State roundup for September 13
Rail project can resume on Oahu
HONOLULU (AP) — A Honolulu elevated rail construction project will be back on track Monday.
The Honolulu City Council on Wednesday approved two permits that will allow work on the $5.26 billion project to resume.
Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation director Dan Grabauskas says work will begin at several places simultaneously, including East Kapolei, where concrete columns will be erected.
Workers also will re-grade the authority’s maintenance and storage facility. Grabauskas says utility relocation will take place on the west part of the project.
Work was delayed more than a year after the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that archaeological reports had to be completed by the State Historic Preservation Division.
Opponents are trying to stop the project in federal court.
Ship pulled off rocks by Maui
WAILUKU, Maui (AP) — A 64-foot catamaran that grounded on Maui has been removed.
The Pacific Whale Foundation’s multi-hulled Ocean Odyssey was pulled Wednesday from shoreline rocks near McGregor Point by a salvage vessel used buoyant tow ropes.
The Ocean Odyssey left Maalaea Harbor around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday with four crew members. The passenger vessel was on its way to Honolulu for maintenance.
Coast Guard Lt. Eric Stahl says the vessel struck a rock and washed onto shore with a 3-foot gash to its port hull beneath its waterline.
Stahl says the boat was operating unusually close to shore when it hit the rock, especially for so early in the morning.
The boat was towed back to Maalaea Harbor and inspected by the Coast Guard.
Kauai increases dog license fees
LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — Kauai County has approved a hefty fee increase for dog licenses and affected owners are wondering why people with cats have not been asked to help pay the cost of animal control.
The council Wednesday increased the price of a two-year license for dogs that have not been spayed or neutered from $6 to $50, an increase of more than 800 percent.
A two-year license for altered dogs was increased from $2 to $15.
The council has been trying to close a gap between the money it provides to the Kauai Humane Society for animal control services and the nonprofit group’s expenses. KHS annually spends about $1.1 million, or $300,000 more than what the county provides.
“They have been coming here and telling us for about five or four years that their fundraising is subsidizing county-contracted operations,” Councilman Tim Bynum said. “And in those years, they didn’t receive any increases. We basically said, ‘Thank you very much.’”
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