The latest University of Hawai’i Economic Research Organization (UHERO) report on economic indicators sees a major aspect of Hawaii’s economy beginning to rebound. The report was released this morning.
Construction turned the corner in Hawaii last year after five straight years of contraction. We are now seeing impressive gains in percentage terms for private building permits, although these are starting from very depressed levels. Home building, retail and visitor industry upgrades, the ongoing boom in photovoltaic installation, and, yes, rail, will combine to drive a strong industry expansion over the next several years.
• Residential construction ticked back up last year. With interest rates remaining at very low levels, foreclosure activity abating, and economic fundamentals strengthening, we now expect housing construction to pick up sharply this year and next, if remaining well off the levels of activity seen at the last home building peak.
• The value of real non-residential permits will rise more than 25% this year, following last year’s 50% surge. This represents a fairly substantial upward revision from last year’s forecast, with the difference largely reflecting the extraordinarily high level of activity we are seeing in the PV industry. But commercial construction is also expanding and will play a growing role.
• Aside from rail, publicly financed construction will be only a middling contributor to growth over the next several years. Public contracting will slowly edge back toward the $1 billion per year level. That is roughly in line with levels seen in the 2000s, and is insufficient to make a meaningful dent in the state’s public infrastructure shortfall.
• Total real private permits have now recovered to nearly 2008 levels, but this is still less than 60% of their value at the last cyclical peak in 2005. That will change in a hurry over the next two years. Real commitments to build, including government contracting, will rise 23.5% this year and more than 20% in 2014. The construction job count, which averaged 29,500 in 2012, will rise to 31,600 this year and to 38,600 by 2015 when both rail and the next housing upswing will be in full swing. The inflation-adjusted general excise and use tax base for contracting will see gains in high singledigit to double-digit range.
• The federal spending sequester that began March 1 poses some risk to the construction forecast. But the direct impact on local construction appears to be limited. The Federal Reserve is committed to low interest rates as long as inflation cooperates. In any case, construction and the general Hawaii economy are gathering a head of steam and should overcome the moderate inertia coming from public sector retrenchment.
For the executive summary and the stats, click here.
HONOLULU- During the week of March 29th, Senator Schatz will meet with constituents and stakeholders across neighbor islands and Oahu to discuss issues facing Hawai‘i today.
“My goal is to continue an open dialogue with my constituents so that I can hear from them on what I can do in Washington to better represent the people of Hawai‘i. Whether it’s our oceans, fisheries, parks, health care facilities, or small businesses, I’m seeking input from the entire community on issues affecting them,” said Senator Brian Schatz. “I’ve spent the last 90 days working towards concrete solutions to problems like sequestration, climate change, our nation’s budget and ways to increase tourism in Hawai‘i to grow our economy, and will continue to tackle these issues and others that are facing Hawai‘i today.”
Schatz will attend the following events over the next week:
Friday, March 29, 2013 – Oahu
As a member of the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, Schatz will receive a briefing by Hawai’i Longliners on issues pertinent to the committee.
Schatz will tour a Planned Parenthood clinic and meet with Planned Parenthood CEO Andrea Anderson to discuss ways the federal government can ensure women’s access to affordable health care and preventative services that Planned Parenthood provides to thousands of women across the country. Schatz recently supported Senator Shaheen’s Amendment that will ensure that employers cannot deny coverage of basic services, such as access to contraception through private insurance plans, and other important family-planning services.
Senator Schatz and Representative Tulsi Gabbard will tour the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.
Where: Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard
When: 2 PM
Monday, April 1, 2013 – Kona
Schatz will walk a portion of the Ala Kahakai Trail and survey acreage available for acquisition by the National Park Service for the national historic trail.
Schatz will tour the West Hawai‘i Community Health Center and meet with personnel to discuss the services the center provides, federal funding, and how the federal government can help in order to better serve the community.
Schatz will visit the Kau i Ka Malie Technology Center located at Kealakehe School to discuss Native Hawaiian education programs. Schatz is a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, and recently obtained funding for key Native Hawaiian educational programs.
As a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Schatz will meet with the head of the Department of Transportation Airports Division at Kona Airport to discuss the impact of sequestration.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013 – Oahu
Schatz will receive a full briefing from Pacific Command.
Schatz will speak at the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce Meeting about our nation’s clean energy economy and the role that Hawai‘i will play as a leader in a clean energy future.
Schatz will meet with Justice for Filipino American Veterans to discuss pending legislation and the ways in which he can help ensure that Filipino Veterans receive fair compensation for their heroism.
Thursday, April 4, 2013 – Hilo
Schatz will visit the Hilo Vet Center to observe the incredible work of the facility and talk to the administrator and staff about services and outreach.
Where: Hilo Vet Center- 70 Lanihuli Street, Suite 102, Hilo
When: 9 AM
Schatz will tour the University of Hawaii-Hilo’s College of Hawaiian Language and Hawaiian Medium Education System to discuss their efforts on Native Hawaiian issues and preserving the language.
As a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Schatz will meet with the Hakalau National Wildlife Refuge to discuss preserving Hawai‘i’s incredible natural resources. Schatz will also meet with the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry.
Friday, April 5, 2013 – Kaua‘i
Schatz will meet with West Kaua‘i community business leaders, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Kaua‘i Economic Development Board to discuss the growing economy and ways that the federal government can help small businesses.
Schatz will receive a briefing by military personnel and tour the Pacific Missile Range Facility.
Schatz will meet with Wilcox Hospital administrators to discuss implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
In an effort to expand tourism, Schatz will meet with the Kaua‘i Visitor’s Bureau to discuss these efforts, including the Senator’s first bill, the Pacific Islands Parks Act of 2013.
Saturday, April 6, 2013 – Maui
Schatz will attend the Maui Agricultural Festival.
Makena, Maui – With the completion of the makeover of the hotel at Makena Resort, ownership is turning its attention to Makena Golf Course.
An announcement today by Shawn Sweeney, President of The Landmark Hotels Group, indicates that the Golf Course will be closed for a multi-million dollar improvement program, and the opening of an upgraded 18-hole course in 2014. Plans include for design elements to be true to the natural beauty of Makena, with its kiawe forest, indigenous trees, ancient rock formations and natural streams. It will remain one of Maui’s only sea to mountain golf courses.
The last day of play will be March 31st. The re-launch of the Makena Golf Course is expected to be in the first quarter of 2014.
Mr. Sweeney also announced that the popular Café on The Green, which boasts wide-angle views of Makena’s southernmost fairway and surrounding ocean vistas, will remain open daily for lunch, afternoon snacks and early dinner throughout the golf course transformation. Trip Advisor voters ranked this restaurant Number One in the Wailea area this year. The hotel’s shuttle will be available to take guests and patrons to Café on the Green from the hotel.
LAHAINA — The state Department of Transportation is pleased to announce the opening of the first phase of the Lahaina Bypass Highway and Kahoma Stream Bridge. This phase completes just under one mile of highway linking Keawe Street to Lahainaluna Road which gives the community a much needed alternate access route. The opening comes with no fanfare or ceremony – merely an email from the state DOT.
It includes the exceptional design of the Kahoma Stream Bridge which incorporates an inverted arch to preserve the community’s view planes. The overall project cost is $77 million with 80% federal and 20% state funds. Highway improvements are expected to alleviate traffic and improve circulation in Lahaina and Lahainaluna areas.
HONOLULU – Led by five awards from Waianae High School, public schools captured 16 of 17 awards won by Hawaii schools this month at the 10th Annual Student Television Network (STN) Convention in Los Angeles, Calif.
Nearly 2,500 students from 153 middle and high schools across the country attended this year’s convention, March 7-10. Hawaii was well represented with the third-largest contingent with 15 public and private schools. During the four-day convention, students and teachers were able to select from more than 90 breakout sessions taught by industry professionals covering all areas of broadcast journalism, video production, filmmaking and media.
Also as part of the convention, STN held onsite contests for video production in 27 categories, during which public schools dominated Hawaii’s cadre of awards. Kamehameha Schools Maui took home a second-place award in the “Tell the Story” category. Here is how island public schools placed in the competition:
Waianae High School:
1st Place – Convention Recap
1st Place – STN Excellence Award for Monthly Broadcast
2nd Place – Laptop Journalist
3rd Place – Short Story
Honorable Mention – Broadcast News Writing
Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School (Kauai):
1st Place – Spot Feature
2nd Place – Middle School Movie Trailer
3rd Pace – Middle School Public Service Announcement
Honorable Mention – Middle School Anchoring
Waianae Intermediate School:
2nd Place – Middle School Music Video
2nd Place – Sweet 16 Broadcast Journalism
Moanalua High School:
Honorable Mention – Laptop Journalist
Honorable Mention – Music Video
Waiakea Intermediate School (Hawaii Island):
3rd Place – Middle School Anchoring
Waiakea High School (Hawaii Island):
Honorable Mention – High School Anchoring
Maui Waena Intermediate School (Maui):
Honorable Mention – Middle School Public Service Announcement
“There is an extraordinary wealth of talent among our public schools,” said Candy Suiso, a Waianae High teacher considered one of the pioneers of student video production in Hawaii. “Waianae High continues to set the standard among Hawaii’s schools, but what is rewarding is to see how many other schools have invested in this medium as part of their curriculum over the past decade.”
STN is a nonprofit organization started in 1999 by a group of dedicated teachers who volunteered their time, energy, and vision. With hundreds of affiliate public and private schools, STN embraces the educational components of broadcast journalism, video production, filmmaking and media by networking students and teachers with professionals in the industry. A list of competition winners can be found at http://www.studenttelevision.com/convention.htm.
KAHULUI, Maui, Hawaii – Maui Fire Department Chief Jeffrey Murray announced that two of the County’s long-time firemen have been promoted to the rank of Battalion Chief. Battalion Chief Amos Lonokailua-Hewett and Battalion Chief Richard Kawasaki were each promoted to their current rank in a Badge Pinning Ceremony attended by friends, family, colleagues, and The Honorable Mayor Alan Arakawa. The ceremony was held on Wednesday, 3/27/2013 at the Kahului Fire Station.
“Both men have over 40 years of service combined between them. They have provided a high level commitment of service to the community of MauiCounty, “said Chief Murray. “ I am honored with the opportunity to promote them to Battalion Chiefs.”
Chief Amos Lonokailua-Hewett joined the Maui Fire Department in 1994. Lonokailua-Hewett has worked at five stations within the County, including Stations 6, 3, 1, 10, and 2. Most recently, he worked out of the Kahului Fire Station as the Captain of the Training Bureau. As a Battalion Chief, he will manage the 2nd Battalion, First Watch.
Chief Richard Kawasaki joined the Maui Fire Department in 1991. Kawasaki has worked at six stations within the County, including Stations 11, 5, 7, 3, 1, and 13. His last assignment was at Station 5, Makawao, as Captain of the 2nd Watch. As a Battalion Chief he will manage the 1st Battalion, Third Watch.
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