POSTED: Tuesday, November 24, 2009

2 Punchbowl cemetery vaults close

Two vaults holding urns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl are closed for construction through the holidays.

Columbarium Courts 8 and 9 are closed until Feb. 16 so additional niches for cremated remains can be made available before the cemetery runs out, said Director Gene Castagnetti.

An alternate site for floral tributes, with the names of the deceased, is located at Honolulu Memorial Chapel.

All other Columbarium Courts will be open for family and visitors.

When Courts 8 and 9 are finished, Court 10 will close for 90 days to add more niches. After that, construction will continue in 90-day increments for Courts 11 and 12.

Visit the cemetery office or call 532-3720 for questions about the construction.


UH campuses to be closed on Friday

All 10 campuses in the University of Hawaii system will be closed to the public Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, according to the UH administration.

The closure is due to the recently settled contract with UH employees who are members of the Hawaii Government Employees Association, and the university's effort to reduce energy costs because of a budget shortfall.

UH employees will have the day off with pay. The university said critical or time-sensitive functions or specialized facilities such as research labs will continue to operate.

The campuses also will be shut down from Dec. 21 to 31.


$3.8M in grants helps city go green

Honolulu was awarded $3.8 million in federal grants to reduce carbon emissions and become more energy- efficient.

The funds were distributed by the U.S. Department of Energy Program as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

The award will pay for air-conditioning improvements at the Neal Blaisdell Center, lighting for the center's parking structure, lighting for Kapolei Hale, a photovoltaic system for the Pearl City bus maintenance facility, and lighting and photovoltaic system improvements at the Kalihi-Palama bus maintenance facility.


State labor office gets $1M boost

The state has been awarded a $1 million labor market information grant.

State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Director Darwin Ching says the federal money will enable Hawaii to employ strategies to allow job-seekers to connect with green jobs and ensure workers find employment after completing training.

The grant will help the state develop an information bank to facilitate job training, job search and placement in green jobs. Areas such as renewable energy development, water and energy efficiency, and environmental protection are targeted.

The grant will also be used to identify green jobs, needed skills and wages paid.

State officials say the money is part of a $500 million recovery act initiative.



Big Isle gets hazardous waste pickup

Big Island residents have two opportunities next month to dispose of household hazardous waste.

Waste that will be collected includes automotive fluids, used batteries, fluorescent lights and pesticides.

The first collection will be held Dec. 5 at the Hilo Recycling and Solid Waste Transfer Station.

The second collection will be Dec. 12 at the Kailua-Kona Recycling and Solid Waste Transfer Station.

Residents may drop off their waste products from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. both days. No business or farm waste will be accepted, the county said.

For information on what is acceptable and for instructions on how to properly dispose of common household hazardous waste, go to www.hawaiizerowaste.org.

Residents can also call Chris Chin-Chance with the Department of Environmental Management at 961-8554 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). hawaii.hi.us.