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Hawaii Island News, 26 October 2009


Hawaii Island’s Mass Transit Agency plans to add new Hele-On communter bus routes intended for workers and those seeking employment training.  Transit Operations Administrator Tom Brown tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that a federal grant of $312,716 will help support free bus rides between Hamakua and hilo; Ka’u and Kona; Ka’u and Hilo; and also lower Puna.  Last week, the County Council’s Finance Committee voted to accept the money and will push through a bill next month to add the money to the county’s operating budget.

(AP).  Hawaii’s medical marijuana program will be the subject of a public meeting tomorrow.  The Medical Cannabis Working Group is composed of organizations, medical professionals, patients, and caregivers.  The group will host the event at the State Capitol.  Governor Linda Lingle has vetoed two measures to create a task force to study problems with the law.

On Saturday, October 31st, the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens in Hilo will celebrate Halloween with a ZOOBOO.  The ZOOBOO takes place from 10:30 am until 3:00 pm and will feature a trick-or-treat scavenger hunt, pumpkin bowling, did-friendly Halloween stories, “spooktacular” face painting, a costume parade, a “ghoulish” grinds food booth, and other frightfully fun crafts and games.  The event is free and open to everyone. For details, call Terry at 959-7224.

(AP).  The president of Hawaii’s teachers’ union says it was Governor Linda Lingle’s idea to furlough public school teachers as a budget-balancing tool and that she shouldn’t be trying to pass the blame.  HSTA president Wil Okabe of Hilo said the labor contract drafted by the state Department of Education, state Board of Education, and the union was not prepared in the best interests of students.

(AP).  Tropical Storm Neki is moving north in the central Pacific with little change in strength expected.  Neki’s maximum sustained winds last night were near 40 mph.  The storm is centered about 270 miles northwest of Lihue, Kauai, and is moving at about 14 mph.

The State Department of Transportation advises Big Island motorists of single lane closures on Mamalahoa Highway in the vicinity of Puu Waawaa Ranch Road, in the Kona-bound direction (mile posts 20-22), beginning today through Friday, from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm daily, for guardrai installation work.  Roadwork is weather permitting.

The State Department of Transportation advises Big Island motorists of various construction activities along the Queen Kaahumanu Highway, beginning today through Friday, from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, daily at the following locations:  Single lane closures in both directions at the Palani Road, Henry Street, and Malani Street intersections for electrical work.  There will be multiple lane closures in both directions between Lako Street and Henry Street from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm daily for road resurfacing operations.  Roadwork is weather permitting.

There will be a road closure on November 8th, from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm on the corner of Mamo Street and Keawe Street in Hilo.  The closure is necesary to facilitate the demolition of the Mamo Hotel adjacent to the KTA Superstore in downtown Hilo.  For details, call GW Construction at 966-4582.

Some more Halloween special events:  The West Hawaii Dance Theatre, The Chamber Orchestra of Kona, Konawaena High School Peer Education, Konawaena Social Dance, and the Konawaena Band present “Phantasmagoria”–  A spooktacular Halloween Community event at the Konawaena High Schoo Gymnasium on Friday, October 30th, at 7:30 pm.  For details, go to