POSTED: Sunday, May 31, 2009

$4M released for Keehi harbor

The state is releasing $4 million to improve an undeveloped area of the Keehi Small Boat Harbor, the governor's office announced in a news release.

The Keehi project will help increase commercial lease revenue for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and improve operations in the harbor, the news release said.

Improvements include new water, sewer and electrical utilities at the southern end of the harbor, and a new bulkhead along the south shoreline, next to the Kalihi Channel.

Improvements to the roadway and parking also will be made.

The design is scheduled to begin in October and be completed in September.

Construction is scheduled to commence in December 2010 and be completed in December 2011.


Web site honors Father Damien

The Catholic Diocese of Honolulu has created what it calls the official Web site for Father Damien's canonization.

The site, fatherdamien.com, offers historical accounts of the 19th-century priest who ministered to and cared for leprosy patients exiled to Kalaupapa when no one else would help them.

It also lists Damien prayers, songs and his biography in five different languages including Hawaiian.

There's also an online store selling Damien coloring books.

Damien is due to be elevated to a saint at a canonization ceremony at the Vatican in October.

Born Joseph de Veuster in 1840, Damien died on Molokai at the age of 49 after contracting leprosy.


Library closed during renovations

The Waikiki-Kapahulu Public Library is closing starting today while the building lanai is being renovated.

The library will reopen on June 9. Patrons may still return books at the library's bookdrop, but are encouraged to return other library materials to other public libraries.


Civil defense signals to be tested

The state is conducting its monthly test of civil defense sirens at 11:45 a.m. tomorrow.

The test signal, a 45-second steady tone, is broadcast statewide as an attention/alert signal to alert the public to emergencies. Civil defense disaster preparedness information is located in the front sections of the white pages of the telephone book.


More whale species exist in islands

A new report says 15 whale species use the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands area, more than researchers previously believed.

The conclusion is included in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's report on the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

The study also says there are 80 types of coral in the island chain. Nearly half are varieties only found in Hawaii.

Monument managers plan to use the report as a basis of comparison while they monitor changes in the islands.

The report will also help officials manage the monument and establish research priorities there.



Man found after missing nearly a week

The Kauai Fire Department rescued the brother of former Kauai Mayor JoAnn Yukimura in Wailua Friday morning after he had been in the wild since Sunday, a county news release said.

The 55-year-old man, visiting from Oahu, was found above a waterfall below the Powerline Trail in Wailua and was down to his last packet of miso soup, officials said. He was carrying only a backpack and he didn't have a tent.

The man left Sunday and planned to hike to Hanalei Valley. But he took a short cut and got stuck above the 15-foot Kapakaiki falls.

He was finally rescued after several days of efforts to flag down passing tour helicopters.

Yukimura reported him missing yesterday and the fire department launched an air and ground search. The search resumed at about 8 a.m. Friday and the man was located.

The county withheld the man's first name, at his request.