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State roundup for March 12

Oahu soldiers may not deploy

HONOLULU (AP) — Thousands of Schofield Barracks soldiers may not be deployed to Afghanistan after all.

Soldiers have been preparing for a pair of deployments to Afghanistan this summer to help assist Afghan forces with security.

Before heading overseas, the two brigades were expecting to send several thousand soldiers each to the National Training Center in California for final mission exercises with Afghan role players. Officials say those mission rehearsal exercises have been canceled.

The change in plans reflects the continuing drawdown of forces in Afghanistan. Officials say new budget constraints and a refocusing on the Pacific also played a part in the decision. The brigades were scheduled to deploy just a couple of months apart.

Lawmakers to recognize Navy

HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Senate plans to officially recognize the U.S. Navy during session for the Navy’s efforts to preserve Hawaiian culture and lower energy costs by moving to renewable energy.

Senate officials plan to present the military branch with a certificate today.

State Sen. Maile Shimabukuro says lawmakers are giving formal recognition for Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam officials working with other organizations to maintain a burial platform and planting native plant species at Ahua Reef. The Senate is also applauding the base for shifting to photovoltaic power and using a fuel oil reclamation facility to help lower energy costs.

Residents resist energy project

LIHUE, Kaui (AP) — Local residents are pushing back against a renewable energy project planned for Kauai.

Residents want to stop the Anahola Renewable Energy Project. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is proposing to lease more than 2,000 acres to Green Energy Team, LLC of Kauai. If approved, the land would be used for clearing trees and replanting and harvesting biomass feedstock, which would be delivered to Green Energy’s state-of-the-art facility near Koloa.

More than 200 residents attended a meeting Friday and expressed strong opposition to the project. Some feared if their Hawaiian homestead lands were leased they might never get them back.

However, project supporters say much of the opposition is being fueled by misinformation and rumors.


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