Thursday, February 1, 2001
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Posted on: Thursday, February 1, 2001

Neighbor Island briefs

Advertiser Staff and News Services


Hawaiians plan Kahului protest

WAILUKU, Maui — A Native Hawaiian group is planning a three-day demonstration at Kahului Airport, starting tomorrow, to protest recent court decisions that members say threaten to erode native rights and entitlements.

Na Kupuna O Maui is organizing the event, which will feature sign-holding and distribution of literature intended to educate tourists about the issue.

"We’re going to be positive and go in there with aloha — nothing else," said Charles Kauluwehi Max-well Sr., an organizer.

At the same time, he said, Native Hawaiians are angry about recent lawsuits that seek to have the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and Hawaiian gathering rights declared unconstitutional and to eliminate the "Hawaiians only" provisions in OHA.

Marilyn Kali, state Department of Transportation spokeswoman, said airport officials expect to issue a permit for the demonstration. While Maxwell said 1,000 or more will participate, Kali said her understanding is perhaps 200 to 300 people will take part over three days.

Ocean panel to visit Maui

The Pew Oceans Commission, established to assess threats to the ocean environment, will begin its work in 2001 with a three-day visit to Maui next week.

The commission is a 20-member panel headed by former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta. Other members include politicians, national environmental leaders, scientists, and representatives of fishing interests and of industry.

The commission is in the middle of a two-year review of the nation’s ocean policies, and plans to submit a recommendation to Congress in April 2002.

The panel is commissioning scientific papers on major ocean-related issues, and is holding community meetings in coastal cities nationwide. The Maui meeting is the second of these.

Commission spokesman Justin Kenney said key areas of interest include pollution, coastal development, fishing, aquaculture, invasive species and climate change.

On Maui, the members plan to take field trips, hear from residents and meet with representatives of tourism, fishing, environment and scientific interests. A detailed agenda for the meeting is to be available shortly.

Information on the commission, formed in May 2000 by the Pew Charitable Trusts, is available online at


Hilo brushfire closes highway

LAUPAHOEHOE, Hawaii — A runaway brushfire in North Hilo yesterday afternoon closed down traffic on the Hawaii Belt Highway between Hilo and Honokaa.

It was still burning out of control three hours after it began at 12:41 p.m. near Kaawalii Gulch north of Laupahoehoe. Civil Defense chief Bill Davis said about 30 acres had burned as two helicopters and two bulldozers tried to keep the fire from spreading.

One lane of the highway was reopened about two hours after the fire started.

The cause of the blaze was undetermined. Brush in the area is extremely dry after two months of abnormally low rainfall.

Jury in Kona convicts driver

KEALAKEKUA, Hawaii — A Kona jury has convicted a 20-year-old man of first-degree terroristic threatening and leaving the scene of a July 18 mo-ped collision, but could not reach a verdict on a related attempted-murder charge.

Aaron Morgan may face a new trial on the charge that he intentionally ran down mo-ped rider Robert Manuel, 23, on Henry Street in Kailua-Kona. Manuel suffered serious head injuries and was in a coma for some time at the Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu before regaining consciousness.

Two other men were threatened by Morgan following a confrontation at Pahoehoe Beach Park.

A mistrial on the attempted murder charge was declared Monday when a jury deadlocked after 20 hours of deliberation.

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