POSTED: Thursday, August 13, 2009

Inquiry clears fishery council of wrongdoing

The Government Accountability Office has found little evidence to support allegations of improper lobbying, conflicts of interest and misuse of federal money at the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council.

The investigative arm of Congress recommends that the council keep better track of its documents, pay per diem travel costs by check instead of cash, and improve transparency.

The GAO had launched its probe in March 2008 after a request by U.S. Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif.

He cited allegations by Hawaii nonprofit organizations that claimed the council improperly used federal funds to lobby lawmakers.

The GAO found conflicting evidence about whether the council had lobbied a member of Congress because the council doesn't document all requests for input.


Police honor their own in benefit

The Honolulu Police Relief Association is selling tickets for an Oct. 9 fundraiser to honor both active and retired police officers.

“;Honoring Honolulu's Finest”; will pay special tribute to the late John Jardine Jr., known as “;Dean of Detectives,”; and retired Police Chief Lee Donohue, who founded the Kick Start Karate program and the Honolulu Police Community Foundation.

The event at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel will feature some of Honolulu's finest chefs, who will prepare specially created appetizers and meals made from local ingredients, according to a news release.

Proceeds will go to the nonprofit HPCF and its scholarship program.

The fundraiser will be held from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. and tickets cost $150. The public can also make donations to the silent auction. To purchase tickets or make a donation, call 942-1400 or 942-3873, or visit http://www.honolulupolicerelief.com or www.honolulupolicecommunityfoundation.org.


135 Pearl apprentices to graduate

Following their graduation tomorrow from the Honolulu Community College apprentice program, 135 men and women will join the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard as journeymen.

The apprentices were paid to earn an associate's degree from Honolulu Community College while working at the shipyard.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye will be the keynote speaker at 9:30 a.m. graduation ceremonies at Pearl Harbor.

Mall-walking heads to Windward

St. Francis Hospice's Walk in the Mall program is expanding to Windward Mall.

The program is designed to help people share their grief at the loss of a loved one while benefiting from physical exercise and friendship.

The Windward Mall gathering will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. the fourth Wednesday of each month, beginning Aug. 26, in front of Sears, lower level.

The Walk in the Mall program, celebrating its 10th year, has been requested by Windward residents who didn't want to drive to Honolulu or Aiea, said Luisa Wyant, St. Francis Hospice Bereavement social worker, in announcing the expanded program.

The Walk in the Mall at Pearlridge Center is from 8 to 9 a.m. the first Wednesday of the month at the Uptown Center stage. At Kahala Mall, it's from 8 to 9 a.m. the third Wednesday of the month at the Center Stage.


Kauai seeks to expand sewage plant

LIHUE » Kauai County officials have issued a request for proposals to expand the Waimea waste-water treatment plant.

The project is expected to cost about $12 million, according to County Engineer Donald Fujimoto

He said $7 million is coming from federal stimulus money through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, with the balance financed through the county's capital improvement program.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. said one of the main ways to stimulate the county's economy is to get construction projects out to bid.

Built in the 1970s, the plant has a capacity of 300,000 gallons per day. It is operating at 90 percent capacity. Because it is near capacity, the county is restricting new sewer service connections in the area.