There was a great article in the Garden Island newspaper on Sunday where several local island Realtors stated the home sales have been on the rise since the beginning of 2009 and that things “seem to be picking up”. This mirrors the business that I’ve personally been having since mid December and some of the other Realtors I’ve talked with have said the same. No future real estate speculations were being made by the article but there was a great quote from Karen Agudong who is our president of the Kauai Board of Realtors, she states; “It’s hard to say where the bottom is, but nobody knows until it goes back up and you’ve missed it.” For a list of what came on the market and what sold her last week on the island of Kauai CLICK HERE
*****1,400 Marijuana Plants Seized*****
Two Kilauea men were arrested last Thursday and charged with first-degree commercial promotion of marijuana after they were seen tending to a field that had 1,400 plants in it. If convicted the charge could land the duo in jail for 20 years. The marijuana field was on private land and it is believed that the owner of the land had no knowledge of what was taking place.
*****Ilikai Hotel Rooms Up For Auction*****
More than 200 rooms at the bankrupt Ilikai Hotel will go up for auction next month. The famous Waikiki hotel was bought by Brian Anderson for $218 million in 2006 which was the height of our market. The plan was to turn the 343 hotel rooms into luxury fee simple accommodations, but the market turned on the developer and now 203 of those rooms will be auctioned off with no minimum bid having been set yet. The Ilikai Hotel was built in 1964 and is recognized internationally with the famous opening shot of Hawaii Five-O where you see Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett standing on the penthouse balcony of this ocean front resort.
*****2005 Hit and Run Victim Awarded $1.9 Million*****
In 2005 Lisa Wilson was riding on the back of a motorcycle when Byron Say hit the bike with his rental car. Instead of being thrown off the bike Lisa was caught on the car and dragged for a long distance and sustained multiple injuries that she lives with still today. Byron Say was found to be under the influence of morphine, methamphetamine and amphetamine at the time of the accident. Collecting the $1.9 million will be a challenge given the fact that Bryon Say does not have those kinds of assists, a bad faith claim is going to be made against his insurance company Lisa Wilsons lawyers say.
*****Civil Union Bill Fails in the Senate Committee*****
Failing by 3 votes House Bill 444, which allows for same sex civil unions, will be shelved for the rest of the year and a full vote will not be taken. Demonstrations for both sides of the issue has going on since last week with feeling for and against running high. Senator Gary Hooser D-Kaua’i and Ni’ihau made the motion on Wednesday feeling this is a fundamental right of the people and opponents feel it’s a threat against family values.
*****Superferry Sails Into Sunset Towards Alabama****
Alakai, the Superferrys lone vessel, is now sailing back to Alabama where it was built. As I reported last week in my blog the Superferry lost its Supreme Court decision to operate while an EIS report is being done and the Alakai has been sitting in the Honolulu Harbor unable to transport vehicles ever since last week. Hawaii Superferry said the move is designed to position the ferry for future use.
*****Unemployment Rate in Hawaii*****
Hawaii’s unemployment rate reached 6.6% which is the highest it’s been since 1978. Sounds grim but Hawaii actually tied with Texas for the 14th lowest jobless rates out of the 50 states. Government has cut jobs as has the construction and hospitality industry, the sector that actually added 400 jobs was professional and business services, other services added 300 jobs, education and health care grew by 100 jobs.