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Monday, May 11, 2009
May 11, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:14 AM :: 5152 Views :: Kauai County News, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

Honolulu rail route, elevation draw most public comments

More than 600 public comments were lodged in response to a city plan to build a 20-mile East Kapolei to Ala Moana train.

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Bill to protect taro put off

Versions of the bill passed both the state House and Senate, but House Agriculture Committee Chairman Clifton Tsuji says it needs more consideration and will be brought up again next year. Tsuji says he wants to respect the cultural concerns of Hawaiians while still allowing scientists to explore ways to shield taro from diseases. He is also awaiting recommendations of the Taro Security and Purity Task Force, which the Legislature set up to collaborate on the issue.

More than 300 varieties of taro, or kalo, may have existed at the time European explorers arrived. Today there are about 70 varieties, the majority unique to the Hawaiian Islands.

(Oh well, OHA will have to wait til next year to shake down Monsanto etal.)

RELATED: UH cared for HALOA for 104 years with no help from any activists

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BoE Chair Toguchi: Rough, but emotion can't sway school-closure vote

Ultimately, though, it is the school board's job to ensure limited taxpayer funds are spent wisely to give students the best education.  (And yet they have failed to abolish the DoE.)  On Oahu and elsewhere in the state, the population growth has largely shifted from urban to suburban and rural neighborhoods. That means resources have to be redirected to meet the needs of areas with the most children.

To that end, similar consolidation studies are being conducted in a number of districts with small schools.

It is critical to note, however, that Wailupe Valley's closure does not set a precedent for shutting down other small schools in the state. Declining enrollment is hardly the deciding factor in making these tough choices.

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Drug program succeeds beyond 'wildest dreams'

She said 75 percent of the women show up after making the first phone call, and 90 percent stay with the program. "Some women who delivered 20 months ago still call us and keep in touch."

Results are "unbelievable," said Executive Director Renee Schuetter, explaining that 81 percent are drug-free within three months. She said 97 percent have maintained custody of their children eight weeks after birth, and 94 percent have retained custody after six months.

"The secret seems to be that the staff is small and very consistent, open and not judging of them at all, and we allow them to set their goals," said Schuetter, a registered nurse.

The women care about their pregnancy and health of their babies, she said. "That's a place we can work from."

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State to close center in Kailua

Mental health advocates say the closure of the center will mean a big inconvenience to some mentally ill clients. "These people are severely disabled," said Marya Grambs, executive director of Mental Health America of Hawai'i. "That's why we have this network of community mental health centers. We're just whittling it away."

The closure comes as the state is making other cuts to mental health programs.

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Ka Loko: North Shore farmers worried about water

The executive summary indicates that the March 2006 failure of Ka Loko Dam, besides killing seven people, also decreased Ka Loko Reservoir’s capacity from 400 million gallons to 48 million gallons.
Several North Shore farmers had depended on water flowing from Ka Loko to irrigate their crops.
“The failure of the dam, corresponding loss of storage, and uncertainty over whether the structure will continue to be available for irrigation jeopardizes this water resource and those farmers who depend on it,” the summary states.

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2 Kapa‘a CODEPINK women plan to help children in Gaza

(Clue: They won't be going to help get Hamas off of Gazans' backs.)

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