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Hawaii Island News, 28-29 September 2009

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This could be a world record.  About 500 men, women, and children in pink clothing took part in an attemp to create the first human pink ribbon this past Saturday in Waimea.  If the effort to highlight the battle against breast cancer is accepted by the Guinnes World Records staff, it will be the first breast cancer awareness record of its type in the Records book.  North Hawaii Community Hospital representative Jennifer Rabindeau said the feat has been witnessed, certified, and backed up with aerial photography.

Hawaii County Council District 6 Councilmember Guy Enriques will hold a community “talk story” meeting on Wednesday, September 30, at the Ocean View Community Center.  Doors open at 6:15 pm with light refreshments being served. The meeting starts at 6:30 pm.  For details, call 961-8536.

(AP).  University of Hawaii researchers say the native Hawaiian tree snail population is plunging thanks to rats.  Teh tree snail’s numbers have dropped 85 percent in Molokai since 1995.  Researchers blame rats for eating up the snails.  Hawaii once had 750 species of land snails found nowhere else, but roughly 90 percent are now extinct.

(AP).  A group of environmental leaders will meet in Honolulu to develop a national policy for protecting oceans and lakes.  The Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force will gather Tuesday for its fourth session since it was formed by President Barack Obama in June.  The meeting will be broadcast to Maui, Kauai, the Big Island, American Samoa, and Guam.

(AP).  A state Senate committee will hold a hearing at 5 pm Wednesday at the State Capitol to examine budget cuts to the state Foundation on Culture and the Arts.  Ten employees of the foundation, or about one-third of its staff, have received layoff notices from Governor Linda Lingle’s office.  The foundation layoffs would save the state about $500,000 a year.

(AP).  The federal government is considering taking the humpback whale off the endangered species list in response to data showing the population of the marine mammal has been growing in recent decades. Phillip Claphorn, a senior whale biologist with NOAA, tells the Associated Press that humpbacks are an example of a species that seems to be doing well despite efforts to exterminate them.

The state Department of Transportation advises Big Island motorist of various construction activities on the Queen Kaahumanu Highway now through Friday, from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.  Pay particular attention to lane closures at the intersections of Henry Street, Lako Street, and Malulani Street.  Electronic message boards will be placed around the construction area and special duty officers will be on site to direct traffic.  Motorists are urged to allow for extra travel time.  Roadwork is weather permitting.

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