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Off the News

For Thursday, July 21, 2011


High school students eat more, pay more

You know the saying, "You are what you eat"? Well, as a matter of pricing policy, Hawaii's school board is paraphrasing that to: "You pay what you eat."

In view of the fact that elementary school kids' meals are smaller than that of secondary students, their lunch costs will drop a dime, to $2.25 from last year's $2.35. But the older kids will be paying more: Up 15 cents per lunch, to $2.50; also, a dime more for breakfast, up to $1.10.

These prices are effective Sept. 1 — which gives public school families a month after the school year begins on Aug. 1 to either brace themselves for the increase, or look forward to the price break.

Publicly funded elections not dead yet

The fate of the Big Island's experiment with publicly funded elections, which began its first of three runs last year, looked bleak after a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling struck down key provisions of a similar program in Arizona. But a state Campaign Spending Commission attorney, Gary Kam, told the West Hawaii Today newspaper that candidates could still receive public funds to campaign, so long as the program did not disburse "equalizing funds" — money to match the spending of a candidate not participating in the program.

For voters who want more candidates conducting more robust campaigns, that's encouraging news.

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