Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Weather moody, layoffs looming, Maui hotel occupancy down, state wants out of housing

First storm of the season expected to bring strange, moody weather

The Hawaii Public Housing Authority is considering a radical solution to decades of backlogged repairs, aging projects and limited resources: selling properties or units and ending state oversight of public housing.

Eighteen people died on the job in Hawaii last year, according to preliminary numbers released yesterday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands yesterday told people in the Ho'olehua area of Moloka'i to reduce their water usage by 50 percent while the department works to recharge a water reservoir and complete repairs at the Kala'e well site.

It is not the kind of publicity Hawaii wants, but the state's decision to shut public schools for 17 Furlough Fridays has made a big media splash.

The first round of massive state layoffs is just a few days away and by the end of next week, hundreds of people will be out of work. In all, the state called for 1,100 layoffs and most of them will be out of work by next Friday.

Guillermo Navarro was shocked when he read an article two years ago about homebuyers and renters unwittingly moving into places that had been used as clandestine laboratories to manufacture methamphetamine.

Maui hotel occupancies dropped to 55.8 percent in September.

Cultural practitioners are set to hold a 24-hour vigil from noon Friday until noon Saturday featuring Hawaiian prayer, chants and temple dances to raise public awareness about development in Wailua, one of Hawai‘i’s most sacred places, event organizers said this week.

A 50-year-old Hawaii Kai woman and her 12-year-old daughter returned home yesterday -- a day late -- after they were forced off a flight leaving Tampa, Fla., on Monday morning because she was suspected of having the flu after asking for an airsickness bag.