POSTED: Friday, March 20, 2009

Chaminade picks Ploeger as leader

Chaminade University has a new president.

The school's Board of Regents selected interim President Brother Bernard Ploeger for the permanent job out of three finalists.

Ploeger accepted yesterday during the regent's meeting and will become Chaminade's ninth president, said Chaminade spokeswoman Kapono Ryan.

He succeeds Sue Wesselkamper, who took a leave of absence last fall and died Jan. 3 of complications from her second battle with bile duct cancer.

Ploeger is considered the chief architect of Chaminade's strategic plan, assisted with the university's recent $66.5 million fundraising campaign and oversaw the successful completion of the university's accreditation review.

He also served as interim president in 2005, during Wesselkamper's first battle with cancer.


Isle toxic releases rose 1% in 2007

The federal government says toxic releases into the environment increased 1 percent in Hawaii during 2007 from the year before.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said yesterday that Hawaiian Electric Co.'s Kahe Power Plant in Kapolei was the biggest source of the state's toxic chemicals.

The plant released more than 820,000 pounds.

Pearl Harbor Naval Base was the next biggest emitter. It released more than 373,000 pounds.

The EPA says electric power-generating facilities accounted for 67 percent of toxic chemical releases in Hawaii.

They also were responsible for 83 percent of toxic releases into the air.

The data cover toxic chemicals discharged into the air, water, land and underground, and the amount transferred off site for disposal.


Helicopter inspection scope shrinks

The Federal Aviation Administration has reduced the nationwide scope of its request for inspection of certain models of Bell helicopters to about 50. The previous emergency directive applied to an estimated 2,800 helicopters.

“;We realized that the problem pertained to a small sampling of aircraft and not all the aircraft out there,”; FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said yesterday.

The emergency airworthiness directive applied to some Bell Model 206A series, 206B series, 206L series and 407 and 427 helicopters. FAA officials asked operators to check the cyclic control lever assembly including the bearing to determine whether it is correctly installed.

The emergency directive was issued after a Canadian transport agency found a bearing incorrectly installed in the copilot lever assembly, a condition that could result in loss of control of the helicopter.

The FAA said after further review, the agency believes it should reduce the scope to those models with less than 50 hours of flying time.

Several helicopter businesses in Hawaii have Bell helicopters. At least one company has already done the inspections and found no problems.


Options weighed for patrol horses

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann says the city is considering several options for the seven horses in the Police Department's now-defunct mounted patrol unit.

A news report last week said the horses would be sold at public auction, but Hannemann said Wednesday that no auction is planned.

He says one option being considered is having another government entity care for the horses. The mayor says another possibility is that a private caretaker with large pastures could take the horses.

Hannemann says the city will try to keep the horses together and not simply sell them off one by one.

The patrol unit was disbanded last year. It began as a pilot project in 1999 and folded two years later. It was reactivated in 2003.