Waters will not seek re-election
State Rep. Tommy Waters will not run for re-election.
Waters, 43, chairman of the state House Judiciary Committee, said the pressure of family life and earning a living were too much to balance along with his political commitments.
Waters (D, Lanikai-Waimanalo) has served the area for three terms. He is a private attorney.
Saying that he has two children, both below the age of 4, Waters said he wanted to spend more time at home.
"I want my family to know their dad, but it was a hard decision because there is a lot of work left to do," Waters said.
Waters said the recent criticism by Rep. Josh Green over Waters' refusal to pass a bill to reform medical malpractice was not a reason for his decision not to seek re-election.
"I fought for what I believe in, and I am proud of that," Waters said.
Governor honors Waiakea junior
A Waiakea High School junior who has led his school's robotics teams to various titles at the state, national and international level was one of three honorees to receive the first Governor's Innovation Award.
The monthly award program was announced by Gov. Linda Lingle in April to encourage innovation in all sectors of the economy and reward individuals, businesses, organizations and government agencies that are "developing creative ways to improve Hawaii."
Lingle presented the first awards recently at a ceremony in her office. Winners were:
» Kelson Lau, a junior at Waiakea High School, for innovation by an individual. Lau has been participating in robotics since the seventh grade and has led Waiakea to various titles in robotics competitions.
» Pacific Biodiesel Inc., for innovation by an organization or business. Founded in 1995 by Robert and Kelly King, the Maui-based company established one of the first commercially viable biodiesel plants in the country and converts about 1 million gallons of used cooking oil each year to biodiesel fuel.
» Department of Accounting and General Services, Information and Community Services Division, for innovation by a government agency. The six-member team has worked on the state's Web site and was responsible for the redesign of 16 state department sites within a six-month time frame.
Taro farmers call for more water
HAIKU, Maui » About 50 Maui taro farmers waved signs this weekend in hopes of gaining support for more water being placed in their streams.
The taro farmers want the state Commission on Water Resource Management to force East Maui Irrigation Co. and its parent company, Alexander & Baldwin Inc., to release much of the nearly 234 million gallons of water the company collects each day in its 74-mile irrigation system of ditches and tunnels.
"Does the ditch own the water?" asked 72-year-old protester James Sagawinit of Haiku, who waved signs along Hana Highway. "Water belongs to everyone, not a certain few. They didn't make it. It comes from the heavens."
Taro growers claim state law gives native Hawaiian farmers first rights on the water because the watershed is made up almost entirely of ceded Hawaiian lands, which are controlled by the state.
The state commission's report, which could be completed as early as next month, will develop flow standards for the Honopou, Hanehoi, Piinaau, Waiokamilo and Wailuanui streams.
Musical promotes healthy eating
The Alliance for Dramatic Education is partnering with the Hawaii Medical Service Association and Oahu schools to teach students, "You Are What You Eat."
A musical with that title was performed by the alliance's artist-educators and students from John H. Wilson Elementary School, with song, dance and drama used to explore food choices for children.
An artist-educator spent eight days completing a teaching residency at Wilson Elementary. Students were led in theater exercises and rehearsals to increase appreciation for drama and health food choices.
The musical was performed for classmates, teachers and parents.
The alliance also will work with fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders at nine other Oahu schools interested in the program, based on HMSA's Eat Healthy campaign.
A workbook and DVD of the performance will be distributed to neighbor island schools.
Police, Fire, Courts
Boyfriend arrested in alleged assault
Police charged a 21-year-old man over the weekend after he allegedly beat his 19-year-old girlfriend, fracturing her sinus cavity and her eye socket, in Kaneohe.
Brandon Scott Medeiros of Kaneohe was charged with three counts of second-degree assault and abuse of a household member. His bail was set at $50,000.
While officers investigated the assault, the victim reported that the man had punched her in the ribs several times on March 29, causing her to miscarry her unborn child, police said.
In the latest beating, on Friday, the man threw a beer bottle that hit the woman's arm and poured beer all over her, police said.
The assault, which started
at about 10 p.m., continued an hour later when the man
allegedly hit the woman's thigh with a dustpan and punched her several times in the face.
The woman sustained a bruise on her thigh and facial injuries.
She was treated at the hospital, police said.
28-year-old dies after leap off ledge
A 28-year-old man died yesterday morning after jumping off an 85-foot ledge at a Big Island waterfall.
At 6:22 a.m. yesterday, rescue officials responded to a report of a man who went missing after jumping into the pond downstream of the 12 Ton Bridge
Two bystanders jumped into the pool to rescue him but were not successful. Firefighters with scuba equipment recovered the body at the bottom of the pond.