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Underwater tire reef experiment in Guam to be cleaned up

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — Scientists in Guam are trying to determine how to remove a man-made underwater mountain built out of vehicle tires 50 years ago. Pacific Daily News reports that Guam Environmental Protection Agency scientists hoped the tire reef would improve marine conditions in Cocos Lagoon and increase fish stocks, but has instead been left abandoned a mile from shore and about 20 feet below the water. Government officials say the 2,400-tire experiment is now considered trash and would cost $250,000 to clean up. The government received a federal grant to clean up the artificial tire habitats, but officials do not know where the second 350-tire habitat is located.


Report: Tax collections in Hawaii increased by about 5%

HONOLULU (AP) — A new report shows tax collections in Hawaii were up by about 5% last year. Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports that the state Department of Taxation sent the annual report in December to Democratic Gov. David Ige and the state Legislature. The report showed that $8.2 billion was collected in fiscal year 2019, which ended June 30, compared to $7.9 billion collected the year prior. Officials say revenue from the general excise tax and income tax accounted for most of the increase. The report also showed more than $1.7 billion was collected in other taxes.


Navy to name aircraft carrier for Pearl Harbor hero Miller

HONOLULU (AP) — The U.S. Navy is expected to honor a World War II hero when a new aircraft carrier is named for Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported the announcement is expected to be made at Pearl Harbor Monday. Miller was the first African American to receive the Navy Cross for valor. Miller was recognized for manning a machine gun on the USS West Virginia and returning fire against Japanese planes during the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. Miller died while serving on a ship that was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in November 1943.


Waikiki experiences retail transformation over a decade

HONOLULU (AP) — Waikiki has gone through a transformation in less than a decade with seven major developments that have upgraded the face of shopping in the famous Oahu district. Hawaii Public Radio reported the additions to the Honolulu neighborhood have included Hard Rock Café, the Victoria’s Secret-Sephora stores, Ritz-Carlton Residences, and International Market Place. The rental prices and prestige of Waikiki's Kalakaua Avenue now rank closely behind behind New York’s Fifth Avenue, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and Union Square in San Francisco. Commercial real estate experts say Honolulu's Kuhio Avenue is expected to be the next area to benefit from redevelopment.


Hawaii mayors ask state lawmakers to consider road use fees

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii's county mayors have asked the Legislature to consider a proposal to charge motorists a fee for driving on key roads during peak traffic hours. A joint hearing of the House Finance and Senate Ways and Means committees heard the fee proposal among the transportation requests presented by the Hawaii Council of Mayors on Wednesday. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell asked lawmakers to study the concept known as congestion pricing. Proponents believe congestion pricing could save governments money by reducing the funds spent on road improvements and other infrastructure. Opponents worry a surcharge on rush-hour traffic penalizes working people.


Hawaii family sues school over child's death while kayaking

HONOLULU (AP) — The family of a 5-year-old boy who died on a kayaking excursion has filed a lawsuit against the school that conducted the trip. The family of Alaric Chiu filed the lawsuit Thursday against Mid-Pacific Institute citing reckless behavior and gross negligence leading to the boy's death last March. The kindergartner was participating in the private K-12 school’s spring break day camp when he drowned off Kaaawa on Oahu. Camp counselor Maria Davis also drowned when the kayak capsized. Two other students escaped injury by clinging to the boat, which was not equipped with life vests.