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Hawaii Island News, 24 September 2009


After a $1.5 million renovation, Hulihe’e Palace opens its doors 10 am Tuesday, September 29th, with a blessing and open house celebration for caretakers of the historic landmark–The Daughters of Hawaii and the Calabash Cousins.  Although severely damaged by the October 2006 earthquake, the palace operated on a limited basis, primarily as the location of free monthly concerts on the south lawn. 

The Kona Community Development Plan has won the 2009 Outstanding Planning Award from the American Planning Association’s Hawaii Chapter. The plan took three years to complete and was adopted last year as the district’s guideline for future development. The award will be presented today at a luncheon of the 2009 Hawaii Congress of Planning Officials conference, which runs through Friday at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.

Hawaii Island state senator Dwight Takamine and the State Senate Committee on Labor will conduct an informational briefing in Kailua-Kona today to examine reports of difficulties in receiving unemployment benefits on the West Side of the Big Island.  The meeting begins at 5:30 pm at the Kaniohale Community Center, 74-5100 Haleolono Street, Kailua-Kona.

“Furlough Fridays” for Hawaii’s public school teachers begin on October 23rd.  The newly ratified contract between the state and the Hawaii State Teachers Association will mean the loss of 17 classroom Fridays this year and a 7.9 percent pay cut for Big Island teachers.  Dennis O’Biren, the principal of De Silva Elementary School, tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that the community is just beginning to understand the impact of reduced classroom hours.  O’Brien  calls the loss of school time “heart-wrenching.”

The Hawaii County Board of Ethics has found that Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole violated certain rules during her current term on the county council.  According to the “Hawaii Tribuen-Herald”, the board considered her frequent religious references, an alleged racial slur, and gestures Naeole made during recent meetings.  The board ruled that Naeole’s comments were not disrespectful.  However, questions were raised about Naeole’s ruse of a “thumbs down” gesture in another council meeting.

Police believe a man tried to divert attention from a vehicle break in by saying he had seen a shrk attack Wednesday off Hawaiian Paradise Park.  Police told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that the unidentified man was breaking into a pickup truck parked at the scene, when he was spotted by neighbors and made up the shark story.  Firefighters swept the coastline but could find no trace of the supposed victim.

(AP).  The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has decided to cut 28 positions as it reorganizes to put into effect a new strategic plan.  OHA administrator Clyde Namuo syas one of the goals is the drawing up of a policy to turn over assets to a new Hawaiian government that could result from enactment of the so-called Akaka Bill.  Namuo says the cuts should save $750,000.

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