State roundup for November 30
Matson to raise shipping rates
KAILUA-KONA, (AP) — Matson Navigation Co. is increasing its Hawaii rates.
The shipping company announced Wednesday that rates will increase 5.6 percent in 2013.
Matson will increase its service rates by $175 per westbound container and $85 per eastbound container. The company also is raising its terminal handling charge by $50 per westbound container and $25 per eastbound container.
The company says the rate increase will help offset rising operating costs as well as support investments it has made in its Hawaii service. Matson says those investments include nearly $1 billion in four new container ships.
Akaka drops gavel on hearing
WASHINGTON (AP) — The goodbyes are beginning for Sen. Daniel Akaka, who will retire when the lame-duck session ends after 36 years in the U.S. Senate.
Akaka was the first Native Hawaiian in the Senate and the first Native person to chair the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. He has held 43 hearings over two years as chairman, with his last one on Thursday.
Fellow senators lauded the Hawaii Democrat for his work for Indian Country. The hearing focused on preserving Native cultures and identities. Akaka grew emotional before dropping the gavel for the last time. He said: “It is with much aloha that I say to you now, ‘A hui hou,’ see you again.”
‘Honey Girl’ the seal to be freed
HONOLULU (AP) — State and federal officials plan to announce the release of the Hawaiian monk seal R5AY back to the wild after she’s recovered from a fish hook injury.
The seal known as “Honey Girl” had surgery to repair her tongue at the Honolulu Zoo last week. She’s since been recovering at the Waikiki Aquarium.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said the seal would be released Thursday if all goes well. Honey Girl was close to death when she was rescued on Nov. 17. An ulua hook was lodged in her cheek for at least three weeks.
Diocese to buy land from UH
HONOLULU (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu is buying land from the University of Hawaii for an anticipated $32 million. The university regents approved the sale Wednesday.
The 39 acres are part of the university’s West Oahu campus. The diocese wants the land to build a parish and a high school given the tremendous growth it sees in West Oahu, where it says four of the six parishes in Leeward Oahu are over-capacity.
The sale could be finalized by the second quarter of 2013.
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