Isles’ major federal
funding stays intact

The spending bill also
allocates new money
for state projects

Projects funded

By Janis L. Magin
Associated Press

Hawaii held on to major funding in the new federal spending bill and managed to pick up new money for programs ranging from $4 million to combat the Big Island's "ice" drug problem to $50,000 for a community health center on Kauai.

The $397.4 billion appropriations bill passed by Congress on Thursday includes hundreds of millions of nonmilitary government dollars for Hawaii, according to U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye.

The bill, which pays for operations of nearly every federal agency for the current fiscal year, awaits President Bush's signature.

Hawaii's major federal dollars -- $40 million for impact aid for schools, $31 million for native Hawaiian education, $29.7 million for federal transit administration formula funds, $9.6 million for the Hawaiian Homelands community development block grant program -- remained either roughly the same as last year or slightly higher. The East-West Center, located on the University of Hawaii's Manoa campus, will receive $18 million, $4 million more than last year.

Funding for many Hawaii programs, from agriculture research to brown tree snake control to educational programs, will remain fairly level, something that was hard-won in a competition among states for tight federal dollars, said U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie.

"Everybody had to sacrifice a bit," he said.

One program that will see its funding slashed is the childhood rural asthma project, which was allotted $150,000 this year. It began last year with $500,000 to help children with asthma in rural and remote areas.

The $4 million for the Hawaii County Comprehensive Methamphetamine Response Program is one of several items in this year's measure that have not previously received funding.

"Interest in this (problem) is not new," Abercrombie said. "This is an attempt to try and work with local jurisdictions within the state to address this problem."

Abercrombie noted that use of the drug commonly known as "ice" is often a precipitating factor for juvenile and adult crime. At the Hawaii Island Ice Summit in August, Hawaii County Police Chief Lawrence Mahuna told officials that from 1998 to 2000, there was a 10-fold increase in crystal methamphetamine arrests on the Big Island -- to 282 from 28 -- and that the drug's reach extends to middle schools.

The state will also get $2.5 million for the Hawaii High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program, the same amount as fiscal 2002, according to the list of Hawaii initiatives issued by Inouye's office.

Among the many programs for native Hawaiians, Papa Ola Lokahi and the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems will receive $9 million, a $2 million increase over last year, to help make primary care, health education and disease prevention services available for native Hawaiians.

There's also money for community health centers on Kauai and Maui, and in Waimanalo and Waianae. There's money for "high tech training" on Maui, funding for rural computer training on the Valley Isle, and money to fund a program for girls and science.

The University of Hawaii's Hilo and Maui campuses will each receive money for specific programs, and there is funding for the construction of an emergency homeless shelter in Kailua-Kona. Construction projects at Kauai's Kikiaola small boat harbor and Maui's Maalea Harbor also received funding.

In addition to road improvements on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island, transportation dollars will go toward public transit, including up to $20 million to spend on a ferry boat, which would likely operate between Leeward Oahu and downtown Honolulu, Abercrombie said.

The bill designates millions of dollars for the ocean and the environment, including $6.3 million for the protection of the endangered sea turtle. That amount is more than twice the appropriation for fiscal 2002, the result of more knowledge about the endangered sea creatures, Abercrombie said.

"It's part of the whole question of endangered species in the Pacific and what we can do to help document and see what needs to be done," he said.

The state will also receive $5 million for economic disaster assistance to the longline fishing industry and $3 million for the Hawaii Longline Fisheries Observers program, intended to help fishermen obey the laws while they try to make a living.

"How can we harvest in the sea and at the same time not decimate it?" Abercrombie said. "We don't want to create the water equivalent of the dust bowl."

The budget also includes $700,000 to help the state combat invasive species and $1 million for coral reefs, which Abercrombie said is related to the designation of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands as a National Marine Sanctuary.

A December 2000 executive order signed by President Clinton set aside 84 million acres of ocean around the archipelago as the Northwestern Hawaiian Island Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve, the largest protected area ever established in the United States.

Federal officials last year began drafting a management plan to cover preservation of the coral and regulate fishing in the waters off the 10 mostly uninhabited islets and atolls extending 1,200 miles northwest of the main Hawaiian Islands.

"We're now moving to the stage from getting the Northwestern Hawaiian refuge to a sanctuary," Abercrombie said. "Coral reefs are fundamental and vital to that.

"We have a special responsibility," he said. "We're the principal caretakers and stewards with respect to coral reefs."


Isle funding

A look at some of the Hawaii projects funded in the federal fiscal 2003 appropriations bill:


>> Sea turtle protection, $6.3 million
>> Economic disaster assistance to longline fishing industry, $5 million
>> Longline fisheries observers program, $3 million
>> Coastal conservation land acquisition, $2.025 million
>> Pre-clearance quarantine inspections, $2 million
>> Coastal field data collection, $1 million
>> Coral reef monitoring, assessment and research, $1 million
>> Seafood safety inspection and training, $800,000
>> Library services to native Hawaiians, $768,750
>> Aid to fight invasive species, $700,000
>> Women in technology, $350,000
>> State historic records and artifacts preservation, $250,000


>> Kahuku Ranch acquisition, $8.5 million
>> Hawaii County Methamphetamine Response Program, $4 million
>> University of Hawaii-Hilo clinical pharmacy training program, $700,000
>> Construction of emergency homeless shelter in Kailua-Kona, $675,000
>> Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii, distributed energy systems, $500,000
>> Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii, biological and environmental research, $500,000
>> Boys and Girls Club, Hilo, $270,000
>> Community recycling centers, Hawaii Island Economic Development Board, $225,000
>> Kawaihae deep draft harbor modification, $142,000


>> Hawaii ferryboat, up to $20 million
>> Consolidated ship facility for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, $15 million
>> Bus transit centers in Waianae, Mililani and Wahiawa, $750,000
>> Housing management support, Nanakuli neighborhood, $270,000
>> Waianae Coast comprehensive health center, construction of expanded facility, $180,000
>> Ala Wai Canal investigations, $135,000


>> Kikiaola small boat harbor construction, $4.5 million
>> West Kauai high-tech training facility, $450,000
>> Nawiliwili Harbor, $250,000
>> Kauai community health center, $50,000


>> Maalea Harbor construction, $2.62 million
>> University of Hawaii, training and education opportunities, $1.8 million
>> Maui County bus system startup, $1.1 million
>> Waipoli Road improvements, Haleakala, $1 million
>> Senior housing, $675,000
>> Iao Stream flood control project, $419,000
>> Maui Economic Development Board, rural computer utilization and girls into science program, $600,000
>> Cladophora bloom studies in coastal West Maui, $220,000
>> Maui community health center, $100,000

Sources: Sen. Dan Inouye; Associated Press

E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2003 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --