POSTED: Monday, January 26, 2009

Lingle backs Ka Iwi coast protections

About 400 acres of state land on the Ka Iwi coast would be reclassified from urban to conservation under an initiative announced yesterday by Gov. Linda Lingle.

The area extends from Makapuu Lighthouse to Queen's Beach.

Lingle said the state Office of Planning would petition the Land Use Commission regarding the reclassification.

“;If the land remains classified as urban, there will always be the threat of development to this unique scenic beach and open-space treasure,”; said Lingle. “;The community has worked to protect this area for future generations, and the action my administration is taking will support their efforts by helping to prevent any further development proposals.”;

The move won praise from state Rep. Gene Ward (R, Hawaii Kai-Kalama Valley).

“;I hope the Land Use Commission will approve this reclassification to ensure that this magnificent coastline remains undeveloped,”; he said. “;The reclassification is an important matter that would finally end fears by community groups and residents who have fought to preserve the coastline for over three decades from unwanted development.”;

Abbey Seth Meyer, director of the planning office, will discuss details of the petition process at 7 p.m. tomorrow before the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board.


State bolsters hunt for feral animals

HILO » The state is boosting its efforts to hunt feral sheep and goats on Mauna Kea to protect the habitat of the endangered palila honeycreeper.

The state hires a shooter to fire at the sheep and goats from a helicopter.

The state had been hunting them twice annually, but decided to boost the frequency of the hunts out of concern the sheep and goat populations were growing.

The carcasses, about 200 to 300 per hunt, will be taken to three designated Big Island sites where people may claim them for food.

Palila live in Mauna Kea's dry upland forests. The state is under a federal court order to remove sheep and goats from their habitat.


DLNR expects good trout season

; They might not be the big ones, but they should still be good eating.

So predicts the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. It will open the fishing season for rainbow trout at the Kokee Public Fishing Area on Kauai on June 1. The season lasts until Sept. 30.

Department Chairwoman Laura Thielen says more than 20,000 stocked trout will be in the waters, each weighing at least 1 pound. She says fishing should be good this year because the fish love the rain and cold weather at Kokee.

Last year about 2,500 anglers caught more than 6,000 trout that averaged 11 inches long and 11 ounces. The largest one that didn't get away was reportedly about 20 inches long and weighed 5 pounds.

The daily limit is 10 trout per state-licensed angler, who can use only one pole and line.


Rotary will award $350K to seniors

The deadline for Hawaii high school seniors to apply for Hawaii Rotary Youth Foundation scholarships is Saturday.

Last year, 72 scholarship grants worth $346,000 were awarded statewide. Another $350,000 will be awarded April 3.

Grants range from $2,000 to $5,000, and two outstanding students receive $10,000 awards.

Applications are available online at www.hryf-d5000.org. For more information, contact Aloha Makekau at 735-1073.