Brief asides


POSTED: Friday, March 05, 2010


Something worth shrieking about

Let's hope he didn't bring friends. The state Department of Agriculture says a coqui frog has been located in Manoa Valley, but that it is just a lone amphibian and not part of an infestation. The coqui, an invasive species small in stature but big in shriek, was found in a home backyard and may have been brought in via a plant or landscaping. In large numbers, the mating call of coqui males are so loud they're said to rival the sound of jet planes. Large colonies have formed on Maui and the Big Island.

Officials are monitoring the Manoa frog so that they can capture and remove him before the noisy pests can even get a toadhold — er, toehold — on Oahu.



UH campus needs morale boost

The University of Hawaii-Manoa is known as a commuter school, leaving students feeling less connected to it than if they stayed there day and night. It also has suffered budget cuts, straining faculty and students alike. Not surprisingly, a survey finds students less than thrilled with the university's overall environment. Administrators should strive to maximize positive interactions between students and faculty.



Budget crisis? Dubious results? No problem

Good intentions don't always translate into good results. So it's worrisome that almost simultaneous to Kauai County being granted $1.2 million in federal funds for underage drinking prevention programs, a new study by Northwestern University researchers suggests public service announcements aimed at discouraging binge drinking among college students are backfiring. This is similar to anti-drug ad campaigns that also backfire by promoting, ironically, the “;perceptions among exposed youth that others' drug use was normal,”; according to the U.S. Government Accounting Office. In this era of financial crisis, the question is raised: Is this tax money well spent?