comscore Deadline looms to spend funds for UH-Hilo pharmacy school | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News | Newswatch

Deadline looms to spend funds for UH-Hilo pharmacy school

HILO >> The University of Hawaii is approaching a July deadline to commit millions in state-approved funds for its long-awaited pharmacy school in Hilo.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Thursday legislators in 2014 authorized $28 million in bonds with $5 million to be raised by the university for the project. The appropriation will lapse at the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

Bids to build the pharmacy school came in over budget earlier this year.

University spokesman Dan Meisenzahl says the university is still exploring its options, like putting the project out for bid again.

The construction site has been mostly untouched since officials held a groundbreaking ceremony in December 2014.

Nearby portable buildings host classes.

Meisenzahl said the groundbreaking was intended to be more ceremonial than an official mark of construction starting.

Monk seal pups to be watched

LIHUE >> Volunteers on Kauai will take steps to protect endangered monk seal pups expected to be born in the coming months.

About 100 volunteers will take turns monitoring the animals and erect barricades around the mothers and pups to discourage people from getting close.

“Pup-sitting is like babysitting,” said volunteer Lloyd Miyashiro. “Volunteers take shifts to make sure the mom and pup are OK, and to talk to people that come out.”

Kauai monk seal coordinator Jamie Thomton said a couple of moms are getting ready to give birth soon, but it’s difficult to predict exactly when, the Garden Island reported Friday.

“We wish we had better indicators. Sometimes you’ll see the belly moving, like the baby kicking and that kind of thing,” said Thomton of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “But typically we get a call saying, ‘Hey, there’s a monk seal pup up here.’”

He said mother seals are protective of their pups and have bitten people before.

Volunteers will continue watching the pups after they’re no longer nursing and their moms have left them behind.

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