Property values increase–tax hike unlikely this year.


Hawaii County property values increase by approximately 4.75%. Tax hike may be deferred.

Source:  West Hawaii Today.

Reporter:  Nancy Cook Lauer.

 

New Hawaii County property tax values may delay a proposed tax hike for local residents.  According to a report on certified property values released on Thursday, Hawaii County property values "are up an average of 4.75% compared to last year, making it more likely a budget will be crafted without raising the property tax rate."  According to reporter Nancy Cook Lauer, council members interviewed on Friday said they most likely will not ask for a boost in real property tax increas, "although some are looking at possible fee increases to pay for improvements." Councilwoman Margaret Wille added that some additional funds for the county could be sought by asking for a bigger slice of the TAT (transient accommodations tax), applying for more federal and state grants, and "using bond funds to create future savings." Mayor Billy Kenoi’s proposed budget is due by 05 May 2015.  Aloha, Russ.

See on Scoop.itPRG HAWAII NEWS WITH RUSS ROBERTS

Hawaii hotel room rates drop 5% as occupancy reaches 77% – Pacific Business News


Oahu led all islands in average hotel occupancy at 81 percent while Maui had the highest average room rates, charging customers an average $294 a night.

Source: www.bizjournals.com

Good analysis from "Pacific Business News."  Although this is not bad news for the visitor industry, it does indicate that the cost of a Hawaii vacation must remain competitive if it hopes to compete with less expensive destinations closer to the U.S. mainland.  Visitor packages for the U.S. Virgin Islands, Bermuda, and the Bahamas are beginning to chip away at Hawaii’s alure.  These island destinations are tropical and located closer to the U.S. mainland.  Aloha, Russ.

See on Scoop.itPRG HAWAII NEWS WITH RUSS ROBERTS

Law gives Hawaii schools schedule flexibility – Mauinews.com | News, Sports, Jobs, Visitor’s Information – The Maui News


HONOLULU (AP) — A new law gives Hawaii public schools flexibility to create schedules based on the amount of days and hours required for a school…

Source: www.mauinews.com

According to "The Maui News," Hawaii Governor David Ige signed the bill into law on Thursday.  HSTA Vice President Joan Lewis said the law "will allow schools to put togethr schedules based on their needs." Charter schools and multi-track public schools will be exempt from the new law.  Aloha, Russ.

See on Scoop.itPRG HAWAII NEWS WITH RUSS ROBERTS

Hawaii poised to become 1st state to raise smoking age to 21


A bill that would make Hawaii the first state to raise the legal smoking age to 21 cleared the Legislature on Friday and is headed to the governor.

Source: www.chicagotribune.com

The anti-smoking bill would prevent those under age 21 from smoking, buying, or possessing electronic and traditional tobacco cigarettes.  Jessica Yamauchi, the executive director of the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii, told the Associated Press that "It’s definitely groundbreaking legislation….it’s amazing to be the first state in something.  That’s very exciting for us."  Hawaii Governor David Ige hasn’t decided to sign or veto the bill.  Aloha, Russ.

See on Scoop.itPRG HAWAII NEWS WITH RUSS ROBERTS

This State May Be The First To Run On 100% Renewable Energy


With strong trade winds, volcanic heat and abundant solar and hydropower, the Hawaiian islands have a plethora of natural resources.

Yet the state is America’s largest consumer of fossil fuels per capita, according to Hawaii’s Environ…

Source: www.huffingtonpost.com

Overly optimistic article from "The Huffington Post."  While the article does an excellent job of outlining Hawaii’s 2030 "clean energy" goals, it glosses over the serious problem of fully integrating alternative energy sources into the Hawaiian Electric Company grid.  The utility has been slow to adopt "smart grid technology", and delays in the rooftop solar permitting process are common.  Solar energy firms, such as Solar City, are working with utility officials to ease the transition to solar and other alternative power sources, but that process will take time as HEI reworks its business and marketing model and gears up for the smart grid future.  HEI has a lot of debt and investment placed in conventional power plants, and the way to gracefully remove itself from its former power generating methods will be costly and unsettling to stockholders.  The transition to "smart energy" is coming to Hawaii, but the process will be painful both both HEI and the public it serves.  Aloha, Russ.

See on Scoop.itPRG HAWAII NEWS WITH RUSS ROBERTS

Q&A: Big Island artist Jodi Fuchs | West Hawaii Today


In other breaking news…I was interviewed for the local paper West Hawaii Today. In today’s… http://t.co/lCv0hVIYez

Source: westhawaiitoday.com

Nice article from "West Hawaii Today" about Hawaii Island artist Jodi Fuchs.  Aloha, Russ.

See on Scoop.itPRG HAWAII NEWS WITH RUSS ROBERTS

Hawaiian Electric Co. can’t solve rooftop solar issue alone, SolarCity exec says – Pacific Business News (Honolulu) (blog)


oSolarCity and Hawaiian Electric Co. are working together to reduce a backlog of rooftop solar-energy customers waiting to be connected to Oahu’s electrical power grid.

Source: www.bizjournals.com

Perceptive article from "Pacific Business News." If Hawaii is to attain its "clean energy" targets by 2030, utility companies, such as Hawaiian Electric Company, must find a way to integrate all of the alternative energy sources into its grid. The utility must change its way of thinking and embrace "smart energy technology" if it hopes to be less dependent on imported oil for its power generation needs.  Solar City is working with Hawaiian Electric Company to ease the transition to a "smart grid" environment.   Aloha, Russ.

See on Scoop.itPRG HAWAII NEWS WITH RUSS ROBERTS

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