POSTED: Wednesday, August 26, 2009

1 in 11 residents in isles getting food stamps

The number of Hawaii residents receiving food stamps has jumped by 25 percent as more people seek help amid a deep recession.

New state figures show more than 23,000 additional residents enrolled in the state's food stamp program in the nine-month period ending in June.

That is by far the largest increase the state has seen in the program in the past five years.

It means more than 120,000 people, roughly one in 11 Hawaii residents, were getting food stamps in June.

State officials say many of the new applicants had not applied for food stamps before. They are turning to the program after being laid off, taking pay cuts or seeing their work hours reduced.

Hawaii's increase comes as a record number of Americans receive food stamps.

Grease clog causes sewage spill

Household grease clogged a sewage line, causing excessive back-flow and a sewage spill of about 1,000 gallons at Aliamanu Military Reservation, the Army said.

The spill, believed to have begun Sunday, was contained in a drainage canal and did not flow into the nearby Salt Lake neighborhood, the Army said yesterday.

Army officials said the line has been cleared and that crews were disinfecting ground surface areas.

Sunset on the Beach to honor Tesoro

Tesoro Hawaii, corporate sponsor of Sunset on the Beach the past three years, will be honored at the event in Waikiki this weekend.

“;Night at the Museum 2: Battle at the Smithsonian”; will be shown Saturday, and “;Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”; will be the Sunday movie.

Food booths will open at 4 p.m. Live entertainment will start at 5:30 p.m., and the movie at 7:30 p.m. after the sun sets. On Sunday the group Roots Rising will headline the live entertainment.

Tropical storm continues to weaken

Tropical Storm Hilda was losing energy yesterday as it continued on a path that will take it 300 miles south of the islands Friday and Saturday.

The National Weather Service said the storm is expected to weaken as it continues to head west at 9 mph. The storm had sustained winds of 45 mph at its center last night, reduced from 65 mph Monday. Tropical storm winds extend outward as much as 70 miles from the center.

It will be downgraded to a tropical depression if the sustained winds drop below 39 mph. Forecasters said Hilda will not have any significant effect on island weather, but might drag up moisture from the south, leading to weekend showers.

Marine vet and Nabors to be lauded

The Navy League of the United States, Honolulu Council, will honor retired Marine Lt. Gen. Hank Stackpole and entertainment star Jim Nabors at the sixth annual American Patriot Awards Dinner on Sept. 25 at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.

The fundraiser will feature a cocktail reception, live entertainment and sit-down dinner. Premium tables of eight range from $2,500 to $10,000.

Stackpole, a highly decorated Vietnam combat veteran, retired from the Marine Corps in 1994. His 36 years of distinguished service included command of Marine Forces Pacific and the joint task force Sea Angel in Bangladesh, a release said.

Upon retirement, Stackpole served as an executive in the space and telecommunications industry, and led the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.

Nabors, who played a Marine in the “;Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”; TV series, is renowned for a stellar television and movie career and 28 albums, garnering five gold records and one platinum. A strong supporter of military troops, Nabors has donated much time to the USO, a release said.

Dress attire is business suit, black tie (optional) or military “;dress”; uniform. For reservations or more information, call 422-9404 or visit http://www.HonoluluNavyLeague.org.

Mauna Kea plan may be reconsidered

HILO » The state Board of Land and Natural Resources is due to consider this week whether to grant a hearing to native Hawaiian and environmental groups challenging the University of Hawaii's management plan for Mauna Kea.

The university leases more than 11,000 acres at the summit of the Big Island volcano from the state.

The land is the site of about a dozen telescopes belonging to universities in Hawaii, the mainland, Canada, Japan and Europe.

The Land Board approved the university's management plan in April, but the groups are questioning whether the board followed laws protecting the wekiu bug and other rare species.

One petitioner argues the land is the rightful property of the Hawaiian kingdom, not the state.

The board meets Friday.