Brief asides


POSTED: Thursday, September 24, 2009


Isle commuters lead U.S. in carpooling

Given the traffic backlog during rush hours, who would've thought it?

But if one believes the numbers, Hawaii ranks No. 1 in the nation in percentage of workers who carpool to work.

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2008 American Community Survey shows that 16.2 percent of Hawaii workers ages 16 and older who get to work by car, truck or van do the carpool thing. And with 6 percent of its 16-and-older workers using public transportation to get to jobs, Hawaii ranked No. 7 in that category. Perhaps that number will soar when, and if, rail transit comes to Oahu.


Enough pain to go around

The poor economy is hurting Hawaii's private schools, too. Families at St. Joseph School on Maui got word this week that the 65-year-old elementary school would close in May, due to declining enrollment.

The school has 45 students in grades kindergarten through fifth-grade, but needs 92 to be fiscally viable, the Maui News reported. St. Joseph Preschool is to continue to operate next school year as usual.


Here's a contest that could help Hawaii schools

It should take no more than 20 seconds a day, and could reap a bounty of books for Hawaii's children.

First Book, a national literacy advocacy group, is holding a nationwide contest to award 50,000 books to the state with the most votes in an online giveaway. Hawaii is currently tops in the contest — but needs the votes coming to stay there.

First Book aims to get children reading by providing books to programs and schools serving low-income families with limited access to age-appropriate books.

Voters can participate once a day — so with a week left before the contest ends Sept. 30 at midnight (EST), there's still time to vote early, and vote often. The Web site is http://booksforkids.firstbook.org/whatbook/about.php.