For Wednesday, May 11, 2011
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, May 11, 2011
What does Honolulu have in common with Fort Meyers, Fla., and Champaign-Urbana, Ill.?
Very little, it would seem, except for this: They all showed an uptick in home values during the first quarter of the year. And, according to a report from the real estate firm Zillow, they were the only ones among the 132 metropolitan areas surveyed that did.
Further, Honolulu was the only metro showing price growth year-over-year.
Lucky you live Hawaii? Yes, if you can afford the house you're in, whether you own or rent.
A steady decline at the gate is normally regarded as failure for any public attraction. Alan Hong wisely saw reduction of crowds as improvement. After 21 years, Hong will retire June 1 as the first and only manager of Hanauma Bay, where restrictions have resulted in fewer visitors but greatly increased enjoyment of the natural wonder.
"He turned the bay around, which has been a model throughout the world for protective areas," says longtime friend Robin Bond.
Upon becoming the bay's manager in 1990, Hong stopped commercial tours' lengthy dropoffs of visitors, putting limits on visitors at any one time and initiating daily operating hours. In subsequent years, he banned smoking at the bay, charged entry for nonresidents, and closed the bay on Tuesdays for maintenance and banned the feeding of fish.
Well done, Alan — and we'll see you on the trek down and up the bay.