Showing posts with label DuPont. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DuPont. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New rules advanced for Mauna Kea access as Thirty Meter Telescope construction to resume, Hawaii gets pass from No Child Left Behind, GMO seed industry falters, Waipahu rail work to close roads, Maui council overrides mayor's budget veto, Kauai mulls county manager government, water rates rise on Big Island, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Sunset on Mauna Kea © 2015 All Hawaii News
The Office of Mauna Kea Management is rolling out a set of rules that will for the first time give the office the legal tools to govern public and commercial access on the mountain. West Hawaii Today.

An ‘ahu or altar has gone up on the summit of Mauna Kea as protesters who say they're standing in protection of Native Hawaiian sacred space prepare for construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope to resume Wednesday morning. Hawaii News Now.

Thirty Meter Telescope construction crews will not only confront protesters in the road to the summit of Mauna Kea on Wednesday, but apparently also at least one rock altar constructed near the work site. Star-Advertiser.

A day before construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope was expected to resume, opponents made their way to the summit of Hawaii’s tallest mountain Tuesday to build a second ahu, or stone altar, within the project boundary. Tribune-Herald.

After being put on hold for more than two months, work to build the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea is set to restart. The project has already felt the resistance, and now, it'll have to face it again. KITV4.

Multiple modifications have been made to the University of Hawaii's and the state of Hawaii’s approach to Mauna Kea on the Big Island, the Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory Board said. Pacific Business News.

In the hours before the Thirty Meter Telescope project will attempt to restart construction on Mauna Kea after months of delay, the office of Governor David Ige issued the following statement. Big Island Video News.

Dozens of people are sleeping on Mauna Kea Tuesday night. Many are calling themselves the protectors of the mountain, and dozens more are expected by Wednesday morning. KHON2.

The U.S. Department of Education on Tuesday renewed Hawaii's waiver from mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind law, allowing the state to continue evaluating public schools on a state-developed accountability system known as Strive HI. Star-Advertiser.

The Obama administration is giving seven more states and the District of Columbia more flexibility from the requirements of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind education law. In addition to Washington, Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Tuesday renewed waivers for Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, New York, and West Virginia. Associated Press.

What Is Really Being Sustained by 100 Percent Renewable Energy? Two UH economists raise concerns that subsidizing local alternative energy production might be a fiscal drain that is about paying off special interests. Civil Beat.

The leader of a white supremacist group said to have influenced the Charleston, S.C., church shooting suspect contributed $2,000 to the campaign of Charles Djou, the former Hawaii congressman. Civil Beat.

With construction of 3 miles of the rail guideway from East Kapolei completed, crews will now move into areas populated by businesses and residents to begin constructing the guideway in Waipahu. Star-Advertiser.

Retired bank executive Don Horner has been reappointed to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s board of directors by Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Star-Advertiser.

PVT Land Co., which owns the only construction and demolition debris management facility on Oahu, plans to expand its West Oahu facility as it focuses more on recycling and generation of feedstock for renewable energy, according to public documents. Pacific Business News.

Honolulu’s Mayor has been engaged in an ongoing verbal battle with the Chair of the nine-member City Council. Their latest exchange was over the City’s 2-billion dollar budget which passed without the Mayor’s signature.  As Hawaii Public Radio’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, this could be only the beginning of a long political rivalry.

Protesters lined Kamehameha Highway near Kualoa Regional Park several times in the past week to block sheriff’s deputies from enforcing a court-ordered eviction and removing members of an extended Hawaiian family from a disputed parcel of land on Johnson Road. Civil Beat.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Health are giving the public more time to comment on a proposal to better prevent and detect leaks from 20 giant fuel storage tanks near Pearl Harbor. Star-Advertiser.

Those with plans to buy Fourth of July firecrackers could be out of luck. Permits to use firecrackers on the holiday are on sale through Wednesday, but having a permit doesn't mean you'll be able to find fireworks in a store. Star-Advertiser.

After investing nearly $1.4 million to open a dune buggy rental shop on Oahu's North Shore, Matt Brown was blindsided earlier this year when he found out Hawaii law won't allow him to rent his gas-powered vehicles. Star-Advertiser.


The county Water Board, meeting Tuesday in Hilo, unanimously approved a five-year water rate plan that hikes rates 3 percent on July 1, followed by 4 percent next year and then 5 percent annually for the next three years. West Hawaii Today.

Nearly two miles and more than $110,000 worth of ungulate-proof fencing on the Big Island was cut and destroyed by vandals recently. West Hawaii Today.

Kamehameha Schools plans to begin demolition of the shuttered Keauhou Beach Hotel in early 2016 as the trust moves forward with plans for its educational complex known as Kahaluu Ma Kai. West Hawaii Today.

With the clock ticking down, the Maui County Council on Monday voted to override Mayor Alan Arakawa's line-item veto of a provision in the budget that takes effect July 1 that limits spending in county departments to specific accounts. Maui News.

Maui County deals with beach erosion. KITV4.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and the County of Maui’s Immigrant Services Division will be hosting three “Information Sessions” later this week for immigrants. The workshops will cover “employment eligibility, green cards, naturalization, petition for relatives and other issues,” according to a June 22 news release from the county. MauiTime.

The Friends of Joe Blackburn will be selling kalua pig for $8 a pound, as he plans another run for the Maui County Council's Wailuku-Waihee-Waikapu residency seat. Maui News.

Honolulu media outlets are looking to Maui as the implementation date of their plastic bag ban nears the July 1, 2015 start date. Maui Now.


Idled trucks and tractors are spread out in a field behind DuPont Pioneer’s parent seed facility in Kekaha, a small town on the west side of Kauai. The noise of a generator is the only hint of activity at the site where researchers have worked for years growing genetically modified seeds used to create hybrid crops. Civil Beat.

The Kauai County Council will form a subcommittee to study the possibility of switching to a county manager system of government. Garden Island.

Mayor Bernhard Carvalho, Jr. signed the B&B bill on Friday, making it more difficult for Kauai residents to earn income by renting out rooms in their home on a short-term basis. Garden Island.

A $3.5 million project aimed at removing 2,500 albizia trees along Kuhio Highway between Kalihiwai and Kahiliholo roads was pushed back to next year. The project, originally scheduled for April, was suspended as tree removal coincided with the birthing season of the Hawaiian hoary bat and the breeding season of the Hawaiian shearwater. Garden Island.

Nearly 20 picketers outside the entrance to the Kauai Humane Society Tuesday protested the firing of two employees and called for the removal of KHS Executive Director Penny Cistaro. Garden Island.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Hawaii turns Obamacare program over to feds, House speaker tries to hobble ethics director, teachers challenge union election decision, tuition hikes scaled back, military beefed up, layoffs for Kaho'olawe Island commission, Hawaii hospitals, Kaui DuPont workers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

By AlaskaDave (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Waimanolo Beach, photo by Alaska Dave
Waimanalo Bay Beach Park was named the top beach on an annual top 10 list of U.S. beaches compiled by a coastal science professor known as Dr. Beach. Associated Press.

Hawaii is switching its Obamacare program to the federal exchange, meaning 37,000 residents insured through the Hawaii Health Connector will have to re-enroll via the federal marketplace for coverage in 2016, Gov. David Ige's administration confirmed Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

House Speaker Joe Souki is calling on the Hawaii State Ethics Commission to reject many of the new policies it has put in place since Les Kondo became its executive director in 2011. The five-member commission has been reviewing Kondo’s performance over the past four months, his first formal evaluation in three years, and plans to take up the issue at its next meeting Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Three teachers who say they won the Hawaii State Teachers Association election plan to go to court on Tuesday to try and force the union to uphold the already counted election results, unless the organization takes action on its own before then. Civil Beat.

The man who won the election last month to become the next president of the state's teacher union said he will go to court to prevent union leaders from throwing out the results and holding another vote. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige has approved a final payment to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser to cover lawyers' fees in a lawsuit the newspaper filed to force former Gov. Neil Abercrombie to disclose the names of nominees for appointments as state judges.

The State Auditor has released a follow-up to its 2012 report on the state Department of Education’s transportation woes. That audit slammed the DOE for numerous problems related to how it managed its school bus services and made 20 recommendations for improvement. Civil Beat.

The Army's commander in the Pacific said Thursday one of his top priorities is incorporating the growth of U.S. soldiers assigned to the region. Over 100,000 soldiers are now assigned to the U.S. Pacific Command, Gen. Vincent Brooks said in an interview. That's up from about 80,000 before President Barack Obama implemented his policy of "rebalancing" U.S. attention to the Asia-Pacific region, he said. Associated Press.

Tourism numbers would seem to be at all-time highs, but a deeper dive into the data shows that the visitor spending may not be as rosy as it appears. Hawaii Public Radio.

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents on Thursday took the unusual step of scaling back tuition increases for the next two school years in an effort to keep tuition affordable. Star-Advertiser.

UH regents vote to divest from fossil fuels. The University of Hawaii, with 53,000 total students, is now the largest university in the world to have divested from the fossil fuel industry so far. Hawaii Independent.


An updated master plan for the Hawaii State Hospital includes development of a new 150-bed long-term care facility on the site of the Bishop Building located near the front of the Kaneohe campus, a state official said. Star-Advertiser.

Don’t expect a quick decision on whether the City Council will override Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s veto of Bill 6, legislation that would have expanded the city’s sit-lie law beyond business and commercial districts. On Thursday, Council Chairman Ernie Martin said he and his colleagues would review the mayor’s offer to work on a different version of the bill before deciding their next step. KITV4.


The West Hawaii region of the Hawaii Health Systems Corp. is planning layoffs to address budget shortfalls. But it is not yet clear what the reduction in force will look like, or how it will impact services at Kona Community and Kohala hospitals. West Hawaii Today.

A task force is taking on a troublesome bike lane design on Queen Kaahumanu Highway where it passes through Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

The first of several fee increases at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park kicks in June 1. While entrance fees will increase annually in $5 increments from its current price of $10 per vehicle to $25 in 2017, the annual Tri-Park Pass will remain at $25 until 2017, when it will jump to $30. The vehicle pass is valid for seven days. Tribune-Herald.


Laying off half of its staff and periodically closing the Kahoolawe base camp may be in the future for the Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission. Maui News.

The state Department of Transportation hopes emergency funds from the federal government will help make shoreline repairs to the Olowalu section of Honoapiilani Highway, but residents insist the department focus its efforts, and money, on moving the highway mauka to the planned Lahaina bypass. Maui News.

Stock price for Maui-based software firm Code Rebel soars after IPO. Code Rebel is the first Hawaii-based technology company to have an initial public offering in 10 years. Pacific Business News.

Maui’s Hāmoa Beach in the remote east end of the island has once again claimed a spot on the top 10 Best Beaches in America list compiled by Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, a professor at Florida International University. Maui Now.


Seed company DuPont Pioneer has laid off 23 employees on Kauai as part of a plan to consolidate a parent seed facility in Kekaha with one in Waialua on Oahu, officials said Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Global seed giant DuPont Pioneer is shuttering its Kekaha facility and serving pink slips to 34 workers in a move company officials say will help streamline operations. Garden Island.

The Pacific Missile Range Facility is earmarked to receive $30 million in the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill for fiscal year 2016 on Thursday by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Garden Island.

An endangered monk seal is set to return to Kauai shores today after veterinarians on Oahu removed a large fish hook from its esophagus. Garden Island.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Court upholds Hawaii ban on contractors' campaign donations, Caldwell to veto Honolulu homeless bill, DuPont shutters Kauai facility, Kenoi touts $99M bond issue, Maui bus fare hikes cut, monk seal flown to Oahu to remove fish hook, rebuilding trust in police, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii police on parade © 2015 All Hawaii News
State lawmakers are hoping to rebuild public trust in the state's police departments by increasing state oversight and changing policies. But a number of bills that aimed to reform the law enforcement community died during the 2015 session. Associated Press.

A federal appeals court panel on Wednesday upheld Hawaii's ban on political donations by state and county contractors. The three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco also upheld the state's transparency laws allowing the public to "follow the money" in campaign contributions. Star-Advertiser.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Hawaii law that prohibits government contractors from giving political donations to state and county candidates, finding that the ban eliminates both actual and perceived corruption. Local electrical construction firm, A-1-A Lectrician, first challenged the law in 2010, saying the state’s campaign finance laws violated its First Amendment rights because it barred contractors from donating to candidates and lawmakers not directly overseeing contract awards and decisions. Civil Beat.

Emergency Money Made Easy, If You’re a Democratic Governor. David Ige, like Neil Abercrombie, had no problem securing funding from Hawaii lawmakers to get his new administration up and running — without providing detailed requests. That wasn't the case for Republican Linda Lingle. Civil Beat.

Leadership changes in the state senate will have a big impact on the next legislative session. The new president of the senate, Ron Kouchi, is an unusual leader in several ways, including the fact that he comes from a neighbor island. Hawaii Public Radio.

Gov. David Ige’s public schedule is now available online, making it easier to keep tabs on where he’s going and who he’s seeing. His predecessor, former Gov. Neil Abercrombie, had provided a similar service in the form of weekly public calendars. But until now, tracking Ige’s whereabouts over the past six months since he took office had proven a bit challenging. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association says an election held last month for union leaders will not count because some teachers never got their ballots. So the state’s 13,500 public school teachers will have to vote all over again next month, and some, including the candidates, are not happy about it. KHON2.

U.S. Marines and sailors are demonstrating for military leaders from around the Pacific how to land troops on a beach. Associated Press.

The final vote to decide whether the University of Hawaii will divest from the fossil fuel industry will take place today. A “Yes” vote would make the UH System, with 53,000 total students, the largest university in the world to divest so far. Hawaii Independent.

Veterinarians with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday assessed a Hawaiian monk seal for a procedure to remove a fishhook it swallowed. Star-Advertiser.

An endangered Hawaiian monk seal was transported from Kauai to Oahu after the animal swallowed a fish hook. The Coast Guard said Wednesday crews working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration used an HC-130 Hercules airplane to move the injured seal to Oahu for medical treatment. Associated Press.

Hawaiian Airlines will end its service to Sendai, Japan, in September, citing low growth in the market. Pacific Business News.


Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he plans to veto an expansion of the sit-lie laws, which prohibit people from sitting or lying at specific times in areas of Waikiki, Chinatown and downtown that are zoned for commercial and business activities. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council members want Mayor Kirk Caldwell to consider the Hilo Hattie flagship store site in Iwilei as the location for a homeless transition shelter. Star-Advertiser.

An additional five properties along Oahu's future elevated transit line could be on track for full or partial seizures by eminent domain. The board overseeing the island's 20-mile, 21-station rail project will consider passing resolutions to start condemnation procedures for the latest properties during its regular meeting Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

A jetty off of Queen's Beach in Waikiki has become a popular spot for feeding fish. But some see a connection between the practice and recent shark sightings nearby. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu City Council is including funding in the City’s Budget to combat the growing populations of noisy animals in communities island-wide. Hawaii Public Radio.


Mayor Billy Kenoi is proposing the county take on an additional $99 million in debt to build a host of new projects during his final 18 months in office. West Hawaii Today.

If common ground was found during a talk-story session Tuesday evening about the Thirty Meter Telescope, it’s that Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners and astronomers can view Mauna Kea as a source of knowledge. But regarding how the mountain should be used, speakers at the event were light years apart. Tribune-Herald.

The controversial $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope project may be sputtering on the ground in Hawaii but elsewhere it appears to be all systems go. Star-Advertiser.

Administrators of East Hawaii’s health care system said patient care was their No. 1 concern as they weighed cutting employees and services to meet an anticipated $7 million shortfall in the coming fiscal year. Hawaii Health Systems Corp.’s East Hawaii Region announced Tuesday night it would cut multiple services and lay off 87 employees. The cuts will impact Hilo Medical Center, Ka‘u Hospital and Hale Hoola Hamakua. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County and the National Park Service appear as far apart as ever on the question of how the Keauhou aquifer should be managed. West Hawaii Today.

A Rat Lungworm Awareness Forum was held at the Pahoa Community Center this past Sunday, and the topic drew a large crowd of concerned residents. Big Island Video News.


Proposed fare hikes for the Maui Bus will be excised from the county budget, currently under consideration by the County Council, if a recommendation from the council's budget committee chairman is accepted. Maui News.

The entrance fees to Haleakalā National Park will undergo a staggered increase over the next three years to meet national standards for parks with similar visitor amenities. Maui Now.

Maui County Business Resource Center presents Starting a Business in Maui County with Karen Arakawa this Tuesday, May 26. MauiTime.


Global seed company DuPont Pioneer has shut down its facility in Kekaha, Kauai and plans to consolidate its parent seed operations with another facility in Waialua on the North Shore of Oahu. Laurie Yoshida, spokeswoman for the company, said that DuPont Pioneer has laid off 23 employees and plans to lay off 11 more once the closure is complete. Civil Beat.

The Kauai Police Department is seeking grants for 105 Axon cameras for officers to wear. It would cost an estimated $124,000 annually to equip officers with cameras, although details on when those devices could be online on Kauai hasn’t been hashed out. Garden Island.


Sea Link of Hawaii withdrew last week its petition to reduce its twice-daily ferry route between Molokai and Maui and intends to submit a new petition to run the ferry only on an "as-needed" basis, according to company President and Senior Capt. Dave Jung. Maui News.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Honolulu rail to run over burials, Tulsi Gabbard to wed on Oahu, beaches eroding, Kauai pesticide dispute in court, VA delays longest on neighbor islands, Ige, Hirono address Big Island concerns, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation
Honolulu rail transit map, courtesy HART
Rail workers have reportedly uncovered 14 distinct sets of iwi kupuna, or ancestral human remains, in the path of Oahu's future rail transit line so far. This week island burial leaders endorsed a plan for most of those remains to stay protected where they lie. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is inviting the public to comment on a draft of its updated recreation plan. The department reviews the plan every five years to assess Hawaii's outdoor recreation needs and priorities. The review helps ensure Hawaii is eligible to receive federal grants. Associated Press.

Delays for medical appointments at Veterans Affairs facilities are shorter than the national average across much of Hawaii, but that's not true of the neighbor islands. Associated Press.

The Senate Water and Land Committee, chaired by Sen. Laura Thielen, has set a hearing for 2:45 p.m., April 17, to consider the appointment of Suzanne Case to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Unlike Gov. David Ige’s last nomination for that job, Carleton Ching, this one is expected to clear the committee with ease and go on to pass the full Senate. Civil Beat.

A state House bill that aims to create a regulated medical marijuana dispensary system throughout Hawaii made progress Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

If your state tax refund is taking longer this year, you have plenty of company. The state says processing those refunds is taking longer this year because there are new procedures to prevent tax fraud. KHON2.

Liquefied natural gas, which is scheduled to be shipped into Hawaii in bulk amounts for power generation purposes as a replacement to oil, is not economical for the state, the head of Par Petroleum, which owns Hawaii’s largest oil refinery, told Pacific Business News on Wednesday.


Oahu has lost one-fourth of its beaches and of those remaining, about 70 percent are eroding. If state and county officials don’t start working to conserve what’s left of the sandy shoreline, most of the island’s beaches could disappear by the end of the century, say scientists. Civil Beat.

Wedding bells will ring as U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and fiance Abraham Williams tie the knot Thursday at a historic site in Kahaluu. Hawaii News Now.

Relocating Hawai’i’s largest prison is gaining support at the State Capitol.   Lawmakers are proposing land swaps and partnerships to minimize the use of taxpayer money. Hawaii Public Radio.

On Tuesday, the Senate Ways and Means Committee voted 8-2 to advance House Bill 134, which would extend the rail tax by five years, through 2027. It would also limit those tax dollars to building the project; the money wouldn't be used for operations. Star-Advertiser.

Humanity amid the savagery of war demonstrated 70 years ago in the Battle of Okinawa is being re-emphasized by the Battleship Missouri Memorial with a new exhibit on the kamikaze pilots whose suicide runs wreaked havoc on Allied ships late in World War II. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu-based Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii was cleared of wrongdoing by the Hawaii County Board of Ethics on Wednesday after the executive director apologized for what she called an oversight when she and two other employees failed to register as lobbyists. West Hawaii Today.

A Hawaii County ethics complaint filed against Mayor Billy Kenoi and Finance Director Deanna Sako over Kenoi's use of his county-issued purchasing card will be handled by the Maui County Corporation Counsel's Office "to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest," Hawaii County Corporation Counsel Molly A. Stebbins said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

“I want to take full responsibility of the issues of the government pCard,” Kenoi started off during this 16 and a half minute press conference, shared with us courtesy Hawaii News Now. The press conference was held on April 1, 2015 on Oahu. Big Island Video News.

Gov. David Ige panned state management of the Keauhou aquifer, called for quicker action on federally funded highway projects and praised his most recent pick to head the department that oversees state lands on Wednesday. Speaking at a Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Ige also explained that he’ll use a weeklong “time-out” on the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope to carefully listen to all sides. West Hawaii Today.

U.S. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden and U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono got a firsthand look Wednesday at two major problems facing Hawaii Island’s forests as they stood on a dirt road near Pu‘u Kali‘u in Puna. Tribune-Herald.

The principal of Honokaa High and Intermediate School is under fire from some teachers and parents and is the target of a rare-but-significant class-action grievance filed by the public school teachers' union. Hawaii News Now.

The first phase of construction for 118 Department of Hawaiian Homelands’ units in Kona will take a few months longer to finish than originally expected. The Lai Opua Village 4 Akau Subdivision project in Kealakehe should be complete by September as opposed to this summer, DHHL project manager Jeff Fujimoto said. Fujimoto said the delay is due to the discovery of lava tubes in the area. West Hawaii Today.


A Hawaii Senate joint committee on Wednesday approved an amended House bill that would allow Maui state hospitals to enter a business partnership with a private entity. Pacific Business News.

The Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce hosts Maui Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu this Tuesday at the Maui Tropical Plantation. MauiTime.


A trial is underway in a lawsuit by a group of Kauai residents who are suing a major seed company over genetically modified crop fields they say blow pesticide-laden dust onto their homes. KITV4.

It's all about dust — red dust. That's the focus of a dispute between some Waimea, Kauai, residents and GMO seed producer DuPont Pioneer, the residents' lawyer said Wednesday in opening statements of a civil trial. Star-Advertiser.

Libraries are never out of date, said Lani Kawahara, branch manager at the Kapaa Public Library. Garden Island.