POSTED: Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ceremonies to honor Army Guard soldiers

More than 1,000 Hawaii Army National Guard soldiers who were deployed to Kuwait and Iraq last year with the 29th Brigade Combat Team will be honored at ceremonies throughout the state this month.

Oahu-based soldiers will be recognized at a “;Freedom Salute”; ceremony that begins at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the University of Hawaii's Stan Sheriff Center.

Soldiers from the Big Island will be recognized Jan. 30 at a Kealakehe High School gym ceremony in Kona and at the Waiakea High School gym the next day in Hilo.

Maui and Kauai soldiers were honored earlier this month.

During the Freedom Salute Ceremony, each soldier will receive an encased American flag, a commemorative coin, a certificate of appreciation and a lapel insignia. Spouses will receive a lapel insignia, while the soldier's children will be recognized and presented with a homecoming footlocker kit, which includes two games, trading cards and a comic book.

The Hawaii citizen soldiers spent several months training at Fort Hood, Texas, before deploying to Kuwait in October 2008, where they were responsible for the security and administration of several military posts. The 29th Brigade's mission also included escorting convoys into and out of Iraq. The units starting redeploying home to Hawaii in July.


UH faculty cast votes online for new contract

Professors at the University of Hawaii are voting online through Tuesday on a new contract.

It includes a 6.7 percent pay cut until July 2011. The pact also calls for three lump-sum payments, starting in August 2012, to reimburse professors for the lost money. In addition, professors would receive a 3 percent pay raise in 2013 and 2014.

The online ratification vote by members of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly began Thursday. The union represents about 3,600 faculty members who teach at the UH system's 10 campuses.

The university unilaterally imposed the pay cut this month.

Gov. Linda Lingle ordered cuts to university funding over the last year to help close the state's budget gap.


Pono Pacific receives coral-cleaning contract

Ecosystem restoration company Pono Pacific has won a contract to remove coral reef-suffocating invasive algae from Maunalua Bay.

Federal economic stimulus spending is funding the Hawaii Kai project.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded the money last year to the Nature Conservancy, which put the contract out for bid. Pono Pacific was selected from five local companies.

The Nature Conservancy said Wednesday the project has already created 25 jobs. The new contract is expected to create 50 more. Work is expected to begin next month.



Motorcyclist hit by sedan dies on Kauai

A 46-year-old Lihue motorcyclist hit by a sedan yesterday died from his injuries on Kauai.

The accident occurred on Kaumualii Highway near Maluhia Road at 4:02 p.m., said Mary Daubert, Kauai County spokeswoman.

The man, who was not wearing a helmet, was taken to Wilcox Memorial Hospital, where he died.

Daubert said a sedan hit the motorcyclist while making a left turn from Kaumualii Highway onto Maluhia Road.

Daubert said the sedan driver, a 53-year-old Koloa woman, was taken to Wilcox Hospital and released after treatment.