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Program fears closure with funding bill dead

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 08:11 a.m. HST, May 05, 2014

WAILUKU, Hawaii » The Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission is bracing for a shutdown because a funding bill didn't survive the state Legislature's lawmaking session that ended last week.

That would leave 17 commission employees without jobs, and decades of erosion control work will go unmaintained to the detriment of the marine environment, Chairwoman Michele Chou­teau Mc­Lean told the Maui News.

The commission conducts escorted trips to the island. McLean warns that without the commission, "people will probably trespass and could very well get seriously injured or killed" by unexploded ordnance left over from decades of military bombardment. "I can't say what the (state) liability would be for that."

McLean, who is also deputy director of the Maui County Department of Planning, said she's disappointed that the bill didn't make it out of conference committee, even though lawmakers acknowledged funding needs to be found, but the hang-up stemmed from what the funding source should be.

One version of the bill, introduced by Rep. Mele Carroll (D, Lanai-Molokai-Paia-Hana), would have set aside 10 percent of the conveyance tax for the Kahoolawe fund, with a cap at $3.5 million per fiscal year. Funding would have been repealed starting June 30, 2020, or when a sovereign Native Hawaiian governing entity is recognized.

The commission currently draws most of its funding from a trust created in 1994 when the Navy transferred ownership of the island to the state and during the federal unexploded-ordnance cleanup of Kahoolawe. The trust fund is expected to run out of money in 2016.

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loquaciousone wrote:
Why not take it from abercrombie's budget "surplus"?
on May 5,2014 | 08:54AM
1local wrote:
get the money from OHA - they have over $500 million taxpayer money.
on May 5,2014 | 12:38PM
cojef wrote:
Wonder if any volunteers from the prison population is feasible with offers of reduction on sentence for good behavior.
on May 5,2014 | 11:31AM
copperwire9 wrote:
That's a good idea.
on May 5,2014 | 11:51AM
Ronin006 wrote:
I suggested this in a letter to then Governor Cayetano back in the mid-1990s. He pooh-poohed it very quickly saying that prisoners did not have the brains to do the work. Utter nonsense. I also suggested it a few years ago in a letter to the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission, which also pooh-poohed it saying the island was too scared to Native Hawaiians to allow convicts to do the work. More nonsense.
on May 5,2014 | 12:26PM
juscasting wrote:
Cool picture. I thougt it was one of those "If you find unexploded ordance, DO NOT take a Nap next to it"
on May 5,2014 | 11:41AM
chariie1 wrote:
Everything for rail its the greener solution.
on May 5,2014 | 05:26PM
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