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POSTED: Wednesday, July 29, 2009

State to appeal furlough ruling

The state will appeal a Circuit Court ruling that Gov. Linda Lingle violated the state Constitution by ordering state workers to take furloughs for three days a month.

Lingle had ordered the furloughs to help offset the state's budget shortfall.

Judge Karl Sakamoto issued yesterday his formal written order declaring a permanent injunction against the state's actions.

All four of the state's public worker unions had challenged Lingle's furlough plan, arguing that she had to negotiate with the unions and could not simply order the furloughs.

State Attorney General Mark Bennett says he and Lingle think Sakamoto was incorrect in his ruling.

“;Gov. Lingle continues to believe that her furlough plan was the best way to address the state's fiscal crisis,”; Bennett said.

ID forms to be accepted at school

Applications for state identification cards may be submitted Saturday at Pearl City High School cafeteria from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

ID cards are $10 for residents 65 and older, and $15 for all others, payable in cash only.

Required documents for first-time applicants include an original Social Security card and a certified copy of a birth certificate or resident alien card.

For renewals of current ID card holders with no name or citizenship change, no documents are required, a release said.

All changes in status or name due to marriage, divorce, annulment, adoption or citizenship must be supported by certified documents. Altered and illegible documents will not be accepted.

Recorded information is available at 587-3111, and at www.stateid.hawaii.gov. Other questions should be directed to 587-3112. Application forms are available on the Web site and at Pearl City High, 2100 Hookiekie St., on Saturday.

Isles get $23M federal housing grant

Hawaii has received $23 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for community development and more affordable housing.

The funding will also provide housing solutions for people with HIV/AIDS, according to a HUD news release.

The funding is divided among four areas:

» Hawaii County: $2.4 million for Community Development Block Grant programs.

» Hawaii state program: $232,000 for Emergency Shelter Grants, $3 million for HOME programs and $168,000 for Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS programs for a total of $3.4 million.

» City and County of Honolulu: $9.8 million for Community Development Block Grant programs, $431,000 for Emergency Shelter Grant programs, $4.6 million for HOME programs and $445,000 for HOPWA programs for a total of $15 million.

» Maui County: $2 million for Community Devel-opment Block Grant Programs.

HOME program funds pay for affordable-housing projects for low-income families.

HOPWA grants provide group homes and housing assistance for individuals with HIV/AIDS and their families.

Foundation to help fix YMCA's pool

The YMCA of Honolulu announced that it received a $100,000 grant from the Strong Foundation for the repair and renovation of the Windward YMCA swimming pool.

“;The Strong Foundation has been very generous to us,”; said Windward YMCA Executive Director Bill Stone. “;We are very thrilled to have it. Our pool is in great need of repair.”;

The project is tentatively scheduled to begin at the end of August with the repairs being completed in about two weeks. The improvements are projected to cost about $110,000, which includes replastering and plumbing enhancements.

The pool at the Windward YMCA was built in 1964 and is used for swim lessons, water aerobics, and rehabilitation for physical therapy patients.

UH-Hilo gets $1.7 million

The University of Hawaii at Hilo has received a $1.7 million grant to upgrade educational opportunities for native Hawaiian students, the university announced yesterday.

UH-Hilo will use the funds to expand the Kipuka Native Hawaiian Center by 1,000 feet and install additional solar panels, the university said. The expansion will allow the school to develop and improve native Hawaiian academic curriculum.

The center “;takes on added importance as our native Hawaiian student population has grown to comprise more than 21 percent of our total student body,”; said Gail Makuakane-Lundin, the center's director.

The U.S. Department of Education awarded the grant as part of a $6.4 million package that will go to various Hawaii colleges and universities from the Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions program.