Monday, April 2, 2012

Tourists prefer Neighbor Islands, $198 roundtrip to Japan draws crowds, Hawaii Dems reject ex-Lingle staffer, private school tuition rises, Legislature protests high shipping costs, Democrat Hannemann courts Guam GOP, more Hawaii news for web and smartphone

Hawaii black sand beach (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaii visitor surveys, handed out on airplanes, show a growing number of visitors intend to spend their entire vacations on a single neighbor island. Hawaii News Now.

Average hotel room rates in Hawaii rose 4.7 percent last week, year over year, while occupancy rates increased by 4.8 percentage points, according to Hospitality Advisors LLC and Smith Travel Research. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has fallen to the lowest level in three years. Associated Press.

On Sunday, H.I.S. Hawaii travel agency released its lowest deal ever to Japan, $198 round-trip flight on Hawaiian Airlines to Osaka, tax included. The agency said that same flight can average $1,100. KITV4.


Mufi Hannemann
Democratic Congressional candidate Mufi Hannemann held a fundraiser March 21 with prominent Republicans on Guam. Civil Beat.

Laura Thielen is denied opportunity to run as Democrat for state Senate. KHON2.

A new provision in the charter school reform bill would exempt the public charter school system from the state Ethics Code, despite a recent auditor's report that lambasted a few charters for unethical and improper spending and employment practices. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov Remains Defiant on HSTA Standoff. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Legislature on the Downhill Slide. Hawaii Reporter.

The state House has passed a resolution protesting routinely higher retail shipping costs to Hawaii and Alaska. Associated Press.

Hawaii's largest private schools will increase tuition by 3 to 6 percent in the 2012-13 school year, with increases at several schools slightly larger than what parents paid this school year. Star-Advertiser.

A decades-long dispute between the state and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs came to a close Friday with applause, a standing ovation and lots of hugs. Associated Press.

The census asks all Hawaii residents for their martial status.  Ten Hawaii communities were listed in the census. KITV4.

Oahu

Most city department heads would get 3 percent raises in the coming fiscal year under recommendations made by the Hono­lulu Salary Commission last week. Star-Advertiser.

Kailua residents are organizing to prevent commercial activities at area beaches. Hawaii Independent.

Councilman proposes total ban on Kailua commercial vendors. KITV4.

The Honolulu Zoo has won re-accreditation one year after it nearly lost that status from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Hawaii News Now.

With heavy, above-ground construction set to start any day, rail opponents have revved up their criticism of the $5.2 billion project. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

The layers of categories and exemptions in Hawaii County’s tax policies lead to confusion among property owners and potential inequity in taxation, an independent audit has concluded. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald on Friday selected a 10-acre site on Kealakehe Parkway and Ane Keohokalole Highway to house the long-planned Kona judiciary complex. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Airshow Invitational will go on, just not this year. West Hawaii Today.

Surface flows of smooth pahoehoe lava from Kilauea Volcano continued to progress Sunday across the pali and upper coastal plain of the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision. Star-Advertiser.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa, Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle
Maui

Mayor Alan Arakawa is proposing to eliminate the county's grant to the embattled Wailuku Main Street Association for 2013, moving the funds instead to an open-ended appropriation for small-town planning services. Maui News.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa proposed the allocation of funds for the design of a Central Maui Sports Arena and Civic Center in Wailuku, and a Central Maui Aquatics Center in Kahului. Maui Now.

Honolulu is shipping three retired, 18-year-old public buses to Maui to help with the Valley Isle's fast-growing public transportation system. Maui News.

Kauai

About 300 people gathered in Kapa‘a on Sunday to exchange seeds and plants to grow more of their own food. Garden Island.

A same-sex couple announced last week that they tied the knot at a Hanapepe church. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i counters close 2012 whale season. Garden Island.

John Burger, an environmental coordinator at the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Mana, will speak on  “Environmental Conservation at PMRF: Managing and Protecting Resources” at a free lecture at the Hanapepe Public Library at 6 p.m. Thursday. Garden Island.

Molokai

Maui will get a taste of Molokai next week. It’s all part of the annual Maui County Agricultural Festival. Hawaii Public Radio.

After 30 years of service with the Maui Police Department — 28 of which were served here in Molokai –Sergeant Detective Eugene Santiago is retiring. Molokai Dispatch.

As the Molokai community continues to determine its future and where tourism fits into the economical equation, the Aha Kiole, a resource management group, has compiled the results from a series of community meetings and surveys. Molokai Dispatch.