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Hawaii Island News, 18-19 October 2009


The Hawaii County Council will discuss a major change in the way it sells land when it meets Wednesday morning at 9 in Hilo.  Hamkua Councilman Dominic Yagong has introduced a bill that would add another layer of review before a land sale could be finalized.  Yagong tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” he wants a follow-up approval by the council before the mayor’s administration could sell 10 acres or more, or land worth more than half-a-million dollars.  Yagong denies the effort as a power play between the legislative and executive branches of county government.  He says the proposed bill would give the public a greater say in how their land is used.

The Imiloa Astronomy Center, the Mauna Kea Observatory, astronomy clubs, the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station, and the Office of Mauna Kea Management will gather at the Subaru Telescope facility in Hilo on Saturday, October 24th, to observe the 2009 International Year of Astronomy.  The “Galileo Block Party” is being billed as a family friendly, educational festival where the curious can examine space rocks, question astronomers, and take tours.  Outreach scientist Kimiko Usuda-Sato tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that the event should be fun and will give visitors a rare look at how the observatories operate.

Police have charged a Puna man with unlawful imprisonment for a confrontation with a 16-year old girl from Pahoa High School.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, 22-year old Dickenson Nakashima of Pahoa is being charged with attempted kidnapping of a high school girl while she was walking to a bus stop in the Tiki Gardens subdivision in Pahoa.  Bail remains at $1,000.

Police are looking for a man wanted on suspicion of abusing a family or household member.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, a 26-year old woman told police that she got into an argument with her boyfriend, Cody Lee Hughes of Kailua-KOna, and that he allegedly choked her into unconsciousness.  Hughes, is described as a Caucasian , 5 foot 10, about 160 pound, with blue eys and brown hair.  those with leads should call police at 935-3311.

(AP).  Scientists surveying American Samoa’s coral reefs say the tsunami on September 29th obliterated corals and damaged others to the point that they may not recover.  Researchers say mor assessments are needed to get a full sense of how the disaster affected coral in the U.S. territory.  A team has surveyed about 20 sites around the territory so far.

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