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State roundup for October 8

Kauai planning elderly housing

LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — Kauai County is spending $2.3 million to buy two parcels in Lihue it will use to develop affordable housing for seniors.

The county said Friday it expects to build 84 units on the two parcels. Most units will have one bedroom and one bath. Some will have two bedrooms and one bath.

The lots are currently vacant. They’re located where a plantation camp known as “‘Rice Camp” used to be. The county council appropriated funding for the purchase in its capital budget for the current fiscal year.

Kauai is currently accepting proposals from those interested in building and operating the housing complex.

Akaka speaks to N. Hawaiians

HONOLULU (AP) — U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka told a crowd at the Native Hawaiian Convention in Honolulu that it’s important to remember to live Hawaiian values and draw courage from those that came before.

Akaka told attendees in a speech Thursday that they should focus their work on advancing Hawaiian self-determination and self-sufficiency. He encouraged those listening to strive to extend aloha in all they do, saying they’ll find aloha returned.

Akaka, 88, spoke at the convention for the last time as a sitting senator. Akaka is retiring in January. He quoted Queen Liliuokalani as saying there was time to save Hawaiians’ heritage and one must never cease to act because of a fear of failure.

Not guilty plea in deadly blast

HONOLULU (AP) — Two men indicted over last year’s deadly fireworks explosion at an Oahu bunker are pleading not guilty.

The two men and their employer, Donaldson Enterprises Inc., are accused of treating hazardous waste without a permit. Director of operations Charles Donaldson and project manager Carlton Finley entered their pleas Thursday.

An attorney for Donaldson Enterprises entered a not guilty plea on behalf of the company. The April 2011 blast in Waikele killed five Donaldson employees.

Review backs Oahu rail plans

HONOLULU (AP) — A consulting company’s review says Honolulu has the financial capacity to build and operate a rail line from Kapolei to Ala Moana Center.

Porter & Associates, Inc. prepared the report last month for the Federal Transit Administration. The report says Honolulu’s operating and capital financial plans for rail are based on reasonable assumptions regarding future costs and revenues.

But the report cautions Honolulu’s general fund and highway fund expenses must grow at slower-than-historical rates in order for the city to be able to subsidize the rail line. The report says the city could withstand a 10 percent increase in the rail line’s cost and survive a lower growth rate for the general excise tax.


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