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Big Island News, 04 August 2009


The Governor’s plans to lay off about 80 percent of the state’s agricultural inspectors will affect the Big Island the hardest, where a small number of inspectors already are pressed to certify nursery stock and produce for export. Big Island state senator Russell Kokubun tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that cutbacks could have a huge impact on the county’s export industry. Big Island state representative Clift Tsuji calls the potential ramifications of the cutback “catastrophic.”

Weather forecasters are keeping their eyes of two storms in the Eastern Pacific that could impact Hawaii within a week. Tropical Storm Enrique and a depression expected to become Tropical Storm Felicia formed Monday with maximum sustatined winds of 40 and 35 miles per hour. Enrique is about 2,750 miles away from Hawaii, while potential storm Felicia is around 2,200 miles away. Neither storm is expected to reach hurricane strength within the next few days.

Puna Geothermal Venture has notified local residents that it plans to begin cleanout procedures for the geothermal well Kapoho State 6 as early as Wednesday. Residents with questions may call the 24-hour response line, where a company representative will return calls. That number is 965-8843. A recorded message is available at 934-9072.

Public school athletic directors on the Big Island are scrambling to make budget cuts as fall sports begin for the 2009-2010 season. The state’s growing deficit has forced high school sports programs to make cuts to keep up with the economic crisis. “Hawaii Tribune-Herald: columnist Wayne Joseph says every public school athletic director needs to reduce last year’s coaching budget by 40 percent–a move that means cutting many assistant coaching positions.

South Kona Councilwoman Brenda Ford has introduced a bill that provides for the establishment and regulation of “dog parks.” Ford tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that her bill is not a leash law, although she wants dogs leashed when they enter and leave a designated park area. Ford says people need a place to run their dogs and play with them in a safe environment. If the measure is passed, dog owners would have to pay $25 each year for each dog.

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