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Saturday, August 10, 2019
August 10, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:36 PM :: 956 Views

Astronomers Agree to Access Maunakea Through Protest Camp

Honolulu City Lights non-profit display application deadline is Sept. 6

HART served more subpoenas: Records and testimony requested from some employees

HNN: … Friday, HART told KITV4 the newest request is for records and testimony from some HART employees.

HART believes the federal government wants background information, and does not consider employees to be targets of the investigation.

The agency has already received three other subpoenas in the past year asking for information related to the project -- which has been delayed and gone over the initial budget….

SA: Rail preview: Soft opening of Kapolei-to-Pearlridge route could happen next year

read … HART served more subpoenas: Records and testimony requested from some employees

Protesters Propose Telescope Solution: Give ‘Hawaiians’ Control of UH System

SA: … In order to claim to be a Hawaiian place of learning, the learning must be determined by Hawaiians. If the University of Hawai’i were run by Hawaiians, it would not be necessary to call it a Hawaiian place of learning….

read … Takeover Proposal

Kim: ‘We still have a long ways to go’ to reach agreement

HTH: … Mayor Harry Kim said Friday that he hopes to have a second meeting with Hawaiian community leaders regarding the Thirty Meter Telescope by the end of next week.

Kim, who last month was assigned by Gov. David Ige the task of reaching common ground between the state and TMT opponents, said he has not yet had a follow-up to a meeting he had July 26 with Hawaiian leaders from throughout the state.

Kim said he has not found time to schedule such a meeting this week, but said he hopes to meet again sometime next week.

“I have had meetings, lots of meetings, but not with that group,” the mayor said.

Previously, Kim said he also hopes to meet with representatives of the TMT project as part of his assignment by the governor.

On Friday, Kim reaffirmed that he still intends to have that meeting, but added it won’t happen until after his second meeting with members of the Hawaiian community….

read … Kim: ‘We still have a long ways to go’ to reach agreement

Pro-Telescope Rally on Maui

MN: … About a dozen Thirty Meter Telescope supporters wave signs along Wailuku’s Main Street on Friday afternoon, a day before a major rally today at the War Memorial Stadium and UH-Maui College against the proposed telescope atop Mauna Kea on Hawaii island. Signwaver Trina De Lima of Upcountry said: “I am Hawaiian and I’m excited for the TMT. I understand the mauna is sacred and I think the telescope is important enough to coexist. All the people should have a say.” Lahaina’s Lark Canico said the project would bring funding and other benefits to education in Hawaii. “As an educator myself, I absolutely see the merit of the TMT. A lot of us say we want change in Hawaii, and I think that comes with educating the youth. TMT fortifies that.”

SECOND PHOTO: “A lot of people say there are only a few Hawaiians who support the TMT, but I think there is a silent majority of Hawaiians who do,”said Brialyn Onodera while holding a sign Friday that read, “Ask Why This Hawaiian Is Pro TMT.” She said she moved from the Big Island to take a job at the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope atop Haleakala. “I think the poll that said 50-50 of Hawaiians is more accurate. I think Mauna Kea is sacred, but I also think Hawaiians view astronomy as sacred. TMT will bring a lot of good to the community through education and outreach.”

read … Pro-Telescope Rally

Maui Wind Farm Plans to Kill 44 Nene

MN:  … The federal government will decide next month whether to allow a higher number of accidental bird and bat deaths at two Maui wind farms.

Auwahi Wind Energy is asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to allow an “incidental take” of 140 ope’ape’a, or Hawaiian hoary bats, up from the 21 bats it’s currently allowed to take.

Kaheawa Wind Power II, meanwhile, is requesting to increase its incidental take of adult hoary bats from 11 to 38 and nene from 30 to 44.

The final programmatic environmental impact statements for four Hawaii wind farms, including Auwahi and Kaheawa, were published Aug. 2. After a 30-day evaluation period ….

read … Decision coming on request for more bat deaths at wind farms

Second vacation rental lawsuit filed by Waikiki condotel

SA: … A second lawsuit seeking to stop the city from implementing its new vacation rental ordinance was filed Friday, this time by condominium owners of the Waikiki Banyan condominium complex.

The lawsuit, filed in Hawaii Circuit Court, said the twin-tower, 876-unit Waikiki Banyan has been operating as a condominium hotel since it opened in 1979 and “has continually offered its guests the typical hotel/ resort experience with condominium style suites.”

The vacation rental ordinance, which took effect Aug. 1, makes it illegal to advertise an unpermitted rental for less than 30 days. No new permits or exemptions have been issued since 1989, although about 1,700 new permits will be allowed beginning in October 2020 under a separate section of the new ordinance.

Ordinance 19-18 also increases the maximum fine for advertising or operating an illegal rental to $10,000 a day from $1,000 daily.

A number of the units have exemptions and therefore are allowed to operate legally, but most do not. The Association of Apartment Owners of Waikiki Banyan wants a permanent injunction preventing the city from imposing its new ordinance on its owners.

The lawsuit stated that 89% of the units in the complex operate as short-term vacation rental units. “These owners purchased their units with the belief, understanding and expectation that their units could be rented out short-term, i.e. less than 30 days,” the lawsuit said.

During its 40-year existence, “no owner, vendor, operator or the (homeowners) association has ever been cited or sent a notice of violation for operating, allowing, advertising or managing short-term rentals in the Waikiki Banyan,” the lawsuit stated.

It said the city Department of Planning and Permitting, which is in charge of enforcing the ordinance, refers to the Waikiki Banyan as a hotel on at least three different occasions on its website.

With the units no longer being offered as short-term rentals, condominium owners are experiencing “significant loss of rental income” of $200 to $400 a night, the lawsuit said.

“Without this rental income, many owners will be forced to immediately sell their units,” the lawsuit stated. “With so many units simultaneously up for sale, prices are expected to plummet. Losses are estimated to be $30,000 plus per unit.”…

The Waikiki Banyan action is the second challenge to the new ordinance.

The Kokua Coalition, the group of “30-day rental” operators also known as the Hawaii Vacation Rental Owners Association, filed a lawsuit Aug. 1 seeking an injunction to stop the city from enforcing the new ordinance against its property owners.

The coalition is arguing that its clients have been allowed by DPP to operate 30-day rentals, where operators rent to a single customer every 30 days, regardless of how long they actually stay.

A motion for a temporary restraining order is scheduled to be heard Thursday in U.S. District Court.

read … Second vacation rental lawsuit filed by Waikiki condotel

Draft EA released for Kona Homeless shelter project

WHT: …  The full project site consists of a little less than 36 acres at the corner of Ane Keohokalole Highway and Kealakehe Parkway in Kailua-Kona in the general area of the West Hawaii Civic Center and Kealakehe High School.

The first phase of the Kukuiola project, located on approximately 19.1 acres, includes 20-30 emergency housing units and temporary intake facility. Future phases would allow for as many as 60-90 more emergency housing units.

Other components include a dog park, overnight parking and spaces for a community pavilion, career center and other services.

The emergency housing component covers approximately 6.4 acres, according to the assessment. That leaves about 12.7 acres of land below there that can be developed for permanent supportive housing with a density of about 20 units per acre.

The assessment said construction of the first phase of the emergency housing could start as soon as this fall with the supportive housing component kicking off next year….

read … Draft EA released for Kona emergency shelter project

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