Showing posts with label The Nature Conservancy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Nature Conservancy. Show all posts

Monday, December 21, 2015

Gov. Ige to unveil state budget today, Obama hikes on windy weekend, AH-64 Apache attack helicopter squadron coming to Oahu, Maui council hires attorney to fight mayor, Kauai landfill woes, low wages on the Big Island, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

AH-64D Apache Longbow, courtesy U.S. Army
When Gov. David Ige unveils his administration’s supplemental budget on Monday, the possibilities for exciting new programs or projects will be limited by Act 268, a groundbreaking law he helped craft in 2013. The new law requires the state and counties to bank hundreds of millions of dollars each year to pay for future public worker and retiree health benefits. Star-Advertiser.

Tax modernization is a key part of Gov. David Ige’s vision to make government more effective and efficient — in this case, finding ways to collect money that already should be coming into state coffers but, for various reasons, is not. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige will be releasing his outline for how he wants the state to spend its money in the upcoming year. Ige plans to submit his proposed budget to lawmakers Monday. Associated Press.

The state has had some trouble getting straight numbers from the Hawaii Health Connector, Gov. David Ige told Pacific Business News in a recent interview.

Members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation are applauding Hawaii’s take in the $1.1 trillion federal spending bill, which includes spending increases in nearly all categories for the Aloha State. Associated Press.

President Barack Obama spent a windswept Sunday hiking along a popular trail system and dining at one of his favorite Waikiki restaurants. Star-Advertiser.

On the second day of their holiday vacation, President Obama and the First Family went hiking Sunday morning on the Makiki loop trail at the Hawaii Nature Center. KHON2.

State honors Filipino immigrants. The young men, known as “sakadas,” were not the first Filipinos in Hawaii, but they were the first specifically recruited by the Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association to work on the plantations. Star-Advertiser.

Ulalia Woodside, a veteran of the conservation arena in the islands, has been selected as the next executive director of the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii, succeeding Suzanne Case, who departed in April to head the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Star-Advertiser.

2015 has been an active year in Hawai‘i’s business world.  From stories of development and planning to transportation and electricity, actions taken this year will help determine the future of the state. Hawaii Public Radio.


A new AH-64 Apache attack helicopter squadron and hundreds of jobs at Wheeler Army Airfield are back on track with the passage Friday of a $1.1 trillion government spending bill. Star-Advertiser.

A Honolulu proposal to classify Uber and Lyft as taxicab companies, which was drafted with the help of taxi owners, would be among the most aggressive measures a city has taken to regulate ride-hailing companies, according to industry observers. Star-Advertiser.

Two Honolulu council members want ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft to operate more like taxi companies. Associated Press.

So many donations and gifts have been pouring into The Harbor this month that leaders of Hawaii’s largest and most unusual homeless community loaded up a truck Sunday afternoon with clothing and blankets to share with a church-run homeless camp a few miles away. Civil Beat.


Hawaii County residents earn less than their counterparts on the other Hawaiian Islands, an earning gap that remains even among people with the lowest education levels who typically land at the bottom of the pay scale, according to data released this month by the U.S. Census Bureau. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County in November continued to notch the highest rate of unemployment in the state. West Hawaii Today.

The statue of King Kamehameha the Great in Hilo has its spear again. The ihe was restored to the Wailoa State Park landmark in a rainy ceremony held Saturday at noon, with the help of the Hawaii County Fire Department ladder truck. Big Island Video News.

A harsh but unassuming aa lava field that contains one of the island’s most significant historical sites is “just inches” away from being forever in public hands. The $4.25 million needed to buy the 47-acre Kuamoo Battlefield and Burial Grounds in Keauhou has now been raised. West Hawaii Today.

Farmers operating with expired land licenses have signed new 15-year agreements with the buyer of some 6,000 acres around Pahala and Naalehu, of which the Moaula coffee lands are a portion. West Hawaii Today.


The Maui County Council Committee of the Whole voted 6-1 Friday to recommend hiring a special counsel for representation or a second opinion in council disputes with the administration of Mayor Alan Arakawa. Maui News.

Maui's only veterans cemetery is quickly running out of space, and veterans fear it could run out of room by early next year if expansion work is not resumed soon. Maui News.

Maui County Council members voted 7-1 Friday to give final approval to the repeal of a section of an ordinance regulating ocean recreational activity permits. Maui News.


Like a giant rubbish bin stuffed to the brim, Kauai’s landfill is nearly chock-full. It’s a several hundred million dollar problem with a solution as clear as it is complex: The island’s 81,000 tons of annual waste need a new burial ground. Garden Island.

Kauai County officials are drafting an environmental impact statement for a new landfill to replace the one in Kekaha that is expected to reach capacity in about 10 more years. Hawaii News Now.

The county is asking for input on how to elect councilmembers through a four-question survey available online. It’s not a new issue. In fact, the question was on the ballot in 1982, 1996 and 2006: “Do we elect members of our County Council with the current at-large system where the entire island votes for all seven members, or switch to a districting system?” Garden Island.


Maui County officials are seeking a private developer to build 400-unit affordable housing project on the island of Lanai. Associated Press.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Ige declares time out for Thirty Meter Telescope, Nature Conservancy director named DLNR chair, Maui mayor proposes electricity takeover, Honolulu rail tax clears committee, lawmakers mull marijuana dispensaries, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy Occupy Hilo Media
Mauna Kea telescope protesters file photo courtesy Occupy Hilo Media
Protesters on Mauna Kea welcomed a weeklong moratorium on construction of the world's largest telescope Tuesday but said they aren't letting their guard down and will continue to keep vigil at the 9,200-foot level. Star-Advertiser.

Construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea is on hold for at least a week as protests over the $1.4 billion project continue to mount. Hawaii Gov. David Ige told reporters Tuesday that there will be a “timeout” to facilitate a dialogue. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday that the nonprofit corporation behind the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea agreed to his request for a weeklong halt of construction. The stand down came five days after law enforcement officials arrested 31 people who participated in an ongoing protest of the $1.4 billion project. Tribune Herald.

Hawai‘i Governor David Ige has announced a week-long "time out" for construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Governor Ige says he came to this decision after speaking with major stakeholders in the project. Hawaii Public Radio.

Governor David Ige announced at a press conference Tuesday that construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea will ‘pause' for a week. He's hoping the next seven days will ease tensions and increase dialogue between stakeholders over the construction of the thirty meter telescope. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday that construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop one of the most sacred sites for native Hawaiians would come to a halt, at least temporarily. Ige characterized the one-week pause in construction as a “timeout.” KITV4.

In a seemingly abrupt about-face after the first major controversy of his administration, Gov. David Ige nominated longtime conservationist Suzanne Case on Tuesday as the new chairwoman of the state Board of Land and Natural Resources — a selection that quickly won praise from members of the state's environmental community. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige has appointed Suzanne Case to head the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, ending weeks of speculation. The governor withdrew his previous nominee, Carleton Ching, three weeks ago amid mounting public opposition over his ties to developers and lack of experience for a job that requires leading a department comprised of 10 divisions and nearly 900 employees. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige on Tuesday nominated Suzanne Case, the longtime head of The Nature Conservancy in Hawaii, to lead the state Department of Land and Natural Resources after withdrawing his first nomination, Castle & Cooke Hawaii executive Carleton Ching, due to backlash from environmental groups. Pacific Business News.

Today Governor David Ige announced his new nomination to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources (subject to confirmation by the Senate), Suzanne Case, and the widespread opposition to Ige’s previous choice, developer-lobbyist Carleton Ching, is calling the choice a win for Hawaii. Hawaii Independent.

Governor David Ige on Tuesday announced his nomination to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources and his choices for the Board of Education. The appointments are subject to confirmation by the Senate. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday his nomination to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources and his choices for the Board of Education. KITV4.

Gov. David Ige on Tuesday appointed a banking executive and two former public-school educators to the state Board of Education. Ige named Lance Mizumoto, president and chief banking officer of Central Pacific Bank, to the board along with longtime Kauai educator Margaret Cox and former teacher Hubert Minn. Star-Advertiser.

Spending by special interest groups lobbying lawmakers during the first part of the current legislative session is running well below last year’s pace, according to reports filed last week with the Hawaii State Ethics Commission. The more than 200 interest groups with registered lobbyists reported spending a total of $832,808 during the period from Jan. 1 to Feb. 28. Civil Beat.

Student lunch prices will to go up by 25 cents in the fall to $2.75 for high-schoolers and to $2.50 for elementary and intermediate students, the first price increases since 2011. Breakfast prices will go up by 10 cents to $1.10 and $1.20 for elementary and secondary students, respectively. Department of Education officials cited increases in food and labor costs, which have pushed up meal expenses by more than 17 percent in the last five years. The move is expected to raise an additional $1.7 million a year for the food services branch. Star-Advertiser.

A state House bill attempting to create a regulated medical marijuana dispensary system throughout Hawaii will be reviewed by its final committees today. House Bill 321 establishes a system of medical marijuana dispensaries in the state and puts limits on the amount that can be purchased. The legislation also prohibits counties from enacting zoning regulations that prevent the use of land for licensed dispensaries. West Hawaii Today.

More than 4,000 charge cards under the pCard program are in the hands of government workers, ranging from secretaries to department heads and politicians. But the oversight of the pCards is left largely to individual agencies — something that the state auditor raised questions about when examining the program in 2010. Star-Advertiser.

Aiming to reduce the 55 million gallons of raw sewage that enters the ground daily — and makes its way into Hawaii’s drinking water — state lawmakers are pressing forward with a bill that would ease the financial pain of converting to modern waste disposal systems. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii legislators’ efforts to address the state’s affordable housing crisis may barely make a dent in the huge demand for homes. Civil Beat.

In June, former Governor Linda Lingle begins her new job as COO for Illinois. As for Hawaii politics, Lingle believes the Republican Party will eventually cut into Democratic dominance, the way it did when she was GOP chair and then governor. Hawaii News Now.

A new report says foreign students studying in Hawaii are contributing hundreds of millions to the state's economy. The report released Tuesday by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism says foreign students made a direct economic impact of more than $205 million during the current school year. Associated Press.


The Senate Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday voted to extend a 0.5 percent General Excise Tax surcharge for Honolulu’s rail project another five years beyond its Dec. 31, 2022 expiration. The vote on House Bill 134 indicates that lawmakers are supportive of helping the city complete it’s $6 billion driverless commuter rail project despite cost overruns and questions of lax oversight. Civil Beat.

Deputy Prosecutor Jon Riki Karamatsu announced his resignation on Tuesday following his second DUI arrest over the weekend. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro has accepted the resignation of Deputy Prosecutor Jon Riki Karamatsu. Civil Beat.


Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Tuesday announced upcoming flight plans for the remainder of April through May 7. West Hawaii Today.


Mayor Alan Arakawa wants to explore the possibilities of making Maui Electric Co. a public utility, one that could even compete against Florida-based Next-Era Energy Inc., which is seeking Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approval to acquire MECO's parent company, Hawaiian Electric Industries. Maui News.

Hawaiian Electric and NextEra held the first in a series of public meetings. Two meetings were held on Maui on Tuesday. Senior leaders and other employees from both NextEra and Hawaiian Electric were on hand to talk about how they plan to increase renewable energy and lower customer bills. NextEra says it wants input from the community. KHON2.

NextEra Energy Inc. and Hawaiian Electric Industries will host a series of open house meetings statewide to acquaint the public with NextEra and share details on the upcoming merger between the two energy companies. Maui Now.

The Makawao Fourth of July Parade plans to carry on, unchanged, with its longtime parade organizer vowing Tuesday night to "dig my heels in" against the state Department of Defense. Maui News.


A contractor has been hired to remove a sailboat that ran aground in a secluded area on a reef at Moloaa Bay April 1. Garden Island.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has hired a contractor to remove a 55-foot sailboat that ran aground off Kauai earlier this month. The department says it's expected to cost $185,000 to remove the Kikimo from the reef at Moloaa Bay. Associated Press.

Just how famous are Kauai’s chickens? Enough for the New York Times to write a lengthy report about them. Garden Island.


Maui County Council members took a first step Tuesday toward providing a government subsidy to keep the Molokai ferry afloat, but it remains to be seen whether it will be too little too late. Maui News.