Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Hawaii's best beaches, plastic ban advances, USS Arizona reopening delayed, Maui mayor hires rejected department heads, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Seven locations in Hawaii are among the top 25 beaches in the United States, according to TripAdvisor’s 2019 Travelers’ Choice Awards, but Florida put 10 on the list and claimed the No. 1 spot. Star-Advertiser.

Seven Hawaii beaches named 'Best in the U.S.' Travel website TripAdvisor came out with it's 2019 Travelers' Choice Awards for beaches. KITV.

On Tuesday, the Senate Ways and Means committee passed SB522, which calls for an outright ban of single-use plastic products including plastic food packaging, single-use beverage containers like plastic water and juice bottles, and utensils. Hawaii News Now.

Lawmakers discuss aggressive new proposal on banning plastic usage. There's an aggressive bill moving through the Senate that bans the use and sale of plastics. We're talking about plastic bottles, utensils, and straws to name a few. KHON2.

Key to coping with climate change lies in Hawaii’s past, study finds. As climate change promises to alter our world in the coming decades, a new study suggests that Hawaii would be wise to look to traditional Native Hawaiian agriculture to help cope with an uncertain future. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Cos. nearing 30% renewable energy. Hawaiian Electric Cos. said it is on track to achieving its next renewable- energy milestone despite the loss of Hawaii island’s geothermal resource for most of 2018 following the Kilauea volcanic eruption. Star-Advertiser.

A Bank of Hawaii Corp. board of directors committee has approved a $2 million cash incentive award for Chairman, President and CEO Peter Ho, along with a 3 percent increase in his base salary, following a 19 percent increase in the bank’s profits last year. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

Walk-on access to the USS Arizona Memorial won’t be restored by the end of March, as previously announced by the National Park Service, and it may be many more months before access resumes, officials said. Star-Advertiser.

Repairs to USS Arizona Memorial dock to take longer than expected. Repairs to the dock at the USS Arizona Memorial won’t be completed by next month as originally hoped, and it’s unclear when the dock will be safe to use again. Hawaii News Now.

The USS Arizona will not reopen in March. KITV.

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State Will Take Over Some City Prosecutor Cases. Defense attorneys want authorities to expand their review of Katherine Kealoha’s involvement to other cases. Civil Beat.

Turning the Blaisdell into a federal courthouse for the Kealoha trial. The Blaisdell Center is set to host an event unlike any other held there before. Jury selection for Louis and Katherine Kealoha's trial will likely take place at the Blaisdell in March. KHON2.

Bill to fund Ala Wai flood control advances. The Senate Committee on Ways and Means passed a bill Tuesday with amendments to allocate funds for a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plan to lessen flood risks at the Ala Wai Canal. Star-Advertiser.

Extension of Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve. An irreplaceable coastline on Oahu's northwestern shore is now protected forever. KHON2.

Beach goers protest new ‘No Parking’ signs at popular east Oahu surf spot. “No Parking” signs appeared in the area between Sandy Beach Park and Makapuu last week – and since then – more than 30 vehicles have been ticketed. Hawaii News Now.

How effective is the city's park protection plan? Paying to play in city parks...whether of not they use the recreation areas, residents foot the bill. KITV.

An elementary school teacher found guilty of stealing more than $30,000 in lunch money, has been sentenced to four years probation. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Water rates are expected to go up 5 percent this year in a $55.7 million Department of Water Supply budget that got a preliminary nod Tuesday from the Water Board. West Hawaii Today.

Bills aim to give neighbors more power to battle albizias. Two bills in the state Legislature seek to allow property owners to remove potentially dangerous albizia trees on adjacent properties. Tribune-Herald.

West Hawaii Community Veterans Center Draft EA Published. The $12 million facility planned for state land in Kailua-Kona will provide space to meet community needs, a document states. Big Island Video News.

To address noise complaints, tour helicopter company offers a compromise. Safari Helicopters sent a letter to elected officials and community leaders announcing that it would halt Sunday flights on Hawaii Island during a trial period that started on Feb. 17. Hawaii News Now.

Drivers might face significant delays along the Hamakua Coast this week as several construction projects reduce Highway 19 traffic to one lane only at multiple points. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Mayor names 3 rejected directors on interim basis. Victorino says charter allows temporary appointments, though Goode lacks end date. Maui News.

Council Chair Seeks Legal Opinion on Interim Director Appointments. Maui Now.

Emergency Proclamation Extended to Maui County For Roadwork. The state has extended an emergency proclamation to cover Maui County so that funds can be used to restore parts of Honoapiilani Highway affected by landslides in the recent heavy rains. Hawaii Public Radio.

State Disaster Declaration Extended to Maui County. Maui Now.

Haleakala Ranch is applying for a permit to aid the recovery of the endangered nene on more than 3,000 acres of ranchland. Maui News.

Proposed fees and rules for use of Hawaii’s small-boat harbors — including a nearly threefold hike in catwalk mooring fees at Lahaina Small Boat Harbor — offshore moorings, landings and wharfs will be the subject of a public hearing from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 6 at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center in Wailuku. Maui News.

Kauai

Over 140 community members from the private, nonprofit, and government sectors gathered at the county’s inaugural Housing Summit on Friday at the Kauai Veterans Center. Garden Island.

Gates to the newly-improved Kauai Raceway Park will open to the island’s drag racers and fans, Saturday hosted by the Garden Isle Racing Association, and Napa PS&D Kauai. Garden Island.

Here’s A Place That Got Pounded With 519 Inches Of Rain Last Year. The island’s highest point received monumental precipitation in 2018, and it wasn’t even ground zero for the rain bomb that caused April flooding. Civil Beat.

Lanai

1500 lb Net Mass, Plastic Trash Removed on Lanai. A mass of plastic trash and tangled fishing nets weighing between 1500 and 2000 pounds and measuring about 30 feet in length was removed from a remote coastline on Lanai. Maui Now.

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