Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Senate to tackle climate change, Big Island geothermal expansion advances, new gun laws stir Honolulu residents, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Briefing to be held to discuss threats climate change poses to Hawaii. A joint Informational Briefing will be held at the State Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 11, by Senator Mike Gabbard, Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Environment, and Representative Nicole Lowe, Chair of the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection. KHON2.

Here’s why Hawaiʻi’s new pay transparency law might not affect your employer. Act 203 requires that companies must put a reasonable salary range or hourly rate in their job listings. Exempt are internal promotions or transfers, public sector employees subject to collective bargaining agreements, and companies with 50 or more employees. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Governor Will Seek More Funds To Update Financial Management System. Gov. Josh Green’s administration plans to ask lawmakers for more money to replace an outdated financial management system, saying the project will cost $60 million after it stalled last year when the state terminated its troubled contract with a vendor. Civil Beat.

Invasive species are top of mind for Department of Agriculture this legislative session.
Managing invasive species is a top priority for the state Department of Agriculture in the upcoming legislative session. Hawaii Public Radio.


Council panel OKs federal plan to fund rail. On a split vote, the City Council’s budget committee Tuesday approved a federal agreement to fund Skyline’s ongoing construction to a planned station in Kakaako. On a split vote, the City Council’s budget committee Tuesday approved a federal agreement to fund Skyline’s ongoing construction to a planned station in Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

Public hearing set for proposed changes to affordable housing rules. A public hearing on proposed amendments to the city’s Affordable Housing Requirement Rules is scheduled for Friday morning.  Star-Advertiser.

The public shares concerns with HPD on newly enacted state laws on guns. As the Honolulu Police Department weighs compliance with newly enacted state laws, gun owners Tuesday flooded a hearing to weigh in on rules that will govern where firearms are not allowed, and the requirements for permits and licenses. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu mayor appoints new Homeless Coordinator. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has appointed a new homeless coordinator for the City’s Department of Community Services. On Tuesday, they announced Sam Moku was selected for the role. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiʻi's largest energy storage project now online in Kapolei. After several delays, the utility-scale battery farm kicked off commercial operations shortly before the holidays.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Navy Releases Nearly 2 Million Gallons Of Partially Treated Wastewater Off Pearl Harbor.
The latest incident at its sewage treatment plant happened after heavy rains knocked out a power transformer. Civil Beat.

Red Hill task force will soon begin removing residual fuel from pipelines. Joint Task Force - Red Hill completed defueling the storage tanks last month, but approximately 64,000 gallons remain in the pipelines from that process. Hawaii Public Radio.

5 power sources linked to blackouts
. Hawaiian Electric avoided a second straight evening of rolling blackouts across Oahu on Tuesday, but the power shutoffs Monday substantiated prior concerns about the company’s shift to more renewable energy. Star-Advertiser.

Ewa Beach Residents Left In The Dark About Possible Lead Contamination From Marines’ Shooting Range. A state lawmaker is refusing to share a taxpayer-funded lab report while endorsing a Marine-backed plan community leaders oppose.  Civil Beat.

Amid worrisome surge, Queen’s West sees more ER visits than state’s largest hospital. The emergency room at The Queen’s Medical Center West Oahu is so inundated it now gets more daily visits than Queen’s Punchbowl, the state’s largest hospital. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Puna Geothermal Venture expansion moves ahead.
PGV’s long-awaited “repower” project, which will boost the facility’s energy production from 38 megawatts to 46 by replacing energy converters with more efficient ones, passed one of its final hurdles Monday when the final draft of an environmental impact statement covering the project was published, anticipating “no unavoidable adverse long-term impacts.” Tribune-Herald.

2 Big Island inmates charged after fatal fentanyl overdose.
Hawaii County police are awaiting toxicology results in the suspected fentanyl overdose death Thursday of a 56-year-old Hilo inmate whose 41-year-old cellmate, Izaiah Shields, allegedly smuggled fentanyl inside his body onto a plane and into the Hawaii Community Correctional Center. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Woman fined for stealing nene gosling from state park. A 58-year-old woman was convicted for stealing a nene gosling from Wailoa State Recreation Area last March and sentenced Tuesday in Hilo Environmental Court. Tribune-Herald.


Unspent Funds Could Fill Maui’s $31 Million Budget Hole.
The Bissen administration won't have more precise figures until at least next month, but county officials expect a rosier outlook. Civil Beat.

8 people rescued aboard foreign flagged sail boat that ran aground off Lahaina, Maui.
The US Coast Guard and local agencies are responding to a foreign flagged sailing vessel that ran aground near Lahaina, Maui on Monday. Maui Now.

Scores of residents still can’t sift their Lahaina properties for belongings. Maui’s burn zones fully reopened last month, allowing thousands an opportunity for closure. But some residents still haven’t been allowed to sift through their homes.  Hawaii News Now.


Nakamura named Act 279 Working Group chair.
Hawai‘i House Majority Leader Nadine K. Nakamura of Kaua‘i (District 15) was named chair of a legislative working group, whose role will be to oversee the execution of millions of dollars aimed at whittling down a beneficiary waiting list for housing. Garden Island.

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