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State senators may join new cabinet

Gov.-elect Neil Abercrombie is meeting with advisers this weekend and considering putting two and perhaps three state senators in his cabinet.

According to two sources, Abercrombie is considering Big Island Democratic Sens. Dwight Takamine and Russell Kokubun for positions with his new administration.

Takamine is under consideration as head of the state Labor Department and Kokubun would lead the Department of Agriculture.

There had been early speculation that Sen. Josh Green, also a Big Island Democrat and an emergency room physician, was under consideration to be state health director.

Green would say only that he was proud his Senate colleagues had selected him as chairman of the Senate Health Committee.

Also mentioned for a possible administrative position is longtime Manoa Democrat Sen. Brian Taniguchi, who, according to one Democratic source, is under consideration for the state Labor Relations Board.

If the senators accept positions with the Abercrombie administration, they would have to resign from the Senate and Abercrombie would be able to name replacements. Abercrombie already is expected to name a replacement for Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, who will leave the state position when she is sworn in to Congress in January.


DOH extends input deadline

LIHUE » The state Department of Health has extended until Dec. 3 the public comment period for a shrimp farm’s request to renew a permit to continue discharging effluent into the ocean.

Sunrise Capital wants to renew its Environmental Protection Agency permit for its facility in Kekaha. Sunrise produces white shrimp, mainly for local consumption and breeding stock for export, but wants to expand to kahala, moi, oysters, clams, limu and algae to produce jet fuel. Some environmentalists object.


Woman returns to ship of birth

A woman born aboard the Navy amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa 31 years ago is returning to visit the vessel at Pearl Harbor tomorrow. Grace Tarawa Tran’s pregnant mother was one of 442 Vietnamese refugees rescued at sea by the USS Tarawa on May 8, 1979. Tran was born two days later. She now lives in Philadelphia. The USS Tarawa was decommissioned last year and is now part of the Navy’s mothball fleet.


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