Thursday, December 29, 2011

Obama golfs, dines, endures criticism, substitute teachers need college degrees, Hawaiian Monk seals die as residents fight NOAA limits, DLNR to merge divisions, long-term care crisis looms, Hilo marijuana minister still behind bars, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

President Obama and entourage in Hawaii
As Republicans who want to be president slog through chilly Iowa in the run-up to next week’s caucuses, the man who is president moves from one enviable sun-splashed outing to the next. Tribune.

President Barack Obama spent Day 6 of his Windward Oahu holiday at a different golf course, but with familiar playing partners. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama and wife Michelle headed to one of their favorite Oahu restaurants for a date Wednesday night. Hawaii News Now.

The cost of the First Family's holiday vacation in Hawaii continues to cause controversy. Hawaii News Now.

Starting early next year, substitute teachers who do not have college degrees will no longer be allowed to work in Hawaii's public schools, a move that education officials said is aimed at complying with federal requirements. KITV4.

Waikiki residents Gary Bradley and Paul Perry are among the scores of same-sex couples who are preparing to say "I do" under the state’s new civil unions law. KITV4.

A third monk seal was found dead on Molokai Wednesday and officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are working to determine the cause of death. Civil Beat.

A merger of the two divisions that manage state water and land resources is on the horizon, a Department of Land and Natural Resources official says. West Hawaii Today.

The graying of the so-called baby boomer generation will soon trigger a tsunami-like demand for long-term care services that the state and its residents are not prepared for. Tribune-Herald.

Hawai‘i is ranked No. 1 in the United States for investment in energy savings performance contracting (ESPC) for public buildings per capita, according to a ranking published by the Energy Services Coalition, a national nonprofit network working at the state and local level to increase energy efficiency through building upgrades. Hawaii Reporter.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education warned that Hawaii’s $75 million in Race to the Top educational funding was in jeopardy. Hawaii Independent.

State roundup for Dec. 29. Associated Press.

Oahu

Veteran journalist and journalism educator John Heckathorn died Wednesday morning at Straub Clinic & Hospital after suffering a heart attack Christmas morning at his home in Kalama Valley. He was 65. Star-Advertiser.

Former Honolulu Magazine editor, John Heckathorn, died on Wednesday morning after suffering a heart attack on Christmas. Hawaii News Now.

Respected journalist and teacher John Heckathorn died this morning after suffering a heart attack on Christmas Day. KHON2.

Hawaii Medical Center's Ewa hospital closed on Wednesday after transferring the last of its patients to its Liliha facility. Star-Advertiser.

The massive sea-based X-Band Radar left Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Wednesday morning, but Navy officials would not disclose where it was headed. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

Hilo marijuana minister Roger Christie has been held for 17 months without bail in the Honolulu Federal Detention Center. Civil Beat.

Pahoa's Sacred Heart Church is teaming up with an internationally trained sculptor to create a one-of-a-kind statue of St. Damien DeVeuster to commemorate his Puna missionary work. Tribune-Herald.

The Kailua-Kona Public Library will soon see its electric bill drop. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Hale Makua Health Services is finalizing an application to the state Department of Health to turn a wing of its Wailuku facility into an adult residential care home. Maui News.

Upwards of 30 protesters held signs along Dairy Road in Kahului today over a three hour period, in a demonstration against a nearby tenant for the sale of reef fish. Maui Now.

Kauai

The Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative board has yet to discuss how it will address the impending vacancy to be created in January by the departure of director Ben Sullivan. Garden Island.

A new Professional Readiness Employment Program (PREP) Academy aims to help job seekers, particularly Native Hawaiians, with creative tools to improve their ability to find and keep good jobs. Garden Island.