Newswatch


By Star-Bulletin Staff

Thursday, October 24, 1996



Kapolei project will relocate
up to 640 city workers

A new police station and civic center in Kapolei is expected to relocate up to 640 city employees to the Ewa region by the year 2000.

Under the plan unveiled by Mayor Jeremy Harris yesterday, the 36,600-square-foot Kapolei police station would begin construction in late 1997 and be completed in late 1998 or early 1999.

With an estimated price tag of $12 million, the facility will house 210 officers, many of them specialty personnel such as detectives and juvenile services officers who already are working in the Ewa area, the mayor said.

The station, to be across from the Campbell Building, is to feature 50 holding cells to alleviate crowding at police headquarters on Alapai Street.

Construction of the first phase of the Kapolei Civic Center is scheduled to begin in late 1997 or early 1998 as well.

The administration expects to have the building finished about 12 to 15 months after the police station.



Drought-stricken farmers: 'Pray for rain'

Farmers and ranchers say they're losing money as a drought continues in parts of the state, with no major rains expected until November.

"It doesn't look promising," said Roy Matsuda, lead forecaster for the National Weather Service in Honolulu.

Dry conditions have prevailed in Waimea on the Big Island and Maui's Upcountry region through this month, when the transition to the rainy season usually begins.

Upcountry Maui farmers breathed a sigh of relief yesterday after recent rains in east Maui increased the Wailoa ditch flow and delayed a water board order to reduce water use by 25 percent. A 10 percent cutback remains in effect.

The ditch flow increased from 23 million to 33 million gallons a day after this week's rain.

Officials have been pumping water from the ditch to Upcountry treatment plants and reservoirs.

Maui water officials warned the relief was temporary and the ditch flow was beginning to drop again.

"It's been so hot and dry," said Warren Watanabe, a Kula farmer and Maui County Water Board member. "For my operation I irrigate fields normally for three hours. I've cut it back for an hour and a half."

Watanabe, who operates a 24-acre farm, said he expects his crop yields to decrease by at least 10 percent. If the water board increases the cutbacks to 25 percent, Watanabe said he and other Kula farmers will be forced to halt replanting their land.

Watanabe said the Maui Water Board needs to re-evaluate the water system Upcountry and provide more storage.

"We're trying to hang in there," he said. "Pray for rain."



Isle teachers need better pay,
support, study says

Hawaii's public school teachers need more professional development and a competitive pay schedule to keep them from quitting, according to a report compiled by Hawaii educators.

The study - by a task force of the state Board of Education and the University of Hawaii Board of Regents - also recommends that the state's 11,400 teachers serve as mentors for first-year teachers and attend conventions.

The task force was one of three which reported to members of both boards yesterday as members attempt to set education policy for the next century. Also discussed were student preparation for college and the need for technology, such as the Internet and other on-line services.

Charles T. Araki, interim dean at the UH College of Education and co-chairman of the task force on teacher preparation, says between 26 percent and 46 percent of mainland hires by the state Department of Education leave at the end of their first year in Hawaii. The turnover rate for local teachers is less than 10 percent.

"Locally, teachers who leave teaching do so not only because of the cost of living and poor working conditions," Araki said, "but also because some teachers recruited from the mainland have difficulty adjusting to local cultural values and traditions."

The study, prepared by Araki and Department of Education Assistant Superintendent Donald Nugent, offers 15 initiatives to improve conditions for public school teachers. One suggestion supports teacher development by adding five days to the teacher work year with full compensation.



For expanded versions of these and other stories,
see today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.




Police/Fire


By Star-Bulletin staff



Police release man held in
death of housemate

Police released a 38-year-old man arrested Tuesday in connection with the stabbing death of a housemate at a Waikiki home.

The man was released pending investigation.

Police arrested the man at 421 Launiu St. after a security guard found a 30-year-old resident on the floor of his room bleeding from stab wounds.

Police are looking for another man who may have been at the scene for questioning.



Other Police/Fire headlines
in today's Star-Bulletin:

  • Man faces theft charges for stealing 8 scarves
  • Police release suspect in attempted murder probe

See expanded versions in today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.





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