Thursday | December 14, 2017
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State briefs for December 7

High-rise approval delayed by ‘poor door’ concerns

HONOLULU (AP) — Approval for a proposed Honolulu high-rise is being delayed because of objections to a plan that calls for having a separate entrance for luxury condo owners and affordable rental tenants.

A city zoning hearing with the building’s developer was canceled Tuesday because of concerns about what affordable housing advocates call the “poor door.”

ProsPac Holdings said separate entrances were a logical way to service two buildings with different clientele and amenities.

The proposed Prospac Tower would be 41 stories tall with 350 market priced condo units using an entrance on Keeaumoku Avenue and 79 affordable rental units using an entrance on Makaloa Street.

Island Air doesn’t pay ex-workers’ health care

HONOLULU (AP) — Island Air promised employees it would continue to pay for their health insurance until the end of November, but failed to do so, according to court records.

The airline, which ceased operations Nov. 10, did not pay for its 423 former employees’ November health care, leaving some without coverage.

Island Air attorney Ted Pettit filed a letter Monday in federal Bankruptcy Court that said when the company closed, it owed more than $192,000 collectively to Hawaii Medical Assurance Association, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii and Hawaii Dental Service.

The airline’s abrupt closure also could squash ex-employees’ chances at a federal program that allows former workers to continue health coverage at group rates for up to 18 months.

The former employees lost their eligibility for the program because the company laid off all its employees and no longer exists. Consequently, there is no group health insurance rate.

Wrecked fishing boat off Waikiki to be sunk

HONOLULU (AP) — A commercial fishing vessel carrying foreign workers that ran aground and later burned and leaked fuel just off the beaches of Waikiki is being towed out to sea where it will be sunk by salvage workers.

After being filled with foam and water to regain buoyancy, the 79-foot Pacific Paradise was connected to a tugboat to be hauled off the reef Wednesday.

A salvage crew was able to move it about 200 feet until the derelict vessel got stuck in a shallow, sandy area.

U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman Sara Muir said salvagers will use this morning’s high tide to pull the boat out to sea, where it will be sunk at an EPA-approved site.

The vessel — based in Honolulu and used to catch tuna in the Pacific — smashed into the reef just before midnight Oct. 10 in about 6 feet of water a few hundred yards offshore.

Days later, it caught fire, causing extensive damage that slowed its removal and sent debris, fuel and oil into the ocean.

 

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