Monday, May 4, 2009

Top Hawaii Headlines: Monday morning edition

May Day in Hawaii is, of course, Lei Day. The tradition started back in 1928, and it was a way to encourage people to wear and celebrate lei.

State lawmakers have killed an attempt to balance the state budget by taking the counties' share of hotel room tax money, a move that would have brought the state $100 million annually.

The attack submarine USS Jacksonville sailed 6,000 miles from the East Coast to Hawai'i in just less than a month's time, stopping in its namesake city in Florida and passing through the Panama Canal along the way.

Occupancy at Hawai'i hotels sank to a more than two-decade low in March, with about one-third of all hotel rooms empty, according to the latest monthly survey of visitor accommodations.

An updated University of Hawaii study estimates repair and maintenance costs at the system's 10 campuses will likely top $1 billion through the next 10 years, raising questions about how the university and taxpayers will pay for it.

Honolulu Community College has identified four finalists for the position of chancellor and has invited them to participate in a final round of interviews and open forums from Monday, May 4, through Thursday, May 7.

Hilo land once slated for a large residential and commercial development has been purchased by a Hilo group that wants to build medical facilities and senior housing.

The Hawaii County Council won't make a final decision Wednesday on the mayor's proposal to suspend payments to the 2 percent land fund.

More than 400 Hawaii residents are making plans to attend the canonization of Father Damien in Rome this fall, including about 10 patients from Kalaupapa.