Thursday, October 24, 2019

Rail work snarls, state's renewable energy grade slides, Honolulu wants $250k back from Kealoha, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC: Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation
Dillingham Boulevard PC:HART
The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) will present a community update today on the utility relocation work taking place along Dillingham Boulevard (Middle Street to Kaaahi Street) and discuss residential and business outreach mitigation programs. HART press release.

Rail construction on Dillingham delayed. Major rail-related construction along congested Dillingham Boulevard is being delayed until early next year to give the city more time to finalize its traffic management plan, and the city is considering providing tax relief to property owners and their tenants during what is expected to be a hellish two years of construction. Star-Advertiser.

Businesses along busy urban corridor prepare for a hit as rail construction moves east. As construction for the rail project heads east, businesses along a major roadway are bracing for a drop in sales. Crews have been relocating utilities along Dillingham Boulevard from Middle Street to Kaaahi Street since July 2018. Hawaii News Now.

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The State Receives a C Grade in its Progress to 100% Renewable Energy. The Blue Planet Foundation, an environmental non-profit, lowered Hawaii’s overall clean energy grade from a B- to a C. Hawaii Public Radio.

Marine Scientists Track Coral Bleaching in Real Time. In Oahu’s Kaneohe Bay, researchers with the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology are engaged in a one-of-a-kind effort to document coral reefs as they undergo bleaching. Hawaii Public Radio.

An extreme future. New research out of the University of Hawaii forecasts more frequent and extreme El Nino events, and that could mean more unpredictable rainfall, hurricane activity, sea-surface temperatures and changes in sea levels around Hawaii. Garden Island.

Most UH Students Are People Of Color But Their Teachers Are Mainly White. But the percentage of non-white faculty is increasing, going from 44% in 2013 to about 50% in 2018. Civil Beat.

Oahu

City to seek repayment of $250K from Louis Kealoha. The city said Wednesday it plans to demand that former police Chief Louis Kealoha repay the $250,000 severance he received upon retirement in 2017 now that Kealoha has been convicted of multiple felonies and waived his right to appeal. Star-Advertiser.

City will have to stand in line to get Kealoha’s $250k payoff back. Ex police chief Louis Kealoha owes city taxpayers a quarter of a million dollars, and the city is sending him a letter demanding payment. Hawaii News Now.

City sending demand letter to Louis Kealoha for $250,000 severance payback. The city is demanding Louis Kealoha pay back a $250,000 severance, now that the former police chief has pled guilty to federal felony bank fraud, and earlier was found guilty of conspiracy. KHON2.

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Farmers see a first glimpse of a wind turbine under construction in Kahuku. Since Thursday, there have been at least 107 arrests as protesters try to stop the transport of wind turbine parts for AES Na Pua Makani wind farm in Kahuku. Police say some protesters are attaching themselves with PVC pipe and handcuffs. Hawaii News Now.

Teen says police punched and used Taser on him at Kalaeloa protest. The estimated 150 to 175 law enforcement officers outnumbered the 125 or so opponents of the AES Corp.’s wind turbine project again at Kalaeloa Wednesday night. Star-Advertiser.

AES Chief Operating Officer talks about controversial wind farm project. "We know we'll be visible. I can't hide a wind farm". KITV.

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New exemptions to plastic bill in City Council. A bill to expand the plastic ban on Oahu will be brought up once again at the Honolulu City Council, but there’s been some changes. KHON2.

Council resolution advises rejection of Navy’s proposal for Red Hill tanks. Despite concerns by the Navy, a Honolulu City Council committee unanimously passed an updated resolution Wednesday asking regulators to reject Navy plans to pursue single-wall tank upgrades at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility. Star-Advertiser.

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City to stop enforcing vacation rentals law at Waikiki tower whose owners sued. The city has agreed to stop enforcing the new vacation rentals law on a Waikiki condo tower that it previously accused of having hundreds of illegal rentals. Hawaii News Now.

Waikiki Banyan gets temporary stay from short-term rental enforcement. Waikiki Banyan condominium owners have received a courtroom stay temporarily preventing the city from enforcing a new law designed to crack down on illegal short-term rentals. Star-Advertiser.

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Honolulu County sells $497M in wastewater system revenue bonds. The City and County of Honolulu sold about $497 million of its wastewater system revenue bonds at a 2.95% interest rate, the county announced Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

County to loosen energy code restrictions. Changes to the county’s energy code aimed at making home construction more affordable, while still becoming more energy-efficient, are the subject of public “speakout” sessions for design and construction professionals early next week. West Hawaii Today.

With recycling changes, county braces for landfill impact. Thousands of tons of recyclables once diverted from the waste stream will enter the Big Island’s landfills each year under changes implemented last week to Hawaii County’s recycling program. West Hawaii Today.

Judge dismisses suit in connection with controversial Ka‘u sewer plants. A lawsuit against two county officials over two planned Ka‘u sewer plants was dismissed earlier this month. Tribune-Herald.

Draft EA Posted For New Rock Quarry In Hilo. Yamada and Sons, Inc. is looking to acquire a license to develop a 37-acre portion of a State property near the Hilo landfill for use as a rock quarry. Big Island Video News.

Construction of new College of Pharmacy building nearly finished. Three years after breaking ground on the new building for the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, work is nearing completion and classes are slated to start there next semester. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui’s Water Fight Has Become A Major Power Struggle. The mayor won’t settle a case with national implications despite the council’s instruction to do so, spurring a new lawsuit to sort out the separation of powers. Civil Beat.

Compliance Concerns Linger as Maui Water Rights Case Wraps Up. One of HawaiĘ»i’s largest water rights cases is coming to a close on Maui next month after more than 16 years. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hundreds rally for water rights as case draws to close. With chants of “aloha aina,” hundreds of people rallied Tuesday evening at the State Building to protest a possible Mahi Pono move that rally organizers say could derail one of Hawaii’s significant water rights cases. Maui News.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved the State of Hawai‘i’s request for federal aid to contain the Kahana Ridge fire on Maui. FEMA’s Fire Management Assistance Grant Program (FMAGP) offers federal funding for the mitigation, management, and control of fires deemed likely to constitute a major disaster. Maui Now.

Kauai

Changes for traffic tickets. Until a couple weeks ago, drivers on Kauai who either didn’t have a valid license or an auto insurance policy could get penalized twice — once for being uninsured or unlicensed and again for not being able to prove otherwise. Garden Island.

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