Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Swimming with wild dolphins banned, lawmakers grill Navy over Red Hill, NSF begins environmental review of Thirty Meter Telescope, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Spinner dolphins and swimmers in Hawaii PC:NOAA
NOAA administrator ratifies dolphin swim ban. As litigation over the validity of a rule banning swimming with Hawaiian spinner dolphins continues, NOAA Administrator Richard Spinrad recently ratified the final rule issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service last fall. West Hawaii Today.

Climate change could cost Hawaii billions in infrastructure. Projects that cost tens of billions of dollars. That could be the price tag of hardening and updating Hawaii’s critical infrastructure to combat the impacts of climate change. KHON2.

Environmental nonprofit hopes to find safe solutions to Hawaii's 88,0000 cesspools. More than 88,000 cesspools discharge over 53 million gallons of raw sewage into Hawaii waters each day. KITV4.

How Much Should Hawaii Discount Electric Rates For High-Tech Farmers? A 2019 law aspired to help farmers grow large amounts of food indoors or in greenhouses by providing savings on electricity. But critics say the current proposal falls short. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Lawmakers Took $500k In Campaign Cash This Session Despite Pleas To Ban Campaign Cash During Session. Top brass at the Legislature have bolstered their reelection campaigns with money raised from lobbyists, labor unions and other groups while they make decisions on state policy. Civil Beat.

Hawaii police union endorses Aiona for governor. After planning to remain neutral in the governor’s race, the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers union instead on Tuesday endorsed Republican candidate James “Duke” Aiona — a former two-term lieutenant governor, Honolulu deputy prosecutor and Circuit Court judge — for governor. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Hawaii lawmakers grill top Navy officials on Red Hill defueling. Hawaii lawmakers Tuesday vented their frustration at top Navy officials for not submitting an adequate plan to state regulators for draining their Red Hill fuel facility and questioned the Navy’s lengthy, 2-1/2-year time frame for completing the defueling operation. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Oahu primary election ballots mailed out today. Honolulu elections officials say they plan to start mailing primary election ballots on Wednesday, about six days earlier than initially anticipated. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Army investigating potential ‘unauthorized political event’ on military property. While officials did not disclose who was involved, public records show that three Leeward Oahu candidates held events there that night — District 21 incumbent state Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, District 44 incumbent state Rep. Cedric Gates and District 44 challenger Darius Kila. Hawaii News Now.

Landowner accuses Hawaii paramilitary group of forcing him off his land. A controversial Hawaiian paramilitary group is being accused of squatting on another parcel of land in Kahaluu. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

National Science Foundation launches environmental review of TMT. The National Science Foundation said Tuesday that it is launching a full environmental review of the stalled Thirty Meter Telescope project, a two-year process that could land hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for the TMT. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now.

Council wants details on homeless program. A skeptical council Finance Committee on Tuesday advanced a no-bid $10 a year lease for a homeless shelter in Kona’s Old Industrial Area after officials with the county Housing Office and the nonprofit holding the contract assured council members they would provide more details about the program at the final reading of the measure Aug. 3. West Hawaii Today.

Ookala Post Office to close: Users of the plantation-era site will have to get their mail in Paauilo. The Ookala Post Office is closing at the end of business on July 31, and dozens of seniors who live in the former plantation town on the Hamakua Coast will now have to go to Paauilo to get their mail. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The Maui Council Wants To Create A Safe Space For People Who Live In Their Cars. Several communities across the U.S. have designated parking areas for people to sleep in their vehicles. Maui’s current mayor isn’t so sure about the idea. Civil Beat.

Council to send water authority proposal to ballot. A charter amendment which proponents hope will give residents and the county more of a say and control over water and its resources is headed for the general election ballot in November.  Maui News.

Plans to switch outdoor lighting to help Maui seabirds get shuttered for now. Bill 21 was designed to protect native seabirds from lighting fixtures that could disorient them and even lead to deaths. Maui Now.

State Greenlights New Dialysis Center In Kahului. The Hawaii Department of Health has approved a certificate of need for a new dialysis center in central Maui. Civil Beat.

Gov. Ige participates in ceremonies for two Maui affordable housing projects with state funding. On Tuesday, Gov. David Ige participated in ceremonies marking milestones for two Maui affordable housing projects – the dedication of the recently completed Kahului Lani senior affordable project in Kahului and the ground blessing for the family-oriented affordable Kaiāulu o Kūku’ia complex in Lahaina. Maui Now.

Kauai

Suit filed to clean up Kikiaola Harbor. Last week, Na Kia‘i Kai and Surfrider Foundation, represented by Earthjustice, filed a federal lawsuit against the County of Kaua‘i and director of the state Department of Health for failing to abide by a prior federal court order requiring a federal Clean Water Act permit to discharge polluted water into Kikiaola Harbor and the nearby ocean. Garden Island.

Kauaʻi residents want on-island substance abuse treatment options for their keiki. On Kauaʻi, there is no on-island option for substance abuse treatment for children. Oftentimes, that means kids and young adults have to travel elsewhere for help — and are split up from their loved ones. Hawaii Public Radio.

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