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State / In Brief

April 17, 2013
The Associated Press

Dead whale calf washes ashore on Oahu

HONOLULU - A dead whale calf has washed up on Oahu's North Shore.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Mammal Response Coordinator David Schofield said Tuesday that the whale is in a hard-to-reach area of sharp, dense lava just east of Turtle Bay.

Schofield and others are working out how to get to the whale and remove it. The whale is partially in the water and may be attracting sharks. Schofield says tiger sharks have been seen nearby.

A fisherman who reported the whale at about 6:30 a.m. said the body is severely decomposed.

This is the fifth dead whale calf to wash ashore in Hawaii this year. Normally one to two dead whale calves come ashore annually. Schofield said it's not clear why there have been more this year.


Big Isle boat harbor project goes forward

KAILUA-KONA - A Big Island project to improve Kawaihae's Small Boat Harbor is going forward after years of delays caused by environmental concerns.

Delays occurred over the potential impact to coral and species listed under the Endangered Species Act, including one of 14 coral species found at the project site, according to West Hawaii Today.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resource's Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation has been granted permission to begin the first phase of the more than $4.7 million project after years of study and plans to mitigate damage. The Department of Army permit was issued March 21.

Improvements include a large floating dock and more berthing stalls for light draft vessels. Plans also call for other improvements such as more paved parking, a gravel access road, an outdoor shower, a comfort station and boat wash-down area, said Democratic Rep. Cindy Evans, chairwoman of the House Committee on Water and Land who has helped champion the project.

The project was awarded to Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. in August 2008. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled to take place in June, with construction to be completed by 2014.


Military housing project in its final phase

HONOLULU - The last of the old, family housing at Oahu's Marine Corps Base Hawaii has been demolished in what marks the start of the final phase of a project to provide better rental housing for military families.

Greg Raap with Forest City Military Communities said that half of the total inventory of 6,342 units across 34 neighborhoods is being rebuilt to provide improved housing for Navy and Marine Corps families.

On Monday, the last of the old homes in the Ulupau neighborhood was demolished. Officials said 218 new homes are expected to be completed by April 2014.

Since 2004, the project has injected more than $1.3 billion into the Hawaii economy.



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