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Hawaii Island News, 05 November 2009


A 15-year od teenager reported missing since Sunday evening has been found safe.  Her grandfather, Tom Olcott, told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that Meghan Olcott was found in good health at a section of the Wailuku River known as the “Boiling Pots”.  Teh teen’s family thanks everyone who helped in the search.

The absense of Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole, who is on her honeymoon in Maui, has prompted the County Council to delay voting on two measures that would govern land sales sought by the County.  Hamakua Councilman Dominic Yagong told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”  that Naeole’s presence is needed to give the bills a fair hearing.  Yagong wants those bills to be discussed at the November 18th meeting in Hilo.

(AP).  The continued weakening of Hawaii’s economy is having a direct impact on the state’s poor.  Monthly payments to poor, disabled persons fell by one third this week, from $450 to $300, because more people are drawing benefits from the same pool of money.  State Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland said the money now available won’t cover the rent anymore, so many of the poor will now be homeless.  Legislators are looking for ways to help the homeless and poor, including using the “Rainy Day Fund” set aside for emergencies.

Thanks to a $737,800 federal grant, Hawaii County will be able to retrofit more than 400 streetlights with energy-efficiant bulbs.  According to “West Hawaii Today”, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant also will be used for energy aduits of homes of low and moderate income residents as well as training and public outreach.  County Research and Development Director Randy Kurohara told the County Council’s Finance Committee that streetlights at signalized intersections will be given priority because they are the brightest and use the most electricity.  Kurohara said the improvments will cut electric costs by half and reduce maintenance expenses.

The County is cutting hours and days at its solid waste recycling and transfer stations.  The new hours take effect on December 1st.  According to a Department of Environmental Management press release, changes include increasing the staff’s presence at each facility while cutting the hours and days the stations are open.  Solid wast facility attendants will supervise the transfer stations, monitor waste materials for prohibited materials, document inappropriate or illegal use of facilities, and perform required maintenance.  For details, call 961-8515.

The intersection of Kaiwi Street and Luhia Street in Kailua-Kona will be converted to an all-way stop by the Department of Public Works on Friday, November 20th.  A traffic study confirmed the volume of motorists approaching the intersection from Luhia Street and difficulty for them to turn into Kaiwi Street justify a four-way stop.  Signs alerting motorists of the change will be posted at the intersection this week.  For updates, call the 24-hour Road Construction Hotline at 334-9559.

The HPP Neigborhood Watch Program is holding a community litter pick-up on Saturday, November 7th, from 8 am to 10 am, at the HPP Activity Center, 16th and Maku’u.  Participants will be provided with trash bags, gloves, and bottled water.  Coffee & Donuts while supply lasts.  For details, call 966-4500.

The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Lantern Parade will be held on Friday, November 6th, from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm.  To accommodate the parade, Alii Drive will be closed from Palani Road to Hualalai Road.