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For Monday, August 2, 2010

By Star-Advertiser staff


UH gets $3.5M for reef work

The University of Hawaii is getting nearly $3.5 million to study, protect and restore coral reefs.

The grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will go to the UH Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research.

Survey deadline extended

The state Board of Education has extended the deadline for the completion of a survey that is part of the panel's search for a new state schools superintendent.

The initial deadline for the superintendent profile survey was Saturday. The new deadline is Aug. 15.

Hundreds of people have taken the survey, which can be found at the board's website.

Board Chairman Garrett Toguchi says the extension will give everyone the opportunity to share their input.

The survey seeks to learn what qualities a schools superintendent should have.

The board is looking to replace Pat Hamamoto, who resigned as schools superintendent at the end of last year. Kathryn Matayoshi is filling the post on an interim basis.

Design contracts awarded

Honolulu has awarded a $5.5 million design contract for three stations along the city's planned commuter rail line.

Acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced Wednesday that the contract went to HDR/Hawaii Pacific Engineers. Omaha, Neb.-based HDR acquired HPE in 2007.

The stations along Farrington Highway will serve West Loch, Waipahu Transit Center and Leeward Community College.


Lava slows its advance to housing

Small lava flow breakouts that had been moving toward Kalapana Gardens have "stagnated," according to the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

The lava, originating from Kilauea's 2007 Thanksgiving Eve breakout vent, advanced just 30 feet from Saturday to yesterday, with no active breakouts on the east or north margins of the flow, the observatory reported.

Lava continues to enter the ocean at a pair of locations southwest of Kalapana Gardens, expanding a lava delta on the western end by nearly 500 feet since Saturday.

Meanwhile, scattered flows about a half-mile west of lava-covered Highway 130/13 remain active.

Lingle cheers 50th birthday of Y on Maui

Gov. Linda Lingle joined the celebration Saturday of the 50th anniversary of the Maui Family YMCA, the Maui News reported.

Lingle, who said she was a proud Y member while Maui County mayor, spoke to a crowd of about 150 of the organization's members and donors during a brunch in Kahului.

Maui Family YMCA leadership is nearing completion of a four-year, $5.5 million capital campaign for a new gym, with hopes to break ground before the end of the year. The governor spent more than three hours with YMCA members, chatting, standing for photos and touring the recently renovated facility.

Lingle said she is the first Hawaii governor who has not belonged to a private country club and that she has declined offers of free memberships. Instead, she said, she prefers to exercise at the Honolulu YMCA, where her regimen includes swimming 3,000 yards three to four days per week, and a cardio workout and weight training on two additional days.

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