Monday, July 15, 2019

Hundreds attend vigil as Thirty Meter Telescope construction to commence today, arson investigation in Maui wildfires, security cameras going up in Oahu parks, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaiians chant, prepare on Mauna Kea ©2019 All Hawaii News
With TMT construction set to begin, protesters lie on ground to block potential vehicles. At least seven protesters were lying on the ground, chained to a cattle guard on Mauna Kea Access Road early Monday, just hours before construction was set to start on the controversial project. Hawaii News Now.

Hundreds of Thirty Meter Telescope opponents on Mauna Kea in attempt to block construction. State and local officials will try to close a road to the summit of Mauna Kea Monday morning to allow trucks carrying construction equipment to make their way to the top to begin construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on land that some Native Hawaiians consider sacred. Associated Press.

Hundreds of Native Hawaiian activists encamped Sunday at the bottom of Mauna Kea were determined to stand their ground against the launching of construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope — unsure of how law enforcement would intervene or what the morning would bring. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Kim Makes Surprise Visit To Puuhonua At Base Of Mauna Kea. Mayor Harry Kim made a surprise visit to Puu Huluhulu on Sunday, where he told the Thirty Meter Telescope opponents who have established a puuhonua at the location that he supports what they have done. Big Island Video News.

Hundreds gather for prayer vigil. A 12-hour prayer vigil Sunday drew hundreds opposed to the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea to Pu‘u Huluhulu, across from the intersection of Saddle Road. Tribune-Herald.

Crowds gather on Maunakea prior to TMT project start. With less than 24 hours before the Maunakea summit access road was expected to close in anticipation of the start of construction on the Thirty Meter Telescope, hundreds gathered here over the weekend offering oli, mele and prayers as part of a peaceful yet determined demonstration at the base of Maunakea. West Hawaii Today.

Hundreds gather to protest TMT, construction begins Monday. Hundreds gathered at the base of Maunakea to peacefully protest the Thirty Meter Telescope, which is scheduled to begin construction Monday morning, July 15. KHON2.

Hundreds of TMT protestors gather at Maunakea. Hundreds of protestors are already gathered at the base of Maunakea on the eve of the start of telescope construction. KITV.

Anxiety, Rumors And Prayers Before TMT Construction Begins On Mauna Kea. Officials are committed to escorting construction vehicles for the Thirty Meter Telescope up the mountain Monday. Civil Beat.

Gov. Ige addresses concerns ahead of the start of TMT construction. Gov. David Ige held a news conference Sunday to address the mounting tensions over the start of construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope. Hawaii News Now.

Governor Attempts to Tamp Down Tensions As TMT Opponents Gather At Mauna Kea. Hawaii Gov. David Ige sought to quell rumors of a planned sweep to clear out protesters gathering at Mauna Kea as construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the mountain begins this week. Hawaii Public Radio.

Governor Ige Says No Sweeps Planned. “There is no sweep planned for 8 p.m. this evening,” Governor David Ige told media during a Sunday news conference on Oahu. “There’s no sweeps planned at this point.” Big Island Video News.

Full Video: Gov. Ige holds press conference day before TMT ground break. Hawaii Gov. David Ige held a press conference the day before the ground break of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea on Sunday. KHON2.

OHA demands TMT halt until Native Hawaiian concerns, safety issues resolved. Office of Hawaiian Affairs Chairwoman Colette Machado and OHA Trustee Dan Ahuna are demanding a halt to construction of the long-stalled Thirty Meter Telescope near the summit of Mauna Kea “to avoid harm to Native Hawaiians” and ensure public safety. Star-Advertiser.

OHA Chair Demands Governor Halt TMT Construction. The chairperson of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has demanded a halt to construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope that is scheduled to start next week. Hawaii Public Radio.

The DOE’s Chief Financial Officer Is Leaving For UH. Amy Kunz’s appointment to the University of Hawaii system was tucked in a recent meeting agenda item from the UH Board of Regents. Civil Beat.

Court Rejects Feds’ Withholding Of Info In UH Biolab Inspection Report. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention heavily redacted a report that found safety infractions at the facility. Civil Beat.

Shawzy Cann is one of the 82 people with confirmed cases of rat lungworm disease from 2007 to 2017. A review of the cases was published last week in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

State agency to study transferring control of Kakaako to city. One day after Ige issued his veto Tuesday, board members of the Hawaii Community Development Authority overseeing Kakaako voted to spend up to $100,000 for a private consultant to produce a study on transferring the agency’s Kakaako responsibilities to another entity or entities, despite concerns that such a transfer would be premature and unwise. Star-Advertiser.

Council’s office move to Alii Place hits a snag. The Honolulu City Council’s plan to temporarily move into offices at the downtown Alii Place tower has hit a snag that likely will push the renovation of Council offices at Honolulu Hale into 2021. Star-Advertiser.

More improvements are coming to Ala Moana Beach Park. Up next: Repaving. Work to resurface the main road in Ala Moana Regional Park is scheduled to begin next month. Hawaii News Now.

To curb vandalism, nearly 200 security cameras will be installed in Oahu parks. The City and County of Honolulu plans to install nearly 200 more security cameras at its busiest parks under a partnership with the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Hawaii News Now.

Katherine Kealoha diagnosis raises questions about her city job. After a jury convicted former Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha of multiple felony counts, the lead federal prosecutor described her as a chronic malingerer, someone who feigned medical ailments to avoid accountability for her actions. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii Officials 'Not Pleased' With West Oahu Land Transfer Mandate. A dispute is brewing over a parcel of land in West Oahu designated as the site of a new state film studio. Hawaii Public Radio.

Changing Habits Yields Health Benefits At MA’O Farms In Waianae. Early data from a UH study shows interns at the farm lowered their diabetes risk by altering eating habits and lifestyles —  with a ripple effect of health benefits for friends and families. Civil Beat.

Turtle Bay Resort offers community garden plots. The resort owner is offering 500-square-foot plots adjacent to its resort property as a community garden for employees, North Shore residents and neighborhood organizations including nonprofits and schools. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Zoning change would allow cinder quarry to expand. A cinder quarry south of Leilani Estates may be expanded in the next few years after a petition was filed by Kamehameha Schools last month. Tribune-Herald.

County plans project to install better performing streetlights around the island.  Tribune-Herald.

Waiaka Stream Bridge project gains traction. Sen. Lorraine Inouye said the state’s effort to replace the 87-year-old bridge, located near the intersection of Kohala Mountain and Kawaihae roads in Waimea, “is moving along except for … the stall of needing additional property.” Tribune-Herald.

Dairy wastewater lagoons in process of being removed. The removal of wastewater lagoons at Big Island Dairy is currently underway, the state Department of Health said Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Mayor Victorino Urges Vigilance: Wildfires Burn 9,200 Acres. Mayor Michael Victorino asked residents and visitors to exercise caution Sunday in the wake of wildfires that have kicked up clouds of dirt and ash from Upcountry Maui to Kaupo and South Maui. Maui Now.

Attention shifts to arson investigation as crews gain upper hand in Maui wildfires. Officials on Maui remained on high alert as a raging wildfire --believed to be the largest in the county’s history -- continued to burn out of control in Central Maui. Hawaii News Now.

Firefighting focus turns toward hot spots, flare-ups. Both blazes nearing containment, county says. Maui News.

Maui Fires Kick Up Dust, Ash As Mop-Up Continues. Maui residents and visitors were advised to drive carefully and stay indoors, if needed, as dust and ash from two brush fires lowered road visibility as well as air quality in parts of the island. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kauai

New police chief visits North Shore. Several North Shore residents were invited to meet and greet new Kauai Police Department Chief Todd Raybuck, as well as Lt. Todd Tanaka, acting North Shore captain, and Capt. Mark Begley, patrol captain for the entire island. Garden Island.

Housing market holding strong. The real estate market on Kauai remained relatively strong through the first half of 2019, but overall sales figures across the island are down from this time last year, and the market could be in for a substantial downturn, Realtors said. Garden Island.

Kahoolawe

Kahoolawe watershed rehabilitation project is bearing fruit. The formerly bare, red-dirt slopes of Hakioawa watershed on the northern slopes of Kahoolawe island are now festooned with green through the labors of the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission and 199 volunteers from around the state. Star-Advertiser.

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