Rent Survey to be Conducted on Hawai‘i Island

Families on Hawai‘i Island and O‘ahu will soon be surveyed by SMS Research & Marketing Services on what they are paying for rent. The Hawai‘i Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC), Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority and Counties of Honolulu and Hawai‘i have commissioned the survey.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) annually publishes Fair Market Rents based on data from the U.S. Census. HUD’s Fair Market Rents are used to set pricing for many federally subsidized programs, including Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, that help low-income families obtain and keep safe, decent and sanitary housing.

Proposed HUD 2018 Fair Market Rents will decrease from 2017.

“Voucher holders already have a difficult time finding safe, decent and affordable rentals within the range of HUD Fair Market Rents,” said Hawai‘i Island House Administrator Neil Gyotoku. “Decreasing Fair Market Rents will worsen the situation especially in high rent areas such as West Hawai‘i.”

The information collected will be used to support the state’s request to HUD to re-evaluate the 2018 Fair Market Rents for O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island.

“HUD’s Fair Market Rents are also used to determine Difficult to Develop Areas (DDAs) under the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program,” said Craig K. Hirai, executive director of HHFDC. Rental housing projects located in a DDA can receive additional tax credits, and therefore, increase financial feasibility.”

The rent surveys will be mailed to selected households and be short. Non-renters need only answer one question, but the agency is asking everyone to answer the survey for accurate results. The data will be not used for any other purpose and kept strictly confidential. Only county-wide average rents will be reported to HUD and individual responses will be destroyed at the end of the project.

Island Air ‘Hopes to Compensate Employees in Full’

UPDATE

Hawaiian Airlines has added three extra roundtrip flights from Honolulu to Kona, Lihue and Kahului on the afternoon and night of Sunday, Nov. 12, in anticipation of high passenger traffic resulting from Island Air’s shutdown.

The new flights are: Flight No.

Departing

Time

Arriving

Time

HA1108

Honolulu

16:15

Kona

17:03

HA1107

Kona

17:33

Honolulu

18:20

HA1103

Honolulu

18:55

Lihue

19:36

HA1104

Lihue

20:10

Honolulu

20:44

HA1106

Honolulu

21:19

Kahului

21:58

HA1105

Kahului

22:26

Honolulu

23:02

The flights are available to the general public for purchase at www.hawaiianairlines.com.

ORIGINAL POST

Island Air has been working to connect its team members with prospective employers as the company prepares to cease operations at midnight tonight, Friday, Nov. 10.

Island Air hopes to compensate its employees in full for the work performed through Friday, Nov. 10, 2017; however, the final determination will be up to the Bankruptcy Court Trustee. The employees’ existing healthcare insurance benefits will expire on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, at the earliest.

Island Air. Courtesy photo.

Island Air officials have been in communication with businesses around the state that have expressed interest in assisting the employees.

In addition, Island Air is working with these and other prospective employers to schedule a job fair for the employees in the near future.

“We appreciate the outpouring of support from so many local businesses that want to provide opportunities for our employees,” said Island Air President and CEO David Uchiyama. “Our 423 dedicated employees are among the best in the industry. I can’t speak enough about the commitment, work ethic, professionalism and company loyalty our team members have displayed throughout their careers, and I am confident they will make positive contributions to other businesses and organizations that need talented, experienced and committed individuals.”

Uchiyama noted that businesses, including other airlines, hotels, healthcare providers and other industries, have reached out to Island Air to provide information about potential employment opportunities as well as to inquire about the skills and qualifications of the impacted employees.

“The high caliber of our employees makes them ideal candidates for job opportunities across many industries,” said Uchiyama. “Island Air’s employees have undergone stringent background and security checks, completed extensive training and education and earned numerous safety and technical certifications. In addition to being leaders in their fields, many of our employees are actively involved in our local community. Whether they were born and raised here or have adopted the Islands as their home, our employees know and love Hawai‘i and incorporate our Island traditions and values into their everyday work and service to our customers.”

“I am so proud of the professionalism and integrity of our team members as they focus on providing our passengers with the Island Way experience on our final day of operations,” Uchiyama added.

Also today, Island Air employees met with representatives from the state’s Workforce Development Branch to begin the job transition process. Employees on O‘ahu attended three separate meetings with the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ (DLIR) “Rapid Response Team” to learn about job placement and training assistance, as well as applying for unemployment insurance and other benefits. Rapid Response Team meetings for employees on the Neighbor Islands are being scheduled.

“We appreciate the assistance the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is providing to our team members during this difficult period,” said Uchiyama.

 

USS Olympia Returns from Western Pacific Deployment

The crew of the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Olympia (SSN 717) returned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam following the successful completion of a Western Pacific deployment, Nov. 9.

USS Olympia (SSN 717) approaches the pier at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Nov. 9. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Shaun Griffin)

Olympia participated in several coordinated exercises with U.S. and allied forces and completed three highly successful missions vital to national security.
“The total commitment and level of effort this crew has demonstrated over the last 18 months both prepared for and executing this deployment is nothing less than outstanding,” said Cmdr. Benjamin J. Selph, native of Prescott, Arizona and commanding officer of Olympia. “This group of young men conducted themselves as professionals of their trade and ambassadors of their country throughout the deployment and I could not ask to lead a more dedicated crew.”

The deployment was a great opportunity for junior Sailors to gain vital operational experience and to hone guidance and leadership skills from the senior leadership.

“The sincere efforts by our experienced submariners instilling qualities that every Sailor needs to be successful and safe helped the junior Sailors become more knowledgeable and helpful in the execution of ship’s operations,” said Master Chief Electronics Technician Submarine, Navigation Roland R. Midgett, chief of the boat and native of Virginia Beach, Virginia.

During the deployment, Olympia advanced 16 enlisted Sailors to the next rank, promoted seven officers and saw 37 submariners earn the right wear the Submarine Warfare device.

Between missions, Olympia enjoyed four port calls to Guam and Japan.
“Having the opportunity to visit Japan on two separate occasions was an unforgettable experience,” said Machinist’s Mate (Weapons) Fireman Raul Bonilla, a native of San Diego.

The return of the Olympia to Pearl Harbor marks nearly 33 years of commissioned service since November 17, 1984.

Olympia is the second ship of the Navy to be named after Olympia, Washington. Olympia is the 29th ship of the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarines. The submarine is 362-feet long, displaces 6,900 tons and can be armed with sophisticated Mark-48 torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles.