Air Force unit due home today
Fifty members of the 15th Civil Engineer Squadron returning from an eight-month deployment in Iraq were expected to touch down at Hickam Air Force Base early this morning.
While deployed, the Air Force unit conducted missions ranging from site surveys to infrastructure maintenance and facility repair.
The airmen were expected to be greeted at about 1 a.m. by Col. William "Goose" Changose, commander of the 15th Airlift Wing.
GOVERNOR SIGNS ANTI-CRIME BILLS
Gov. Linda Lingle has signed into law three bills to make the state's judicial system tougher on criminals.
The new laws include one to automatically put violent felons in prison for 30 years to life upon conviction for their third offense, and another to imprison for at least a year convicted pedophiles who use the Internet to lure their victims.
A third bill appropriates about $1 million to pay for the state's collection of DNA from convicted felons and another $1 million to provide additional support to the state's sexual violence treatment and prevention programs.
Lingle signed the bills Monday.
"This three-violent-strikes bill makes Hawai'i a safer place — period. It targets the worst of the worst," said state Attorney General Mark Bennett.
Bennett said the Internet enticement bill is aimed at state judges who have been lenient with pedophiles.
PEDESTRIAN SAFETY SURVEY IS TODAY
More than 200 volunteers and community partners will gather at 50 locations across the Islands today to conduct "walkability" surveys of some of Hawai'i's most dangerous roadways and intersections.
AARP Hawai'i is devoting its annual Day of Service project to pedestrian safety.
Last year, 36 pedestrians were killed statewide, more than one-third of them in crosswalks. According to the state Department of Transportation, pedestrians older than 50 represented 66 percent of the people killed in traffic accidents on O'ahu from 1996 to 2003.
Beginning at 7 a.m. today at selected locations and continuing throughout the day, teams of volunteers on O'ahu, Maui, Kaua'i and the Big Island will evaluate the state's busiest streets including areas identified by the Department of Transportation as some of the most dangerous roadways for pedestrians.
EX-PINE WORKER INTERVIEWS SOUGHT
Pacific Buddhist Academy sophomores doing an oral-history project are seeking to interview former pineapple field and cannery workers at the May 20 Wahiawa Pineapple Festival at Wahiawa District Park on California Avenue.
The interviews will be conducted in the festival's historical display tent.
The festival, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., begins with a 9 a.m. parade. Celebrity chefs Alan Wong, Fred DeAngelo, Elmer Guzman and Randal Ishizu will be preparing pineapple-themed special dishes and games from the old plantation days.
Festival information is available at email@example.com.
POOL CLOSING FOR MAINTENANCE
KAUNAKAKAI — The county's Cooke Memorial Pool will be closed tomorrow and Saturday for repairs and cleaning. Work will include repairing floor tiles, painting the restrooms, and chlorinating and backwashing the pool to prepare for the busy summer months.
SUMMER PALS JOBS AVAILABLE
WAILUKU — The Maui County Department of Parks and Recreation is recruiting directors, leaders and aides for its Summer PALS recreation program.
All positions are paid and run from June 13 to July 21. The minimum age for summer aides is 16.
Applications are available at county parks permit offices throughout the island, the PALS office at the Kahului Community Center, and at the Department of Personnel Services office in the Kalana O Maui county building at 200 S. High St. in Wailuku.
For more information, call (808) 270-7403.
LINGLE RELEASES CAFETERIA MONEY
Gov. Linda Lingle yesterday released $744,010 to expand Pearl Ridge Elementary's cafeteria to accommodate the school's entire student body of over 600 at one time for lunch or assemblies. Construction to add about 1,330 square feet to the cafeteria will start in September and be completed by May 2007.
The serving section and about half the dining area will be used during the construction period, school officials said.
Total cost of the project is $950,000. The governor released $205,990 in May 2005 for design.
RECYCLABLES FUNDRAISER JUNE 3
Recyclable items such as appliances, car parts, newspapers, green waste and drink containers will be collected June 3 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Moanalua High School student parking lot near the fire station. The collection is a fundraiser for the school's athletics program.
BUDDHISTS PLAN OBON SERVICE
The O'ahu Hongwanji Council will hold a 30-minute Buddhist Sangha obon service June 3 at Mililani Memorial Park & Mortuary in front of the "immigrant monument" at 2 p.m. Light refreshments will be served afterward. For information, call the Rev. Toyokazu Hagio of Waipahu Hongwanji at 677-4221.