POSTED: Friday, August 21, 2009

Drunken drivers to face checks

Honolulu police will step up enforcement today against drunken driving as part of a national campaign that will run through Labor Day.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is holding a campaign—“;Drunk driving. Over the limit. Under arrest.”;

“;The decision to drive drunk can change your life forever,”; said Maj. Thomas Nitta, HPD Traffic Division commander. “;You risk killing yourself and others and traumatizing your families. There's also the financial impact of hospital care, car insurance, attorney fees and possible jail time. It's just not worth it.”;

Police will set up driver checkpoints and have more officers patrolling freeways and other roadways.

Alcohol and/or speed were factors in at least 19 of the 35 Oahu fatal traffic collisions this year as of last Friday.

Hawaii student test scores improve

The state Department of Education released school-by-school results for the 2009 Hawaii State Assessment yesterday.

More than 92,000 students from 284 Hawaii schools participated in the test, issued to grades three through eight, plus 10th grade. Scores improved statewide in reading and math.

However, fewer schools met the federal No Child Left Behind law.

Reading proficiency jumped in all grade levels to 65 percent, compared with 62 percent last year. Students proficient in math also increased to 44 percent, from 42 percent.

On the federal level, only 97 Hawaii schools made “;adequate yearly progress,”; although 47 schools missed it by just one out of 37 required benchmarks.

To view school-by-school results of the Hawaii State Assessment, visit the DOE Web site at and click on “;On the DOE News Stand.”;

Condolence signing for S. Korea's Kim

The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea has made available a book of condolence for former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, who died Tuesday.

The book is available for signing until 6 p.m. tomorrow at the Korean Consulate General at 2756 Pali Highway.

Kim, 85, won the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to foster reconciliation with North Korea.

State lands $2.26M grant for 2 projects

The U.S. Department of Commerce awarded Hawaii a $2.26 million grant to construct a Renewable Energy Resource Center and design a municipal parking lot on Maui.

According to a news release, $1.06 million will be used to construct the energy resource center in Kihei. The facility will support development of renewable energy businesses to use Hawaii's natural resources.

Renewable energy sources include solar, wind and wave energy as well as algae and other crops used to generate biofuels. The project is funded through the Economic Development Administration's Global Climate Change Mitigation Incentive Fund.

The remaining $1.2 million will go toward the design of a municipal parking structure in Wailuku. The new structure will help provide parking space for existing businesses and revitalize commerce in the area.