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Hawaii Island News, 30 September to 01 October 2009


The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center cancelled the island-wide tsunami watch shortly after 11 am Tuesday.  The earthquake which occurred near American Samoa prompted Hawaii County Civil Defense to close all beach parks on Tuesday.  The quake near the Samoan Islands had a magnitude of 8.0 on the Richter Scale.  Samoan authorities said a series of waves ranging from 10 to 12 feet swept accross Samoan harbors, killing an estimated 20 people.  The death toll may increase as aid reaches remote areas.

Filipino organizations in Hawaii have told the “Honolulu Advertiser” that they are mountin fundraising drives to help the hundreds of thousands of people suffering from the disastrous effects of Tropical Storm Katsana, which swept through Manila last weekend and displaced nearly 380,000 people.

The historic Hulihe’e Palace in Kailua-Kona has reopened nearly three years after it was damaged by a strong earthquake.  A formal blessing ceremony on Tuesday marked the close of a $1.5 million dollar restoration effort.  Fanny Ah Hoy, who administers the palace, told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” the restoration marks a new beginning for the landmark which draws thousands of visitors every year.

(AP).  Governor Linda Lingle is canceling plans for a new $235 million prison complex on Maui because of a lack of financial support from the State Senate.  The facility on 38.8 acres in Puunene would have held up to 843 inmates and was meant to replace the overcrowded Maui Community Correctional Center.  Democratic State Senator Shan Tsutsui told the “Maui News” earlier this month that lawmakers disagreed with the governor on the size, design, and price of the prison complex.

The cost of bringing up to date sewage disposal to two Kapoho subdivisions will be expensive.  Residents of two Kapoho subdivisions met Tuesday night to learn how a proposed sewer system would affect their wallets.  The proposed sewer system would help insure that waste does not seep into fragile shoreline areas bordering Kapoho Beach Lots and Kapoho Vacationaland Estates Subdivisions.  According to data cited by the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” the  cost per lot would be $43,000, plus $10,000 to seal any existing cesspool.

Funds raised via a “Keep Your Library Open” campaign are being used to keep the Mountain View Public and School Library open during the month of October.  The library was scheduled to close October 2nd through October 22nd with the staff placed on furlough due to funding  shortages.  The current voluntary program has generated more than $100,000.  Donations are being accepted at all public libraries.

(AP).  The Hawaii Republican Party is accusing the state’s education leaders of selling students short with 17 fewer school days this year.  Republican Party Chairman Jonah Kaauwai says resources outside the classroom should be cut before children’s learning and teachers’ salaries are reduced.  Hawaii schools had to slash $468 million over two years.

There will be a traffic pattern change in Hilo on Kapi’olani street between Hualalai and Wailoa streets on Saturday, October 3rd, from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm, for the St. Joseph School Country Fair.  Both lanes will flow in the Puna direction.