Monday, September 9, 2019

Monk seals, sea turtles thriving, cannabis unprofitable, Senate plans special session for confirmations, Maui mayor criticizes injection well settlement plan, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Honu sea turtle at Hawaii park ©2019 All Hawaii News
NOAA scientists report good news on monk seals and sea turtles. A team of researchers recently returned to Honolulu with positive news on Hawaiian marine life in the remote Papahanau­mo­kuakea Marine National Monument 1,500 miles northwest of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Special Session Planned On Hawaii Court Nominees. The Hawaii Senate is scheduled to convene Sept. 16 in special session to review nominees to the state courts. Hawaii Public Radio.

Pakalolo profits have yet to light up in Hawaii. Two years after Hawaii’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened on Maui, the legal pot industry in Hawaii has yet to achieve profitability. Star-Advertiser.

UH Will Ask The Legislature For Money To Build, Demolish And Consolidate. A Board of Regents committee on Thursday OK’d a $236.5 million proposal for 2021 as part of a six-year modernization effort. Civil Beat.

New law requires Hawaii’s private schools to be licensed or accredited. All private schools in Hawaii will need to be licensed or accredited by July 1, and students attending schools that do not comply will be considered truant under a bill signed by Gov. David Ige. Star-Advertiser.

Retired Judge Appointed To Prison Oversight Commission. Mike Town, who retired in 2010, was appointed by Senate President Ron Kouchi. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s 129 Judges Are The Top Paid Judiciary Employees. They’re getting smaller raises these days, which concerns the chief justice who says qualified judges are hard to find. Civil Beat.

Why Is Tulsi Gabbard Paying This Obscure Consultant Big Bucks? Kris Robinson grew up in the same controversial religious sect as Gabbard. Now, he’s one of the top-paid vendors on her 2020 presidential campaign. Civil Beat.

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Social media post attempts to link Gov. Ige to impropriety with TMT. A social media post from Mauna Kea activists goes on the offense against the Governor and his wife Dawn. The governor denies the allegation. KITV.

2 Arrested As State Demolishes Structure Built By TMT Opponents On Mauna Kea. A protest leader said the house was constructed as an education space for kids, but the builders knew it wasn’t legal or sanctioned by anti-TMT leaders. Associated Press.

Overall costs of Mauna Kea law enforcement remain hazy. The Attorney General’s Office continues to withhold information about the overall costs of the state’s law enforcement efforts on Mauna Kea, where demonstrators have been blocking the road leading to the construction site of the Thirty Meter Telescope for nearly two months. Star-Advertiser.

TMT opponents go mobile with protest along Oahu roadways. Hundreds of vehicles driving from Hawaii Kai to Maili Beach Park on Sunday in opposition to the planned Thirty Meter Telescope on Hawaii island were greeted along the way with signs, Hawaii flags and people pushing their thumbs and forefingers together in a symbol of support for Mauna Kea. Star-Advertiser.

Hundreds of Mauna Kea protectors led convoy from Hawaii Kai to Waianae. Hundreds of Kiai or protectors of Mauna Kea took their cause to Oahu's roads Sunday morning for a convoy. KITV.

Ku Kiai Mauna leads Mauna Convoy from Maunalua Bay to Maili Beach Park. KHON2.

Government denies rumors of Monday sweep of TMT demonstrators. The Big Island Mayor's office denies rumors of a law enforcement sweep before dawn on Monday morning at Mauna Kea. KITV.

TMT opponents expecting sweep this week. About 1,000 opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope massed at Mauna Kea Access Road by early afternoon Sunday as protest organizers summoned their supporters to prepare for a possible law enforcement sweep of the road as early as today. Star-Advertiser.

Native Hawaiian activists threaten legal action over Mauna Kea Access Road. Some Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiaries say the state acted illegally by allowing the building of the Mauna Kea access road, which they allege is theft of Hawaiian Home Lands. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

DHHL, city land swap for rail stirs questions. Another pending land swap involving the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is raising questions about whether the agency’s Native Hawaiian beneficiaries are getting the short end of the deal. Star-Advertiser.

Plans for new stadium taking shape. Incrementally constructing the new Aloha Stadium on the site of the present facility while tearing down the old one is among three preliminary concept options laid out in a just-released report for the Stadium Authority. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Mass Transit Administrator Brenda Carreira is asking the County Council to fast-track approval for a three-year contract for Hele-On bus service, although she doesn’t plan to disclose the vendor or the contract amount until after the matter is approved. West Hawaii Today.

Rain, no vog appear to be helping Kona coffee crop, though diseases and labor shortage present challenges. A combination of above-average rainfall and vog-free skies appears to have set up Kona coffee farmers for a better season this year, but a couple challenges are cropping up. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island’s coffee belt sees record rainfall in August. August was a very wet month for the Kona coffee belt. Tribune-Herald.

UH-Hilo planning for the future. Last updated nearly a decade ago, the University of Hawaii at Hilo is working to redo its strategic plan. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui Mayor 'Disappointed' In County Committee Backing Of Settlement In Wastewater Case. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino on Sunday criticized a decision by a County Council committee to recommend acceptance of a settlement proposal with environmental groups that sued over the use of injection wells. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui County Committee Agrees To Settle Injection Well Case. Maui County officials have recommended settling with environmental groups that sued over the use of injection wells. Associated Press.

Planning Department to be Short-Staffed During Statewide Conference. The County of Maui Planning Department will be hosting the annual Hawaii Congress of Planning Officials from Sept. 11 to 13. Maui Now.

County leaders draw names, excitement in home program. The County of Maui in August collected applications for its First-Time Home Buyers Down Payment Assistance Program. Maui News.

Kauai

Abandoned vehicles on the rise. In fiscal year 2019, the Kauai Police Department had 653 vehicles towed, and currently has more than 270 pending complaints. Garden Island.

Sediment sentiment. Periodically the state Department of Land and Natural Resources contracts a company to remove sand from the river mouth and restore flow back into the ocean, but the results never seem to last long. Garden Island

Ohia seed collection a success. A team of volunteers, state officials and county organizations combating rapid ohia death has just finished their first-ever seed-collecting event, and organizers are hailing it as a success. Garden Island.

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