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For Sunday, April 24, 2011

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services


May Day is lei day

The city is inviting residents to enter the annual May Day lei-making contest. There are categories for neck lei, theme lei, hat lei and beginners. Entries must be brought to Kapiolani Park next Sunday from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Go to www1.honolulu.gov/parks/programs/leiday/index1.htm and click on “Lei Day Celebration 2011” for an entry form.

Garden-to-cafeteria proposals wilt

A pair of state House proposals to allow vegetable garden programs in Hawaii schools have stalled in the Senate.

House Bill 198, sponsored by Rep. Jessica Wooley (D, Laie-Kahaluu) would have enabled schools to serve food grown in campus gardens in school lunches, provided the farms were inspected by the state Department of Agriculture.

The Senate Agriculture and Education committees held that bill and advanced House Bill 1380, which would create a farm-to-school program to encourage schools to purchase local produce. But that bill has not advanced any further in the Senate.

Sen. Jill Tokuda (D, Kaneohe-Kailua) said local organic farmers and the Department of Agriculture suggested a task force "on how we could make sure that (food from) school gardens could safely be grown for consumption as part of the school lunch program."


Big Isle water to be tested for radiation

State health officials have sent samples of Big Island ground water for testing after the release of radiation from Japanese nuclear plants last month.

West Hawaii Today reported Friday that health officials took samples from Waimea’s ground water supplies to be sent to the mainland for testing. Results are expected by early May.

Utility to ask public about hydroelectric

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative’s board of directors has approved a resolution that commits the utility to reaching out to the community as it considers developing new hydroelectric power projects.

The board voted unanimously to approve the resolution Monday.

The utility’s chief executive, David Bissell, says the island’s need to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels must be balanced with other interests including cultural, agricultural, fishing, hunting and tourism.

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