POSTED: Sunday, December 07, 2008

Apoliona optimistic on Akaka bill

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona is calling for unity among native Hawaiians as they seek self-determination rights.

Apoliona delivered the keynote address Friday at the 2008 OHA Investiture, which followed the swearing-in of Apoliona and three other trustees.

Apoliona said Hawaiians should anticipate the passage of the Akaka Bill now that President-elect Barack Obama is poised to take office. The Akaka Bill would grant native Hawaiians recognition and legal protection similar to that of American Indians and Alaska natives.

She also says Hawaiians never relinquished their claims to their national lands. A case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether the state has the right to sell or transfer ceded lands.


Bond sale brings nearly $228M

The state sold nearly $228 million in general obligation bonds last week to fund capital improvement projects.

Gov. Linda Lingle announced that proceeds from the sale of $26 million in taxable bonds will complete the acquisition of Kukui Gardens. The Honolulu low-income housing project was purchased by the state to save 857 units from conversion to market-rate rentals.

An additional $100 million in proceeds is targeted for infrastructure projects that are ready to begin. And $102 million will refinance outstanding bonds. Both sales were of tax-exempt bonds.

The state had wanted to sell $635 million in bonds in September, but opted to wait until the environment for bond sales improved.


Volunteers send cheer for troops

Up to a million holiday cards are being sent out to military troops and their families through an effort by the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes Inc.

The Hawaii chapter and local Pitney Bowes representatives sorted cards yesterday at Tripler Army Medical Center and other Veterans Affairs clinics in the state.

“;This is a way for members of the public to lift the spirits of military members, their families and veterans during this holiday season,”; said Coralie Chun Matayoshi, chief executive officer for the Hawaii Red Cross, in a written news release.


Catfish season is approaching

The state is accepting applications from anglers interested in catfishing at Nuuanu Reservoir No. 4 when the season begins Jan. 10.

Applications for entry cards are available at the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources at 1151 Punchbowl St., room 330. Deadline to submit applications in person is 4 p.m. Dec. 19. Mailed applications with a postmark of Dec. 19 also will be taken.

During the last fishing season, 2,962 anglers caught 2,243 catfish, with the largest weighing 15 pounds.

State freshwater game fishing licenses are available at fishing supply stores and online at

Processed entry cards will tell applicants the date and time they may enter the reservoir. The length of the catfishing season will be based on how many people apply to fish at the reservoir.