State roundup for February 10
Oahu electrical grid considered
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii civil defense officials said Friday they’re launching a project to improve the security and resiliency of Oahu’s electrical grid.
The state Department of Defense will work with Hawaiian Electric, IBM, U.S. Pacific Command and other entities on a study exploring options.
“Essentially, this effort will ultimately be focused on building a more secure grid for Hawaiian Electric customers, while ensuring the most reliable power sources,” Maj. Gen. Darryll Wong, the state adjutant general and director of state civil defense, said in a statement.
Researchers will analyze weather patterns to better understand how cloudy days and lack of wind will affect the power supply. This is becoming more important as the island generates more electricity with solar panels and wind turbines.
They’ll also strive to understand how to better protect the grid from attacks like one that hit Silicon Valley one day after the Boston Marathon bombings.
In that incident south of San Jose, unidentified individuals fired shots into a power plant substation, damaging at least five transformers and causing an oil leak. They also cut AT&T fiber-optic cables, temporarily knocking out phone service, including 911 lines.
The participants aim to have preliminary results of their study in May.
Sale of sharks in bottles ends
HONOLULU (AP) — A Honolulu gift shop has stopped selling bottles of dead baby sharks following an online uproar.
Hawaii News Now reports the Nani Aloha Street shop in Waikiki removed the bottles a day after the environmental group Ocean Defender Foundation urged people to complain to the business.
An Australian tourist said the bottles sold for nearly $25 each.
The store’s mananer, Ken Li, said a vendor delivered the dead sharks to his store without his knowledge.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has launched an investigation to determine whether the sale of the bottled sharks was illegal.
Oahu home and condo sales rise
HONOLULU (AP) — The median sales price of an Oahu single-family home reached $629,500 last month.
The Honolulu Board of Realtors says the median price paid for single-family homes in January increased nearly 6 percent from $595,000 in the same month last year.
The median price for a condominium increased 1.6 percent from January of last year to $320,000.
The board released its monthly resale statistics Friday.
According to the board’s data, there were 246 single-family homes sold last month and 310 condos sold. Both figures represent an increase of 8.4 percent from January 2013.
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