Monday, September 21, 2009

Arts, homeless and honeybees in peril, other news

Leaders from arts organizations across the state say the loss of 10 employees — about one-third the staff — at the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts would be a destructive move that jeopardizes not just arts programs, but the economy and education as well.

It's possible to recycle nearly half of Hawaii Island's garbage, but achieving that higher diversion rate will cost taxpayers plenty, according to a $525,000 study commissioned by Hawaii County.

Homeless shelters are seeing an influx of people who have lost their jobs or seen their hours cut — a trend providers warn will only get worse as job losses mount and laid-off workers exhaust their unemployment benefits and savings.

A former acting Israeli prime minister will be a featured speaker at Tuesday's 6th Annual International Women's Leadership Conference hosted by Gov. Linda Lingle.

Hawaii schools soon could face furlough days -- 17 Fridays with no one working at the schools or drawing a paycheck. The savings would add up to about $5 million for every furlough day.

In just over a year's time, the varroa mite, an ectoparasite that feeds on honeybees, has spread from the Hilo Bay area north to Onomea and around south to Pahala, researchers say.

"We don't want nobody to give huhu," said ILWU business agent Wallace Ishibashi. "We agree to disagree on that issue...."

If you felt the earth trembling on Oahu, that was the U.S. Air Force putting on quite a show in Hawaii's skies.