Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hawaii gets direct flights to China, rail transit shakes up Honolulu City Council, census shows Hawaii residents living longer, Big Island housing glut, Hawaii County mayor vetoes budget, shipping costs to rise, labor trafficker pleads guilty, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu residents at bus stop (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Hawai‘i’s oldest residents are living longer, with the number of people in the islands over 90 years old nearly doubling during the last decade, according to U.S. Census data released Wednesday. Associated Press.

Almost one in five Hawaii County homes were vacant when census workers made their rounds last year. West Hawaii Today.

With a population density of 87,816 people per square mile, Hobron Lane matches the profile of the state’s highest density areas: It’s a residential zone with a lot of high-rise buildings. Star-Advertiser.

Nonresident military and their dependents should be counted as permanent residents when redrawing the state's political districts, the Oahu advisory council to the state Reapportionment Commission recommended Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's long-sought goal to significantly tap into the lucrative Chinese tourist market is closer to becoming a reality. Star-Advertiser.

Matson is adding a new shipping fee to offset the cost of a new law that suspends general excise tax exemptions, and other businesses are eyeing price hikes. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Billy Kenoi on Wednesday vetoed the County Council-approved budget, claiming some of the council's key budget amendments were illegal. West Hawaii Today.

City Council Chairman Nestor Garcia is stepping down to clear a path for freshman Councilman Ernie Martin to replace him. Star-Advertiser.

City Council members' frustration over how City Council Chairman Nestor Garcia and Vice Chair Breene Harimoto handled appointments to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation was a "major factor" in a leadership shake-up at the council, according to City Council member Ikaika Anderson. Civil Beat.

Opponents and supporters of the city's $5-billion rail transit project faced off Wednesday night at a town meeting sponsored by Ewa and Kapolei's councilman Tom Berg. KITV4.

The Federal Transportation Administration is again pledging their commitment that funding is there for Honolulu's rail transit project. KHON2.

The University of Hawaii will receive $4.3 million to continue a 14-year old program that provides job training and educational opportunities to more than 800 residents each year who live in underserved, rural communities on Hawaii, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, and Molokai. Molokai Dispatch.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has released another $12.5 million for nine additional safety and security projects at various public schools on Oahu and Maui as part of his New Day Work Projects, designed to create jobs and cash flow, he announced Wednesday. Pacific Business News

A proposal to restore the county's homeowner property tax exemption to 2005 levels was recommended by the Maui County Council Budget and Finance Committee on Tuesday. Maui News.

Donalyn Dela Cruz, Gov. Neil Abercrombie's spokeswoman, is writing and producing a new Hawaii travelogue show. Star-Advertiser.

A Hawaii farm supervisor has pleaded guilty to confiscating passports from Thai laborers to prevent them from fleeing in one of the nation's largest human trafficking cases. Associated Press.

A Hilo restaurateur and his business partner are suing another Hilo businessman for the return of almost a half-million dollars invested in a proposed subdivision. Tribune-Herald.

Road and sidewalk construction from Ala Moana through Waikiki is causing some confusion for pedestrians. KITV4.

Hawaii’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in May dropped to 6 percent, down from 6.1 percent the previous month and 6.6 percent in May 2010, according to the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Pacific Business News

Recent Maui High School graduates Jimbo Paranada and Marc Paguirigan took second place Tuesday morning at the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills National Finals in Dearborn, Mich. Maui News.

Kauai Council scratches cat resolution. Garden Island.

Hawaiian Paradise Park representatives voted Wednesday evening to continue discussions with the county over its plan to build a $5.5 million park in the neighborhood. Tribune-Herald.