State briefs for March 21

Road to reopen after landslide, connect Kauai

HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Department of Transportation opened Kuhio Highway into and out of Kauai’s north shore with a limited schedule Saturday after the road had been blocked because of landslides.

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The closure last week had cut a community in Kauai off from the rest of the island due to the storm-triggered landslides.

The community had been cut off by similar landslides three years ago. The landslide occurred most recently after days of heavy rain ensnared all of Hawaii.

Only one lane of highway will be open in the area, and vehicles will be escorted.

Through Friday, the road will be accessible from 5:45 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., except on Wednesday, when it will be available from 12:45 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Evening access during this timeframe will take place from 5:45 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Resident group aims to set up subsistence fishing area

WAILUKU, Maui (AP) — Residents in the eastern part of Maui Island have proposed creating a protected fishing area to preserve fish, seaweed and other resources that once sustained neighboring communities.

The nonprofit Kipahulu Ohana said designating waters off an area called Kipahulu Moku as a community-based subsistence fishing area would address problems like people collecting fish and seaweed out of season, people taking more than they need and the hunting of undersized specimens.

The small town of Haena on Kauai’s north shore won state permission to establish Hawaii’s first community-based subsistence fishing area in 2015.

State law allows for the formation of the districts to protect fishing practices traditionally exercised by Native Hawaiians for subsistence, cultural and religious purposes. Community leaders on Molokai are also seeking to designated such an area there.

Kipahulu Moku covers about 12,000 acres in the eastern part of Maui. where families have fished, farmed and hunted for generations.

Over the past decade, Maui residents and visitors have been “overusing” Kipahulu’s resources and leaving their trash behind, furthering the need for steps to limit damage, said Kane Lind, the nonprofit’s equipment manager and program assistant.

“It’s like a road that everybody drives over but nobody fixes it. Nature can’t fix itself, people have to realize it,” Lind said.

Nonprofit leaders said the most pressing issues were the unsustainable harvest of fish, seaweed and “opihi,” a mollusk that grows on rocky shorelines and is considered a delicacy.

Lawmakers defer resolution to rename school

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii lawmakers have deferred a resolution to rename President William McKinley High School and remove his statue.

Advocates for changing the school’s name had pointed toward McKinley’s role in annexing Hawaii to the United States in 1898 after the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy by U.S.-backed forces in 1893.

The bill would not have had the force of law, but would have “emphatically urged” the state’s education board and superintendent to act.

The proposed measure was deferred without a public vote.

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“With a very heavy and sad heart, we have to defer this measure today,” said Democratic state Rep. Jeanne Kapela, vice chairwoman of the House Education Committee and one of the sponsors of the resolution.

“While I do understand the reluctance of McKinley alumni to change the name of their alma mater, this issue is at its heart about advancing racial equity,” Kapela added.

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