POSTED: Monday, December 14, 2009

UH to graduate about 1,600 Saturday

About 1,600 students can receive their degrees at fall commencement ceremonies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Dr. Virginia Pressler, executive vice president and chief strategic officer of Hawaii Pacific Health, will address graduates at the ceremony Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Just over 1,090 students will receive bachelor degrees, and more than 566 will receive master's and doctoral degrees, and post-baccalaureate certificates in secondary education.

The student procession will begin at 8:30 a.m. Doors to the Stan Sheriff Center will open at 7:45 a.m. The event is free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Balloons and strollers are not allowed inside the Stan Sheriff Center.

Free parking will be available in the lower campus parking structure, which will open at 6 a.m.


Oceanic Institute names president

Anthony Ostrowski has been named the new president of the Waimanalo-based Oceanic Institute.

Ostrowski had been interim president since April, replacing Bruce Anderson, who is now director of health and science programs at Hawaii Pacific University.

The Oceanic Institute is a nonprofit, private research institution specializing in aquaculture production and marine resource conservation. It is affiliated with Hawaii Pacific University.


Police union re-elects sitting leader

The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers re-elected Tenari Maafala as president in voting earlier this month.

Maafala will serve his fourth term and ninth year representing the 2,800-member police union. Also taking office Jan. 1 are Malcolm Lutu, vice president; Andrew Lum, secretary; James Smith, treasurer; and Michael Cusumano, John Haina and Jeffrey-James Lee, directors at large.


Applications accepted for farmer aid

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications from Hawaii farmers and ranchers for the Farm and Ranchlands Protection Program.

The program helps farmers and ranchers keep their land in agriculture.

The USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service has more than $1.5 million available for easement purchases.

The program provides matching funds to state, tribal and local governments and nongovernmental organizations with farmland protection programs to purchase conservation easements. More information is available at www.pia.nrcs.usda.gov.



Decision due on Maui streams

WAILUKU » A state commission is scheduled to decide Wednesday on setting standards to divert streams serving East and Upcountry Maui residents as well as farmers, including Hawaii's last sugar plantation.

The meeting of the state Commission on Water Resource Management is to start at 10 a.m. at the Paia Community Center. The commission's staff plans to present its recommendations for 19 streams.

The water from the streams, collected through a ditch system, serves a variety of users, including Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co., Maui County, and Upcountry Maui farmers.

The commission, responsible for setting stream flow standards to protect the public interest, previously amended flow standards for Honopou, Hanehoi, Piinaau, Waiokamilo and Wailuanui.

The commission held a public meeting in October to accept oral and written testimony on the remaining 19 streams.

Further information can be obtained by calling 587-0214 or accessing the commission Web site at hawaii.gov/dlnr/cwrm.