POSTED: Friday, July 24, 2009

Bishop museum gets $1,459,000

Bishop Museum is being awarded $1,459,000 as part of a U.S. Department of Education grant to start culturally based educational programs for Hawaii and three other states.

A release from U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said Massachusetts, Mississippi and Alaska share with Hawaii historical experiences and traditions that arose from profound changes to cultural and natural environments.

The money will be used to start cultural exchanges and internship and apprenticeship programs for native and non-native communities and cultural institutions in these states.


Part of H-3 to close briefly tomorrow

A portion of the H-3 freeway will shut down for 10 minutes tomorrow due to demolition work at Kapaa Quarry in Kailua.

The stretch between Kamehameha Highway at the Halekou Interchange and Mokapu Saddle Road at the Kailua Interchange will be closed in both directions starting at 2:30 p.m., according to the state Department of Transportation.

Motorists should anticipate a brief delay and allow for extra travel time, the Transportation Department said.

Special-duty officers will be on site to help traffic.


Vigil marks Korean War anniversary

A candlelight walk and vigil will be held in Honolulu on Monday, marking the 56th anniversary of the temporary end to the Korean War. An armistice agreement was reached in 1953, but there was never a formal peace treaty.

The vigil is in remembrance of the costs of the Korean War and in hopes of establishing a lasting peace on the Korean peninsula, said Soo Sun Choe, Hawaii coordinator for the National Campaign to End the Korean War.

Participants will gather in front of 1314 Kapiolani Blvd. at 7:15 p.m. and walk to Pawaa Park on South King Street.

Similar vigils will be taking place across the country in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C.


Grant to benefit Hawaiian students

Three colleges will receive more than $6.4 million to improve the educational prospects of native Hawaiian students, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye announced.

Students attending the University of Hawaii at Hilo, Kapiolani Community College and Chaminade University of Honolulu will benefit from a grant from the U.S. Department of Education funding the Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions Program.

UH-Hilo will receive more than $1.7 million to expand its Native Hawaiian Student Center to improve curriculum and establish a multicultural development program for faculty and staff, a release said.

KCC was awarded nearly $2 million to renovate the Malama Hawaii Center to bolster its Hawaiian language and studies programs. It will also get $692,432 to strengthen support services and curriculum.

Chaminade will receive $2 million for improvements to its communications program, in which 21 percent of the students are Hawaiian.

According to the release, 21 percent of the student body at UH-Hilo is Hawaiian; 12 percent at KCC; and 13 percent at Chaminade.


$1.3M slated for runway upgrade

Honolulu Airport will receive more than $1.3 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to improve a major runway.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, Senate Appropriations Committee chairman, announced the funds will be used to repair cracking and crumbling in Taxiway B, a 6,000-foot runway used by domestic and international carriers.

“;Repairing this runway now will prolong its useful life and save the state money in the long term,”; he said in a release.



Big Isle sees increase in bus ridership

Ridership on Hawaii County's public bus system grew 35 percent during the fiscal year that ended June 30, according to a news release from Mayor Billy Kenoi's office.

The system, called Hele-On, provides free bus service islandwide.

The county's mass transit system, which includes service for disabled riders and a shared taxi service in Hilo, topped 1 million passenger-trips for the first time, the release said.

The county is expanding the bus system next year with seven 49-passenger buses and four 33-passenger buses, Kenoi said. Two of the larger buses will be bought with federal stimulus money, the release said.

The county is also planning to buy a double-decker bus for the longer route connecting East and West Hawaii.

“;Expanding our free bus service is something we can do to make people's lives a bit easier during the economic downturn,”; Kenoi said.