Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hawaii students fall behind, foreclosures drop, back to the drawing board for Reapportionment Commission, Oahu hotel planned, Costco expanding on Maui, more news for web and smartphone

Puna beekeeper Jenn Rasmussen, courtesy photo
Hawaii is home to an estimated 12,000 beehives, an indication the state may have reattained hive levels present before the arrival of many pests and ailments affecting honeybees today. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii students in all types of schools underperformed their national counterparts when College Board released its 2011 College-Bound Seniors report Wednesday. Civil Beat.

In response to strong concerns from teachers, parents and community members, the state is scrapping a plan to do away with one of four required social studies credits but will seek to put tougher diploma requirements into effect two years earlier than planned — starting with the class of 2016. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie should have notified the public after declaring a civil defense emergency in June to help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contain unexploded ordnance, the governor's spokeswoman said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

For Hawaii Island residents seeking a fourth state Senate seat, there is a glimmer of hope. West Hawaii Today.

Members of the West Hawaii community echoed concerns raised by their Hilo counterparts in urging the state Reapportionment Commission to change its decision to include nonresidents in the population count when redrawing the state's political boundaries. Star-Advertiser.

The inaugural Hawaii Counties Sister-Cities Summit was conducted today in conjunction with the Asia Pacific Clean Energy Expo at the Hawaii Convention Center. Hawaii Public Radio.

The number of Hawaii properties with foreclosure filings plummeted in August when compared to the same month last year, according to new data from RealtyTrac. Pacific Business News.

Nationally poverty numbers have increased, while the number of people living in poverty in Hawaii has dropped to 12.1% from 12.5% a year ago. KITV4.

Oahu

HPD Chief Kealoha held a press conference to discuss Tuesday night's crash. He reflected on the service of officer Eric Fontes, and the recovery of officer Herman Scanlan.  KHON2.

The City Council on Friday will again consider a proposal for a 222-room hotel next to the Polynesian Cultural Center that critics say would add to traffic congestion along busy, two-lane Kamehameha Highway. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu rail planners agreed to pay a Washington-based lobbying firm $1.5 million over a five-year period, according to a copy of the 2009 contract obtained by Civil Beat. Civil Beat.

The National Science Foundation’s International Research Experiences for Students program has awarded a $149,952 grant to Drs. Kenneth Hayes and Robert Cowie of UH Mānoa’s Center for Conservation Research, and a group of other international researchers. Hawaii Independent.

Fourteen months after merging Honolulu’s two daily newspapers and jettisoning more than 400 jobs, owner Oahu Publications began charging for access to the Star-Advertiser’s formerly free “premium content.” Honolulu Weekly.

Hawaii

A German television host hopes he's been able to barter his way to owning his own home right here on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

Before he left public office, then-Hilo Councilman James "Jimmy" Arakaki predicted vacant Waiakea Homesteads property eventually would become a long-anticipated neighborhood park. Tribune-Herald.

Snaring at Kea’au Transfer Station revives old controversy. Big Island Weekly.

Maui

The future of the film industry on Maui will be up for discussion. Hawaii News Now.

The Maui Planning Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a special management area permit for Costco to expand its Kahului store, a project that would include a gas station and carwash. Maui News.

The University of Hawaii Maui College has received a nearly $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to work with the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism and private industry to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in Hawaii. Maui News.

Kauai

Fight to eradicate little fire ants lasting more than 12 years. Garden Island.

Citing safety reasons, county officials closed the public parking lot at Shipwreck Beach in Po‘ipu as of Tuesday. Garden Island.