Friday, March 26, 2010

Wiliwili trees making a comeback, Hawaii 4th-graders can't read as state continues furlough fight, Army says no duty to report child abuse, more Hawaii news

The state is declaring victory in the fight against an invasive species that killed thousands of Hawai'i's trees — thanks to some scientific detective work that took one entomologist all the way to Tanzania to enlist a natural enemy of the gall wasp.

Nearly half of a randomly selected group of Hawaii public school fourth-graders tested below basic reading levels, according to a nationwide assessment.

A parents group, the teachers union and the state Board of Education want legislators to support restoring cuts in public school days, despite a warning by Republican Gov. Linda Lingle that she would restrict the funds to pay for it.

A preliminary report released by two federal agencies confirmed that when the state accidentally dropped 125, 1.3-ton concrete slabs onto a swath of coral reef last year, it damaged a living habitat for myriad fish and other aquatic life-forms.

A public informational meeting will be held Tuesday to discuss the investigation of coral damage at Keawakapu reef during a state reef-enhancement project in December.

Honolulu's proposed rail-transit project needs to be conducted with "a higher level of transparency," the state Department of Transportation said yesterday as it made public all its correspondence on the issue.

The top uniformed officer in the U.S. military yesterday sharply criticized Fort Shafter's Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. "Randy" Mixon after Mixon said he is against repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding gays in the military.

After a top-level public scolding over his remarks on the military's policy regarding gays, the commander of U.S. Army Pacific issued a terse "no comment" yesterday from his headquarters at Fort Shafter.

An attorney for the U.S. Army argued in court on Thursday that Army officials have no legal duty to report child abuse to civilian authorities.

A lawyer for two boys filed suit against the state Thursday, saying the state could have prevented years of abuse they suffered from their legal guardians. It's a case prosecutors referred to as a "house of torture."

The video playing on YouTube shows 95-year-old Beatrice Muranaka talking to her pet bird, walking with her walker, and trying to call Charles Schwab.

According to Deputy Prosecutor Rick Damerville, people are still being caught and prosecuted for welfare fraud despite state budget cuts that have left the Big Island with one welfare fraud investigator instead of the three it once had.

A well project in North Kona got the environmental green light from a state economic development agency.

Roy Yasay got more than appreciation premiums from the Hawai‘i Counts 2010 Census Van which was parked at the Salt Pond Beach Park Sunday.