(AP). Relief efforts are in full swing in tsunami ravaged American Samoa, from first responders to scientific investigators. A team of more than 245 federal emergency workers have delivered tens of thousands of meals and hunreds of tents and cots. Power generators and medical supplies have also been flown in. If you want to help in the relief effort, contact the American Red Cross.
Officials at the Kona Community Hospital and the North Hawaii Community Hospital tell “West Hawaii Today” that last summer’s staff layoffs and other cost cutting measures have helped the facilities survive the summer without additional layoffs. Kona Community Hospital Chief Executive Officer Earl Greenia says July and August were positive months. Greenia says the goal is to break even by managing expenses “to our fullest ability”.
The Hawaii County Council wil consider a bill on Wednesday that would extend an amnesty period to allow ag-tourism businesses to continue farm tours while the county revises a 2008 ordinance requiring those farms and ranches to get permits for tourism-related activities. County planning director Bobby Jean Leithead-Todd told “West Hawaii Today” she asked for the extension because of the ramifications the ordinance will have on existing farms and ranches that should perhaps be grandfathered in instead of being made illegal by new laws.
Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that she won’t try to override the mayor’s veto of a bill that would have allowed Puna residents to live in tents while they build their homes. Naeole says she will continue her efforts to allow people to live in temporary dwellings.
Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole has introduced a bill requiring those wishing to drink alcohol at Isaac Hale Beach Park in Pohoiki to get a police issued permit. Presently, users of the newly renovated park may consume liquor between 10 am and 10 pm wihtout government approval. According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, Naeole’s bill would keep the same hours, but would add the park to the list of facilities requiring drinking permits.
Sixty-three public, private, and charter schools on Hawaii Island wil take part in the state’s “Stop Flu at School” program this year. According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, Public Health nurses will administer regular seasonal flu vaccines to students age 5 to 13 who have signed up for the shots. Clinics will start October 14th, with the bulk of them finished by mid-November. Fifty-eight Hawaii Island schools will participate in separate swine flu clinics set to begin in mid-November and run through December.
(AP). An Army Lieutenant who refused to deploy to Iraq in 2006 because he believed the war was illegal has officially left the service. A Fort Lewis, Washington spokesman confirmed that Ehren Watada–a Honolulu native–was discharged Friday. He was charged with missing his unit’s deployment and with conduct unbecoming an officer for denouncing President Bush and the war.