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Biologist honored for isle reef work

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service honored a coral reef biologist who did pioneering work in Hawaii.

The agency on Thursday presented its Rachel Carson award for scientific excellence to Jim Maragos, who began his groundbreaking work with a doctoral thesis focused on assessing the impacts of sewage on corals in Kaneohe Bay.

The agency says this research helped compel governments to remove sewage outfalls from the bay and led to coral recovery. The effort is recognized as one of the first successful habitat restoration projects for coral reefs and helped introduce coral reef management to the world.

Maragos later initiated, led or participated in dozens of ship-based expeditions to some of the most remote islands and atolls in the Pacific Ocean.

He retired from the agency in January.

Maui panel OKs Kihei housing plan

The Maui County Council narrowly approved Friday the proposed Kaiwahine Village affordable housing project in Kihei.

The Maui News reported that the 5-4 vote came after more than an hour of discussion that included the addition of five new conditions to the north Kihei project.

“I feel ecstatic that most of the Council agreed (with me),” said developer John Sindoni. “I’m sad that I couldn’t get through to the ones that voted no. I’m going to prove to the county our commitment to affordable housing.”

Voting in favor of the project were Gladys Baisa, Robert Carroll, Don Couch, Mike Victorino and Mike White. Elle Cochran, Riki Hokama, Danny Mateo and Joe Pontanilla voted no.

Royal Main Properties LLC proposes to build Kaiwahine Village as a 120-unit multifamily subdivision with a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units in 15 buildings, off-street parking and other improvements on 9.3 acres at the intersection of Kaiwahine and Hale Kai streets.

The project came under fire from area residents who cited concerns about more traffic and people in the crowded area.

Kauai County gets grant for electric cars

Kauai County will receive a state grant of $276,000 in part to install charging stations for electric vehicles, the Garden Island newspaper reported.

The grant from the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism was announced by the county Friday. The county’s planned EV program includes the purchase of six electric chargers for county and public use, and five commercially available electric vehicles.


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