Friday, October 1, 2010

Tourism rebounds, HPD seeks cops, Lingle says Abercrombie too old and set in ways, gubernatorial candidates debate health care, more Hawaii news

The Hawaii Tourism Authority reports visitors who came to the islands in August spent $1.1 billion, a 30 percent jump over August of last year. Hawaii News Now.

It's been a superb summer for the visitor industry with total visitor arrivals up in August for the ninth consecutive month. KITV.

Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle took a shot at Democratic gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie Thursday morning, suggesting to a pro-business group that the former congressman's old age makes him set in his ways. Civil Beat.

Former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie and Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona said yesterday that they would preserve the state's Prepaid Health Care Act, which requires businesses to provide health insurance for employees, but indicated that the state law might have to be changed to remain financially sound. Star-Advertiser.

 The two leading candidates for Hawaii governor explained Thursday what they will do in the face of federal health insurance reform to retain current health insurance benefits for Hawaii residents. KITV.

The debate touched on the future of Hawaii's prepaid health care act -- the one that mandates employer-sponsored benefits -- in the context of the new national health care law. KHON2.

Democrats are denouncing U.S. Rep. Charles Djou's opposition to legislation to provide up to $7.4 billion to workers sickened during cleanup of the World Trade Center site in New York after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Associated Press.

For the first time, NOAA’s Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is actively seeking Lanai and Molokai representatives for its advisory council. Molokai Dispatch.

Three years after a state-backed plan was engineered to prevent a dramatic loss of low-income rental apartments at one of Oahu's largest affordable-housing communities, a big piece of the plan has faltered. Star-Advertiser.

Five Hawaii high schools will share a five-year, $10 million federal grant to bolster their "smaller learning communities" -- programs aimed at decreasing dropout rates, improving achievement and better preparing students for colleges or careers. Star-Advertiser.

The federal government is helping the University of Hawaii at Hilo convert an aging dormitory into a living-learning center and boost Native Hawaiian graduation rates. Tribune-Herald.

The Honolulu Police Department is looking for new recruits. Hawaii News Now.

North Hawaii Community Hospital officials announced Wednesday they've already found a new president and chief executive, less than a month after John White announced his resignation. Ken Wood starts Friday. West Hawaii Today.

Does the Goldilocks planet also have alien bears? Tribune-Herald.

Kahului Airport's main runway needs to be repaved, and state Department of Transportation officials say the work can be done at night so flights and airport operations continue uninterrupted. Maui News.

Groundwork for a scaled-back Laiopua Community Center just south of Kealakehe High School could begin as early as July 2011 if local charity Laiopua 2020 can secure $9.8 million to get work under way. West Hawaii Today.

Inter-Island seeks waterfall landings amid contested ownership. Garden Island.

A network of Hawaiian organizations and businesses have banded together to help small (under $25,000 annually) Native Hawaiian organizations maintain their tax exemption statuses. Maui News.