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Hawaii Island News, 01 November 2009


Hawaii Island Police Chief Harry Kubojiri tells “West Hawaii Today” that huge cuts will be necessary to balance the Police Department’s budget next fiscal year.  The chief said he has no idea about the exact amount of the anticipated shortfall for 2010 and 2011.  He is asking commanders to take a look at their operations and try to find areas that can be cut or turned into savings.

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaii has named detective Robert Fujitake as its “Officer of the Month” for September.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, Fujitaki was honored for catching a burglar in the act of breaking into a house while a painting project was underway.  Detective Fujitake set up surveillance and observed a painter climb up scaffolding and enter the house.  Investigation  revealed that the painter had broken into the house twice before and had remove items all those times.  All items have been restored to the victim.

(AP).  The FAA has broken ground for a new $39 million air traffic control tower at the Keahole-Kona International Airport.  the current 51-foot tower was built in 1970 to control a 6,500 foot runway.  The FAA says the new 100 foot tower will provide controllers with better views of th airfield.

Thousands of local residents and visitors participated in Saturday’s All Things Creative Halloween Block Party in Kailua-Kona.  Funds raised will be used to support the Hawaii Island Food Basket.  The event featured Halloween costume contests, a children’s costume parade, and three stages of continuous entertainement.  The Block Party was sponsored by All Things Creative and Pacific Radio Group stations KAPA-FM, Native-FM, and KBIG-FM.

(AP).  Governor Linda Lingle is promoting Hawaii as a tourism destination during her two-week trip to China, but a Democratic leader says she should have stayed home.  Hawaii Democratic Party Chairman Brian Schatz says the Republican governor should have remained in Hawaii to continue work on fixing the state’s budget shortfall and reaching deals with labor unions.

(Honolulu Advertiser).  Federal Judge David Ezra has been appointed a “special master” to oversee settlement talks aimed at reopening Hawai Public schools for five days a week through the remainder of the school year.  According to the Associated Press, Ezra had been the judge assigned to two legal challenges to the “furlough Friday” program that closed public schools for 17 days through this school year.

Governor Linda Lingle has released $5.5 million for planning and design of a permanent building for the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s College of Pharmacy.  The state legislature approved the funding earlier this year.  The college has admitted student for the last three academic years, sharing classrooms and laboratories with outher UH-Hilo departments.  UH-Chancellor Rose Tseng says a “permanent home is absolutely critical in order for the College of Pharmacy to achieve full accreditation as well as provide an environment that is conducive to quality eduational and research opportunities.”