Thursday, September 22, 2022

EPA urges caution on Thirty Meter Telescope, Honolulu mulls tax breaks for businesses on rail line, taxpayers may fund abandoned vehicle removal, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Consider TMT changes to lessen impact on Native Hawaiians, EPA urges. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is urging the National Science Foundation to consider alternative construction sites for the Thirty Meter Telescope — and possibly a smaller version of the proposed observatory — in its upcoming environmental review of the controversial project. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Handling of OHA funds leads to questions over CNHA’s bid for tourism contract. Allegations that the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement mismanaged a $1.6 million Office of Hawaiian Affairs contract have surfaced as the dispute over a much larger Hawaii Tourism Authority contract heads beyond the four-month mark. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. Ige Rules Out Special Legislative Session To Fix Court’s Grand Jury Ruling. Gov. David Ige issued a statement Wednesday saying that he would not call the Hawaii Legislature into special session to draft a new law to reverse a recent Hawaii Supreme Court ruling that limits prosecutors’ choices when indicting serious criminals. Civil Beat.

Latest Fed rate hike may also increase jitters in Hawaii’s real estate market. The rise in interest rates is just one of the forces on Hawaii’s real estate market. That rise has pushed some buyers to act more quickly to get an affordable mortgage, while sellers are rethinking their asking price. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Wanted: A bunch of mahimahi stomachs. To fishermen in Hawaii, Pacific mahimahi stomachs hold no particular value and are discarded. But to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists researching mahimahi diet, each stomach tells a unique story and provides an opportunity to help the fish and its environment. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii reports 14 COVID deaths, over 1,100 cases in past week. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Council considers property tax exemptions for businesses along rail line. The Honolulu City Council is considering a measure that would give businesses along the rail line incentives such as expedited permitting and tax exemptions for up to 30 years. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu inching closer to creating historic preservation commission. “Honolulu is the only county in the state that does not have a preservation commission and one of the only major cities in the country without a commission,” councilmember Esther Kiaʻāina said Tuesday. Hawaii Public Radio.

Private financing not needed to build new stadium, Ige says. Gov. David Ige said Wednesday that the $350 million the state Legislature provided during the 2022 session is enough money to build a new Aloha Stadium. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KHON2. KITV4.

Former principal sues Department of Education over threat case. A former principal of Stevenson Middle School has filed a civil suit in U.S. District Court against the state Department of Education, alleging that officials failed to adequately protect her amid violent threats and sexual harassment from an unknown person or people, and retaliated against her for questioning the department’s response. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Has Many Vacant Positions Open On Boards And Commissions. Honolulu officials are looking to fill several positions on city panels, including the new advisory Economic Revitalization Commission, according to a Wednesday news release. Civil Beat. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Bill that would cover cost of removing abandoned vehicles passes first reading. A bill that would allow private property owners to remove free of charge abandoned or derelict vehicles from their land moved one step closer to fruition Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

Volcano skate park repairs in the works.
The Volcano community is taking steps to repair and reopen Hawaii County’s only wooden skate park. Tribune-Herald.

Community Meeting Set For Upolu Well Project In North Kohala. A meeting will take place on Thursday, September 29 at the Kohala Village Hub Barn in order provide an Upolu Well project overview and solicit community input. Big Island Video News.

Signs Stolen: Nene Crossing, Tsunami Route, Scenic Byways. Police say the unique Hawaiʻi signs are being removed along Mamalahoa Highway in the areas of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and the district of Kaʻū. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Maui

Maui Planning Department seeks applicants to fill 22% vacancy
. The Maui County Department of Planning is seeking applicants to fill six newly funded and 12 vacant positions, ranging from clerical to planner and supervisory positions. Maui Now.

Several vacancies in Planning Department delaying permit processing. A 22 percent vacancy rate has contributed to delays in permit processing in Maui County, which is why the Department of Planning is seeking applicants to fill six newly funded positions and 12 vacant positions, ranging from clerical to planner and supervisory positions. Maui News.

Kauai

Facing litigation, Kaua‘i County returns drug treatment facility to Grove Farm. The Kaua‘i County Council voted unanimously Wednesday to deed the facility back to its previous owners, ending the county leadership role in the long struggle to get the center off the ground, which has been marred by struggles finding an operator, legal troubles and a global pandemic. Garden Island.


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