POSTED: Monday, September 21, 2009


Road work will close Kula reserve

The state is closing the Kula Forest Reserve on Maui on weekdays for the next two weeks to repair the forest access road.

No one will be able to enter the forest Monday through Friday this week and next. The road will be open during the weekend in between, from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources plans to replace a culvert that has allowed rainwater to damage the dirt road. It will also resurface one mile of the road.

The road and the culvert initially were damaged by vehicles responding to a fire in 2006 and 2007. They suffered additional damage during a severe rainstorm in 2007.

Hearings to consider DBEDT layoffs

Two legislative committees will examine the effects, potential savings and possible revenue losses from planned layoffs at the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

The hearing today will be held by the House Economic Revitalization, Business and Military Affairs Committee and the Senate Committee on Economic Development and Technology.

It is set for 1:30 p.m. at the State Capitol.

Voyager scientist plans UH talk

University of Hawaii astronomer Tobias Owen will discuss “;Saturn and its Mysterious Moons”; at a Frontiers of Astronomy community lecture at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the UH-Manoa Art Auditorium.

Owen, a renowned solar astronomer, led the group of Voyager scientists who discovered the rings of Jupiter in 1979. He also identified inert gases and heavy water on Mars, the early existence of a new class of solar system building blocks called “;solar composition icy planetesimals”; and determined the importance of deuterium (heavy hydrogen) and other isotopes for the solar system's history and formation.

Admission is free. Parking is suggested in the main UH parking structure makai of Dole Street. Some parking is available on campus near the Art Auditorium. For more information visit www.ifa.hawaii.edu/specialevents.

College projects receive $1.5M in federal funds

The University of Hawaii West Oahu and Windward Community College are receiving $1.5 million in federal funding to preserve a native Hawaiian fishpond and build an affordable housing project on the Waianae Coast, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said in a news release.

WCC is receiving $800,000 and UH-West Oahu is getting $716,000.

WCC will work with the Pacific American Foundation to buy the Waikalua Loko Fishpond in Kaneohe, remove hazardous structures, and implement an educational and cultural program at the fishpond.

UH-West Oahu will build the Hale Makana O Nanakuli housing project in Nanakuli, providing affordable long-term rental housing for families leaving the Waianae emergency shelter.

The two grants are from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.



Kauai County facilities go dark at 8 p.m.

LIHUE » Kauai County officials are reminding the public that for the next three months, lights at all county-owned outdoor facilities must be turned off at 8 p.m.

The directive has nothing to do with cutting electrical use to save money.

The county implemented the measure three years ago in an effort to protect endangered seabirds during their fledgling season, from Sept. 15 to Dec. 15. That's when they are most vulnerable.

The young seabirds are frequently attracted to lights at night and become disoriented and sometimes fall to the ground.

County officials say the aim of the measure is to mitigate the risk of fines, up to $25,000 for each “;take,”; which may be imposed under the Endangered Species Act. A “;take”; includes harassing or harming the birds.