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Hawaii Island News, 22 October 2009


Hawaii County Council members wanting more trasparency in the way Hawaii County sells its land won a parliamentary victory Wednesday and will get another hearing on Bill 132.  The hearing date will be set by Council Chairman J. Yoshimoto.   Hamakua Councilman, Dominic Yagong, who sponsored the original bill, told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that “the people of Hawaii have the absolute rights to scrutinize and evaluate the deal before the deal is finalized.”

A  county hearing on the voter approved “peaceful sky” marijuana ordinance raised a few tempers Wednesday as police sought to explain the rationale behind three eradication missions in June, August, and September.  Several residents attending the meeting urged police to stop the missions.  Police Chief Harry Kobojiri told council members that his department is trying to comply with the ordinance by briefing officers fully on the law before each mission.  Kobojiri said he is seeking clarification from the state attorney general’s office.

30-year old Christopher Saribay is facing two years in prison and 10 years probation for his role in dealing crystal methamphetamine.  Hilo Circuit Court Judge Greg Nakamura said Saribay will receive credit for time already served.  Saribay’s attorney,  Lionel Riley, told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that the outcome was as good as could be expected.

The Hawaii Police Department is joining with the Hawaiian Beaches Action Team to conduct sign-waving awareness projects about the dangers of speeding and driving under the influence.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, the sign wavers will be placed next to a crashed car at various locations throughout the Puna District in the weeks leading up to the holiday season.  Anyone interested in participating in the project should call Officer Sandor Finley at 966-5835.

You may encouner reduced state services this Friday when mandated furloughs take effect.  Starting on Friday, a number of Hawaii’s state offices will be closed two days a month, after HGEA ratified a new, two-year contract that permits the Governor to furlough employees for the next 20 months.  According to a press released from the Governor’s Office, small boat harbors and most state parks will remain open.  Correctional facilities and community correction facilities will remain open.  Certain offices, such as state civil defense, airports, and various quarantine stations, will continue regular hours by staggering or rotating furlough days.

Lanihau Properties LLC has completed a final environmental assessment to convert its Palani Well Number 1 to a production well.  Despite objections from the Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, the Department of Water Supply issued a finding of no significant impact for the project.  According to “West Hawaii Today”, Lanihau Properties and the Department of Water Supply will pay $6.8 million to build the well.  The project is scheduled to be finished in 2011l.

Hawaii Island police have arrested 25 motorists for suspected drunken driving between October 13th and October 19th.  Four drivers were involved in traffic accidents and two motorists were under the age of 21.  There have been 19 traffic fatalities in the county this year compared to 22 during the same period last year.

Upcoming program.  The future of the U.S. economy will be the topic of “Community Focus” this Saturday, 5:00 am, on KBIG and Native FM.  The program will air over KAPA-FM on Sunday, 5:00 am.  Our guest this week will be economist, author, and investor Jimmy Rogers.