to them and say they don’t yet have the details or faith in the numbers needed to make an informed choice. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu rail project may cost as much as $7.967 billion to build and will likely won’t be completed until April 2024, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation acknowledged Wednesday. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation said the city's proposed rail route will likely be shorter or have fewer stations with the revenue it expects to have. Hawaii News Now.

Hart officials are now saying the rail project may not be completed until April 2024 and will cost just under $8 billion. The figures are slightly different from estimates released by the Federal Transit Authority last month. But the HART board learned that Honolulu will not lose its federal funding even with the cost overruns and money budgeted to date. KITV4.

Rail is expected to cost nearly $8 billion and could have a deficit of $1.1 billion. After consulting with the federal government, HART learned without more funds, it needs to consider options for construction with the expected revenue. KHON2.


Duke Aiona wants Charles Djou to be mayor of Honolulu. The former lieutenant governor came out in support of the former congressman in the wake of his own decision Monday to not run office for himself this year. Civil Beat.

The search for a Honolulu police officer who allegedly sexually assaulted a teenage girl Tuesday night, ended Wednesday when police apprehended the 37-year-old on the North Shore. Star-Advertiser.

Some 747 homeless military veterans on Oahu have found housing since January 2015, but the pipeline refills at a rate of 24 new homeless veterans each month. Star-Advertiser.

The state Office of Hawaiian Affairs plans next week to sweep the last remnants of a homeless encampment from the agency’s property in Wahiawa near some historic birthing stones. Star-Advertiser.

The governing board of the Myron B. Thompson Academy public charter school is scheduled to meet today for the first time since the state attorney general filed criminal charges last month against the school’s principal and elementary school vice principal. Star-Advertiser.


The summer just got a whole lot easier for Hamakua Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter. The second-term District 1 incumbent on Tuesday won outright her seat for another two-year term after no candidate filed to run against her. West Hawaii Today.

For the past two days, the Keaau High School campus has been transformed into home base for Tropic Care 2016, a joint effort of the U.S. Army Reserve’s Innovative Readiness Training program, the state Department of Health and the County of Hawaii. The program, which continues through Saturday, offers a host of medical services provided by more than 170 military physicians and medical providers. Tribune-Herald.

Students on the Big Island missed more school in a single academic year than most of their peers around the state and country, data from the U.S. Department of Education shows. Tribune-Herald.

With Kamehameha Day in North Kohala just days away, community groups remain upset that several large trees were cut down at the park that hosts the annual Kamehameha Day ho’olaule’a. Big Island Video News.


The Maui County Board of Ethics is calling Mayor Alan Arakawa to appear before the panel to answer questions about money he received from a company leasing property rights for a potential photovoltaic farm on Upcountry land owned by Arakawa and his brother. Maui News.

As the candidate filing deadline came and went Tuesday, the political dust cleared and races were set for primary and general elections this year. Maui News.

A murder charge against Alexandria Duval was dropped Wednesday when a judge concluded that she did not intend to kill her identical twin when their SUV plunged over a 200-foot cliff on the Hana Highway. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii Dairy Farms has published a 2,607-page Environmental Impact Statement in hopes of addressing community concerns about potential water pollution from cow manure or other sources at a proposed 557-acre dairy farm on Kauai. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Dairy Farms, a proposed 699-cow operation on the island of Kauai being funded by eBay billionaire founder Pierre Omidyar’s Honolulu investment firm Ulupono Initiative, could be operational by 2018. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Dairy Farms says its planned operation in Mahaulepu Valley will provide a model for sustainable agriculture and help protect the environment. Those in opposition of the dairy aren’t buying it. Garden Island.

A Kapaa woman has filed nomination papers to become a candidate for state Senate of Kauai County. A first-time candidate in politics, Kanoe Ahuna hopes to use her 17 years of experience in the fields of public and private health and education to serve the community. Garden Island.

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