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State / In Brief

August 27, 2009
The Maui News

The Associated Press

SAT scores in Hawaii hold steady

HONOLULU - Hawaii's average scores on the SAT college entrance exam this year remained pretty much the same as last year's.

In math, the score was the same - 515. Critical reading dropped from 502 to 501, and writing fell from 494 to 493.

Hawaii's average scores of the 8,313 seniors who took the exam mirrored the national averages in all three categories.

About 63 percent of the SAT-takers from the islands had their scores sent to the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

About 20 percent sent their scores to Hawaii Pacific University, followed by UH-Hilo, the University of Washington, Oregon State and the University of Oregon.


New Onizuka center plans moving ahead

KAILUA-KONA - Plans are continuing for a new Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center on the Big Island.

The current building must go because it's in conflict with the Kona International Airport master plan that was released in February.

According to a draft assessment released last week, the new $5.5 million center will be relocated on the south side of the airport in a 7,335-square-foot building.

The site is owned by the state, which will pay for the center.

The facility will feature a theater, exhibition area, library, gift shop and meeting room. Construction is to begin later this year and be completed in 18 months.

The center honors Onizuka, a Big Island astronaut killed in the 1986 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger.


Rare species spur Mauna Kea conflict

HILO - The state land board this week is due to consider whether to grant a hearing to Native Hawaiian and environmental groups challenging the University of Hawaii's management plan for Mauna Kea.

The university leases more than 11,000 acres at the summit of the Big Island volcano from the state.

The land is the site of about a dozen telescopes belonging to universities in Hawaii, on the Mainland, and in Canada, Japan and Europe.

The Board of Land and Natural Resources approved the university's management plan in April.

But the groups are questioning whether the board followed laws protecting the wekiu bug and other rare species.

One petitioner argues the land is the rightful property of the Hawaiian kingdom, not the state.



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