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Off the News

For Friday, July 15, 2011

LAST UPDATED: 2:23 p.m. HST, Aug 5, 2011

Go West, young man, to China

As the Star-Advertiser has been reporting, Hawaii has launched a major charm offensive on China, months in advance of November's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting.

And it's not only in the business realm.

University of Hawaii President MRC Greenwood told Star-Advertiser editors this week that UH is eager to forge its own ties with China, and pointed to the APEC Conference on Quality in Higher Education, set for Aug. 4-6 at the East-West Center, as an example. The event's schedule shows multiple papers presented by academics from Shanghai, Hong Kong and (to be fair) Taiwan as well.

Also noted: The timetable lists several timeouts — labeled as "tea breaks," of course.

Food inspectors back in the saddle

Hawaii farmers love to provide food to local restaurants and consumers but have been limited by the number of state agricultural inspectors. Now, Gov. Neil Abercrombie will be filling 10 vacant state agricultural inspector positions, and they all will be at the Honolulu Airport.

The governor says he will increase the number of ag inspectors to protect the environment, grow more local food for restaurants and restore the economy. In addition to produce and cargo checks, state agricultural inspectors also nab wayward, invasive critters. Based on recent cases of illegal snakes showing up here — a 9-foot boa constrictor and black rat snake come to mind — the inspectors will have their hands full, very full.

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