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Hawaii Island News, 22 August 2009

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[polldaddy poll=1900261]Hawaii’ hotel occupancy fell again in June, ending the first half of the year with the lowest rate ever recorded by Hospitality Advisors LLC. Joseph Toy, the CEO of Hospitality Advisors, tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that “similar to most destinations, we have experienced a tremendous pullback in the market unlike anything we have seen before.” Hotel revenues over the first six months of the year fell by $339 million, a 21.8 percent decline over the same period last year.

A Waiakea High School computer whiz who developed computer simulations to determine how certain factors affect an epidemic’s spread across a social network will receive $25,000 as a 2009 Davidson Fellow.  Nolan Kamitaki, who may be suffering from the same virus he describes in his simulations, ells the “Hawaii Tribune-Heral” that pandemic flu situations shoul focus our attention on inoculating children and teenagers.  These groups have strong immune systems, but may be more vulnerable to infections because of their frequent social interactions with large groups of people.  Kamataki says he wants to attend MIT and Harvard University.

Police tell the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that ballistics checks confirm that the handgun discovered near the body of Kaycee Smith is the murder weapon.  Captain Randall Medeiros said it’s a fact the weapon was the one used in Smith’s death.  The 2005 graduate from Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama Campus was shot to death on June 30th in the living room of her Orchidland home.

(AP).  Hawaii welcomed its entry as the 50th state with a new postage stamp Friday but independence supporters marked the day with passionate protest, including an effigy of Uncle Sam being beaten and Hawaii’s star cut from the U.S. flag.  State leaders called Friday’s events a “commemoration” of Hawaii’s 50 years of statehood rather than a “celebration” out of respect to Native Hawaiians and their unresolved claims since the 1893 overthrow fo the Hawaiian kingdom.

Hawaii Island residents will get a glimpse of the possible future of the Old Kona Airport Park this Tuesday when planners unveil a master plan for the 117-acre recreation and beach area.  The meeting, which starts at 6:30 pm in King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel’s Ekahi Ballroom, will give the community an opportunity to review the final plan as the consultant completes an environmental assessment for the park.  The plan proposes a cultural preserve, a garden and interpretative center, a permanent skateboard park, a four-hale canoe halau, a senior center with a 25-yard pool, and the removal of the 3,800 foot runway over the next 20 years.  The project will cost around $46.2 million.

BIIF pre-season football is underway this weekend.  In games played Friday, Waiakea beat Kamehameha-Hawaii by a score of 12-0.  HPA outscored Waimea of Kauai 14-6.

During the week of August 11-17, Hawaii Island police arrested 12 motorists for drunk driving.  Five of the drivers were involved in traffic accidents.  So far this year, there have been 13 traffic fatalities in Hawaii County compared to 15 during the same period last year.

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