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StarBulletin.com

Brief asides


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POSTED: Friday, July 17, 2009

HELLO, PALOLO

Everything old is new again

The Palolo Chinese Home, at 92, is wearing its age well.

The venerable institution this week opened a new $10 million facility, which includes 46 nursing home beds, a new commercial kitchen, a wellness center for rehabilitation services and a conference room open to the community. The home hopes to start admitting residents into the new digs in a couple of weeks. Next up: Renovation of the old Farm Hall, built in 1957.

“;I came from two other nursing homes and there's nothing like this,”; enthused hall resident Walter Miyura about the new complex. Based on reactions, a successful face lift indeed.

ON THE RADAR

Better safe than sorry

Tuesday's earthquake in New Zealand was large enough that there was a subsequent threat of unusual current activity in Hawaii. In the end, nothing of note happened — but the event served as a reminder that our island state is vulnerable to seismic activity around the Pacific region. We should always be prepared should we need to react at a moment's notice.

BUYER BEWARE

New home appraisal rules get reappraised

New restrictions meant to help the suffering real estate industry are having opposite the intended effect, in Hawaii and the rest of the country. The National Association of Realtors is urging Congress to impose a moratorium on the appraisal restrictions that took effect in May, which it says are hindering closings even in transactions in which home buyers and sellers have agreed on a fair price. The changes were meant to keep appraisers from inflating home values, but now some botched appraisals are coming in too low, delaying or killing sales, industry officials say. Too bad the rules took effect just as low interest rates on home mortgages were attracting potential buyers back into the market.