Every day, I’m scouring the Internet for land use and environmental news from around the state and around the world that means something for us here in Hawaii. Noteworthy after the long holiday weekend: an 85-foot windmill OK’d on Kauai, a bank bids on its own resort on Maui and BP tries a risky new tack in the Gulf of Mexico.

  • After operating an 85-foot wind turbine without a permit for four years, a Kauai farmer got a formal approval last week.

  • Also on Kauai, controversial bills relating to farm-worker housing and transient vacation rentals are under discussion.

  • Wells Fargo Bank was the high bidder in the foreclosure auction for Maui’s Makena resort, offering $55 million for the property it already owned before foreclosure, the Star-Bulletin reports.

  • I missed this last week: Honolulu is the top U.S. city in terms of quality of living, according to a Mercer survey. Hawaii’s biggest burgh also ranks No. 2 in the world, behind only Calgary, in a list of eco-cities. That rank weighs criteria like water availability, water potability, waste removal, sewage, air pollution and traffic congestion.

  • After two failed attempts to stop the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, BP’s new plan to cut and cap the broken pipe could catch the oil or speed up the leak. The cap could be in place within 24 hours. Or judging by recent experience, it could not be.

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