POSTED: Monday, March 15, 2010

Grants available for Oahu projects

The state is awarding $600,000 in grants for environmentally beneficial projects in Leeward Oahu, from Kapolei to Makaha.

The funds came as part of a settlement between the state Department of Health and the city and Waste Management of Hawaii Inc. for permit violations at Waimanalo Gulch landfill.

The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism is distributing the funds.

Applications must be submitted in person or postmarked by May 13.

For more information go to or contact state economic development specialists Jamie Lum at 587-2753 or Wayne Thom at 587-2772.


PUC urges checks for leaky pipes

The state Public Utilities Commission is encouraging homeowners to participate in “;Fix a Leak Week.”;

Sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense program, “;Fix a Leak Week”; begins today. It is an annual reminder to Americans to check household plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems for leaks.

PUC chairman Carlito P. Caliboso said homeowners can save money on their utility bills and help save water for future generations.

He said leaks can add up to more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted at a home every year, enough to fill a backyard swimming pool.

Officials estimate minor leaks account for more than 1 trillion gallons of water wasted each year in U.S. homes.

The PUC regulates 17 private water companies in Hawaii.


UH campuses to close for break

The University of Hawaii's 10 campuses will be closed during spring break, next Monday to March 25.

The university said the closed campuses are in accordance with collective bargaining agreements.

It is being done to save energy costs because of the state's budget shortfall.

Certain critical or time-sensitive functions or specialized facilities, such as research laboratories, will continue to operate.

Athletic events at UH-Manoa and UH-Hilo will be held as scheduled.



Kauai highway to be widened for $39 million

PUHI, Kauai » Ground has been broken on Kauai for a $39 million project to widen Kaumualii Highway to four lanes from two.

The 2-mile project offering shorter commute times between Puhi and Lihue is expected to create 400 jobs. It is slated to take two years to complete.

State Department of Transportation Director Brennon Morioka said last week that the wider highway will include sidewalks and should have more room for bicyclists. He says intersections will also be upgraded and improved along the length of the route.

The DOT is hopeful a second, two-lane bridge mauka of the existing Lihue Plantation mill bridge will be under construction before the highway project is completed.

The department says the second bridge will cost between $25 million and $30 million.