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Hawaii Island News, 29-30 August 2009


(AP).  Big Island police report a marijana eradication effort led to the discovery of more than 5,000 plants.  The “Counter Cannabis” missions were conducted last week, using the Big Island’s portion of a statewide federal grant provided for the fiscal year that ended June 30th.

(AP).  Governor Linda Linge is blasting state employee unions for what she called “completely unacceptable” responses to her latest contract offer and has called an “emergency” meeting of top aides this weekend to discuss more cuts to state spending.  Lingle said the reductions will likely include layoffs beyond the nearly 1,200 state workers her adminsitration has notified.

The Hawaii Meth Project is holding a volunteer orientation meeting this Thursday evening at 6 in the Hilo High School Library.  Cindy  Adams, the executive director of the Hawaii Meth Project, tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that recent hard-hitting and graphic announcements on radio and television have gained the attention of young adults–a group that need help in combating meth addiction.  A follow up meeting is set for September 8th at the Kealakehe High School Cafeteria.

On Friday, the state Board of Land and Natural Resources voted against reconsidering its approval of the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan, and denied the granting of standing to individuals and groups who oppose the plan.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, the denial sets up an appeal to the third Circuit Court, where opponents have had some success in stopping development around the Keck Telescope.

East Hawaii Battalion Fire Chief Darren Rosario tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that a brush fire in Kau’u that destroyed a fire department truck was set intentionally.  Eleven units responded to the early Thursday morning fire at Ninool Loop on the Sea Mountain property in Punaluu.  Fire Chief Darryl Oliveira says the blaze scortched about 250 acres.  No one was injured and no developmed property was threatened.

Police say a 56-year old man died late Friday afternnoon after he was hit by a vehicle along along the Mamalahoa Highway north of Kaiminanai Drive and south of Ahikawa Street.  Kailua Fire Station Captain Charles Spain told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” the man was dead when rescue crews arrived on the scene.  The identity of both the victim and the driver were being withheld.

Hawaii’s four county mayors will join state and county tourism officials next week for a special marketing campaign in Los Angeles to promote Hawaii as a wonderful visitor destination.  Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi siad “Hawaii has so much to offer as a visitor desitnation, and reductions in hotel room rates and air fares make this the ideal time to experience all that Hawaii has to offer.”  The campaign will highlight Hawaii’s culture, its myths and legends, culinary trends, and entertainment.

The state Land Use Commission has reversed course and given developer DW Aina Lea approval to proceed with the construction of 385 affordable townhosues in South Kohala.  Commissioner Reuben Wong told “West Hawaii Today” that he asked the county Planning Department and not the developer to provide the commission with quarterly updates about the status of permits and other progress.  County Planning Director Bobby Jean Leithead-Todd said she now thinks the developer has an 85 percent chance of finishing affordable housing units on time.