Friday, December 5, 2014

Charter schools lag in 3R's, Honolulu police chief causes mistrial, Kauai newspaper offers $10k reward in monk seal bludgeoning, Pearl Harbor officials blasted for selling free tickets, Waikiki merchants could pay fee for beach upkeep, Pahoa merchants eye lava flow, land use mulled, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy Hawaii Charter Schhols Network
courtesy Hawaii Charter Schools Network
Public school students as a whole performed better than charter school students in math, reading and science last year, according to the Charter School Commission's annual report released this week. Star-Advertiser.

An internal report from the National Park Service, which operates a visitors' center for a memorial at the USS Arizona, said tour companies sold tickets with the knowledge of park officials even though tickets are supposed to be free. Associated Press.

The state of Hawaii has implemented a "cloud first" policy across all state departments for all new information technology projects and migrating existing applications, the governor's office announced Thursday. Pacific Business News.

Three U.S. cities that President Barack Obama once called home are trying to outdo one another as the competition to host his future presidential library comes to a close. Associated Press.

The Hawaii Attorney General’s office and Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism failed to report millions of dollars from certain accounts, hindering the Legislature’s ability to monitor the money, a state audit has found. Civil Beat.

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents voted unanimously Thursday to approve Kalbert Young as chief operating officer and vice president for budget and finance. Young had been state budget director the past four years under former Gov. Neil Abercrombie, helping craft the state's roughly $10 billion operating budget and develop long-term financial strategies. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s FBI agency received $1.2 million worth of equipment in the form of three mine-resistant vehicles. Civil Beat.

The head of the Florida company buying Hawaiian Electric Industries said Thursday he plans to lower electric bills in the islands by switching power plants to liquefied natural gas, adding large-scale solar and wind farms and making use of smart grid technology. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

The lawyer for the man who was on trial for allegedly stealing Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha's mailbox is accusing Kealoha of intentionally causing a mistrial. Star-Advertiser.

Inappropriate testimony from Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha caused a federal judge to declare a mistrial in what has become a high-profile case involving a mailbox stolen from his house and an ongoing family feud between his wife and her estranged uncle over money. Civil Beat.

It was only in its second hour and on the second witness, when the federal trial for the man accused of stealing the mailbox of the Honolulu Police chief, abruptly ended. Hawaii News Now.

If two new city bills aimed at maintaining iconic Waikiki Beach are adopted, commercial property owners in the area will have to contribute to beach restoration projects. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Drivers traversing the intersection of Queen Kaahumanu Highway and Makala Boulevard in Kailua-Kona may need to adjust their driving pattern, and more changes are ahead. West Hawaii Today.

On Monday, a group of students and activists took down the American flag flying at main entrance of the University of Hawaii at Hilo, instead raising the Hawaiian flag that was beneath it. The action was related to what they say is the continued illegal occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom by the United States. Big Island Video News.

A bill aimed at increasing transparency and public input in the process of creating planned unit developments was reluctantly endorsed Thursday by the Windward Planning Commission. West Hawaii Today.

The lava flow on the Big Island has shifted in recent weeks. That means new neighborhoods threatened and lots of questions, which community leaders attempted to answer Wednesday night. KITV4.

The new leading edge of the June 27 lava flow moved 170 yards between Wednesday and Thursday, bringing it within about 435 yards of a fork in its predicted path. Tribune-Herald.

Twenty-one people attended a state Planning Office meeting Wednesday at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority, where officials gathered input about the state’s land use process, specifically district boundary amendment procedures. West Hawaii Today.

East Hawaii residents might have a harder time finding a Christmas tree this year after shipments to one major retailer were sent back to the mainland. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Target has already attracted 1,100 applicants online, and had hundreds of interested job seekers attend the first day of a four-day job fair on Maui today. Maui Now.

Maui-based Pacific Biodiesel Technologies has signed a contract with Hawaiian Electric to supply the utility with biodiesel processed from waste cooking oil and other local feedstocks for use at HECO's 110-megawatt Campbell Industrial Park generation facility. Maui News.

Kauai

The Garden Island newspaper is putting up a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for the bludgeoning death of a female Hawaiian monk seal pup in Anahola, on Kauai’s northeast coast. The award matches a $10,000 award offered by the Humane Society of the United States, Conservation Council of Hawaii, Center for Biological Diversity and the Monk Seal Foundation.

The county will not change the designation of a Poipu neighborhood after many residents and property owners objected. County planning officials, in response to concerns from Whalers Cove residents, said they will keep the active residential zoning designation for the area. Garden Island.