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Hawaii Island News, 24 October 2009


(AP).  Governor Linda Lingle says she regrets signing off on a new labor contract that requires teachers to take 17 furlough days this school year. She says that looking back, she should have pressed to avoid furloughs.  School Board Chairman Garrett Toguchi calls Lingle’s remarks “not professional.”

(AP).  Hawaii regulators on Friday approved a Honolulu startup company’s plan to build the nation’s first tuna farm in waters off the Kohala Coast.  Hawaii Oceanic Technology wants to create an environmentally friendly open ocean farm for bigeye tuna, a favorite source for sushi and sashimi that’s overfished in the wild.  The State Board of Land and Natural Resources voted 4 to 1 to give Hawaii Oceanic permission to install three alrge underwater cages for the tuna.

Parker Ranch Chief Operating Officer Bill Maris tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that the company is laying off two vice presidents and possibly eliminating other areas of operations.  Maris declined to elaborate about the future of the ranch’s operation, or whether other employees besides Vice President Michael Bryan and  Diane Quitiquit would lose their jobs.  maris also declined to say whether the ranch’s retail store and real estate brokerage services would close or ranch tours would end.

Scientists at the Hawaiian volcano Observatory say an earthquake located 4 miles southeast of the Loihi Seamount near Hawaii Island was larger than the 4.1 magnitude originally estimated.  A further analysis of data put Thursday’s trmblor at 4.8 magnitude.  HVO says the shaking was felt throughout the island, but there was no reported damage.

Chris Honda, a County of Hawaii firefighter and mobile intensive care technician, has been named the Paramedic of the Year for 2009 by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians.  Honda has served as a Hawaii County firefighter/paramedic for nearly 10years, including assignments in Honokaa and at the Central Fire Station.  Honda was nominated for the national award by Ralph Yawata, Battalion Chief, EMS Bureau of the Hawaii County Fire Department, to recognize Honda’s role in maintaining the department’s EMT training program.  Honda was also the County of Hawaii’s Employee of the Year for 2008.

The Council of Neighbor Island Advisors for East Hawaii will meet on Monday, November 2nd, at 5:30 pm, at Kea’au MIddle School Cafeteria.  Jiro A. Sumada, the deputy director of highways for the state Department of  Transportation, will presnet to the council a brief overview of the upcoming projects the State has planned for the Puna District.  The meeting is open to the public.

Construction activities to provide accessiblity improvements at Mountain View Park will begin on Monday, October 26th.  All efforts will be made to maintain existing amenities in service to the public and to reinstate impacted amenities as quickly as possible while the work progresses.  Portions of the ballfield including the water filling spigots will be closed intermittently and without prior notice as construction proceeds.  The public is asked to heed all barricades, fences and warning signs and exercise extreme caution when using the park.   Construction is anticipated to be done by February 2010.

Kolekole Beach Park will be closed to the public for filming on Tuesday, October 27th.  The park is located along the Hawaii Belt Road north of Honomu.  For more information, call 961-8311.

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