Monday, January 4, 2010

Obama leaves Hawaii, school chief explains resignation, Kileauea ushers in awareness month, a landfill on a coffee farm, beach privatization and other state news


Madame Pele proved how unpredictable she can be Saturday morning at the kickoff event for Volcano Awareness Month.

President Barack Obama bade goodbye to Hawaii last night after an 11-day getaway filled with basketball, golf, family time and tourist attractions.

President Obama wrapped up his 11-day Christmas vacation in his hometown of Honolulu last night and boarded Air Force One for the 4,800-mile flight to get back to work in Washington, D.C.

He's the leader of the free world, with a heavy agenda waiting for him when he leaves Hawaii tonight and returns to the White House.

Pat Hamamoto said her decision to resign as chief of the Hawai'i school system was not influenced by drawn-out negotiations over teacher furloughs or cuts to the public education budget.

She was in the middle of a budget crisis, Furlough Fridays and bitter collective bargaining. Yet Pat Hamamoto says none of that had anything to do with her decision to walk away from her job as state superintendent.

video: Former Schools Superintendent Pat Hamamoto spoke for the first time today about her resignation and retirement.

Supporters, opponents and others with something to say about the city's plan to build a $5.5 billion elevated rail will have a new forum to voice their opinions soon.

The HIV prevention coordinator's position and a "major link" with the community on HIV/AIDS issues has been eliminated in state Health Department budget cuts.

Last year ended without indictments in the cases of two Orchidland Estates women police say were murdered.

With the end of the "Aughts," Hawaii and Maui County look toward another election year, with a number of high-stakes contests just 11 months away.

Members of the county body that annually recommends properties to be acquired for open space and public access purposes are concerned about “vegetative encroachment and beach privatization.”

A proposal to put Kaua'i's next landfill in the middle of the state's largest coffee plantation has plenty of people asking Mayor Bernard Carvalho, "Why?"