POSTED: Saturday, August 29, 2009

$13 million in federal grants to help house and educate native Hawaiians

Hawaii is receiving $13 million in federal grants to improve housing and education for native Hawaiians.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is getting $9.7 million to upgrade homes, acquire properties and provide services, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye's office said Thursday. The funds come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Eight vocational programs and Kapiolani Community College are also receiving $3.4 million from the U.S. Department of Education to help native Hawaiians.

More than $2.7 million will be divided among programs on Oahu and the Big Island, the U.S. Department of Education said.

The grants are awarded through the federal Native Hawaiian Career and Technical Education Program, which helps native Hawaiians increase vocational enrollment and finish courses.

Kapiolani Community College also will receive $692,000 under the federal Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions Program, which is designed to increase the number of students completing associate degrees.


Punaluu bridge work to start

Work to replace the 83-year-old South Punaluu Bridge is expected to start next month.

Officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday as they begin to prepare for construction. The $15.3 million project will be paid for by federal funds though the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Work to be done by Hawaiian Dredging Co. is expected to be completed in September 2011.

The new structure will meet current safety and seismic standards that will include 8-foot shoulders and a separate pedestrian path. State Transportation Director Brennon Morioka said the bridge will also be constructed with fewer pilings to allow for better water flow. During heavy rain, debris that comes from the mountains often builds up under the bridge, causing the stream to overflow.

A temporary bypass over the stream will be built before demolition begins.


Carlisle to command 13th Air Force and receive his third general's star

; Maj. Gen. Herbert “;Hawke”; Carlisle will assume command of the 13th Air Force at Hickam Air Force Base on Wednesday, relieving Lt. Gen. Loyd “;Chip”; Utterback, who is retiring after 30 years.

Carlisle has been director of legislative liaison since 2007 and will be promoted prior to the cere-mony and receive his third star.

He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1978 and has commanded the 54th Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska; the 1st Operations Group at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia; and the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida and 3rd Wing at Elmendorf.

The general is a command pilot with more than 3,400 flying hours in the AT-38 jet trainer and F-15 Eagle jet fighter.



Bad economy hurts schools on Big Island

HILO » A number of private schools on the Big Island are reporting lower enrollment because some economically stressed parents are now sending their children to public schools.

In response, St. Joseph School has increased financial aid and has launched a new open enrollment policy so students can enroll at any time during the year.

Joshua Clark, director of the admissions office at Hawaii Preparatory Academy, says some parents who lost their jobs withdrew their children because they decided to move back to the mainland to look for work.

At Parker School, Headmaster Carl Sturges says the school recently had to accommodate several parents who were in a short-term cash crunch.