State roundup for September 11
State gets C- on energy progress
HONOLULU (AP) — A nonprofit organization that advocates for renewable energy says Hawaii gets a C- for its overall progress toward energy independence.
The Blue Planet Foundation’s 2013 Energy Report Card released Tuesday gives Hawaii a B for energy efficiency. The report card notes the state has done a good job reducing energy consumption per capita.
Hawaii gets a B- for renewable energy, as more people have installed solar panels and several new wind farms have been built.
But the state’s transportation and smart grid efforts both get Ds.
Blue Planet says Hawaii’s average vehicle mileage is little changed from two decades ago at about 20 miles per gallon.
And only Kauai has installed smart meters on a large scale.
Blue Planet Foundation says it plans to update the report card annually.
Council to take up rail measures
HONOLULU (AP) — A pair of resolutions that could help restart construction of Honolulu’s $5.26 billion rail project have been approved in committee and sent to the full City Council for consideration.
The council’s Zoning and Planning Committee on Monday approved a measure giving a special management area use permit and shoreline setback variance to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.
In a separate meeting, the council’s Intergovernmental Relations and Human Services Committee approved a resolution authorizing an agreement among the authority, the city and the state Department of Transportation that allows the city to develop rail line sections on state property from the Kamehameha Highway portion of the project in Pearl City to the Ala Moana area.
Authority director Daniel Grabauskas said that if the council had waited until next month to consider the measures, another $3 million would have been added to the cost of the rail project.
Trial rescheduled in Kauai murder
LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — A trial has been delayed until next year for a 26-year-old former Alaska man charged with murder in the death of a Hawaii woman.
Steven M. Wilson is charged with second-degree murder and was scheduled to stand trial Monday in the stabbing death of 21-year-old Kendra Elizabeth Lewis at a Kapaa condominium where they lived.
Wilson was formerly of Anchorage. Lewis split time between Anchorage and Kauai. They had moved to Hawaii at the beginning of the year and lived at the home of a relative of Lewis.
She was found dead April 26.
Prosecutors are seeking a sentence of life imprisonment without possibility of parole. Wilson remains jailed with bail set at $1 million.
The trial date was reset for Feb. 10.
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