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Hawaii Island News, 16 September 2009


Hawaii County is facing a $44.8 million dollar shortfall.  Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi told his staff that painful and deep budget cuts will be necessary to bring the county into the next fiscal year.  Projected revenue losses include 10 percent of the real property tax base and reduced interest from county investments.  Budget saving moves include a possible increase of county fees for services, a ban on replacing county vehicles, and the elimination of overtime unless pre-approved.

“The Honolulu Advertiser” says the man killed on September 6th from a breakaway canoe trailer was a personal assistant to actor Nicolas Cage and before that to Warren Betty.  Hawaii County police identified the victim as 49-year old Michael Davidson of California.  Police have not determined whether speed or alcohol were factors in the fatal crash.

Hamakua Councilman Dominic Yagong is holding a community “talk story” session at 7 pm, Thursday, at the Honokaa School cafeteria.  The topics under discussion include the proposed Honokaa Sunday Farmers Market and a possible ban on rental vehicles in Waipio Valley.

Police have arrested a California man they believe brought more than 4 ounces of crystal methamphetamine to Hawaii Island.  Police Lt. Richard Sherlock told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that the arrest of “Lucky” Hirakawa came after police received information that the suspect was bringing “ice” from the mainland to Hawaii.

The Hawaii County Council Finance Committee has recommended against changing how the county sells its land.  Hamakua Coucilman Dominic Yagong had introduced Bill 132 which would have added more oversight to the selling process.  Yagong’s bill now goes to the full council when it meets on October 7th in Keauhou.

A 29-year Pahoa woman who grazed a police officer with a Toyota sedan has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, Rina Shimizu pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted promotion of a dangerous drug.  Shimizu, a repeat offender, will have to serve a minimum of three years and four months before she will be eligible for parole.

The Pacific Tsunami Museum in Hilo will celebrate its 15th Anniversary on October 4th at the Imiloa Astronomy Center.  Museum Director Jeanne Johston says her greatest fear is that people will not heed the warnings and will put themselves at risk to witness a tsunami.  Johnston says a tsunami generated off the Kuril Islands in Japan on November 15th, 2006 produced five -foot waves in Hawaii.  The Pacific Tsunami Center will continue its educational outreach with the 8th Annual Tsunami Story Festival on Sunday, May 23rd next year at Hilo’s Sangha Hall.