Workers from the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative began installing smart meters at a small senior condominium development in Lihue as part of a pilot installation.
The Garden Island reports because the infrastructure for the KIUC smart meters is not in place yet, the electric utility cooperative will physically read the meters until the ability to read the meters remotely is online.
KIUC is spending $11 million on the smart meter project, part of a national “smart grid” demonstration project.
An environmental group has petitioned the federal government to outline what fines or other penalties it will impose on companies that fish within three marine national monuments in the Pacific.
All commercial fishing was banned in the areas — which lie around Rose Atoll near American Samoa, the Marianas Trench near Saipan, and remote Pacific islands including Palmyra Atoll — when President George W. Bush created the monuments more than three years ago.
The Marine Conservation Institute, a Bellevue, Wash.-based group, said the government’s failure to draft rules explaining what kind of penalty it will impose for a violation is holding up its ability to enforce the ban.
The organization last week petitioned the two co-managers of the monuments, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to create such rules.
Fishermen or their boats could harm unique ecosystems, the petition said, such as when a fishing vessel sank and damaged coral at Kingman Reef near Palmyra in 2007, or when fishing boat ran aground and spilled 100,000 gallons of diesel fuel at Rose Atoll in 1993.
Nesting sea turtles and the world’s largest population of giant clams are at risk, the petition said.
The National Weather Service in Honolulu has continued the HIGH SURF ADVISORY for EAST FACING SHORES of MAUI and MOLOKAI in effect until 6 a.m. Wednesday.
A High Surf Advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area, producing rip currents and localized beach erosion.
EFFECTS: A long fetch of easterly winds will cause rough and choppy surf along east facing shores. Wave heights will be 6 to 8 feet through Wednesday morning.
Forecast surf heights are estimates of the height of the face or front of waves.
A high tide of approximately 1.6 feet is expected between 8:11 p.m. and 9:29 p.m. this evening. The next high tide of approximately 1.4 feet is expected between 1:15 a.m. and 2:20 a.m. tomorrow morning.
PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: BEACH GOERS ARE URGED TO STAY OUT OF THE WATER AND WELL AWAY FROM THE SHORE BREAK DUE TO THE HAZARDOUS WAVE ACTION AND STRONG RIP CURRENTS.
INFORMATION: Maui County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts for any updates. NOAA Weather Broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather Internet services can be found at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.
Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200.
Maui Electric Company would like to inform the public that the following areas are experiencing a power outage: (Lahainaluna Rd). MECO is working to identify the cause and restore electrical service as quickly and safely as possible.
An update will be provided as soon as more information becomes available. We thank you for your patience and understanding.
Honolulu, Hawaii. The House Committee on Finance will hear bills to discuss the concept and policy of a state-owned bank in Hawaii on Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 11:30 a.m.
SUMMARY: These bills will generate discussion on how Hawaii can best use state tax revenue that is currently deposited in private banks. The committee seeks information on whether a state-owned bank will generate more revenue for the state, create jobs, better support clean energy, provide assistance for parts of the community that are under-served by traditional banks, and increase economic development for Hawaii.
The hearing notice can be found online at:
The measures to be discussed are:
HB2103, PROPOSED HD2 – RELATING TO THE BANK OF THE STATE OF HAWAII
This bill would direct the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to draft legislation to establish a state-owned bank. The bill would also require the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation to establish and operate a “mortgage cleansing” program to assist the homeowners of foreclosed properties.
The recent multi-state settlement by the state attorneys general for faulty mortgage foreclosures may also impact this proposal. Hawaii’s estimated share of the settlement is more than $71 million, of which $8.2 million would be provided to Hawaii to use at its discretion. The proposed program would be in place until the state-owned bank is operational.
Once a state bank is established, $500 million of state funds held by private institutions on behalf of the state would be deposited into the state-owned bank, and not less than 50% of all state funds required to be held in depositories would be deposited in the state-owned bank. Currently, Hawaii-based banks hold more than $2.8 billion of the State’s funds as deposits.
HB1033, PROPOSED HD1 – RELATING TO PUBLIC FINANCE
This bill would establish an independent Clean Economy Bank of the State of Hawaii, to provide financing and risk management support for clean energy projects that help to lessen Hawaii’s dependence on imported energy. The bank would enable the state, in partnership with other states, to fully leverage federal funds to create jobs, reduce carbon emissions, and ensure the nation’s energy security.
HB1840, HD1 – RELATING TO STATE-OWNED BANK
This bill would establish a task force to review, investigate and study the feasibility and costs of establishing a state-owned bank. If enacted, this measure begins the process of identifying the needs within the community for a state-owned bank.
HB304 PROPOSED HD1 – RELATING TO STATE FINANCES
This bill would allow the Department of Budget & Finance to enter into agreements with other bond issuers to pool bond allocations. If a state bank were established, it could take advantage of low-interest financing of “green projects” and broker multi-state projects. As such, Hawaii would be in position to serve as a national and international finance center.
Bank of North Dakota: The Bank of North Dakota was formed in 1919 and is the only state-owned bank in the United States. It has a single office in Bismarck, North Dakota and offers limited retail banking products; the Bank of North Dakota is a deposit institution only. The majority of its bank deposits come from public funds, such as tax collections and state fees. This bank in not insured by the FDIC – the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; its deposits are guaranteed by the State of North Dakota. Since its creation in 1945, the North Dakota State Bank has added more than $555 million to the state’s general fund.
Since 2010, at least 16 states introduced bills to either study or create a state bank or investment trust. In 2011, Massachusetts formed a 21-member commission to study the issue and recommended against it. In 2012, the California legislature passed a bill to establish a task force to consider the viability of a state bank; it was vetoed by the Governor.
State of Hawaii Deposits: As of January 21, 2012, the State of Hawaii had $2.8 billion in deposits in Hawaii financial institutions. Of this, $111 million was in cash and $2.7 billion in certificates of deposit. Hawaii spends more than $500,000 per year in general funds to pay the administration fees for these deposits.
Mortgage Foreclosures in Hawaii: The great economic recession resulted in nearly 24,000 Hawaii families losing their homes to foreclosure, with over 33,000 jobs lost, and more than 200 small businesses going into bankruptcy — many due to the inability of businesses to get loans.
Damage to the structure damaged in a house fire Sunday has been set by investigators at $200,000.00 and $50,000.00 for the contents. Fire cause is “undetermined” after investigation. The initial report follows, below.
Five Maui Fire Department Crews responded to 502 South Kamehameha Avenue Sunday night for a structure fire. Crews arrived on scene to find a 750 square foot structure, located to the back of this residence fully engulfed. Fire Crews had the fire under control 7:59 p.m. and extinguished at 8:16 p.m.
Fire prevention Inspector remained on scene and conducted an investigation.
One injured male occupant, 37 years of age, suffered injuries to his left arm , left leg, and some facial injuries. Injuries were not considered life threatening.
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