Thursday, May 8, 2014

Hawaii students not ready for college, University of Hawaii unpopular, centers for Inouye, Obama, mulled, GMO labeling group opens Honolulu office, bus ad bill delayed, UH presidential candidates speak, Jones shipping act panned, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Workers put finishing touches on University of Hawaii at Manoa campus center © 2014 All Hawaii News
Amid educational reforms to better prepare Hawaii public school students for college and careers, the number of college-going graduates last year remained flat, and nearly a third of those who enrolled at the University of Hawaii weren't equipped to take entry-level math and English courses, according to a new report. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa is one of the least popular schools in the country, according to an analysis by eCollegeFinder.org, an online resource for prospective college students. Civil Beat.

David Lassner says that while he's never aspired to be president of the University of Hawaii in his nearly 40-year career at the university, he thinks UH has the potential to be the leading public higher education system in the nation and welcomes the opportunity to try to make that happen. Star-Advertiser.

The future Daniel K. Inouye Center for Democratic Leadership will be more than just a museum and a space to house the late senator's congressional papers, including those from the Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals. Star-Advertiser.

Plans for President Barack Obama’s official library are years away from being finalized but the first request for qualifications has been announced by his foundation and Hawai’i’s team is putting together an initial proposal due next month. Hawaii Public Radio.

A national consumer advocacy and environmental group has opened an office in Honolulu in its efforts to pass a law in Hawaii that would require labels to be put on genetically-modified foods. Hawaii News Now.

A 30-member task force convened by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to address energy security in Hawaii says the state needs an exemption from the 1920s-era Jones Act that requires all goods shipped within the United States be transported by American-made and American-manned ships. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii lawmakers are following a national trend and challenging Gov. Neil Abercrombie to consider whether children convicted of first-degree murder should be treated differently from murderous adults. Star-Advertiser.

With campaign season in full swing, we’ll soon be hearing the usual well-meaning but ineffective admonishments and pleas about low voter turnout in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Which Hawaii Representatives Got the Most Bills Passed? Civil Beat.

Among major climate change concerns and challenges already being felt in Hawai‘i and the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands are damage to coral reefs, decreasing freshwater supplies, increasing temperatures and greater stresses on native marine and terrestrial ecosystems, according to the 3rd U.S. National Climate Assessment released by the White House today. Hawaii Independent.

Strong earnings growth at its utility subsidiary was the main driver behind a 36 percent gain in Hawaiian Electric Industries' first quarter net income, the company reported Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.


Oahu

About 6 a.m. on Nov. 2, 2012, some 30 Honolulu police officers armed with rifles, handguns and shields broke down the side door of Kaneohe resident Paul Tam's home and searched for marijuana plants that officers claimed to have seen from a helicopter. After going through two houses on the property for about two hours destroying lights, doors and personal property, and ordering residents to lie face down on the ground, the officers discovered the suspected marijuana was actually a cluster of bamboo trees. That case, resolved for $70,000, was among several that the Honolulu City Council unanimously agreed to settle Wednesday at a cost of $3.67 million to taxpayers. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu police are investigating an assault on Oahu environmental activist Carroll Cox while he was looking into the alleged toxic dumping and misuse of land under the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council voted overwhelmingly in favor of a mayoral proposal Wednesday to place advertisements on the outside of city buses. The potential ad revenue, which could total million of dollars, is slated for bus service improvements. But Bill 69, which still needs further approval, could still be delayed for at least a year. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Council members will likely defer until next year a final decision on Mayor Kirk Caldwell's controversial plan to raise money for bus routes by selling advertising on the sides of city buses. Star-Advertiser.

A new law aimed at reforming the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency that manages development in Kakaako, is a victory for Kakaako residents who spent months protesting the approval of new high rises in their neighborhood last year. But despite their legislative success, development in Kakaako is likely to equal or exceed last year's pace, when the agency approved six new projects in the 600-acre district. Civil Beat.

Coral Crater Adventure Park, featuring a zipline course, off-road rides and a climbing wall, is being built in a 23-acre former Navy coral quarry owned by Hunt Cos. in Kalaeloa in West Oahu, the developer of the park told Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

Folks are getting wired in Ka‘u. Ten days worth of celebrations are ongoing on the smoky south flank of Mauna Loa as residents, visitors and growers celebrate the region’s budding coffee industry. West Hawaii Today.

A legislative appropriation of $618,000 has been released for the planning and design of a new campus for a charter school in Volcano Village. Big Island Now.

Maui

The long-awaited launch of Maui’s own Polynesian voyaging canoe, the Moʻokiha o Piʻilani, has been set for Friday, July 11, 2014, at Māla Wharf Boat Ramp in West Maui, according to a Hui o Waʻa Kaulua announcement. Maui Now.

Kauai
More than $80 million in capitol improvement project funding was secured for the island on the final day of the legislative session Wednesday at the state capitol, Kauai lawmakers said. Garden Island.

A divided Kauai County Council committee approved a budget proposal by Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. that could lower the amount of property tax revenues set aside for public access and open space projects next year. Garden Island.