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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Saturday, September 27, 2003

Mormon leader to visit Hawai'i

By Mary Kaye Ritz
Advertiser Religion & Ethics Writer

Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will return to Hawai'i on Oct. 25 for ground-breaking ceremonies on a $5 million renovation project in La'ie.

The renovation project includes new landscaping on Hale La'a Boulevard and the beachfront property at end of that road, referred to as Temple Gardens.

Landscaping elements include the installation of 79 royal palms lining the road, as well as 2,961 feet of blue-rock wall standing 6 feet high.

There will also be a new traffic roundabout added to the road, said Eric Beaver, president and CEO of Hawaii Reserves, a property and land management company affiliated with the church.

The new roundabout will be in front of the temple. An existing one will also be renovated. Both will be landscaped with 33 small autograph trees, he said.

The company is also seeking to create a 24-stall paved parking lot and will erect lantern streetlights along the boulevard.

Utility poles and overhead wires that traverse the boulevard at Kamehameha Highway and Naniloa Loop will be buried, That project alone will cost well more than $500,000, Beaver said.

The 93-year-old Hinckley was here in June to receive an honorary doctorate and give the keynote address a BYU-Hawai'i graduation. During this visit, he'll be giving two speeches, said church spokesman Jack Hoag, one of which will center on the Polynesian Culture Center's 40th anniversary.

Hinckley, who has led the church since 1995 and has traveled to more than 60 countries, in 1999 and 2000 was chosen as one of the most admired men in the world by Americans surveyed in a Gallup poll.

He also wrote "Standing for Something," with a foreword by journalist Mike Wallace.