For Monday, August 23, 2010
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Aug 23, 2010
University of Hawaii-Manoa students might notice a cleaner, brighter campus when they return to school today, a result of a pilot project to remove mold, dirt, green algae and other blights from buildings using an environmentally friendly cleaning product produced by Hawaii-based CBI Polymers.
Areas around the Queen Liliuokalani Center for Students, Sakamaki Hall courtyard, Kennedy Theatre and the Stan Sheriff Center were treated with the water-soluble gel, which traps dirt and debris as it hardens and can be peeled away much like thick plastic wrap.
In a news release issued by the university and CBI Polymers, Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw said she was impressed with the results of the pilot program, which was conducted at no cost to the university.
"It definitely has a 'wow' factor, and it was exciting for our Manoa Makeover student volunteers who had a chance to peel off the product and see how clean the surface could become," Hinshaw said.
The product was developed by CBI Polymers, headed by UH alumnus Hank Wu, and is marketed as DeconGel.
After six years of often contentious negotiations, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald has reached an agreement with its employees, represented by the Hawaii Newspaper Guild, on a new two-year contract. The pact covers all employees except pressmen, who reached a separate but similar agreement, and managers.
Under terms of the new agreement, ratified by 85 percent of union members, workers will receive a 1 percent raise in the second year of the contract, their first wage increase since 2002. While health care, retirement and union employment security benefits were untouched, the contract does provide for cuts to sick leave, mileage benefits, advertising wage scales and starting wages.
The agreement ends a protracted negotiation process during which the newspaper was found guilty of a dozen unfair labor practice charges by the National Labor Relations Board, including the illegal firing of union leaders Hunter Bishop and Dave Smith, both reporters.
Guild spokesman Wayne Cahill said the turning point in negotiations came when employees began planning an islandwide consumer boycott of the newspaper.
A wildfire that has already consumed an estimated 300 acres at the U.S. Army's Pohakuloa Training Area yesterday continued to spread northeast along Saddle Road.
According to U.S. Army Garrison, Hawaii, the fire began around 9:30 a.m. yesterday a quarter-mile east of the training area's main gate near Mauna Kea State Park.
The Federal Fire Department, Civil Defense and U.S. Army Emergency Services spent the day battling the blaze.