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Astrobiology on tap

Nanophysics, antimatter, free electron lasers and astrobiology — the potential for life beyond Earth — are among the topics that will be addressed during the annual Physics and Astronomy Open House Nov. 20 at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The event, set from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Watanabe Hall, is oriented toward high school physics students.

Grant will pay for hybrid city buses

Honolulu is getting a $5 million federal grant to replace diesel buses in Waikiki with turbine hybrid-electric buses. The new vehicles will be quieter, more fuel-efficient and produce lower emissions, officials said.

Mayor Peter Carlisle said last week that providing the buses to the busy Waikiki area will help create a more livable community. The new vehicles will be evaluated for their ability to reduce energy and greenhouse gas emissions, he said.

City officials say Honolulu’s project was selected through a transit initiative called the Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction Program.

Hawaiian charter schools get $1.5M

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is giving $1.5 million to help 17 Hawaiian-focused public charter schools cover budget shortfalls this school year.

OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona said the funds will help some 3,000 children who are mostly native Hawaiian. She said last week that the charter schools lack the money they need to operate.

Apoliona said she hoped lawmakers would focus on charter school funding during the next legislative session.

Taffi Wise, executive director of Kanu o ka Aina Learning Ohana, said charter schools provide a valuable education choice for children who cannot afford private schools.


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