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Hawaii Island News, 10-11 October 2009


South Kona councilwoman Brenda Ford is suing the Hawaii County Council, alleging the body violated the state’s “Sunshine Law” by failing to provide the public with ample notice of the County Council’s June 16th reorganization plan.  The Council chairman and the corporation counsel told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that Ford’s allegations are false.

(AP).  Craig Alexander of Australia and Chrissie Wellington of Britain are back to defend their titles against a deep field at the 31st Ford Ironman World Championship taking place today (Saturday) in Kailua-Kona.  Wellington goes for her third straight win and Alexander is vying for a second consecutive crown.

(AP).  The surprise choice of Hawaii-born President Barack Obama for the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday is drawing praise from much of the world.  Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, who won the prize in 1984, says President Obama’s award shows great things are expected from him in the coming years.

Police have arrested five adults and a juvenile in a drug raid at a Hawaiian Paradise Park home.  Captain Randall Medeiros told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that Hilo vice officers executed a search warrant at 15-2015 26th Avenue and found 11.6 grams of a substance believed to be crystal methamphetamine and an ounce of dried, processed marijuana.  Medeiros said the search found surveillance equipment and just under $1,000 in cash.

Governor Linda Lingle awarded the University of Hawaii at Hilo with an “innovation award” Friday for stetching limited budget resources to accommodate growing student enrollment.  The award was given for the actions of Randy Hirokawa, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, who was faced with the challenge of limited space for his expanding classes. Hirokawa worked with university officials to use the Hale Kehau Dining Room which is mostly empty during the day.  Hirokawa was able to get help in modifying and installing older equipment for classroom use in the dining hall.  Today, thanks to the dining room modification, no student has to be turned away from a required class.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources has granted a license extension to Tradewinds Forest Products until August 28th, 2021.  Tradewinds wants to build a wood veneer mill in Ookala and harvest wood from various places, including the Waiakea Timber Management Area.  The project has been delayed because of problems getting necessary funding for the mill.  Tradewinds president Don Bryan told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” his company is making progress toward meeting a funding commitment deadline for the end of the current year.

The Hawaii County Traffic Division wants to make sure that island streets are safe for trick-or-treaters this Halloween by distributing reflective bags to school children and by asking the public to report street lights that are not working properly.  You can report defective street lights by calling the Public Works Department at 961-8341.  Be sure to give the pole number and the nearest street or highway name closest to the bad light.

Hawaii Island State Senator Dwight Takamine and Hawaii Island State Representative Mark Nakashima will host a community meeting with state librarian Richar Burns at the Laupahoehoe Library on Wednesday, October 14th, 5:30 pm.  On the agenda are plans for restricting library hours, partial closures, and how community efforts may help to sustain current library services.