Monday, December 7, 2015

Hawaii to get money from $300M transportation bill, hotel market still growing, Lanai tourism drops following Ellison changes, loosening development regulations could end housing woes, CDC leaves Big Island following dengue study, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii’s U.S. senators, both Democrats, are welcoming the bipartisan passage Thursday of a $300 billion transportation bill that now awaits President Obama’s signature. Civil Beat.

Strong performance milestones that Hawaii’s hotel market hit through the first 10 months of this year are expected to carry over into 2016, according to an industry expert. Star-Advertiser.

The key to fixing Hawaii’s housing problem is simplifying some of the state's burdensome regulation, according to Walter A. Dods Jr., retired chief of First Hawaiian Bank. Pacific Business News.

The commission overseeing public charter schools needs to be more proactive in its oversight of schools’ finances and compliance with state regulations, a new report by the state auditor concludes. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

The city’s new kinder, gentler approach to homeless sweeps is the result of a court-sanctioned agreement that spells out what the maintenance crew is allowed to do. The agreement, signed as part of the ongoing federal class-action lawsuit, prohibits the crew from throwing out any items that are considered a “sidewalk nuisance” or “personal property” during the sweeps, unless they are determined to be perishable or hazardous. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

Hawaii County’s dengue fever outbreak grew by six confirmed cases Friday, with the total now standing at 136 people infected, according to an update from the state Department of Health. Tribune-Herald.

It’s been more than a month since the initial outbreak was discovered, and dengue cases — 136 as of Saturday — continue to climb. While the state’s “Fight the Bite” campaign advocates for education and awareness to eradicate the virus’s advance, some places visitors haven’t been getting — or at least not seeing — information about the Big Island dengue outbreak are at their first stops upon arrival: Hotels and airports. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

A state study showing nonresidents outspending residents in buying homes and condominiums in Maui County could stoke the flames of the longtime love-hate relationship between people who make the islands their home and those who visit or want to move here. Maui News.

Maui County is the only county in the state in which less than half - 48 percent - of single-family home and condominium buyers were residents while the remaining 52 percent were from the Mainland or foreign countries, according to a study by the Research and Economic Analysis Division of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Maui News.

Over 75 dog owners, park supporters, county personnel, and past and present members of the Friends of the Upcountry Dog Park committee attended the “unleashing” ceremony for the new dog park at Eddie Tam on Saturday, Dec. 5. Maui News.

Kauai

Among the County Council’s arguments that surrounded the homestead tax cap public hearing on Wednesday, several community members showed support for Bill 2606. The bill provides a homestead tax cap for owner-occupied properties and long-term affordable rentals. Garden Island.

Tropic Care 2016 will be held in June at three sites — Eleele Elementary School, Kapaa Middle School and Kauai Community College. Free medical services that will be offered include dental, medical and optometric care, sports physicals, eyeglass production, adult health exams, tooth extractions and oral checkups. Garden Island.

Lanai

Paul and Motoko Oxman left the relative bustle of Maui to visit neighboring Lanai for two days recently and encountered hardly any other tourists. That was nice for the couple from Singapore, who enjoyed some extra serenity. But for businesses on the island, serenity causes concern. Star-Advertiser.