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Hawaii Island News, 25 August 2009


Tropical Storm Hilda, located about 535 miles southeast of Hilo, is moving to the west and has changed little in intensity.  Hilda is moving west at 9 mph with maximum sustained winds near 60 mph.  Hawaii County Civil Defense will update storm information in the morning.  A graphic of the storm is available on our station website by clicking on the hurricane tracker icon.

(AP).  Plans are under way for a new Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center on Hawaii Island.  The current building must go because it’s in conflict with the Kona International Airport Master Plan that was released in February.  Onizuka was a Big Island astronaut killed in the 1986 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger.  He was 39.

The Board of Land and Natural Resources will meet on Friday to consider a challenge to the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan.  If the Board

grants the contested case hearing, a time will be set for witnesses to testify under oath.  The board could decide to reconsider the plan.  If the hearing request is denied, the matter go go to the Third Circuit Court.

The Connections Public Charter School is planning for a new consolidated campus on 72 acres of state land in Kaumana.  The school would bring together its elementary, middle,  and high school programs plus agricultural programs and student dormitories.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, the campus would be built over the next decade, starting with a low cost plan to establish an area where the school can offer agricultural courses on the property.

The Hamakua Community Development Plan process begins in September with the first of three informational meetings.  Each meeting will begin at 6 pm.  Meetings will be held at the Kalanianaole School Cafeteria, September 8th; at the Honokaa High School Cafeteria, September 9th; and the Laupahoehoe High School Band Room, September 10th.

(AP).  Hawaiian Airlines pilots have scheduled a strike authorization vote this week.  If approved,  the pilots would authoize their union to call a strike if the federal government gives the legal go-ahead.  The voting begins today, along with informational picketing by the union at Honolulu International Airport.

Community members will get a glimpse of the possible future of the Old Kona Airport Park this evening when planner unveil a master plan for the 117-acre recreation and beach development.  The  46.2 million dollar plan was developed from a preferred plan selected by some 75 community members and stakeholders in May.  Tonight’s meeting begins at 6:30 in King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel’s Ekahi Ballroom.

The Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation will honor pastoral Hawaiian homesteader James P. Akiona today in Honolulu.  Akiona, born and raised in Hilo, will be recognized for his outstanding support of Hawaiian rights.  Akiona received a homestead ranch lot in 2005 after successfully challenging the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.