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Kahoolawe commission braces for shutdown

May 2, 2014 - 8:21pm

WAILUKU, Maui — The chairwoman of the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission warns that shutting down the commission could open up the state to liability.

Chairwoman Michele McLean tells the Maui News that without state funding, the commission is planning for shutdown. A funding bill didn’t survive the state Legislature’s session that ended Thursday.

She says 17 commission employees will lose their jobs and decades of erosion control work will go unmaintained.

The commission conducts escorted trips to the island. McLean warns that without the commission, people may trespass, leading to possible injuries and death from unexploded ordnance leftover from military bombardment.