POSTED: Thursday, July 30, 2009

Approaching storm poses minimal risk

An area of thunderstorms and rain larger than the state of Hawaii is moving slowly west toward the islands, but the National Weather Service said yesterday there is no cause for alarm.

The system, associated with a low pressure zone, was about 1,375 miles east-southeast of Hilo yesterday and traveling west about 15 mph.

Even if it sustained that speed, the storm is several days away.

Forecasters described the system as “;disorganized”; and not likely to develop into a tropical cyclone anytime soon. Winds in the system were averaging 30 mph.


Former UH exec up for top UNLV post

LAS VEGAS » A former University of Hawaii administrator is in the running to become the next president of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas after only two years at the campus.

Neal Smatresk, a zoologist, currently is executive vice president and provost at UNLV. He was vice chancellor for academic affairs at UH-Manoa from 2004 to 2007.

UNLV's board of regents is scheduled to vote on Smatresk next week. Smatresk would say only that he is honored to have been nominated for the UNLV post.



$7.8M grant will help park replace center

KAILUA-KONA » Hawaii Volcanoes National Park officials say a $7.8 million federal stimulus grant will go toward building a new visitor emergency operations center.

The new center will replace the current 1,200-square-foot station, where park rangers and eruption crew members are based.

Officials say the $6 million project will more than triple the size of the center, which is the first stop for visitors registering for back country hikes or seeking emergency medical help. The facility also will house the Pacific Area Communications Center, which serves as the communications base for all of Hawaii's national parks.

Officials say the remaining stimulus money will go toward road and trail improvements.

The new center is slated for opening in the fall.