POSTED: Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Library system to get almost $1M in grant and gift

The Hawaii State Public Library System will receive nearly $1 million for new computers through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a donation from the nonprofit Friends of the Library of Hawaii.

State libraries received the Opportunity Online Hardware grant for 373 computers, as well as associated training and tech support, according to the library system.

The Gates Foundation will donate $581,907. The Friends organization will pay another $387,893 over a two-year period. Friends is looking for additional funds to meet that target, said Byrde Cestare, executive director of the group.

State Librarian Richard Burns said, “;It is critical that we have the resources necessary to properly maintain these technology tools so that our libraries can help all people in Hawaii access the information they need to thrive and contribute fully to our community.”;

Dry dock for Falls of Clyde delayed until late summer

The historic Falls of Clyde will not be towed to dry-dock in Kalaeloa until after Labor Day.

The ship was scheduled to be towed to Marisco Ltd. in Kalaeloa by the end of the month, but an emergency with another ship forced the delay, according to Heather McGregor of the Friends of Falls of Clyde organization.

Getting the ship to dry dock has been delayed several times since the ship was sold to the nonprofit organization by the Bishop Museum in September.

Volunteers are continuing to do minor repairs on the deteriorating ship at Pier 7 at Honolulu Harbor. Public tours of the ship were shut down in January 2007 after it was deemed unsafe.

A fundraiser was recently held to help offset towing costs. McGregor said the amount raised was not available.

City to clean, then close another Leeward beach

Maunalahilahi Beach Park in Makaha is closed this week for maintenance and repair work, the city said.

The park is scheduled to reopen at 3 p.m. Friday.

After Friday the park will be added to the other Leeward Coast beach parks with closing hours from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., the city said in a news release.

“;Our goal is to provide safe, clean, well-maintained parks for all citizens to use,”; city Parks Director Lester Chang said in the release. “;We want the park to be safe and inviting for everyone to enjoy.”;

The late-night park closing is in response to numerous requests from community members and was endorsed by the Waianae Neighborhood Board and the Board of Parks and Recreation, the city said.

Some county land on Big Isle to be sold

HILO » Officials on the Big Island are moving ahead with plans to sell property Hawaii County owns to help balance its budget.

The Hawaii County Council has approved Mayor Billy Kenoi's plan to sell 3,517 acres of vacant land in Hamakua.

Deputy Finance Director Deanna Sako says 16 properties totaling 737 acres above Paauilo have been identified for sale. Their combined value for tax purposes is $8 million.

The county must now commission independent appraisals. Three appraisal bids were received by the county by Friday's deadline.

Sako says she expects property appraisals to be completed in August.

Hawaii County initially tried to sell the land in 2007, but then-Mayor Harry Kim complied with a Council request to abandon the effort.