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Civil Beat: More money for educationUPDATED 8:44 AM HST Oct 28, 2013Video Transcript
More money for education -- MILLIONS more. Joining us over skype is CIVIL- BEAT-DOT-COM reporter, Chad Blair. Tough time to be making big budget requests but the Department of Education says they need 10 MILL to stop a drain on their resources -- what's going on? The Hawaii Department of Education says it will need another $10.6 million to pay for utilities next year, a situation district officials blame on Hawaiian Electric Co.'s problems hooking up new solar. HECO's holdups connecting photovoltaic panels to the grid - something we have been reporting on - are causing delays in the DOE's ambitious plan to have solar on every school in the district. The problems also mean that Oahu schools haven't been able to enjoy the energy savings that DOE finance officers had anticipated when developing the department's two-year dget last year. Man hools already have nels installed. A C okesman said t ility is working with e DOE on coming up with solution with education officials. ------ ------ he issue this year -- officials. ------ ------ A huge issue this year -- the plethora of skyrises -- and keeping up with the debate. But the board in charge -- is crying mercy -- what kind of problems are they dealing with? Major decisions about new skyrises in Honolulu loom, but Hawaii's state development agency may have to make them at a time when it is understaffed in a way that critics say favors developers. The Hawaii Community Development Authority http://dbedt.hawaii.g ov/hcda/ has been missing two members of its Kakaako board since May, prompting lawmakers to urge Gov. Neil Abercrombie http://www.civilbeat. com/topics/neil- abercr ombie/ to fill the seats in time for the Legislature's special session this week. But the governor's spokeswoman said that t going to happenHe's ill going through the ocess of reviewing the mes and applints. ercrombie doesn't have enough time before the special session to oroughly vet the ndidates. That's ustrating to some Kakaako residents who r at the velopment agency is king decisions without enough community input. ey include a 46-story residtial tower at 801 Sou St. ----- ----- Local environmental groups are opposing the appointment of Genevieve Salmonson as head of the state office that administers Hawaii's environmental review law. Gov. Abercrombie appointed Salmonson as interim director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control in May. She faces a Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday. But her past involvement in the Hawaii Superferry debacle has raised a chorus of protests among environmentalists, some of whom sued to stop the inter-island ferry system. On Friday, the Hawaii Sierra Club sent out a media blast urging senators to oppose her appointment. The clubs says Salmonson is "infamous" for her involvement in the Superferry because she approved the Department of Transportation's request to exempt the Superferry from environmental review. The Supreme Court later said that was the wrong thing to do. You can find the complete story we just discussed on CIVIL-BEAT-DOT-COM. Coming up next...