Diary

Civix

The election year is coming to an end, but citizens have more reason than ever to participate. Comment on Turtle Bay The clock has started ticking on the window in which public comments will be accepted on the EIS for proposed development at Turtle, Kuilima and Kawela Bays.


Turtle Bay EIS

More traffic and fewer nesting turtles are just two of the anticipated impacts if Turtle Bay Resort proceeds with its expansion plans, according to a new supplement environmental impact statement (SEIS) for the project. Turtle Bay Resort LLC is looking to add two new hotels with a total of 625 rooms on either side of the existing resort.


COUNCIL DODGE

A motion to restore a genetically modified organism (GMO) labeling bill to the Hawaii State Association of Counties (HSAC) 2012 legislative package failed in the Honolulu City Council Nov. 27, with only two members in support.


PLDC pullback

Gov. Abercrombie has effectively punted the controversial Public Land Development Corp.


Ag Save

While most stories about farmland on Oahu center around development plans, news was released this week of another approach: preserving it for agriculture in perpetuity. The Galbraith Estate has agreed to sell the state 1,743 acres in Central Oahu for $25 million, according to an article originally published in the Wall Street Journal. The parcel is one of the largest undeveloped tracts of privately owned land on the island.


Big bio-bucks

Oahu residents are being asked to subsidize a Big Island biofuels project that will generate some of the most expensive electricity in Hawaii. Hawaiian Electric Co.


On the Hook

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has issued a plan aimed at reducing lethal interactions between false killer whales and the Hawaii longline fishery. Though NMFS is charged with protecting the large dolphins, the Earthjustice law firm has pursued several rounds of litigation aimed at compelling the federal agency to reduce deaths and injuries that its own studies showed were occurring at unsustainable rates.


OMIDYAR ESTATES

Stiff opposition is building to a project bankrolled by billionaire Pierre Omidyar that would add mansions to the ridge above Hanalei River and a luxury resort at Princeville on Kauai. Though Michelle Swartman of Ohana Real Estate Investors said over 100 meetings have been held on the project, it got its first public airing just last week.


PLDC IN DENIAL

As the Public Land Development Corp. considers a set of revised rules for its activities, citizens are keeping up a drumbeat to repeal Act 55, which created the controversial agency.


DIRTY AIR HEARINGS

The state Department of Health has proposed new rules requiring that Hawaii’s top 24 carbon polluters cut their global warming emissions by 25 percent by 2020. Heading the list, Hawaiian Electric Co.


Mauka to Makai

Mauka to Makai

Election Wrap

In a decisive vote for high-speed rail, Honolulu voters picked Kirk Caldwell to serve as their mayor, rejecting former Gov. Ben Cayetano, who emerged from retirement in a bid to derail the controversial $5.26 billion transit project.


Right to Know

California Prop. 37, which would have required labels identifying food products containing genetically modified ingredients, was defeated Nov.


Honu Defense

The environmental law firm Earthjustice is fighting a federal rule that would double the number of rare leatherback and loggerhead turtles that can be killed by the Hawaii-based longline swordfish fishery. “The fisheries haven’t been applying more pressure, just the same, steady approach of ‘let us fish as much as possible until the last fish is gone,’” according to an email from Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff.


Fishanthrope

More than 400,000 colorful fish are captured each year to supply America’s aquariums–a number that conservationists say is far more than Hawaii reefs can bear. They’re asking the First Circuit Court to order the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to conduct an environmental review of the industry, and halt all collecting and new permits until it is complete.


Wetter future

No, that’s not a photo of coastal New Jersey, post-Hurricane Sandy, below. It’s just another wet day in Mapunapuna, one of the Honolulu districts that is highly vulnerable to increased flooding due to sea-level rise (SLR), according to new research from UH Manoa (UHM).


Opening of Hawaii AIA center


Real help for “false” whales

Finally, following the filing of a lawsuit in June by Earthjustice on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity and Turtle Island Restoration Network, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has been prodded into taking action to protect false killer whales in Hawaiian waters. The agency has agreed to implement protective standards by Nov.


Railspin

In a ruling that, at the very least, guarantees another costly delay for the city’s rail project–and might bring it to an end–the Federal Judge A. Wallace Tashima last Thursday declared that key environmental and cultural reviews were inadequate and had to be redone.


Biotech bid

In a bid to build support for the Islands’ biotech industry, the Hawaii Crop Improvement Assn. is soliciting testimonials from American farmers who have benefitted from genetically engineered crops.


Co-opting Country

Mayoral candidate Kirk Caldwell’s claim to keeping the country country isn’t playing well in the country, nor with the environmentalist who made the phrase into a community force. Creighton Ualani Mattoon, long-time president of Keep the Country Country, Inc., issued a statement saying, “Mr.


OHA Hot Seat

While incumbent Haunani Apoliona and challenger Walter Ritte are garnering most of the media attention, there are another four candidates vying for this at-large Trustee seat at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA). The Weekly asked Cal Lee, Lancelot Haili Lincoln, Kealii Makekau and Kelii Akina about their goals in running for the office.


PLDC protests

The Public Land Development Corp. is continuing to attract flak, even as its five-member appointed Board and Gov.


Damsels in distress

Twenty native plant species and three types of damselflies–described as “living jewels” by Hawaii entomologist Steven Montgomery–have gained protection under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S.


CAYETANO SUES

On the morning of Monday, Oct. 22, Former Gov.


This week