POSTED: Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hearing set for landfill permit

The state Land Use Commission's hearing on the special use permit application for the Waimanalo Gulch landfill is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 24-25.

Hearings were to begin today, but because of scheduling conflicts the commission was unable to get the required number of members to attend, officials said.

The permit for the landfill expires Nov. 1, but the city is seeking to expand and extend its use for 15 years while alternative technologies for dealing with trash are developed.

Opponents who have long fought against the landfill in their community are seeking to have the landfill closed as scheduled.

The city Planning Commission has recommended the extension be granted with no time limit, allowing the landfill to be used until it is full, but requiring the city to begin the process of selecting a new site within a year. The recommendation is not binding.


Film to focus on Obama's mother

LOS ANGELES » President Barack Obama often is greeted like a movie star, but it's his mother who will be the subject of an upcoming documentary.

“;Stanley Ann Dunham: A Most Generous Spirit”; will go into production next year, with an expected 2011 release, executive producer Mary Aloe says. It's unknown yet whether it will air on television or appear in theaters.

Aloe said yesterday she believes the president knows about the project, and the filmmakers are trying to secure an interview with him.

The movie will focus on Dunham—who went by Ann—for her role as the president's mother, raising him in Hawaii and Indonesia. But it will also be about her work with micro-finance, helping women in Third World countries. She died of cancer in 1995 at 52.


Marine enforcement busy over Labor Day

State conservation enforcement officers boarded five vessels, issued nine warnings and terminated two boating trips during stepped-up marine safety patrols around the Ahu O Laka sandbar in Kaneohe Bay over the Labor Day weekend.

State Department of Land and Natural Resources spokeswoman Deborah Ward said enforcement officers last year boarded 10 vessels and issued five warnings.

This year, the state set up an information booth at Heeia Kea Harbor, where boaters could renew expired registration and trailer stickers, and lent life vests to boaters headed out on the bay. They also worked with the Coast Guard to enforce state and federal boating laws.

The Coast Guard, meanwhile, said its enforcement personnel boarded five vessels, issued one warning and detained one suspect, who was arrested by police Sunday on Oahu. A Honolulu Vessel Boarding and Security Team also conducted dockside boardings in Haleiwa, Waianae and Ko Olina harbors on Saturday. The Coast Guard stations in Honolulu, Kauai and Maui boarded 22 vessels and issued seven citations and three warnings beginning Friday through Labor Day, the Coast Guard said.


State seeks volunteers to replant Makiki area

The state is seeking volunteers for a one-day project in a Makiki Valley forest area that is being replanted with native Hawaiian plants.

Sept. 26 will be the work day sponsored by Na Ala Hele Trails and the Access Oahu program of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. at the Makiki Forestry Baseyard above the Hawaii Nature Center building. Call 973-9782 or visit http://www.hawaiitrails.org.


UH-Hilo enrollment hits record of 3,996

Admissions to the Pharmacy College and increased numbers of transfer and continuing students helped the University of Hilo reach a record enrollment of 3,996, the university said in a news release.

UH-Hilo has 210 more students than last fall, a 5.5 percent increase.

Freshman admissions were down 14 percent and the university also saw a slight decline in the international student population.

But those losses were offset by a 9.9 percent increase in the continuing student population and a 2.5 percent increase in transfer students.

UH-Hilo also admitted its third class of 90 pharmacy students.



Maui council acts to ban shark tours

WAILUKU » Shark tours would be banned in Maui County under a bill passed by the County Council.

The measure now awaits the signature of Mayor Charmaine Tavares.

Councilwoman Jo Anne Johnson says the bill is a sign of respect for native Hawaiians who consider sharks to be sacred.

She says a safety issue is also involved because dead fish parts are used to attract the predators, potentially changing the sharks' natural behavior.

The county doesn't have the authority to regulate offshore activities.

Instead, the bill would regulate the business side of shark tours, prohibiting any business from operating in Maui County that charges customers to enter the ocean to feed or attract sharks for viewing.