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State roundup for November 14

UH gets OK for Maui telescope

HONOLULU (AP) — The University of Hawaii says the state is allowing the school to build the world’s largest solar optical telescope on Maui’s Haleakala volcano.

The university said Tuesday the state Board of Land and Natural Resources last week reaffirmed its decision approving the project.

UH President M.R.C. Greenwood says the school is eager to move forward on the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope.

The $300 million telescope will be built on a half-acre among a cluster of observatories near Haleakala’s summit. It will allow scientists to observe sunspots, flares and other phenomena too small to be seen with current equipment.

Supporters say the telescope will advance understanding of the sun. Opponents say it will defile a place sacred to Native Hawaiians.

Public housing getting makeover

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii is kicking off an $11 million project to modernize a public housing complex in Palolo neighborhood of Honolulu.

The Hawaii Public Housing Authority is holding a groundbreaking ceremony for work at Palolo Valley Homes on Tuesday.

The first phase of the project will include improvements to both the insides and outsides of six buildings. Seven of the 44 units involved in the first phase will be renovated to accommodate disabled tenants.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie released funds for the project last month. The money is part of a $92 million job creation initiative.

The Hawaii Public Housing Authority administers 6,000 state and federal public housing units on five islands. It also provides 1,900 rental vouchers on Oahu.

Restaurant pays cesspool fine

HONOLULU (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says a Kauai restaurant’s owners will pay a fine of nearly $50,000 for failing to close two large capacity cesspools in Poipu.

The agency said Tuesday the owners of Brennecke’s Beach Broiler also funded a half-million dollar project to improve the treatment of sewage from Poipu Beach Park’s public restrooms.

Crews contain cane field fire

LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — Firefighters were able to contain a large brush fire that was burning in a cane field on Kauai.

Personnel from the Kauai Fire Department got the fire under control and contained at about 7:30 p.m. Monday. The fire was first reported at about 4:30 p.m., and in a little more than an hour had grown to around five acres.

The blaze forced the shutdown of the Kaumualii Highway in both directions for a time. Traffic was reopened at approximately 7:00 p.m. The cause of the fire is not yet known.


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