In Print

  • Cause of wind farm fire still under investigation

    Honolulu Star Advertiser - December 5, 2012

    Members of the state Senate Energy and Environment Committee expressed frustration Tuesday after learning that an investigation into the cause of a fire that destroyed First Wind’s battery energy storage facility at a Kahuku wind farm in August is still not complete.

    The fire was the third reported at the facility since it opened in March 2011. First Wind executive Tom Siegel said it won’t be until summer that the 15-megawatt facility can come back online.

  • Hawaii's Booming Solar Industry In Uproar Over New Tax Credit Rules

    Honolulu Civil Beat - November 14, 2012

    New rules issued by the Hawaii Department of Taxation last week aimed at clarifying how solar tax credits should be calculated are pitting solar companies against each other, angering environmental groups and forcing legislative leaders to grapple with how to manage an increasingly hostile debate this upcoming legislative session.

    The tax department’s new rules effectively restrict the number of tax credits that homeowners and solar companies can claim on solar arrays.

  • Hawaii's Booming Solar Industry In Uproar Over New Tax Credit Rules

    Honolulu Civil Beat - November 14, 2012

    New rules issued by the Hawaii Department of Taxation last week aimed at clarifying how solar tax credits should be calculated are pitting solar companies against each other, angering environmental groups and forcing legislative leaders to grapple with how to manage an increasingly hostile debate this upcoming legislative session.

    The tax department’s new rules effectively restrict the number of tax credits that homeowners and solar companies can claim on solar arrays.

  • Lawmaker seeks solution to costly renewable-energy credit

    Honolulu Star Advertiser - November 11, 2012

    State Sen. Mike Gabbard is hoping informal discussions he is coordinating outside the glare of the legislative spotlight will lay the groundwork for passage of a bill reforming Hawaii's renewable-energy tax credit when lawmakers return to work next year.

    The chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and the Environment has pulled together a range of stakeholders for a series of meetings, including representatives from the solar and wind energy industries, state agencies, utilities and the Legislature.

  • Changes to Hawaii’s solar energy tax credit may slow photovoltaic industry

    Pacific Business News - November 9, 2012

    Hawaii’s fast-growing solar photovoltaic industry may be slowing down just a bit, thanks to changes to the state’s solar energy tax credit.

    The main point of the new temporary administrative rules on tax credit, which apply to systems installed and placed into service on or after Jan. 1, 2013, limits the number of tax credits that homeowners may claim on multiple systems.

  • Hawaii Invasive Species Budget Lacking

    Honolulu Civil Beat - August 16, 2012

    The Hawaii Invasive Species Council has approved a $1.8 million annual budget for fiscal year 2013.

    But this is not enough to fulfill statewide goals of combatting the problem that the state Legislature called “the single greatest threat to Hawaii’s economy and natural environment and to the health and lifestyle of Hawaii’s people,” according to a DLNR press release.

    The estimated amount of total funding needed is more than $13 million annually.

  • Big Island Biodiesel is Up and Running

    Big Island News Center - July 3, 2012

    Another step toward energy independence was celebrated Monday at the grand opening of Big Island Biodiesel, the latest project of Pacific Biodiesel Technologies, LLC. Big Island Biodiesel, LLC is Hawaii’s newest and most advanced biodiesel production facility and the first biofuel refinery to be built since 2000 when Pacific Biodiesel constructed its Sand Island refinery on Oahu. The plant is in Kea’au at the Shipman Industrial Park.

    The project was the brainchild of Robert King, President of Pacific Biodiesel Technologies.

  • Hawaii Senate Raises $9,400 for Hawaii Foodbank

    Honolulu Civil Beat - May 2, 2012

    If you’ve been down to the state Capitol in recent months, you’ve no doubt seen the fliers taped up in the elevators promoting fundraisers to benefit the Hawaii Foodbank.

    Hawaii senators got creative this year, going beyond the typical canned-goods drives. Sen. Mike Gabbard, for example, organized a “Capitol Idol” talent show to raise money. Sen. Clayton Hee hosted a “Dunk-a-Thon” fundraiser on the lawn of the Capitol.

    In all, senators raised $9,400 for the nonprofit, the Associated Press reports. Gabbard’s office alone raised more than $2,000.

  • Hawaii Senate Revives Interisland Undersea Cable Bill

    Honolulu Civil Beat - May 1, 2012

    The Senate voted to bring back to life Senate Bill 2785 — the undersea cable bill.

    The controversial bill had previously stalled in conference committee. Senators on Tuesday agreed to reconsider the last amendments made by the House.
    Sen. Mike Gabbard, chair of the Energy and Environment Committee, made floor comments, urging his colleagues to support the move:

  • Single-Use Bag Bill in Political Death Throes

    Honolulu Civil Beat - April 18, 2012

    Once touted as one the biggest environmental measures of the year, a bill that would charge consumers for single-use bags at the check-out counter appears to be on its deathbed.

    House Speaker Calvin Say has elected not to assign House Bill 2483 to conference committee, effectively killing it, according to Sen. Mike Gabbard who sponsored the legislation.

    Gabbard said he "had no idea" why Say wouldn't send it on to conference committee and Say didn't return a call for comment.

  • Hawaii Lawmakers Prepare for Talent Smackdown

    Honolulu Civil Beat - April 16, 2012

    State lawmakers will face off Monday evening during the “Capitol Idol 2012,” aka “Senate vs. House Talent Smack-down!”

    The event, to support the Foodbank, will be held at 5 p.m. at the state Capitol Auditorium. There is no charge to attend the event. Augie T will host.
    You can check out the flier and contestants here.

    From Sen. Mike Gabbard, who is is organizing the event: “See who earns bragging rights and who slinks away in defeat!”

  • Who Has Worst Hawaii Senate Attendance?

    Honolulu Civil Beat - April 13, 2012

    Sen. Malama Solomon missed eight of the first 45 Hawaii Senate floor sessions.

    Senate President Shan Tsutsui of Maui and Oahu senator Les Ihara tied for second for worst attendance record, posting five absences each.
    A Senate spokeswoman said Solomon, who represents Waimea, Hamakua and Hilo, spent four days "tending to a family matter," three days under a doctor's care for pneumonia and one day when "a meeting ran long."

  • Maui Invasive Species Committee Gets Capitol Recognition

    MauiNow.com - April 5, 2012

    Members of the Maui Invasive Species Committee were honored during a floor presentation yesterday at the State Capitol.

    MISC members were credited for working to guard the county from environmental threats including coqui frogs, pampas grass, veiled chameleons, miconia, and more.

    “This is an incredible honor for all of the ISC’s, and I believe reflects on the vision, work, commitment, support, intelligence, and persistence that all of our partners and members of the committee have brought to MISC,” said Manager Teya Penniman.

  • Gabbard Shows Off Fluency in Teenage Acronyms While Promoting Senate vs. House Smackdown

    Honolulu Civil Beat - April 3, 2012

    Sen. Mike Gabbard has sent out an email to remind people about the talent competition between state senators and representatives, called Capitol Idol.

    The subject line: “Capitol Idol 2012 - The Smack-Down is On!”

    Gabbard, known as a talented musician and singer, is likely to be a formidable opponent. (You can listen to his clips here.)

    And he clearly has a strong hold on his teenage acronyms.

    This is his response to House members who have said to him, “The Senate is going down, big time:”

    How shall I respond? IMNSHO, “bring it.”

  • Still Alive at the Hawaii Ledge

    Honolulu Civil Beat - March 6, 2012

    Even the mammoth state Capitol was not immune from Tuesday's unrelenting stormy weather.

    Around 5 p.m., as the House of Representatives continued its marathon floor session — the Senate, as usual, had wrapped things up hours earlier — the lights in the chamber flickered before emergency power kicked in.

    Still, both chambers managed to plow through hundreds of bills that faced a Thursday deadline.

  • No Yellow!

    Honolulu Weekly - February 15, 2012

    Year after year, residents of Honolulu–and cities all over the world–open up their doors to find an unsought pile of wood pulp that has become increasingly obsolete over the years: the yellow pages. A small percentage of people may continue to make use of the phone book (the elderly, people stuck in business waiting rooms and pay phone frequents), but, as internet culture has evolved, so has the way that people get their information.

  • Young people show support for bill on disposable-bag fee

    Honolulu Star Advertiser - February 10, 2012

    Four hundred plastic grocery bags were staked to the state Capitol lawn along Beretania Street on Thursday to call attention to a Senate bill that would impose a 10-cent fee on the disposable sacks and their paper counterparts and channel some of the revenue to watershed protection projects.

    Girl Scout and Kalani High School sophomore Diana Sellner, along with about 15 of her friends, created the outdoor display to illustrate the number of disposable bags an average person on Oahu uses each year for a total of 400 million bags annually.

Pages