Friday, January 14, 2011

Hawaii economy takes a turn for the better, storm cleanup continues, Inouye tells state Dems to get moving, conservation district rules going to public hearings, more news from the Hawaiian Islands

Retail sales rose for a sixth consecutive month in December, helped by big gains in sales of autos and furniture. Associated Press.

Two out of every three Hawaii hotel rooms were full during the week ending Jan. 8 as average room rates trended upward, according to Smith Travel Research and Hospitality Advisors. Pacific Business News.

A federal judge on Thursday approved the distribution of $7.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by thousands of victims of torture, execution and abduction under the regime of the late former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. Associated Press.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye is urging Democrats who hold a big majority in the state House to end their infighting and unite, or risk voters becoming disgusted by the turmoil. Associated Press.

Recalling times when he received threats and was even spat upon, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye joined the chorus of pundits and even President Barack Obama in calling for more restraint in political rhetoric in the aftermath of the fatal shootings in Tucson. Star-Advertiser.

Dan Inouye was so busy in Washington in 2010 that he says he only made six trips to the islands — even though he was running for re-election. Civil Beat.

Interview: Daniel Inouye on the Tucson tragedy. Hawaii News Now.

A winter storm that wreaked havoc for two days on its way down the island chain was expected to bring snow to Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa last night before weakening and moving farther north. Star-Advertiser.

During the heavy downpour from the storm, tens of thousands of gallons of sewage spilled in Waianae, Kaneohe and Foster Village. KITV4.

As they prepared to spend Thursday night on cots in an auditorium at Waianae Regional Park, families who say they "lost everything" in this week's floods shared their stories with Hawaii News Now. Hawaii News Now.

For the second time in a month, flood waters and trash from the city's landfill in Nanakuli were discharged into the ocean along Oahu's Leeward Coast Wednesday night.KITV4.

Government officials are advising Maui residents to take precaution when cleaning up after a storm brought flooding throughout Maui.  The State Department of Health gave a warning about leptospirosis, while Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa urged residents to use caution when they drive and when they are cleaning up. Hawaii Independent.

Portuguese men-of-war have been found at Poipu Beach and other south shore beaches, Kauai County Ocean Safety officials say. Star-Advertiser.

Changes to state rules governing development in conservation districts will undergo another round of public hearings before becoming law. West Hawaii Today.

As the Board of Land and Natural Resources conducted its business Thursday, an e-mail went out that showed sometimes, progress trumps politics. Civil Beat.

A key element of the state’s plan to get off oil is something called a Feed-In Tariff. Hawaii Public Radio.

A West Hawaii apartment building owner is fighting an EPA fine for continuing to use a large capacity cesspool, a fine he says he could avoid if the county would follow up with plans to expand sewer system connections in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

As construction of the $50.5 million West Hawaii Civic Center wraps up, county departments and offices are preparing for a big move that will cause intermittent multiday closures of services to area residents. West Hawaii Today.

Four months after the 23-year-old Hawaii Venture Capital Association criticized a rival's similar-sounding name, the rival has switched to a different moniker. Associated Press.

Theft Puts Native Hawaiian Canoe Making Program on Hold. Hawaii Reporter.

Diana Oshiro, principal of Myron B. Thompson Academy, told state officials yesterday the charter school is changing the way it evaluates relatives on staff and is beefing up financial oversight, but her sister and three nephews are keeping their jobs at the online public school. Star-Advertiser.

If you go by price alone, the average home on Maui is 30 Ahualani Place in Pau Hana Estates - 2-plus acres, a house plus an ohana with two legal rentals and a total of seven bedrooms. Maui News.

After selling out an upcoming Feb. 25 concert by Elton John and his band in record time, the Maui Arts & Cultural Center has added a second show for the rock megastar. Maui News.

Contractors have begun work on the cleanup of the old Lihu‘e and Kekaha sugar mills, a project that is expected to continue for several months, a Jan. 7 joint press release said. Garden Island.

Engineers, architects, surveyors and community officials that deal with floodplain development in high risk coastal zones are invited to participate in a valuable four-hour training opportunity in February, through the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and FEMA Region IX.  Molokai Dispatch.