In brief | Big Island & state 083113


Police seek missing 14-year-old girl

Big Island police are searching for a 14-year-old girl who was reported missing.

Kalehua Vea was last seen Aug. 24 at her Kailua-Kona home. She is described as Tongan, 5 feet 2 inches, weighing 120 pounds with brown eyes and long brown hair, according to the Hawaii Police Department.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts should call the Police Department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311.

Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Hawaii ex-historic preservation head still at DLNR

HONOLULU — The former head of the State Historic Preservation Division, who resigned after the release of a critical federal report, has been working at the Department of Land and Natural Resources as a special assistant to the board chairman.

Pua Aiu resigned July 2 after National Park Service officials reported the division still had serious problems and retained its high-risk grantee status, meaning it could lose its federal funding if the problems aren’t fixed within a year.

Aiu did an excellent job as division administrator, something Board of Land and Natural Resources Chairman William Aila noted when she resigned, Deborah Ward, a spokeswoman for the resources department, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

“We felt it was important to retain her knowledge and skills, and critical to have her institutional memory for rail and other projects,” Ward said.

Aiu remains involved in a review of an archaeological inventory survey done for a Honolulu rail transit project, a process the state expects to wrap up soon, among other tasks.

Aiu earns between $70,000 and $90,000, which is paid from the preservation division’s budget, although the funding will eventually be switched to the Land Division Special Fund, Ward said.

Aiu, through Ward, declined to comment on the federal criticism and her ongoing employment by the department, which has appointed an acting administrator and is recruiting applicants for a permanent replacement.

The park service said in 2010 that it would start withholding more than $500,000 in annual federal grants to Hawaii unless the division fixed problems that included a failure to maintain a readily accessible historic properties database.

The park service also said Hawaii had unqualified people reviewing federal projects affecting historic properties.

Aila said last month the division has made progress in several areas, including working through a backlog of review and compliance tasks. But he said the division needed new leadership.

Native Hawaiian Convention to meet in Honolulu

HONOLULU — Issues important to Native Hawaiians, including their relationship with the federal government, will be on the agenda of a three-day conference starting next week in Honolulu.

The 12th annual Native Hawaiian Convention opens Tuesday at the Hawaii Convention Center. More than 500 people have registered.

Discussions will include the pursuit of formal federal recognition of Hawaiians administratively rather than legislatively, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

“We have to continue to make sure we solidify our trust relationship with the federal government,” said Michelle Kauhane, president and chief executive of the nonprofit Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement.

The council organized the convention with the help from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission.

The roll commission’s campaign to register Hawaiians so they can start their own government will be a discussion topic. The campaign is called Kana’iolowalu.

Also on the agenda is federal government intent for administrative rules for the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920. The law created a 200,000-acre trust for eligible Native Hawaiians. It has had no formal federal regulations.

Part of the three-day convention will focus on ways for nonprofit groups to obtain funding from national foundations. About three dozen Native Hawaiian leaders traveled to New York in June to meet representatives of foundations, said Robin Danner, a part-time policy adviser to the council and its former president.

Hawaiians can discuss their most important community issues at the convention, she said.

“It’s all about working together,” she said.

U.S. Department of Interior officials Thursday confirmed that Secretary Sally Jewell will attend. Jewell in April replaced Ken Salazar as secretary. Jewell, the former CEO of recreation gear supplier REI, will give a keynote address Wednesday.

By local and wire sources