Thursday, December 24, 2009

Welcome home, Barry-O, big waves coming for Christmas, residents leaving Hawaii, more state news

Images of Hawai'i's clear skies, blue waters and verdant cliffs were being beamed to a snow-bound Mainland audience even before President Obama touches down in his hometown today for an expected 10-day Christmas vacation.

Waves of 40 feet or higher are forecast for north shores on Christmas day.

Two more rounds of extra-big and giant-sized waves are expected to hit the north and west shores of Maui and Molokai this week, said Glenn James, senior weather analyst at the Pacific Disaster Center in Kihei.

More Hawaii residents moved to the U.S. mainland through the past year than vice versa, helping to keep the state's population growth rate relatively low, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Education officials remained tight-lipped on details of a tentative agreement with the state teachers union to reduce furlough days for public school teachers.

Battered by foreign competition and a sputtering economy, the last major pineapple producer in Hawaii completed its final harvest after 97 years in the agricultural business.

Those who imbibe their holiday spirits should be aware that police plan to step up drunken driving enforcement.

Hawaii County government, having batted 0 for 2 on two different approaches to providing affordable housing, remains mired in litigation, is contemplating a drastic revision of county code and is preparing to try yet a third approach.

The county Charter Review Commission voted unanimously to move forward with a ballot measure that would, if approved by voters next year, extend the term for Kaua‘i County Council members from two years to four.

Even for many U.S. cities and municipalities, the life-sustaining liquid delivered to consumers, even when safe, can taste like the shallow end of a swimming pool