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Hawaii Island News, 08 October 2009


Hawaii Island breathed  a sigh of relief Wednesday after civil defense officials cancelled a tsunami watch shortly after 2 pm.  The watch was triggered by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake near the Vanuatu Islands in the South Pacific.  Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Quince Mento told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” the event was good practice and everyone was cautious because we have to do what the procedures tell us.

Public Health Officials are rejecting claims made by the Hawaii County Council that question the safety of the swine flu vaccine.  The non-binding resolution  says the federal government could force people to take a vaccine that may not have been tested fully.  State Heatlth Department representative Janice Okubo tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that mandatory vaccinations are not on the state’s agenda.  Okubo says people should consider the CDC as an authoritative source and should be wary of other sources for their information.

(AP).  The state says an adult male on Oahu has died from the swine flu virus, bringing the total number of swine flu-related deaths in Hawaii to 11.  The state Department of Health said Wednesday that the man in his 50s had underlying medical conditions that contributed to his death.  He died at Tripler Army Medical Center.  His name wasn’t released.

(AP).  Hawaii’f four island mayors says it’s “total hogwash” if anyone claims they’re out of sync on public labor union negotiations, as Governor Lingle has alleged.  The mayors said in a statement Wednesday that some issues need to be resolved in contract talks with the Hawaii Government Employees Association, but none should be considered deal breakers.

The Hawaii County Council legally reshuffled its leadership Wednesday after correcting an apparent violation of the state’s “Sunshine Law” in June.  The change enacted on Wednesday stripped Pete Hoffman of his vice chairmanship and gave that position to Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole.  Guy Enriques became the chairman of the Public Works and Intergovernmental Relations Committee and Hilo Councilman Dennis Onishi became head of the Finance Committee.

The construction of the Pahala Deep Well number 2 is complete.  The new well is now operating and supplying groundwater to the Pahala Water System.  The old Ali’i Tunnel Spring source has been disconnected from the Pahala Water System.

Honokahau Village, a 40-acre site that includes the new West Hawaii Civic Center now under construction, is currently the focus of a new planning process in Kailua-Kona.  The Village is the first major project to be planned under the award-winning Kona Community Development Plan, enacted in September 2008.  The plan incorporates Transit-Oriented Development, which makes the most of not only personal automobile travel, but also biking, walking, and mass transit.

The public will have a final opportunit in late October and November to provide input into the 2009 County of Hawaii Agricultural Development Plan.  The plan is being prepared by Agricon Hawaii LLC and The Kohala Center.  The Kohala Center is conducting island-wide listening sessions prior to finalizing the plan.  The first public session is set for Tuesday, October 20th, 6 pm, at the Kohala High School cafeteria.  For details, call The Kohala Center at 887-6411.