State briefs for November 22

Residents raise concerns about steel barrier

HONOLULU (AP) — A U.S. Marine Corps plan to install a steel barrier to protect part of a Honolulu training facility from beach erosion has raised concerns among neighbors and advocates.

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Residents near Ewa Beach are seeking further study of the environmental impact of a proposed 1,500-foot.

The Marines have said modifications are needed at the Puuloa Range Training Facility to protect a training range shoreline from erosion.

The Marines produced a “finding of no significant impact” for the plan for boundaries along long-distance and short-distance ranges.

“No significant impacts are expected to adjacent shoreline areas” due to sand transport, buffer areas and design elements that would minimize impacts, the Marine Corps report said.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz called on the Marines Tuesday to review the environmental impact of its plan to build the retaining wall.

“It is incumbent that the Marine Corps explore long-term resilience benefits for the Puuloa Range Training Facility that avoid unnecessary environmental impacts on Hawaii’s beaches and the residents of Ewa Beach,” Schatz wrote.

A change.org petition signed by more than 1,100 people as of Tuesday seeks a thorough environmental impact statement analysis beyond the less robust environmental assessment already conducted.

Although the Marine Corps’ plan is to drive the steel material that will create the barrier into sand and coral so about a foot is visible, Ewa Beach resident Mike Plowman said when sand is displaced it will become a sea wall.

“And how that is going to affect the Ewa Beach shoreline is undetermined,” Plowman said.

Maui jail issues fines to 18 inmates involved in riot, fire

WAILUKU, Maui (AP) — A jail has issued fines to 18 prisoners convicted of participating in a riot that caused millions of dollars in damage, officials said.

The Maui Community Correctional Center assessed fines of $2,716 each against inmates found guilty of rioting and setting fires in March.

Inmates found guilty only of setting fires were assessed $1,358 fines, state Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Toni Schwartz said in an email.

The riot began after inmates in a jail area called Module B refused to return to their cells after a discussion about broken phones. Damages beyond the fires included tearing nonworking phones off walls and ransacking cells, officials said.

Jail staff and inmates later said they feared for their lives as fights broke out and smoke and flooding water filled the area.

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The 18 inmates were moved from the Maui jail to Halawa Correctional Facility on Oahu following the riot, with 36 inmates eventually transferred.

“This allowed for the restoration of routine operations and the expediting of the internal investigative and adjustment hearing process,” Schwartz said.

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