NEWS & NOTES
UH College of Business receives $344,000 federal grant
- The U.S. Department of Education will give $344,000 to the University of Hawaii’s Pacific Asian Management Institute (PAMI) to continue community-education programs on global economics, homeland security, intellectual properties and environmental-business practices.
“Funding for the PAMI will enable stronger business and cultural ties among Pacific Island and Asian countries, which will benefit the United States,” said U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, D-Hawai‘i, a strong supporter of the funding request.
Sheraton Kauai’s $24-million renovation underway soon
- Phase one of Sheraton Kauai Resort’s $24-million renovation project at the Po‘ipu Beach resort will begin in May, with all 412 rooms slated for redecoration. The new room design, called “Tropical,” uses earth tones accented with blue to reflect the surrounding landscape. The upscale Ocean and Beach wings of the hotel will include flat-screen televisions, granite countertops and teak bathroom racks. Renovation of the public areas and restaurants is scheduled to begin after the completion of phase one in September.
Efforts to amend land-use law fail
- House Bill 1368 HD2 was deferred indefinitely by the state Legislature earlier this month in a major victory for environmentalists and agriculturists across the islands. The bill, which would have allowed housing to be built on subdivided agricultural land regardless of any farming connection, was vehemently opposed by the Hawaii Farm Bureau, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the director of the state Land Use Commission and the Sierra Club, among others.
“Land-use planning prevailed today,” Sierra Club Hawai‘i Chapter director Jeff Mikulina told The Garden Island.
“We live in a very global economy,” Mikulina said in a press release. “Hawai‘i is subject to natural economic forces which encourage converstion of agricultural lands to non-farm uses such as luxury developments and gentlemen estates. Today, agricultural lots on Kaua‘i can be bought and sold over the Internet by individuals from Dubuque to Dubai.”
State Sen. Gary Hooser, D-Kaua‘i-Ni‘ihau, was one of the bill’s major opponents in the state Legislature.
Kaua‘i real estate stats released
- The Kaua‘i real estate market statistics (from the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS) for March were released this month, showing marked contrasts in different areas of the island. Vacant-lot sales for Lihu‘e, for example, went from two in March, 2005 to 83 in March, 2006. In general, 64 more vacant lots were sold on the island last month, though the median sales price for vacant land dropped 30 percent.
Lihu‘e condominium sales rose from 10 last March to 86 last month. Hanalei saw the biggest jump in residential sales, from five to 18, accompanied by a median price increase of almost 40 percent.
Hawaiian Airlines extends $39 fares, posts March travel stats
- Hawaiian Airlines announced Friday that it would extend its $39 inter-island fares sale until April 30. The is the second time the airline has extended the sale, which was originally scheduled to end April 7. Travel dates for the low fares are from June 9 to Sept. 30.
Hawaiian also announced Thursday that mileage members can knock $100 off the price of a ticket to the Mainland, earning a $10 credit with inter-island flights between now and Sept. 30.
For the month of March, 514,143 passengers flew Hawaiian Airlines, a 2.3-percent increase from 2005. For the quarter, numbers went up 6.1 percent.
Popular health food store reopens online
- Paradise Foods, the popular, O‘ahu-based health food store that closed its doors a year ago, is reopening on the Internet. President Anthony Marquez said customers wouldn’t leave him alone about hard-to-find, low-carb products, so he decided to go virtual. Marquez said shipping will be significantly cheaper than Mainland-based outlets. For more information, visit www.paradisefoodsonline.com.
- Kaua‘i Community College will host an “After Tax Season Relaxer” on April 20 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., open to all HSCPA/HAPA members. The social will also double as a member rountable and student mixer for accounting students at KCC and UH West Oahu.
The cost is $10 per person. For more information, contact Albert Spencer at KCC: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aqua Engineers names GM
- Lawa‘i-based Aqua Engineers named Jim Griffith general manager for two of its wholly-owned subsidiares, Briant Construction and Kauai Precast. As GM of both companies, Griffith will oversee Briant’s water and wastewater systems on Kaua‘i, O‘ahu and the Big Island, and manage Kauai Precast’s concrete products.
Aqua Engineers, founded in 1981, received a 50-year, $435-million contract two years ago to operate, maintain and upgrade the Schofield Barracks wastewater treatment plant on O‘ahu.