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Monday, August 3, 2009
August 3, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:21 PM :: 6562 Views

Hawaii schools' failure to come up with new excuses for not meeting benchmarks troubles officials

Education officials have few explanations for what they consider to be a disturbing trend — year after year Hawai'i's high schools struggle to make (up new excuses for not making)  "adequate yearly progress" under the federal No Child Left Behind law.

"It's a multitude of reasons. One is the rigor of the federal mandate. But also, in high school, kids are dealing with a lot of different issues," said Gerald Teramae, principal of Kalani High School. "It's tough. The kids are older, they have different agendas."  (As you read these excuses, visualize a fish flopping around on the deck.)

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Honolulu Airport contract probed

On June 26, 2000, state officials awarded a $1.5 million contract for a system to monitor taxi traffic at Honolulu International Airport. Nine years later, the state has spent $1.3 million and the system is still not finished.

A timeline of events shows that problems with the contract first surfaced in July 2003, which was just one month before the system was scheduled to be completed. By September 2006, the contract was 630 days past due. At that point airport officials threatened to fine Ted's Wiring $300 a day for failing to complete the project on time. That threat was never carried out and in October of last year, Ted's Wiring was told to complete the system by the end of January 2009.

Sometime between January and June of this year, airport officials discovered that the original contract with Ted's Wiring had no provision allowing the state to collect damages for not completing the project on time. Airport officials could not explain why such provisions typically included in airport construction deals were not included in the contract with Ted's Wiring.

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Hoku hopes bonus plan retains execs (Act 215/221 Tax credits at work)

Hoku Scientific Inc., the Hawai'i-based company that's reported losses in 10 of the past 11 quarters, has given a pair of so-called "golden handcuffs" to its four top executives in the hopes of keeping them from leaving in the next year....Hoku will pay out an extra $430,000 and award 190,000 shares of restricted stock to top executives and independent directors under a newly implemented retention plan.

(And that's how you can make money is a money-losing company--with the help of Hawaii Taxpayers)

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More island families moving in together

HONOLULU (KHNL) - During this economic downturn, many are still looking to upgrade or even expand their homes. But this trend of bigger and better is actually a way to save money and resources.

There has been such an interest in this, that lawmakers passed a resolution this past session creating a task force to make it easier for owners to modify their homes, for multi-generational living, and for elders aging in their place.

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A bidding challenge means College Hill will not be ready for the new UH president

A $100 price difference and a disagreement about the legal definition of a word has delayed the renovation of the University of Hawaii president's residence by several months....  That delay means College Hill will not be available when incoming UH President M.R.C. Greenwood takes office, and she will get a $5,000 monthly housing allowance until the home is finished, perhaps in January.... hahahahahaha.  (And so begins the "Era of Greenwood"  ca-ching!)

The protest centered on the word "subcontractor" and whether the company providing steel beams to support the porch and flooring was a subcontractor or supplier.

Brian's said fitting the beams required a subcontractor with a license who needed to be listed on bidding documents.

AMR said its company, which was licensed, was merely supplying the steel beams, which would be fitted off site and installed by AMR workers.

(Which is the kind of stuff which makes government contracts so expensive)

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Net enticement hard to assess

There have been six arrests so far this year, matching the total number of arrests last year.

Yet, law enforcement officials and others with an interest in tracking the prevalence of online sexual solicitation of children say it is difficult to put these figures into proper context given limited resources, incongruities in local and national guidelines, and a still-evolving understanding of the crime itself.

(Can we get the convicted child molester off Legislative Staff now?)

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Hawaii's homeless, rousted from parks, now living in remote areas

A City & County of Honolulu Point-in-Time Count of Homeless conducted in May noted that volunteers along the Wai'anae Coast did not survey "homeless individuals residing in areas that they felt were unsafe to visit."

More and more, they are moving to an area between Lualualei Naval Road in Nanakuli and Ma'ili Point along Farrington Highway.

One person who moved there after being evacuated from another beach park is Renee Barrett, 47. Barrett says she has spent much of her life in prison and admits she's had problems with drug and alcohol abuse.

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Study says organic food offers few advantages

Q:  What's the difference between "organic" food and other food?

A:  Organic costs more.

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Kauai County officials ponder sustainable solutions

Using the sun’s rays as energy for county facilities, however, might be closer to coming to fruition, as an 85 kilowatt system with a price tag of around $700,000 has an “anticipated bid” in late October.

One qualm an environmental advocate had with this project was how outfitting the county building would help cut energy use when the water district is reported to use 40 percent of the county’s consumption, along with another 20 percent for wastewater activities, totaling an average of 60 percent of the island’s electrical needs.

(Yup, its just a $700k fantasy.  There is no such thing as "sustainability".)

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