Lodging association names new leader
HONOLULU - The Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association will be getting a new president and CEO.
Effective July 9, George Szigeti replaces Mufi Hannemann, the former Honolulu mayor who has held the post since January 2011. Hannemann is running for Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Hannemann said it won't be a steep learning curve for his replacement, who has been president and CEO of liquor wholesaler and distributor Better Brands Ltd. since 1997.
He has served on the association's board and was past president of the Hawaii Food Industry Association.
The association is a nonprofit, statewide trade organization that includes 156 lodging properties.
Groundbreaking starts marsh restoration
KAILUA, Oahu - After 15 years of planning, ground has been broken for a project to restore Kawainui marsh on windward Oahu.
The $6.4 million project will restore habitat for four endangered waterbirds: the Hawaiian duck, the Hawaiian stilt, the Hawaiian moorhen and the Hawaiian coot. It's also expected to reduce runoff to coastal reefs and remove invasive weeds.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Kailua community have been working together for 15 years to develop a restoration plan for the 830-acre marsh.
The work will include 11 terraced shallow ponds, an earthen berm system, and solar-powered water supply system. The state is covering 25 percent of the cost, or more than $1 million. The federal government will pay the rest.
Eight homeless after fire destroys home
HONOLULU - Eight people, including a family of seven and a tenant, were left homeless after a fire destroyed a home in Kalihi early Sunday, fire officials said.
Two women, a teenager and three younger children ages 3 to 7, escaped without injury when the fire broke out at about 12:45 a.m., officials said. A tenant who lived in a detached studio apartment also escaped without injury. The names of the family and of the tenant were not released.
The home was in flames when firefighters arrived a few minutes after the fire was reported, Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Carlton Yamada said. They were able to get the fire under control at about 2 a.m.
The American Red Cross was helping the residents with emergency housing. The cause of the fire is under investigation.