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                                Star of the Sea School.
Off the News: More transparency on schools spending

Following years of effort and a lawsuit, the Education Institute of Hawaii has obtained voluminous financial data it sought from the state Department of Education. While the records — from the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years — are dated, the nonprofit hopes a granular review can better inform the public on how taxpayer money is distributed. Read more

                                A garbage truck exits the tipping floor area at the H-Power plant in Campbell Industrial Park.
Off the News: Keeping ash out of landfill

The city’s H-POWER (Honolulu Program Of Waste Energy Recovery), takes most of our non-hazardous municipal solid waste collection — otherwise destined for landfill — and burns it to create steam for electricity generation. Read more

                                Foodland’s Market City location.
Off the News: Glitches in city’s grocery cards

On the heels of a delay in delivery of $500 debit cards intended to help needy families hit hard by the pandemic purchase groceries and basic necessities, city officials have apologized for confusion related to activating the cards funded with CARES Act money. Read more

                                People enjoy the holiday lights with Shaka Santa and Tutu Mele on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at Honolulu Hale in downtown Honolulu.
Off the News: Let’s be careful this Christmas

There’s no disputing that holidays are a catalyst for COVID-19 community spread. Earlier this year, in the weeks that followed the Fourth of July, Oahu’s infection case counts climbed. Since then, we have largely fended off out-of-control surges. However, the rest of this year could present our toughest challenge to date. Read more

                                Chinatown area. A man finds a doorway on Smith St. to lie down for the night.
Off the News: In memory of the homeless

While the sixth annual service at Central Union Church known as “Blue Christmas,” or, “The Longest Night,” held on the winter solstice, was canceled this year due to COVID-19 concerns, some 112 homeless individuals who died here this year were remembered with a blue illumination of Honolulu Hale on Monday. Read more

                                Ten Tomorrow clothing boutique, in Kaimuki.
Off the News: Better late than never on relief bill

It’s encouraging that Congress has moved forward with a bipartisan $900 billion coronavirus relief bill — and that President-elect Joe Biden views it as a “down payment” on a subsequent relief funding effort that needs to take shape in late January. Read more

                                Andrew Robbins
Off the News: HART loses another CEO

There hasn’t been much aloha between the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation and Andrew Robbins toward the end of his role as CEO — unless you remember that the word means “goodbye,” too. That’s what the HART board bid Robbins last week, voting against renewing his contract. Read more

                                A cold beer is bathed in afternoon sunlight during happy hour at the Row Bar by Tamura’s in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Off the News: Bars go to court to reopen

The rap against bars in the age of COVID-19 is plain: Where crowds are allowed to drop their masks and inhibitions, the infections can follow. Still, many complain that the regulations on which establishments may operate and which shut down are unclear enough that industry reps went to court. Read more

                                Diamond Head State Monument.
Off the News: Diamond Head reopens today

Diamond Head State Monument reopens today, after a nine-month closure. As was the case when Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve reopened, the experience will be quieter compared to pre-COVID visits, when visitor counts at both attractions hovered at about 3,000 on heavy foot-traffic days. Read more

                                Preschool students stay focused during their independent work time at The Children’s House in Pearl City.
Off the News: Preschool kids need face time

Earlier in the pandemic restrictions, the big worry for preschools was basic survival — parents staying home with children meant fewer needed the child care. But now there’s realization that in-person school may be especially crucial in an early-learning environment. Read more

                                A Honolulu Police officer directs traffic at a DUI checkpoint on Monsarrat Ave.
Off the News: A red ribbon for designated drivers

Bars are closed on Oahu and there’s less traffic on the roads due to COVID-19 concerns. Even so, by late November, Oahu’s total of 48 traffic-related fatalities had surpassed the total during the same time period in 2019 by two. Read more

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