(AP). A Navy frigate has arrived in American Samoa with supplies for the tsunami-stricken island, and one of two huge Air Force cargo planes has left Hawaii. Meanwhile, buisnesses and community groups in Hawaii are putting together relief efforts, including large donations from a local bank. the death toll from the quake and tsunami has reached at least 120. That figure is expected to increase.
Members of Hawaii’s Samoan community spent Wednesday grieving and trying to contact loved ones in tsunami battered Samoa. Memor Sivaivi told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that “all Samoans are affected because that’s our home…all we want to do is provide services to our people…” The devastation has become personal, with one of the reported victim the mother of Sugalo Timoteu, the pastor of the 1st Samoan Congregational Church in Hilo.
Puna residents turned in large numbers to participate in Wednesday’s talk story session with Mayor Billy Kenoi at the Paho Neighborhood Center. Responding to questions about the closing of the Kulani Correctional Facility. Mayor Kenoi said he had spoken to the Governor and expressed his disappointment that more notice wan’t given about the prison’s shut down and loss of staff. Mayor Kenoi urged residents to stay informed and contact government leaders when they feel something is not right with government policy. The next mayora talk story session will be held on October 5th at Laupahoehoe School.
The County Department of Parks and Recreation will begin signing up children on Monday, October 5th for a program to provide low-cost child care during the 17 days that schools are closed because of teacher furloughs. Sign-up will be at 18 sites across the island for the “Furlough Friday Program”, which is modeled after the popular Summer Fun Program. For details, you can call the Andrews Gym at 959-9047 or Yano Hall at 323-3060.
Department of Envrionmental Mangement Director Lono Tyson tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that most of the county’s solid waste transfer stations will reduce their hours and will be closed for several days a week. Presently, transfer stations are open everyday from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm. Reduced hours reflect the need for safety and for greater oversight, with some transfer stations closing as early as 4 pm. Operational changes take effect December 1st. Those wishing to comment on the new hours should mail their remarks to the Department of Environmental Management, 25 Aupuni Stree, Hilo, 96720.
Instituting a pay as you throw system at the county’s 21 recycling and transfer stations could produce more than $10 million in revenue. Residents would have to pay around $2 per bag they toss into a transfer station. CH2M Hill consulting economist Dan Pitzler told “West Hawaii Today” that the dumping fee would be a financial incentive for people to reduce their own waste. Pitzler said it’s a way to help drive recycling and pay for facilities that will help the county move toward zero waste.
(AP). The state is in worse financial shape that previously thought. Governor Linda Lingle said Wednesday that a recently discovered recording error means Hawaii has an additional budget shortfall of nearly $37 million. Up to now, officials were trying to address an $884 million shortfall over two years. LIngle says there’s an urgent need for immediate solutions.
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