POSTED: Saturday, November 14, 2009

3 schools win blue ribbon

Momilani, Royal and Ewa Beach elementary schools were named Blue Ribbon Schools yesterday by Frito-Lay of Hawaii and the state Department of Education.

The three schools, chosen from among 13 public school nominees, will represent Hawaii in the 2010 National No Child Left Behind—Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Momilani and Royal were previous recipients of the award.

Frito-Lay of Hawaii, sponsor of the Hawaii Distinguished Schools Program, awarded the three schools with $3,000 each for outstanding achievements this past school year.

The 2009 National Blue Ribbon Schools—Kapalama and Lanakila elementary schools—were also recognized and presented with $1,000, in addition to the $3,000 they received upon selection as Hawaii's representatives to the Blue Ribbon Schools Program last year. Both schools received the National Blue Ribbon designation along with 312 other schools from across the nation at a Washington, D.C., ceremony Nov. 3.


Alzheimer's advocacy workshop scheduled

Mike Splaine, director of state policy and advocacy programs at the Alzheimer's Association in Washington, D.C., will speak at a free workshop here Tuesday on “;Alzheimer's Advocacy: How the Legislature Works.”;

Two events are scheduled at the Mauka Parish Hall at Central Union Church, one from 10 a.m. to noon and another from 6 to 8 p.m. Call 591-2771 for reservations.

An estimated 28,000 Hawaii residents are affected by Alzheimer's, the fifth leading cause of death for adults over age 64 in the United States, according to the Alzheimer's Association.

For more information, see www.alz.org/hawaii.


State is lowest in TV converter redemption

Hawaii, the first state to convert to digital television signals, had the lowest rate of redemption of the government-issued coupons that provided $40 toward the purchase of a converter box.

The coupons expired Monday, and Americans managed to redeem just more than half of the 64.1 million coupons that were distributed, federal records show.

With about $1.8 billion in funding to help Americans ready for the transition by offering $40 toward the purchase of a con- verter box, more than $500 million remained unused, according to rough estimates.

“;The DTV coupon program was a tremendous success,”; National Telecommunications and Information Administration Assistant Secretary Lawrence Strickling said. “;It educated millions of Americans about how to prepare for the transition and helped millions of households with the cost of purchasing a converter box.”;

Hawaii ranked lowest in coupon redemptions at 40 percent, while Iowa was the highest with a 64 percent redemption rate.

Barring any congressional mandate, the unused funds will return to the general fund. Anyone still in need of a converter box will be on their own.



Big Island county jobs might be cut

HILO » The administration of Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi is checking each of Hawaii County's 2,910 positions to see which can be eliminated.

Kenoi ordered the review in light of an expected $100 million budget shortfall for the county in the two-year period ending June 30, 2011.

The projection is based on economic forecasts and the expectation the state will not be sharing Tourist Accommodation Tax revenues with the counties as it has in the past.

State House Finance Chairman Marcus Oshiro said Thursday that the state is more than likely going to use the revenue to address deficits it is facing.

Hawaii County Managing Director Bill Takaba said officials are looking to see which jobs are essential, which can be combined and which can be eliminated.