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June 24, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:43 PM :: 707 Views

500 Lahaina Victims Still in Hotels--Deadline June 30

Governor reignites debate over liquefied natural gas power—but ‘Clean’ energy corporations want more Dirty Expensive Diesel

SA: … The governor has asked the Hawaii State Energy Office to reconsider liquefied natural gas as a possible “near term” interim option to replace oil as a fuel to produce electricity as utility companies work toward deriving 100% of their power from renewable sources by 2045 to meet a state goal.

Green publicly shared his view during the 11th annual Hawaii Energy Conference, held May 22-23 on Maui, where he told energy industry stakeholders and others that a cheaper fossil fuel that generates lower carbon emissions needs to be considered as a “bridge” that displaces more expensive and dirtier oil as utilities advance to the 2045 goal….

“LSFO (low-sulfur fuel oil) plays a major role in oil price volatility and high prices of electricity as well as placing Oahu as the most carbon intensive location among the states for producing electricity,” he said in a statement.

Glick said the agency should have critical cost and carbon analytical findings by mid-July.

The reconsideration of LNG represents a reversal of a position to not allow such a bridge fuel held by former Gov. David Ige with support from environmentalists….

Environmental and clean-energy groups, including the Sierra Club of Hawaii and Blue Planet Foundation, opposed LNG imports over concerns that expansion of renewable energy would suffer….

(CLUE: LNG is cheap and clean.  The solar industry wants dirty and expensive competition.)

a broad 2014 plan by Hawaiian Electric that involved achieving 65% of power generated by renewable energy by 2030, converting fossil fuel power plants to run on LNG at a cost of roughly $200 million and cutting customer bills by 20%.

“Rather than using LNG as a bridge to a cleaner future, the (Hawaiian Electric) companies seem intent on using LNG as a bridge to more LNG,” the agency said in written comments on the plan being considered by the state Public Utilities Commission at the time.

(REALITY: Wind and solar are a bridge from diesel to more diesel.)

NextEra, a far larger company with more financial resources, proposed a quicker shift to LNG for Hawaiian Electric that included spending $458 million to convert power generation units on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii island to run on LNG.

Hawaiian Electric estimated that the planned shift to LNG would save customers $850 million to $3.7 billion over 20 years, depending on oil price fluctuation.

Ige publicly opposed the NextEra deal, and in 2015 proclaimed his opposition to LNG as a bridge fuel because he said it would distract from investment in renewable energy….


read … Governor reignites debate over liquefied natural gas power

Honolulu Medical Examiner Flooded with Drug Overdoses

CB: … Despite a recent 10.5% salary increase approved for the deputy medical examiner position, the job hasn’t been filled since 2019. The department is also short one additional forensic pathologist. Forensic pathologists and medical examiners perform autopsies and investigate cases, but the chief and deputy medical examiner have additional leadership and administrative duties.

Honolulu Chief Medical Examiner Masahiko Kobayashi warned in a presentation to the Honolulu Salary Commission in January that if the office’s current staff of three goes down to two for any reason, “this department is literally over.” …

In 2008, the department worked on 655 cases. These included cases where no autopsy was performed because only medical records were reviewed or a body was externally examined. 

In 2023, that number more than doubled to 1,374. …

Drug overdose deaths have also increased. In 2022, 326 fatal overdoses were reported in the state, compared to just 229 in 2018, according to the Hawaii Department of Health. Autopsies are recommended any time a person is suspected to have died of a drug overdose, according to the National Association of Medical Examiners. 

Drug overdoses, particularly those involving opioids and the narcotic fentanyl, are the driving factor straining short-staffed medical examiner’s offices around the country, said John Fudenberg, executive director of the International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners. …

SA: Off the news: DNA company offers to ID human remains

read … Higher Caseloads And Staffing Shortages Plague Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office

Fire Every Three Days:  Fire Department Says Homeless Arsonists Threaten to Torch Paia

CB: … It is now illegal 24/7 to park or drive on the upper, rocky portion of Holomua Road. And on the lower paved portion — where the homeless community lives between Hana Highway and the old Maui High School — the prohibition on parking and driving runs daily from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Exceptions are for emergency vehicles and people who work or conduct business at the high school property.

There was a public outcry to do something after Maui firefighters said in a public meeting in early April that due to prevailing winds, and the surrounding open land, a fire that gets out of control from the road could spread quickly and present a major threat to Paia Town. There were nearly 40 fires along Holomua from January through April, and the fire department said Friday there have been more fires since then.

(That’s one fire every three days.)

So far, the new ordinance is not being strictly enforced. The Maui Police Department said in an email Thursday there will be “no sweeps” of the camps.

No gates have been put up yet to prevent traffic on the upper portion of the road, which begins at the intersection with Baldwin Avenue. And no signs have been put up anywhere along the road about the restrictions….

read … Kawaakoa Is On A Mission To Make The Homeless Population On Holomua Road Part Of The Solution - Honolulu Civil Beat

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