Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hawaii students improve test scores, tax refund unlikely after surplus, Pflueger completes Kauai mudslide repairs, mosquito-borne disease topic at World Conservation Congress, home business irks Maui neighbors, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo
University of Hawaii students, courtesy photo
Hawaii high-schoolers posted modest gains in English, reading and science on the ACT exam, but many in this year’s graduating class appear unprepared for college-level coursework, according to results released Wednesday for the national college entrance exam. Star-Advertiser.

The number of hepatitis A victims in Hawaii continues to climb, reaching 228 on Wednesday, but the outbreak appears to be slowing now that the scallops that triggered it have been taken off the market. Star-Advertiser.

Two longtime lobbyists have donated $303,479 to candidates for state and local offices in the past 10 years, according to a Civil Beat analysis of Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission data. Civil Beat.

The state is looking at a $1 billion surplus, but don’t expect a refund any time soon. This is the first time that the surplus has reached this amount. KHON2.

A news conference Wednesday highlighted the state's conservation efforts in conjunction with the World Conservation Congress, the premier conference of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, being held Sept. 1-10 in Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

The World Conservation Congress will convene for the first time in the U.S. in Honolulu next week. Hawai’i researchers will co-host a workshop on mosquito-borne diseases that is gaining international interest. Hawaii Public Radio.

Supporters of the fourfold expansion of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument have fired back against an advertisement claiming the proposal would result in people being unable to eat fresh local fish. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Mark Garrity, Honolulu’s deputy director of the Department of Transportation Services, is now acting director of the agency. Civil Beat.

A new analysis of booking and revenue data for Airbnb has found the short-term rental platform isn’t likely causing rents to increase much at this point, but the company’s rapid growth and incentive for a larger commercial share could change that in the future, FiveThirtyEight reported Wednesday. Honolulu has 1,400 active listings on Airbnb, roughly the same as Las Vegas and Boston. Civil Beat.

Kamehameha Highway near Waimea Bay was closed for a second day on Wednesday to finish repairs after a truck knocked down utility poles a day earlier. Star-Advertiser.

At 345,000 square feet spreading over 6 acres, the new International Market Place has gotten much more than a facelift. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

After decades of trying to get a handle on the island’s growing garbage problems, county officials are taking a wait-and-see approach to a private company’s plan to step into the breach. West Hawaii Today.

Carolyn Ma, interim dean of the University of Hawaii at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, has been recommended to permanently fill the position. Tribune-Herald.

The Hilo council chamber was packed on Tuesday night with Big Island residents interested in helping to shape the future of Hawaii County. Big Island Video News.

Maui
Nearly 70 testifiers were divided Tuesday over resident Leona Rocha Wilson's proposal to host special events, including weddings, at her spacious Lona Ridge property in Wailuku Heights. Maui News.

The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development issued more than $5.07 million in grant monies to various local organizations during the first half of the 2016 calendar year. Maui Time.

A 1st Circuit Court judge has granted the Employees' Retirement System request to grant a temporary restraining order to block, at least for now, the state's implementation of a law that retirement system officials maintain could jeopardize the pension system's tax-exempt status and retirement benefits for its members. Maui News.

Work goes on as usual at HC&S even as the company prepares to end production. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai

A Honolulu federal district court judge has granted an order to close a long-standing case against retired car dealer James Pflueger for environmental damage to coastal property in Pilaa on Kauai’s North Shore. Star-Advertiser.

The Clean Water Act consent decree that required former Kauai developer and Oahu auto dealer James Pflueger to stabilize and restore previously owned property at Pila’a on Kauai’s north shore has come to a close. Garden Island.

There are three multi-million dollar projects that can mitigate traffic in Kapaa. But the problem is they are all state-funded projects, and there’s no money for them. Garden Island.

A Hawaii couple has purchased the property that was once occupied by Hanamaulu Cafe, a Kauai restaurant institution that closed about two years ago after opening in the 1920s, they confirmed to Pacific Business News.