Monday, June 3, 2019

Sunscreen's link to coral decline, money a factor in vacation rental bill, homeless problems in Hilo, Kahului and Waikiki, vehicle dumping on Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Cauliflower coral in Hawaii ©2019 All Hawaii News
How Scientists Discovered the Link Between Sunscreen and Coral Reef Death. It’s now commonly known that many chemicals commonly found in sunscreen are harmful to coral reefs. But that link wasn’t established until 2015 and many challenges to mitigating the negative effects remain. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii climate modeling company expects less risk this hurricane season. The Central Pacific Hurricane Center predicted an above-normal tropical cyclone activity this hurricane season; however, a Hawaii- based climate forecasting and risk management company anticipates a below- normal season. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric’s Ambitious Plan To Quit Using Coal Is A ‘Moon Mission’. To replace a coal plant set to close in 2022, HECO is seeking private developers to build  new wave of renewable energy generation and storage facilities around the islands. Civil Beat.

Money may determine fate of vacation rental measure. The measure, Senate Bill 1292, would generate an estimated $46 million in extra tax collections next year, and key lawmakers said they need that cash to pay the bills. Star-Advertiser.

Conflicts, Lax Oversight Shroud This Secretive Fisheries Fund. A federal fisheries oversight council has stymied inquiries by congressmen, journalists and others over the past few years. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Council panel discusses sliding fee scale for vacation rentals. Vacation rentals in areas that command the most bookings would be hit with higher permit fees under a proposal being considered by one City Council member as a way to address the proliferation of illegal units on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

City, state moves ahead with seawater air-conditioning project. A really, really big plastic straw for sucking up sea water several miles off Kakaako might be ready for deployment next year as part of a system to air-condition 40 or so buildings mostly downtown. Star-Advertiser.

City begins bulky trash collection through appointment-based pilot program. In a bid to rein in ballooning costs for handling trash, the city is moving Urban Honolulu’s bulky item pickup to an appointment-based system starting Monday. Hawaii News Now.

Developer helping produce accessory dwelling units. When the city allowed construction of small rental units on single-family house lots in 2015 to help ease Oahu’s housing crunch, homeowners were expected to build these accessory dwelling units. Star-Advertiser.

Waikiki pavilions might be converted to deter homeless. The city pavilions in Kuhio Beach park on Kalakaua Avenue were built so local residents and tourists could pause awhile to bask in the beauty of Waikiki’s sandy shores and aquamarine waters. Star-Advertiser.

Business owners say months-long Pali Highway closure is seriously hurting sales. The thoroughfare has been shut down since the rockfalls in February and its packing a major punch to local businesses. Hawaii News Now.

Veterans meet with congressman to discuss issues facing their community. Congressman Ed Case sat down with local military veterans this weekend to learn more about the issues they experienced after their service. Hawaii News Now.

Marine biologist worried about coral health on Oahu's North Shore. Marine biologist Terry Lilley claims bad coral health correlates with erosion. Millions of people visit Hanauma Bay in East Honolulu every year but one marine biologist says those outer reefs are healthier than the ones on Oahu's North Shore where fewer people swim. KITV.

Hawaii Island

Growing the budget: Final council reading Wednesday. The County Council has already added $1.1 million to Mayor Harry Kim’s record-setting $573.5 million operating budget. On Wednesday, council members are poised to add even more. West Hawaii Today.

Firefighter raises, bonuses questioned. A pay plan for firefighters that includes raises as well as bonuses and other perks could be on shaky ground, with Mayor Harry Kim opposed and the County Council offering only tepid support. West Hawaii Today.

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Homeless get the boot from Mooheau; guards stationed at two locations. The deep cleaning was a reaction to the steadily worsening conditions at the park. Homeless communities lingering at the park led to increasingly unsanitary conditions, with trash and human waste accumulating throughout the park. Tribune-Herald.

Homeless Cleared As Mooheau Park Gets A Cleaning. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County closes Hilo park favored by homeless, citing cleaning and safety. Associated Press.

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Proponents of new gun law say it will help police, protect owners; others say it’s obtrusive. Hawaii County’s police chief said a recently enacted law — requiring gun owners to report a lost, stolen or destroyed firearm to county police within 24 hours of discovery of the loss — shouldn’t have been necessary. Tribune-Herald.

PGV eyes new wells. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is reviewing applications for two new geothermal wells at Puna Geothermal Venture. Tribune-Herald.

Proposed rules to manage Mauna Kea stir worry in the Native Hawaiian community. The University of Hawaii is asking for public feedback on its latest draft rules to improve management of Mauna Kea. Hawaii News Now.

Council seeks to tweak polystyrene law. Bill 74 removes the requirement that alternative containers to polystyrene must be recyclable under the county’s recycling program. Instead, the new law will simply require them to be recyclable. West Hawaii Today.

Interior Secretary: Firm Decision On Volcano Observatory Location Months Away. A final decision on where the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory will be located remains months away, U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said last week during a visit to the Big Island. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kona Village Rezone Gets PONC Site Visit. Neighbors opposed to a planned 450 unit development in Kailua-Kona are reaching out to a Hawaii County commission in the hopes of keeping it in open space. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Maui police plan for isle homeless aims to divert instead of arrest. Pilot is modeled after successful Seattle program. Maui News.

Kahului’s homeless crisis gets an unflattering comparison: It’s starting to look like Honolulu’s. It’s a scene that’s relatively new for Maui: Homeless campsites popping up along the roadside in Kahului. Hawaii News Now.

Dumping of cars on Maui on rise; illegal sites cropping up. County trying to deal with issue of disposal cost. The illegal dumping of cars along Maui’s highways has grown by at least three times in six years, and the county official who handles their removal attributes some of the increase to the cost of disposal. Maui News.

Vehicle disposal program aims to reduce car dumping on Maui. A county in Hawaii has established a free vehicle disposal program in response to car dumping. Associated Press.

Kauai

Next stop — growing ridership. The Kauai Bus ridership for fiscal year 2019 has nearly eclipsed 2018’s total of 760,415 total passengers. Garden Island.

County conducting fair market rent survey. Residents recently received a letter from the Kauai County Housing Agency, requesting them to fill out a 20-question survey in order for the agency to obtain data on what Kauai families are actually paying for rent. Garden Island.

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