Thursday, August 15, 2019

Dispute over Mauna Kea road ownership, Honolulu ramps up vacation rental inspectors, ethics board dings Puna councilwoman, Coco Palms still a go, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Mauna Kea access road checkpoint ©2019 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Who Owns Mauna Kea Access Road? During an informational briefing held Wednesday on Oahu, the state senate questioned Hawaiian Home Lands officials about the ownership of the mountain road. Big Island Video News.

Questions arise over Mauna Kea road. Hawaii Sen. Kai Kahele (D, Hilo) questioned whether the state Department of Transportation has legal jurisdiction over Mauna Kea Access Road during a legislative briefing at the state Capitol on Wednesday, setting up what could potentially develop into a larger legal issue for the Thirty Meter Telescope and other telescope sites atop Mauna Kea. Star-Advertiser.

State's control over Mauna Kea Access Road could be in jeopardy. Lawmakers grilled the Department of Hawaiian Homelands stating, documents that shows the road is within DHHL's jurisdiction. KITV.

‘Why Do Stars Explode?’ And Other Questions Scientists Hope To Explore With The TMT. Scientists are already jockeying for time slots for ambitious research projects on the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope and another giant telescope being constructed in Chile. Civil Beat.

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New immigration policies expected to hurt Hawaii families and economy. Some believe a new federal crackdown on immigration could hurt Hawaii’s economy. Hawaii News Now.

Queen’s Health Systems has asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit from the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. Kaiser says Queens has been charging its patients excessive and unreasonable rates ever since their contract ended in May. Hawaii News Now.

Some ‘Reef-Safe’ Sunscreens May Not Be Safe After All. Mineral-based sunscreens are viewed as an environmentally friendly alternative to chemical sunscreens, but could still be harmful in large concentrations. Civil Beat.

BOE expected to adopt changes to student misconduct rules. The action comes nearly a year after amendments were first considered by the board. Tribune-Herald.

Southwest Airlines is aggressively expanding service to the Hawaiian islands in January, more than doubling the number of its interisland seats and increasing its trans-Pacific seat capacity by 50%. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

More inspectors hired to tackle problem of illegal rentals. The city Department of Planning and Permitting is beefing up staffing, hiring up to six new temporary inspectors to help enforce a new and tougher vacation rental ordinance. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Adds Inspectors To Enforce Short-Term Rental Law. The city says the workers are temporary. Civil Beat.

As vacation rental cancellations mount, some say they’re not getting refunds. As the city’s new vacation rental law causes more cancellations, some visitors say they’re not getting their money back. Hawaii News Now.

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City wants funds to hire law firm for subpoenaed rail workers. Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration is seeking $300,000 to hire lawyers to represent the Honolulu rail authority and its current and former employees in connection with the federal investigation of the city’s $9.2 billion rail project. Star-Advertiser.

A retired district court judge was called before a federal grand jury last week to testify in an ongoing probe into the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office. Retired District Court Judge David Lo spent more than two hours inside the grand jury room before being wheeled out by an FBI agent. Hawaii News Now.

Katherine Kealoha Still Stands To Collect $680K From Grandmother, Uncle. Gerard and Florence Puana are still on the hook for the verdict in a civil case that happened before the Kealohas were convicted on criminal charges stemming from the same situation. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Ethics Board issues reminder to council in Kierkiewicz case. The county Board of Ethics on Wednesday finalized an order requiring Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz to file an after-the-fact written disclosure of a possible conflict of interest stemming from a vote she took earlier this year. West Hawaii Today.

DPS promotes Hilo sergeant to fill new West Hawaii position overseeing Kona, Kohala courts. Deputy sheriffs assigned to West Hawaii’s courts now have a lieutenant based in Kona, although the legislator who helped create the position isn’t happy the post had to be filled by someone from Hilo. West Hawaii Today.

New webcam monitors pool in Halemaumau. The U.S. Geological Survey set up a webcam to continuously track the development of a pool of water within Halemaumau Crater on Kilauea. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Senate Committees to Hold Maui Briefing on Maui Correctional Center. The Hawaiʻi Senate Ways & Means Committee and Public Safety Committee will conduct an informational briefing to hear from the Department of Public Safety and receive an update on the emergency appropriation for Maui Community Correctional Center and the current state of the facility. Maui Now.

Final EIS for Hana pier dismantling is accepted. Gov. David Ige has accepted final environmental impact statements for the Hana pier deck removal and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ industrial and business park in Pulehunui, according to the latest edition of “The Environmental Notice” published by the Office of Environmental Quality Control earlier this month. Maui News.

150 room expansion for Kihei hotel planned. Maui Coast Hotel to use adjacent vacant lot. Maui News.

Kauai

Council, mayor honor government watchdog Glenn Mickens. For decades, and without fail, one of the island’s most prominent government watchdogs, Glenn Mickens, showed up at County Council meetings on Wednesdays. Garden Island.

Coco Palms rebirth still alive. The Utah private-equity company that has taken over the ruins of the former Coco Palms Resort in Wailua says it is moving ahead with plans to rebuild the property as a hotel and can meet an Aug. 31 county deadline to submit 26 different building permit applications. Garden Island.

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