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Saturday, November 12, 2022
November 12, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:23 PM :: 1883 Views

Red Flags 2: Fraud, Waste, and Abuse at OHA

DLNR Imposes $1M Fine for Coral Damage

Surprise: Tokai ‘Affordable Housing’ Purchase intended to help relocate ‘antiquated’ Honolulu Hale

HNN: … Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi is proposing relocating city government to a high rise to make room for a $100 million renovation of Honolulu Hale.

Blangiardi says he’s committed to the project even though there are still many unknowns about what may be behind the thick walls of the massive building….

(CLUE: While everybody is distracted by election news, insiders can slip a few ‘surprises’ right by us.) 

Doing everything in one phase could take five and a half years (Translation: 15-20 years) with the costs estimated conservatively at $100 million (Translation: $500M) ….

The mayor said the newly purchased Waikiki Vista high rise on Kapiolani Boulevard could house his administration, the city council and taxpayer services during the renovation.

There is about 40,000 square feet of former offices and classrooms in the center four floors of the building, which was built by Tokai University of Japan and presently used as a dorm by Hawaii Pacific University.

“We could move offices in there and they have a wonderful auditorium there that is almost identical to our council chambers,” Blangiardi said.

He said plans to use of the building’s upper stories for affordable housing will move ahead next year as planned, and if the city government moves in, the tenants and city workers would share the building until Honolulu Hale becomes available…. 

SA Editorial: Momentum on affordable homes

2019: Kennedy Wilson, Hawaii hotel exec Ben Rafter put Honolulu student dorm building on the market--Bought for $35M in 2017

read … Plans move forward for $100M renovation of ‘antiquated’ Honolulu Hale

Surprise: Tourists Moving Right Back in to the neighborhoods--In Newly Developed Neighborhood Hotels!

SA: … it’s the action outside of traditional tourist areas that stands to evolve Hawaii’s lodging industry — and local communities.

(CLUE: Overtourism was just a hotel union ploy to beat back competition from TVRs.  Its OK if they stay in neighborhood hotels.)

Whether it’s boutique, extended-stay or less-housekeeping ones, hotels here are getting a 21st-century refresh, migrating out of the Waikiki, Ko Olina and Turtle Bay hubs. Think Chinatown, the airport, Koa Ridge, Kapolei — and even Ewa Beach, which could get its first hotel if a dual-branded Hyatt Place and extended-stay Hyatt House comes to fruition for the Ho‘opili master-planned community.

(CLUE: While everybody is distracted by election news, insiders can slip a few ‘surprises’ right by us.) 

Among the first in this wave will be a new 23-room boutique hotel at the iconic Wo Fat Building in Chinatown (Surprise!), slated to open next year, followed in January 2024 by the 112-room AC Marriott in the old Remington College building on Bishop Street (Surprise!)….

(Tourism is OK in the neighborhood if the tourists are in a neighborhood hotel!)

More (non-TVR) lodging does indeed bode well for revenues and for the tourism and construction industries….

read … Growing trend in Oahu lodging

Voter apathy reaches record in Hawaii’s general election

SA: … Hawaii reached a record-low voter turnout for the general election as only 48.4% of the state’s voters bothered to cast ballots.

“Until this year the closest we’ve come to that was 2014, and that was 52.3%,” said Colin Moore, director of the University of Hawaii’s Public Policy Center. “That was the worst that it’s been until this year.”…

read … Voter apathy reaches record in Hawaii’s general election

Looking For A Job? Maui County’s Next Mayor Is Hiring

CB: … In a news release Friday, Bissen’s campaign asked anyone interested in working with the new administration to send resumes to or mail them to P.O. Box 3083 Wailuku, HI 96593.

The administration is hiring for a wide sector of jobs within county government as it looks to take charge in January….


read … Looking For A Job? Maui County’s Next Mayor Is Hiring

Hawaii judges, attorneys rock for public-interest advocacy

SA: … Before a roomful of attorneys, Hawaii Supreme Court Associate Justice Sabrina McKenna, adorned in black and wielding an instrument to command attention, surveyed the gallery before beginning to riff with her colleagues.

No, Hawaii’s high court was not in session.

McKenna, on guitar and vocals, joined her bandmates — Intermediate Court of Appeals Associate Judge Keith Hiraoka, Oahu Circuit Judge Gary Chang, contracts professor Richard Chen and Administrative Director of the Courts Rodney Maile, 1st Circuit District Court Judge William Domingo, attorney Chase Livingston and Beck Millan — to play to the crowd Thursday night at Artistry Kakaako as the Judicats, pounding out tunes, not gavels.

They were the third of eight acts at the annual Rock for Justice fundraiser benefiting Advocates for Public Interest Law, a student-run organization at the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law.

The popular perception of some legal professionals as sharks in suits trolling for billable hours…

read … Hawaii judges, attorneys rock for public-interest advocacy

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