What they're saying about Hawaii

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Oahu voters oppose rail, Hawaii delays Race to the Top waiver, Maui Marshall Islanders mark Nuclear Survivors' Day, 89-day employment contracts circumvent law, public access TV opposes budget cap for school laptops, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu high-speed rail concept photo
Fifty-five percent of likely voters polled say they oppose Honolulu's rail transit project, with just 34 percent in favor, the poll found. Civil Beat.

The state has postponed its plan to request a waiver to key provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind law while it works to put high-profile education reform efforts back on track. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Department of Education has approved amendments to Hawaii's plan for implementing Race to the Top reforms. Hawaii News Now.

By working in 89-day chunks with breaks in between, state and city employees avoid a rule that requires public-sector retirees who return to work for at least three months to rejoin the Employees' Retirement System, suspending their ERS pensions while they work. Star-Advertiser.

The State Auditor is conducting an audit of the state's student transportation program, largely because of media coverage of runaway school bus costs. Civil Beat.

Representatives of Hawaii's public access television channels told state lawmakers last week that they oppose a proposal to fund a school laptop program by capping the channels' funding at 2011 levels and depositing the difference into a special fund. Star-Advertiser.

The average daily room rate at Hawaii hotels rose almost 4 percent year over year statewide last week, while occupancy rose only slightly, according to Hospitality Advisors LLC and Smith Travel Research. Pacific Business News.

New rules for Hawaii State drivers licenses go into effect Monday at the DMV. KHON2.

State roundup for March 5. Tribune-Herald.

Oahu

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle has proposed spending another $77 million in the coming fiscal year for the rehabilitation of city roads. KITV4.

It wasn’t meant to be a bet. But for D.R. Horton, which paid $70 million for a 1,500-acre tract of farmland in Ewa — based on a plan to build 12,000 homes — it’s starting to look that way. Civil Beat.

Hawaii has received $35 million in federal funding to construct Combined Support Maintenance Shop for the Hawaii Army National Guard. KITV4.

Hawaii
'Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii is looking to boldly go where the planetarium and cultural center has not gone before — into a future devoid of federal "earmarks." Tribune-Herald.

Pele's destruction of Royal Gardens is complete. Tribune-Herald.

A handful of West Hawaii high school students spent Saturday answering a barrage of ocean science-related questions in a battle against other teens for a spot at the National Ocean Sciences Bowl this spring. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Marshall Islanders on Maui marked Nuclear Survivors' Day with a march and rally Saturday. Maui News.

The Maui Democratic Party caucuses, which include the presidential caucus and district/precinct elections, will be held Wednesday across Maui County. Maui News.

The Maui Planning Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to reject an application that would allow Big Island Scrap Metal to accept appliances and other metals, in addition to the bottles and cans it already collects. Maui News.

A federally funded $1.14 million project is under way at Kahului Airport on Maui. Maui Now.

Kauai

Representatives of the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Mana will be in Washington, D.C., June 5 to accept an award from the Chief of Naval Operations naming it one of the best installations in the U.S. Navy for environmental and cultural stewardship. Garden Island.

Storms hammered Kaua‘i with heavy rains Sunday, forcing the evacuation of at least 12 families, closing roads and bridges and causing rivers to overflow their banks. Garden Island.

Tropic Care Kaua‘i has delivered almost $1 million in free health care services to Kaua‘i residents since Tuesday. Garden Island.

Molokai

The tiny Kalaupapa Post Office, after being earmarked for possible closure by the U.S. Postal Service, will now remain open. Molokai Dispatch.

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