POSTED: Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Federal grant to improve state IDs

The state recently was awarded nearly $756,000 under the federal Driver's License Security Grant Program.

The initiative was formerly known as the REAL ID Grant program.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said it strives to combat terrorism and to reduce fraud by improving the reliability and accuracy of driver's licenses and other identification documents issued by state governments.

The Hawaii Democrat says that in the post-Sept. 11, 2001, world, government-issued identification cards are crucial documents.

Inouye says it is essential to take steps to ensure the ID documents are legitimate and not counterfeits.

The amount awarded to Hawaii is based on the number of driver's licenses and identification cards issued in each state. For fiscal year 2009, Hawaii will receive $755,987.


City services post holiday hours

The Ala Moana and Pearlridge satellite city halls will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

The offices, which usually stay open until 6:45 p.m. on Wednesdays, will close earlier tomorrow and on Dec. 31 because of holiday hours at the malls.

Also, the city's Commercial Drivers Licensing Office at 99-501 Salt Lake Blvd. near Aloha Stadium will be closed tomorrow because of the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl football game. Commercial drivers and motorcycle riders are being advised to renew permits or licenses prior to the temporary closure.


UH-Hilo produces its first Ph.D.

A Maori educator from New Zealand is the first recipient of a doctoral degree from the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Katarina Edmonds qualified for a Ph.D. in Hawaiian and indigenous language and culture revitalization awarded by Ka Haka 'Ula o Ke'elikolani College of Hawaiian Language, university officials announced this month.

Edmonds' 200-page dissertation focused on the validity and reliability of tests that gauge students' Maori language proficiency. A member of the Te Whanau a Apanui and Rutaia tribes, Edmonds earned her undergraduate degrees in education and Maori and a master's in applied linguistics from the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Edmonds became involved in Maori immersion education and returned to Waikato to earn a graduate degree in bilingual education and to train Maori immersion teachers in the university's teacher education program.