POSTED: Monday, September 28, 2009

Environmental projects draw $21M in Senate

The U.S. Senate has approved more than $21 million for Hawaii environmental projects, Sen. Dan Inouye has announced .

The money will fund such projects as the expansion of the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge. That project will receive $7.4 million.

The Recovery of Native Hawaiian Birds program will get $3 million.

Other initiatives included: Hawaii Forest Research Facility, $2.5 million; Hawaii Invasive Species Program, $1.25 million; rat eradication on Palmyra, $1.2 million; Kilauea Point Lighthouse repair, $1 million; a U.S. Geological Survey program to address watershed degradation, erosion and sediment transport, and to establish a link between watershed management and degradation of coral reefs, $600,000; Native Hawaiian Culture and Arts Program, $500,000.

The bill now goes to a joint House-Senate conference.


UH extends term for grant consultant

The University of Hawaii is extending a contract with a Washington D.C.-based consultant to help secure research and development grants.

The Board of Regents approved the $180,000 one-year contract extension for the Implementation Group at a meeting earlier this month.

The group has helped get $26 million in grants from the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, according to a UH memo to the regents. The consultants are also working with faculty and administrators to identify, develop and review other grant requests.

The university began working with the Implementation Group in 2004 and has issued contracts totaling about $1.1 million to the consultants. The consultants are paid through the UH Research and Training Revolving Fund.


Project to open pathways of learning

The University of Hawaii says its Library and Information Science Program has received a National Leadership grant of close to $250,000.

The money from the Institute of Museum and Library Services will be used for a project entitled “;Pathways to Excellence and Achievement in Research and Learning,”; or PEARL.

The university says the five-member PEARL team will design and implement a training program for high school teachers and librarians to address “;expectation gaps”; between high school and post-high school pursuits.

A training guide will be produced that focuses on the mastery of such 21st century skills as critical thinking, problem solving, interpreting information and analytic reasoning.

The project will be developed with the state Department of Education.


Sacred Hearts wins parade honors

The Sacred Hearts Sisters took overall honors for their float celebrating the congregation's 150 years in Hawaii in the 63rd annual Aloha Festivals Floral Parade held Saturday in Waikiki.

Other floats winning prizes were Hawaiian Airlines, Ke Alii Kaapuni Honua Keena Ao Hula with Kumu Hula Leimomi Ho, Partners in Development, and Halau Kapa Hula O Ka Lei Hulu Hiwa and Ka Lei Kupuna with kumu hula Jack McKeague.

Moanalua High School took top honors for marching bands, followed by Castle High School and Iolani School.

Big Island riders swept the pau unit page, princess and unit categories, followed by Lanai and Kauai in each category. The Big Island pau riders also won most original and aloha spirit awards. Molokai won for most comical and the coveted pooper scooper award went to Lanai.



Maui deer population out of control

KAHULUI » Tiny and cute, axis dear have become a huge nuisance on state lands, Hawaiian homelands, watersheds, golf courses, parks, ranches, farms and home gardens, the Maui News reported.

Maui County and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources have no accurate estimate of the number of axis deer in the county or any indication of how the population has grown. But officials agree that the introduced animal's numbers are spiraling out of control, the newspaper reported yesterday.

Just like other states across the union, Hawaii has made efforts to increase the number of hunters to deal with exploding deer populations, such as offering popular hunter education classes, no bag limits, a year-round hunting season and cheap licenses.

But fewer people are hunting than a generation ago. And during the ongoing drought, increasing numbers of deer leave the forest in search of water, green grass and low-lying plants, the experts said.