Friday, September 23, 2011

Hawaii tourism takes a hit, zipline death could spur new laws, DOE mulls No Child Left Behind waiver, rodents take over Capitol, census shows pricey housing, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu Spam Jam (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Hawaii's tourism industry has seen a pattern in recent months of lower visitor arrivals but higher spending by those who travel to the islands. Associated Press.

This year is still one of positive numbers for Hawaii's tourism industry, even though August's visitor totals fell short of those posted a year ago. Hawaii News Now.

Even though August visitor arrivals to Hawaii took their worst monthly drop in more than two years, the Hawaii Tourism Authority has set its sights on surpassing its peak arrivals and spending figures next year. Star-Advertiser.

Personal income in Hawaii grew by 0.9 percent in the second quarter from the first quarter, putting the state in the bottom 10 percent nationally, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported. Star-Advertiser.

Unemployment numbers for Hawaii are still below the national average but that’s no consolation for thousands of people across the islands searching for jobs right now. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii dwells near the bottom among the states when it comes to homeownership and renting, according to the 2010 American Community Survey. Star-Advertiser.

The death of a zip line construction worker Wednesday on the Big Island could lead to government oversight of the industry, which consists of at least nineteen operations on all of the main Hawaiian islands. KHON2.

The state Department of Education said it will do more research before deciding whether to seek a waiver to key provisions of the once-heralded No Child Left Behind law, which requires that schools meet rising annual proficiency goals or risk losing federal money. Star-Advertiser.

A local geologist is proposing a new way to warn people of the potential risks when enjoying Hawaii’s beautiful beaches, oceans and natural wonders. KITV4.

Sounds like the setup to a joke: Rodents have been discovered at the Hawaii state Capitol.Civil Beat.

Attorney General David Louie, Narcotics Enforcement Division Acting Administrator Derek Nakamura, and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special-Agent-in-Charge Robin Dinlocker encourage the community to bring in their expired or unused prescription medications at various collection points from September to October 2011. Hawaii Reporter.

Oahu

Aulani, a Disney resort and spa officially opened to guests August 29th, but that was nothing compared to the grand opening celebration Thursday night on the beach of Ko'Olina. KHON2.

State officials are having a cow over feral cattle that are tearing up vegetation in the Waianae Kai Forest Reserve on Oahu. Pacific Business News.

Some residents of Oahu will be represented in Congress and at Honolulu Hale, but not at the Hawaii Legislature. Civil Beat.

Coinciding with the arrival of a lifescale, bronze sculpture depicting a famous World War II kiss, the Battleship Missouri Memorial is inviting visiting couples to “plant one on” for an opportunity to win a return trip to the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaii

The state Department of Education has a message for the County of Hawaii -- you need to comply with our impact fee proposal. West Hawaii Today.

Ownership, maintenance and the ability to collect user fees on the nearly completed Hawaiian Ocean View Estates well facility will soon be decided. West Hawaii Today.

Police get kingpin's money. Tribune-Herald.

Even a trip to the nut farm couldn’t help Roseanne Barr’s attempt at reality TV: Lifetime has canceled Hamakua-based “Roseanne’s Nuts” after one season. Los Angeles Times.

Maui

The Hawaii Reapportionment Commission will likely face a legal challenge after it approved a redistricting plan that would prevent a state Senate seat from shifting from Oahu to the Big Island, commission member Tony Takitani of Wailuku said this week. Maui News.

Maui County Council members said this week they hoped to form an "investigative group" to study inequities in agricultural property tax assessments and to propose solutions. Maui News.

Rents for new tenants are lower at the state’s Honokowai Kauhale affordable housing project on Maui but they’re higher for longer-term occupants, the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. said this afternoon. Hawaii Reporter.

Kauai

The County Council on Wednesday returned to its original home, the 98-year-old Historic County Building in the Lihu‘e Civic Center Historic District. Garden Island.

Waimea High has received a new sound system in the school’s Clem Gomes Gymnasium because of a generous donation from the Gift Committee of Waimea High School Class of 1962, according to a news release. Garden Island.