Thursday, December 27, 2018

Navy issues EIS for sonar testing, training; Ige reappoints three department heads; Pearl Harbor stays open amid federal shutdown; more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

NOAA
Humpback whale feeding, breeding zones. NOAA

The U.S. Navy is moving forward with training and testing in Hawaii-Southern California waters after re-evaluating potential environmental impacts of their activities. “These military readiness activities include the use of active sonar and explosives at sea off the coasts of Hawaii and Southern California,” according to the final EIS. Garden Island.

Read the Navy's Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement here.

Winter on Maui means it’s time for humpback whales. More than half of the North Pacific humpback whale population, estimated at over 20,000 strong, visit the waters of Maui Nui each year. Hawaii Magazine.

The year 2018 has been a record one for Hawaiian monk seal pups born in the main Hawaiian isles, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige has reappointed leaders at three state departments, his office announced today, including the Department of Transportation, Department of Human Resources Development and Department of Taxation. Star-Advertiser.

Tatum takes over at HTA amid tourism challenges. Created by the Legislature in 1998, the tourism authority believes it’s found a power hitter in Chris Tatum. Star-Advertiser.

Court Cases Open Window Into Marshallese Adoptions. A lawsuit by a Kentucky couple alleges that an Arkansas attorney offered to fly a Marshallese birth mother to the U.S. despite a treaty that bars such travel. Civil Beat.

Japanese-Americans are more likely to accumulate fat in their liver and abdomen compared to other ethnicities. That's according to the latest research from the University of Hawaii's Cancer Center. Hawaii Public Radio.


YEAR IN REVIEW: The repercussions of Hawaii’s false missile alert are still being felt. Hawaii News Now.


YEAR IN REVIEW: Remembering this year’s record breaking hurricane season. Hawaii’s 2018 hurricane season was among the most destructive in years. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii taxpayers claim close to $86M in renewable energy tax credits in 2016. The state of Hawaii dished out $85.8 million in renewable energy tax credits in 2016, down from $98.6 million during the previous year. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

As government shutdown drags on, nonprofits scramble to keep Pearl Harbor monument open. Despite the partial government shutdown, the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument is still open — thanks to the generosity of several nonprofits. Hawaii News Now.


Since the government's partial shutdown several Hawaii national parks have seen a shake-up in services. But places like the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, - a historic site that drew in just under 2-million visitors last year - according to park stats isn't one that's closing quietly. KITV.

Not Everyone’s Thrilled To Have A Film Crew In The Neighborhood. “Magnum P.I.” is generating complaints from businesses and residents about the way it commandeers streets and parking places. Civil Beat.

Fraud alleged in local trash company bankruptcy. A commercial refuse hauler that stiffed the city on $3 million in garbage disposal fees may not have actually dumped that debt obligation through bankruptcy two years ago. Star-Advertiser.


The trains may one day run on time, but the construction of the track certainly hasn't. At $8.3 billion, not including finance charges, the Honolulu rail project is the largest public works project in Hawaii history and, according to a policy analyst at the conservative think tank Cato Institute, "the most expensive per capita of any publicly funded rail project in the modern age." U.S. News & World Report.


Twelve parcels of land for sale, including the Willows, could change Moiliili neighborhood. KHON2.


Back in business: Ala Wai Community and Neighborhood parks re-open. Since October, the parks have been closed for crews to revamp the public areas. KITV.


With students out of school for winter break, families hoping to check out certain libraries are out of luck. Three Oahu branches are temporarily closed because of emergency work or other issues. Hawaii News Now.

State orders brothers to fix decrepit Kakaako roads or stop charging for parking. A state agency is ordering two brothers to either fix up the streets they claim they own in Kakaako or stop charging parking fees. Hawaii News Now.


A former U.S. Housing and Urban Development employee accused of collecting Section 8 rental assistance on properties she and her husband managed and controlled pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court Wednesday to five counts of wire fraud. Star-Advertiser.


The new year means changes for some fishermen. Starting January 1, 2019, the Waikiki-Diamond Head shoreline will be off-limits for fishing. The ban will last for all of 2019. KHON2.


Firecracker permit sales drop in Honolulu for New Year’s. Firecracker permit sales are down this year with 3,000 fewer sold compared to last year, the Honolulu Fire Department reported. Star-Advertiser.


A couple of Nevada residents are suing to evict the people living in Duane “Dog” Chapman’s Portlock home because Chapman and his wife have allegedly defaulted on their house payments. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Mayor Harry Kim thanked Puna Geothermal Venture executives for a six-figure donation, a short time before the company was granted permission to cut an access road over the inactive lava channel that isolated the company’s power plant during the summer eruption of Kilauea Volcano. Big Island Video News.


Ookala residents frustrated by latest dairy discharge. On Monday, Big Island Dairy, which is set to cease operations next year, discharged nearly 600,000 gallons of wastewater into Kaohaoha Gulch. Tribune-Herald.


Report examines benefits, feasibility of basalt facility. A new study commissioned by the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems suggests the island could make a name for itself in this small but growing industry. Tribune-Herald.

Alii Drive culvert replacement project delayed. A county project to replace a deteriorating culvert on Alii Drive will get started a little later than previously estimated. West Hawaii Today.


Making Food More Affordable For The Hungry. Nearly 13 percent of Hawaii Island residents are “food insecure,” according to the USDA — well above the statewide average. Civil Beat.

21st Annual Mochi Pounding Set For Dec. 29 At Akiko’s. Traditional mochi pounding will return to the small village of Wailea this weekend, and the public is invited. Big Island Video News.


Maui

The South Maui Parking Lots Improvements Project will continue construction with the closure of Keawakapu Beach parking lot, at the corner of Kilohana Drive and South Kihei Road, on Wednesday, Jan. 2. Maui Now.

The comment period for the Kalaupapa National Historical Park General Management Plan and Environmental Assessment has been extended to Feb. 1. Maui News.


Maui’s law banning foam takeout containers goes into effect at the end of the year. The county law bans polystyrene foam food containers, which popular local plate lunches are typically served in. Associated Press.


Hale Kau Kau: 1.5 Million Meals and Counting. Today, South Maui’s only daily soup kitchen, Hale Kau Kau, served its 10,000th consecutive day of meal service. Maui Now.


Kauai

Kauai officials have agreed to pay $1 million to the family of a man who died after being hit by a police cruiser. Associated Press.

Kauai Medical Clinic recently broke ground on its new 7,900-square-foot facility at the Safeway-anchored Kauai Village Shopping Center. Pacific Business News.

Molokai

The comment period for the Kalaupapa National Historical Park General Management Plan and Environmental Assessment has been extended to Feb. 1. Maui News.