POSTED: Monday, June 15, 2009

UH-Hilo reviews budget cuts

HILO » Administrators at the University of Hawaii-Hilo are considering cutting $4 million from its $50 million annual budget to comply with Gov. Linda Lingle's plan to furlough state workers.

The governor wants 14,500 state employees to take three unpaid days off each month, starting in July.

She also says she will cut funds to the UH system, the Department of Education and the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation in hopes they will furlough their 32,000 workers.

But UH could avoid furloughs by cutting spending by an amount equal to that saved by sending workers home.

UH-Hilo's Gerald De Mello says a team is looking at class sizes and courses, library and campus center hours, and janitorial service levels.


Thermometer at airport heats up record readings

Temperatures at the Honolulu Airport have hit record highs for seven days straight, including yesterday's blistering 92-degree reading, but all with a caveat.

National Weather Service lead forecaster Tom Birchard said questions have been raised on the validity of the data since no other records have been set around the state lately.

So the weather service sent out technicians to test the airport thermometer and discovered it read a little higher than the testing thermometer, but within tolerance.

“;There's somewhat of a warm bias to those readings,”; Birchard said.

Yesterday's 92 degrees broke the old record of 90 set in 1982 and tied in 1996 and 2005.


Sailor, solo and silent, believed to be on track

A man who set sail Thursday from the West Coast to Hawaii has yet to report in but is presumed safe on his 2,600-mile solo journey.

Brad Tinius, 59, from Hat Island, Wash., left his home on June 7 and stopped in Port Angeles and Neah Bay, Wash., before venturing out into the Pacific Ocean aboard his Malaysian-built, 29-foot wooden sailboat, Chencharu.

Tinius' wife, Mindy, estimates that he is about 450 miles out to sea. The crossing is expected to take 24 to 28 days.

Tinius sailed the same boat from Australia to Washington state nearly three decades ago.

“;When I had just met him, he had just gotten in from Australia,”; Mindy Tinius said by telephone yesterday. “;We've been married for 25 years, and our whole family are sailors. We've lived on Hat Island for 21 or 22 years, and every day is a boat trip for us. It's like getting into a car.”;

To track Tinius' journey to Hawaii, visit the Pangolin Web site at http://www.pangolin.co.nz/yotreps/reporter_list.php. Tinius' tracking number is WDE8833.


UH library to convert newspapers to digital form

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded $140,920 to Hamilton Library at the University of Hawaii at Manoa to convert 10 historical Hawaii newspapers published from 1880 to 1918 from microfilm to digital form.

The library received the funds to continue the Hawaii Digital Newspaper Project for 2009 to 2010.

The project is part of the Newspaper Digitization Project, a part of the National Digital Newspaper Program, which will convert about 100,000 English-language newspaper pages published between 1880 and 1922.

The digitized newspapers will become part of a searchable database of historically significant newspapers, which can be freely accessed through the Internet and will be permanently kept at the Library of Congress.

They will include all newspapers from all U.S. states and territories published between 1836 and 1922.


Mauna Kea scope would yield 140 jobs

KAILUA-KONA» The Big Island would gain 140 full-time jobs if the Thirty Meter Telescope is built atop Mauna Kea.

Jobs also would be created during the project's construction, which would be expected to take up to eight years.

The estimate is included in a draft environmental impact statement released last month.

The telescope would be the world's largest if built.

Observatory headquarters would be based at the University of Hawaii-Hilo's University Park. A satellite office might be set up in Waimea, on parcels behind Parker Ranch Center.

Some native Hawaiian groups believe Mauna Kea is sacred and argue the telescope would defile the extinct volcano on Hawaii island.