Mahalo plenty to all the volunteers and participants who helped make our 39th annual Charity Walk a fun and successful event for all! Over six thousand participants took to the streets of Waikiki this past Saturday for the 39th annual Charity Walk, raising roughly $440,000 for Oahu non-profit organizations. With the totals from the Kauai, Hawaii Island, Maui, Molokai, and Lanai Charity Walks, we raised over $2.2 million for Hawaii’s non-profit organizations.
The Oahu walk started with light breakfast by Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa, zumba warmups, and a countdown by Guy Hagi and Stephanie Lum of Hawaii News Now. Once the walkers got going, they were treated to food and entertainment throughout a 5-mile course starting from Ala Moana Beach Park through Kalakaua Avenue and back. Food selections at checkpoints along the route included Kalua pork sliders, fried rice, spam musubi, mini Acai bowls, watermelon, chocolate, cookies, and more. At the end of the walk, participants enjoyed a chilidog plate lunch prepared by the Kyo- Ya family of employees . There was music by Jason Laeha, and door prizes. Emcees led by Salem Media's Honorary Chair Dita Holifield included Sam Kapu, Sistah Sherry, and Brother Bulla Eastman who entertained the crowd and announced door prizes.
On May 17, 2017, 8 hotels were recognized for their stellar sustainable efforts at the 2017 Hawaii Green Business Program Awardees Recognition Ceremony, held at the Ceremonial Room in the State Capitol by Governor Ige.
The State’s Hawaii Green Business Program assists and recognizes businesses that strive to operate in an environmentally, culturally and socially responsible manner. As a partnership between the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association, the state’s Department of Health, Dept. of Business, Economic Development and Tourism’s Hawaii State Energy Office, Board of Water Supply and with the support of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, the program recognizes businesses that are committed to going green by implementing energy and resource environment, the businesses are also collectively contributing to Hawaii’s energy efficiency goal.
Congratulations to the following awardees!
Back in August, HLTA recognized 22 properties for completing a checklist of Hawaii Green Business Program’s ten entry-level green actions. These actions addressed sustainability categories including energy conservation, water conservation, solid waste reduction and recycling, and pollution prevention.
Lastly, I would like to call attention to the significant progress we were able to achieve at the Honolulu City Council in regards to Resolution 17-70. To refresh you on this budget committee measure, Resolution 17-70 sought to implement new real property tax rates for the City & County of Honolulu where the hotel and resort classification were to be one of two classes raised and by a margin of 50 cents per $1,000. Last week during the Honolulu City Council Budget Committee meeting we personally testified and after much deliberations the committee went with a recommendation to withhold increases this year to the hotel and resort classification.
I would like to commend and thank Budget Chair Joey Manahan for his leadership in this endeavor and also thank those on the Budget Committee that voted for this recommendation. Mahalo to Council Vice Chair Ikaika Anderson, Budget Vice Chair Brandon Elefante, and Council Member Kymberly Pine.
This is a great victory for us thus far and I would like to thank all of you who heeded the call and submitted testimony throughout the last council and committee hearings. Members of the City Council have said that this is the most they have ever heard from individuals, organizations, and properties of HLTA.
With that being said we are still not out of the woods as the newly amended CD2 heads to the full council for a floor vote on June 7th. We would like to ask that you once again submit your testimonies in supporting the new draft of Resolution 17-70 which takes the hotel and resort real property tax increase off the table. We will send you a reminder as we get close to the full Council meeting in June.
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