Seeking to manage burden of more tourists
An increase in tourists touching down in the islands in July is helping to propel Hawaii toward a sixth straight year of growth.
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An increase in tourists touching down in the islands in July is helping to propel Hawaii toward a sixth straight year of growth. If the upward trend holds, we’ll see a record-breaking total of 9.1 million tourists here in 2017. Last month, nearly 891,900 visitors spent some $1.6 billion, up by nearly 7 percent and 3 percent, respectively, compared with July last year.
Regarding the trend, Curt Cottrell, administrator of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of State Parks, recently wisely noted: “Clearly, the caché of Hawai‘i continues to be recognized the world over. That’s why it is critically important that we continue discussions on how to strike the balance” to protect natural and cultural resources, and “be wary of not ‘loving the place to death.’”
Comings and goings at state House
The makeover at the state House of Representatives continues. The House has new leadership, including Speaker Scott Saiki, and other members of the body are moving around.
Notably, Reps. Isaac Choy and James Tokioka, critics of the new rail deal, have been kicked off the powerful Finance Committee. And a past chairman of that committee, Rep. Marcus Oshiro, has been nominated by Gov. David Ige to lead the Hawaii Labor Relations Board. Should the Senate approve his nomination by Friday, Oshiro would leave the House in late September — and that’ll give Ige the plum opportunity to appoint his replacement from a short list provided by the Democratic Party.