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Newswatch

For Saturday, February 19, 2011

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services

POSTED:



Environmental conference set

Bruce Rich, an international lawyer and author who focuses on environmental issues, will participate in a conference titled "To Uphold the World: A Global Economy Requires a Global Ethic" Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Classroom 1 at the University of Hawaii law school. The program is presented by the Environmental Law Program of the William S. Richardson School of Law. It is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are requested at elp@hawaii.edu.

 

Bill on Waikiki casino is voted down

The state House has defeated a proposal to allow a stand-alone casino in Waikiki.

A bipartisan group of 28 representatives opposed the bill on the House floor yesterday, more than the majority necessary to kill the measure. Forty-seven of 51 representatives were present.

The legislation would have granted a license to one casino operator in Waikiki with gross receipts taxed at a rate of 15 percent.

Hawaii and Utah are the only states that do not allow any gambling.

Other bills that would allow bingo, slot machines, a lottery or shipboard gambling remain alive.

Lawmakers sent the casino bill back to the Judiciary Committee. It could be revived next year.

 

McKenna to be sworn in on March 3

Family Court Senior Circuit Judge Sabrina McKenna will be sworn in to a 10-year term as an associate justice of the state Supreme Court at 4:15 p.m. March 3 at the high court's courtroom, the state Judiciary announced yesterday.

McKenna's appointment to the five-member court was unanimously confirmed Wednesday by the state Senate.

McKenna, 53, has been serving as the senior Family Circuit Court judge in charge of the Family Court at the Kapolei court complex.

Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald selected Circuit Judge Mark Browning to succeed McKenna on March 4, the Judiciary said.

Browning, a former city deputy prosecutor, was a Family Court district judge from 1997 to last year when he was appointed as a circuit judge.

"Judge Browning has a wealth of experience at Family Court and cares deeply about Hawaii's children and families," Recktenwald said. "I am confident that Judge Browning will provide strong leadership as senior judge."

 

NEIGHBOR ISLANDS

Blast removes projectile

The Navy exploded a World War II-era 16-inch unfused projectile yesterday found in ocean off Hapuna Beach in Kohala.

The beach, closed since Monday, was reopened after the 10:30 a.m. operation.

Two experts from Pearl Harbor's Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 3 and an Army ordnance specialist flew to the Big Island to help assess the situation.

The Navy hasn't been able to determine its age or origin.

The projectile, which was 8 inches in diameter, was embedded in the lava rocks, sand and marine growth.

It posed no immediate danger, but because it could not be removed, a small explosive charge was used to explode it in place, the Navy said.

A Hawaii County Ocean Safety lifeguard spotted the object partially buried in the sand on the ocean floor Monday.

 

County awards solar contract

Kauai County has awarded a $379,000 contract to Solar Engineering and Contracting to install a photovoltaic system on the roof of the Piikoi Building at the Lihue Civic Center.

The project is scheduled to begin next week and is expected to be complete at the end of April. The system will include a rooftop solar array, a single inverter and electrical metering and safety equipment.

At current electricity rates, the system is expected to save the county more than $41,000 in electricity costs per year.

"One of our Holo Holo 2020 initiatives is to incorporate as much renewable energy into county facilities as possible so we are very excited about the start of another PV project," Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. said in a news release.

County photovoltaic projects at the Kaiakea fire station and the Waimea Wastewater Treatment Facility are also under way.






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