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For Monday, July 4, 2011

By Star-Advertiser staff


Kaneohe sandbar remains subdued

The number of boats at the Kaneohe sandbar increased slightly Sunday, but the state said the mood was mellow and cooperative.

Patrol officers with the state Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement issued four citations, but none for illegal drinking or drugs, said spokeswoman Deborah Ward.

She said there were about 50 boats and 200 people at the sandbar or within the Ahu o Laka safety zone, where drinking and rowdiness are prohibited on three-day weekends through Labor Day. That was up from 30 to 40 boats on Saturday.

"The mood and ambience of the crowd at the sandbar was very mellow," said Ward, adding that the people there were "cooperative and appreciative" of the new rules.

Officers boarded 44 vessels and issued 15 warnings for improper or inadequate equipment, she said.

Officers also issued four citations — two for nonexistent or expired boat registrations, one for a traffic violation at Heeia Kea harbor and one for a parking violation, Ward said.

There were no safety zone citations on Sunday, compared with two on Saturday.

UH school gets $2 million donation

The University of Hawaii's Hawai‘inuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge has received a $2 million endowment from a business executive.

Judith Pyle, a UH Foundation board trustee and president of Judith Dion Pyle & Associates in Wisconsin, said she donated the money because she appreciates the rich culture of Hawaii.

"As a trustee on the UH Foundation board, I know the value philanthropy brings to our university, our students and our future," Pyle said.

Maenette Benham, dean of the school, said she will be able to use the funds for retaining and recruiting faculty, supporting research and furthering the school's mission.

"It takes a very special person, with insight and a spirit of generosity, to make such a gracious endowment," Benham said.

Pyle is also a board member for The Contemporary Museum in Honolulu.

Pick plums at park

Plum-picking season at Kokee State Park on Kauai opens Wednesday. Harvesting is allowed from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. in designated areas. There is no fee, but participants must submit a permit form at park headquarters. Each person may take up to five pounds per day for personal consumption. Call 274-3445 for more information.

Bus shelters will dapple Valley Isle

WAILUKU, Maui >> Maui County officials have promised to begin building proper benches and shelters this year to give bus riders places to wait that are protected from the sun, wind and rain.

Virtually none of Maui’s 169 bus stops has benches, the Maui News reported. Five bus stops are to be completed this year and 12 more next fiscal year, said Jim Oster, project manager and Transportation Department engineer.

Four more covered bus stops that cost at least $200,000 will be built by the end of the year and will be lighted and wheelchair accessible. They’ll feature bicycle racks, and bins for trash recycling, as well as curb cuts to make it safer for the buses to pull over in traffic.

Eight to 10 shelters are to be completed each year until 79 are done, said Transportation Director Jo Anne Johnson Winer.

Federal authorities recently noted the Maui Bus is one of the fastest-growing public transit systems in the country. More than 850,000 passengers rode the bus last year, and that figure is expected to soar to 2 million this year, according to the county.

Nature area will likely stay closed

Land containing a dangerous trail to Puu Oo vent will likely remain closed for another two years.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported that the state Board of Land and Natural Resources is expected to extend the closure of Kahaualea Natural Area Reserve, a 22,521-acre parcel that borders Puu Oo.

The parcel was closed to the public in 2007, when lava began erupting from a new vent to the east of the cinder cone.

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