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Hawaii Island News, 13-14 September 2009


Those 35-year old USGS lava danger zone maps are beginning to create problems for Pahoa area redisents who find their home insurance rates increasing dramatically.  Real estate agent John Dirgo tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that the old maps have become the insurance industry bible and (quote) there is no way to get rid of it.  State Insurance Commissioner J.P. Schmidt says the maps help predict the future when asssessing risk and are a valuable tool when deciding to offer coverage in a given area.

Approximately 75 people took part in Saturday’s post-Patriot Day “Tea Party” along the Hilo Bayfront Highway.  Event organizer Marie Ruhland told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that (quote) people who never come out came out, and they came out here to say ‘enough is enough.’  The public demonstration was similar to demonstrations held on April 15th–Tax Day–and the 4th of July–Independence Day.  Event participant Toni Robert said she turned out because she believes (quote) the federal government has grown too big and is trampling individual state’s sovereignty.

Hokulia Chief Exectuive Officer, John De Fries, tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that eighty of Hokulia’s one hundred employees have received furlough notices because of the financial difficulties developer Oceanside 1250 is facing.  De Fries hopes the move is temporary–something he will know in about two weeks.  The Bypass Road which passes through the Hokulia property will remain open.

According to a Fire Department Press release, a 44-year old man apparently drowned on Saturday afternoon while he was picking opihi at Keahole Point.  The unidentified victim was found around 2:30 pm floating face down about 25 yards off shore.  The body was taken to the North Hawaii Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

During the week of 1-7 September 2009, Hawaii Island police arrested 23 drivers for drunk driving.  four of the motorists were involved in traffic accidents.  Five were under age 21.  So far this year, there have been 19 traffic fatalities on the island, the same total as last year at this time.

(AP).  Hawaii public employee unions and Governor Linda Lingle continue to negotiate with binding arbitration hearins on hold until October.  Nearly 1,200 employees have already received layoff notices, buth those job cuts could be avoided if the two sides agree on how to find savings through unpaid days off, pay cuts or other methods.

On Friday, the first group of tenants began moving into a new affordable rental housing project on Hawaii Island that is slated to have 305 units buildt over the next year.  According to the “Honolulu Advertiser”, Pacific Housing Advisors is developing the $65 million project called Lokahi Apartments in Kailua-Kona.  The first building with 30 units opened on Friday, and the developer expects to complete about one building a month and finish construction by the end of next year.