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POSTED: Monday, May 04, 2009

UH, Japan renew research pact

A partnership with Japan that has provided the University of Hawaii with more than $30 million to support climate research will continue under a new five-year agreement.

UH and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology operate the International Pacific Research Center at UH-Manoa.

“;Given the critical importance of the issue of climate change, the University of Hawaii is fortunate to have a world-class climate research center in the IPRC,”; UH President David McClain said in a news release.

He said the continued relationship “;provides the foundation of IPRC's efforts to understand and predict climate change and its effects on Hawaii and elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region.”;

More than 40 international staff members at the IPRC study the effects of the ocean and atmosphere on climate phenomena and storm tracks over the Pacific.

Chancellor finalists meet on campus

Three finalists for the position of Windward Community College chancellor were on campus last week for interviews and to meet with the community, students and faculty, the University of Hawaii said in a news release.

The finalists are Joanne E. Clark, associate vice chancellor for community relations at UH-Manoa; Douglas Dykstra, vice chancellor for academic affairs at Hawaii Community College; and Wilson G. Hess, president of the College of the Marshall Islands. Minimum salary for the position to oversee the community college is $113,000. Current Chancellor Angela Meixell will end her term June 30.

Woman convicted in tax scheme

A woman convicted of running a tax refund scheme and stealing nearly $60,000 has been placed on five years' probation and ordered to repay the money.

Icelane J. Kuhiiki, also known as Icelane Afoa, was found guilty in April of 13 counts of false statements, 10 counts of theft and three counts of attempted theft, the state attorney general's office said. She filed 13 false income tax returns over a three-year period beginning in 2006 and received refunds ranging from $940 to $11,024.

Kuhiiki must also pay $2,730 to the crime victims compensation fund.

Park service focuses on WWII camps

The National Park Service is hosting meetings this week about grants it will award to promote the study of World War II Japanese-American internment sites.

The service expects to award $1 million that may be used for the planning and construction of interpretive centers, trails, exhibits, oral histories and other projects. The meeting is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Japanese Cultural Center in Honolulu.

About 110,000 Japanese-Americans were forcibly relocated and detained during the war. Congress authorized the grant program in 2006, but funds were not approved until March when President Barack Obama signed legislation.

Neighbor island watch

LIHUE » Kauai police are looking into three unprovoked assaults, the most recent on a woman reportedly in a wedding dress outside a restaurant in Kapaa April 25. The Garden Island newspaper reports that a woman and her brother were leaving Tradewinds in Kapaa when they were jumped in the parking lot by a group of men on April 10. The second assault was a week or so later, when a Hanalei man was jumped after leaving Tahiti Nui restaurant and bar.

HILO » Medical facilities and senior housing are planned for land once slated for a large residential and commercial development, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported. The original “;University Terrace”; project, on 172 acres bordered by Komohana and Mohouli streets, was to include 500 housing units, 180,000 square feet of commercial space and a 5-acre park. Now Wailani Development LCC, which bought three parcels in February and March for $6.5 million, plans a medical campus and a senior housing community, principals say.

WAILUKU » Layoffs, reduced work hours and companies going bust are forcing more people to seek help from the Maui Food Bank. The charity is helping about 10,000 people per month this year, up from 7,000 last year. That is about a 40 percent increase. Maui County's unemployment rate has almost tripled in the last year, rising to 9 percent in March from 3.3 percent the same month a year earlier. The agency is hoping the community will donate generously Saturday during the upcoming National Association of Letter Carriers National Food Drive.