The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) announced the debut of the Kilohana Hula Show February 15th. The free show is modeled after the old Kodak Hula Show that ran for 60 years before ending in 2002. The show will have some modern twists and aims to return authentic Hawaiian dance, song, and culture to the Waikiki Shell. The show will run Sundays through Thursdays at 9:30 am.
The Honolulu Star Advertiser started imbedding their local news section with the national news section last year for their weekly publication while keeping the local news pages in a separate stand-alone section B on Sunday. The cost-saving measure did not prevent the state’s only daily newspaper from filing for court-supervised restructuring to reduce debt. As part of the restructuring, the paper’s two largest debtholders would partner with Carpenter Media Group to potentially buy the Honolulu Star-Advertiser from Black Press Ltd., the current owner.
About 600 unionized nurses at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children went on strike for a week starting January 21st and January 28th pressuring the hospital to place staffing to patient ratios into the contract. The hospital has offered across the board raises paying nurses a baseline salary of $124,000 to $151,000 per year whose normal hours are three twelve-hour shifts per week. The hospital is resistant to codifying hard staff to patient ratios and offered staffing guidelines to allow for a surge of patients during emergencies. The hospital has brought in temporary staffing to provide nursing care at the hospital. The nurses can’t strike again unless the union gives the hospital a ten-day notice.
The University of Hawaii students have struggled to find housing for years and the school’s failure to maintain their dorms has come into sharp focus in February. The 530-bed Hale Noelani apartment complex has been closed for seven years and the 656-bed Hale Wainani apartments may be next. UH has never renovated the buildings since they were built in 1978 and 1979. Five other buildings have not been renovated since being built in the 1960s and 1970s. One student was quoted as having only cold water when he moved into his dorm and then only having hot water for the next 2 ½ months. State legislators have correctly accused UH of mismanaging their student housing and are incredulous that the buildings have not been properly maintained while UH has collected $23 million annually from students staying in the dorms. Maybe it is time that UH take a page from the military and turn over student housing to the private sector.
Kona coffee farmers received a $41 million settlement from coffee sellers that the farmer claimed falsely advertised their coffee beans as Kona Coffee. The Kona farm belt consists of 600 to 1,000 farms of five acres or less. The farmers offered lab testing evidence by a University of Utah biologist showing the relative concentrations of rare inorganic materials that don’t change during the drying and roasting process. Some defendants contested the testing by stating the test results have not been repeated by other labs. The case was settled before a judge could rule on that motion.
Fire ants were denied entry into the Punahou carnival. State Department of Agriculture officials quarantined 400 donated plants that were to be sold at the annual event after conducting an inspection. Unfortunately, fire ants continue to spread and have been reported across much of Windward Oahu, Kahuku, Hawaii Kai, and Diamondhead.