Monday, November 26, 2012

Kilauea lava flows to ocean, Kulani prison moves forward, schools hire without background checks, slug-infested Christmas tree deliveries stopped, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

2011 USGS photo of Kilauea lava flow
For the first time in eleven months, lava is entering the ocean from Kilauea volcano. Hawaii News Now.

Lava from Kilauea Volcano is entering the ocean in lower Puna for the first time since New Year’s Day, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii island tour operators enjoyed their own version of Black Friday weekend when lava from Kilauea Volcano's Puu Oo vent spilled into the ocean Saturday afternoon, prompting a surge of business from locals and visitors eager to witness the spectacle. Star-Advertiser.

College students from the University of Hawaii at Hilo had a chance to see the work of Madame Pele in person this weekend, as a Volcanology class left the confines of campus and studied a lava flow at Kalapana on the Big Island. Hawaii News Now.

State Rep. Marcus Oshiro says it's not clear yet who will lead the state House despite an announcement by former speaker Rep. Joe Souki that he has the vote to reclaim the post. KITV4.

A new Department of Education audit of the casual hire system that employed some 22,000 people at schools statewide last fiscal year found poor oversight and a lack of monitoring, and concluded schools were failing to follow even basic pre-employment protocols, including ensuring that background checks were conducted before an employee began work. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Ethics Commission Sets Sights On Charter School Employee. Civil Beat.

Pierre Omidyar
Pierre and Pam Omidyar’s plan to give $50 million to the Hawaii Community Foundation is halfway through its six-year commitment to launch community initiatives, and there is already progress on those initiatives. Pacific Business News.

Shipments of Christmas trees to stores statewide have stopped. KITV4.

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council — a taxpayer-funded federal agency that works with NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service to ensure commercial fisheries stay strong in the 1.5 million square miles under its jurisdiction, forked over at least $107,500 to publish a book, little more than a summary of a series of workshops. Civil Beat.

State roundup for November 26. Associated Press.


The Honolulu City Council will welcome four new members in the next two months, three of whom were in the state Legislature only a month ago. The fourth was in the state Senate just four years ago. Star-Advertiser.

A backlog of claims at the Honolulu Veterans Benefits Administration is keeping some Hawaii veterans waiting up to 18 months for decisions on disability benefits. Civil Beat.

Photovoltaic permits overloading city of Honolulu. KHON2.

The Honolulu rail project will make about $5 million available to buy works of art to dress up the system's 21 train stations, and the city expects to invite artists from across the nation to compete for a chance to win commissions. Star-Advertiser.

Farrington High School officials dealing with aftermath of roof collapse. KITV4.


Councilman J Yoshimoto intends to run a tight ship when he takes the helm of the Hawaii County Council on Dec. 3. Tribune-Herald.

About 200 Hawaii inmates will be closer to home for the holidays as early as next year if the proposed reactivation of Kulani prison comes to fruition. West Hawaii Today.

On Dec. 3, Mitch Roth will become Hawaii County’s first new elected prosecutor in a generation, having won a general election nailbiter over county Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida. Tribune-Herald.


The Maui County Planning Department has issued a request for proposals for a new "small town planning" grant program. Maui News.

Hamoa Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world has been without a public shower for the past month and may continue to be without one for a while. Maui News.

With more than 17,500 smart meters already installed, the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative is more than halfway finished with the project to replace older mechanical meters at 33,000 homes and businesses. Garden Island.

The County of Kaua‘i signed on to take the Better Buildings Challenge, pledging to reduce energy use by 20 percent at its facilities by 2020. Garden Island.


Molokai teachers are joining public school educators around Hawaii to raise awareness for their efforts of negotiating a fair contract with the state. Molokai Dispatch.

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