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Hawaii Island News, 21 October 2009

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The County Council’s Finance Committee voted 5-4 Wednesday to proced with plans to sell 737 acres of Paauilo land to help finance government operations.  Earlier, Mayor Billy Kenoi told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that he must sell the land in order to balance the operating budget approved by the county council.  The money is needed before the fiscal year ends next June 10th.  In a dissenting vote, councilman Pete Hoffman said the county should delay the resolution until after Hawaiians making ownership claims can meet with Title Guaranty Company of Hawaii, Inc., which researched the ownership issue for the county.

Rescue crews have found no trace of Tomoko Ioh, whose vehicle was found unattended Sunday at Wawaloli beach park near OTEC.  Kailua Fire Station Captain Sean Sommers told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” information about the missing woman is vague and that search crews haven’t found any physical evidence suggesting the whereabouts or condition of Ioh other than her 199 Suzuki Vitara parked about 20 yards north of the park’s restroom faciity.

A registered sex-offend has been re-indicted on nine previously dismissed charges.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, Gary Keith Vaughn is accused of molesting two former stepchildren and trying to molest another.  A bench warrant was issued for Vaughn’s arrest.  The suspect remains in custody at the Hawaii County Correctional Center.  A court date will be determined after the bench warrant is served.

(AP).  Public schools in Hawaii have begun sending home parental consent forms for the upcoming swine flu vaccination clinics.  The consent forms for the free program are due back to schools by October 30th.  The voluntary vaccinations are being offered to students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

(AP).  The U.S. Department of Labor is awarding about $25 million to American Samoa to help with tsunami cleanup and recovery efforts in the remote U.S. Pacific territory.  Senator Daniel Akaka says the grant will create temporary jobs helping residents rebuild homes and infrastructure and survey environmental damage.

(AP).  Forecasters say Hurricane Neki has formed in the Pacific Ocean, far from the main Hawaiian Islands.  The Central Pacific Hurricane Center says maximum winds were at about 75 miles per hour.  The storm is expected to pass near Johnston Island possibly today.  Neki was about 630 miles southwest of Honolulu and about 340 miles east-ssoutheast of Johnston Island.

The International Day of Climate Action is coming to Hilo’s Bayfront Park near the Suisan Bridge this Saturday, October 24th, from 11 am to 1 pm.  The event is part of Hawaii’s Blue Line Project, which will draw attention to the Global Climate Treaty Summit planned for December in Denmark.   The goal of the Hilo project is to stress the importance of not letting carbon dioxide levels exceed 350 parts per million in our atmosphere.

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