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Hawaii Island News, 10 November 2009


(Honolulu Advertiser).  Attorneys fighting public school furloughs said they will continue to pursue their lawsuits and will also appeal a federal judge’s decision yesterday not to block 15 more furlough Fridays scheduled through the remainder of the school year.  In making the ruling, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge A. Wallace Tashima said he did not feel the legal challengers have enough evidence to prevail and urged the parties to continue settlement discussions with federal District Judge David Ezra.  Judge Tashima said ordering schools to be reopened would cause more harm than good.

Police say a burlar broke into Ka’u High School classrooms and removed four white Apple MacBook computers worth $3,600.  Anyone with information on this theft should call police at 935-3311.

Parker Ranch continues to experience financial problems.  Bill Maris, the Chief Operating Officer of Parker Ranch, Inc., tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that the ranch’s realty operation will be sold to Clark Realty Corporation, effective December 1st.  Maris says the sale is part of an overall strategy to move out of its non-core businesses, including general real estate brokerage.  The terms of the sale were not released.

Robert Fitzgerald, the director of Hawaii County’s Parks and Recreation Department, will discuss plans for creating new parks and improving existing parks in West Hawaii at a Kona Town meeting on Tuesday, November 17th, 6-8 p.m., at the Makaeo Events Pavilion at the Old Kona Airport Park.  Fitzgerald will address the Old Kona Airport Park re-design, a timetable for building the parks, and how we will get the funding to build park facilities.

(Honolulu Advertiser).  Education officials are again seeking a school bus fare increase after a similar proposal to more than double fees died before the state Board of Education two months ago.  At a meeting of the BOE’s Administrative Services Committee yesterday afternoon, public school officials requested that bus fares be increased from 35 cents to 75 cent for a one-way trip.  For annual bus riders, that means the cost to ride a school bus would increase from $119.60 to $225.00.  The proposal would need the approval of the full Board of Education.  The next full board meeting si November 19th.

(Honolulu Advertiser).  State senators on a special legislative committee examining public teacher furloughs yesterday said they want Governor Lingle to make use of $35 million in federal stimulus money that is under her control.   The committee says the money has yet to be spent and could cover the cost of some furlough days if given to the state Department of Education.  The state saves about $5 million a day for each furlough day.  State Schools Superintendent Patricial Hamamoto told the senators that the DOE would be willing to renegotiate the furlough days as soon as  money is available to put teachers back in the classroom.

(AP).  The Hawaii Farm Bureau Foundation and Aloha Air Cargo have formed a new partnership that they say “champions local farmers.”  As of yesterday, foundation associates have access to an exclusive discount program, including up to 35 percent off air freight from Aloha Air for locally grown and “Made in Hawaii” packaged products.

The intersection of Kaiwi Street and Luhia Street 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 necessity of having the new stop signs.  For details, call the 24-hour Road Construction Hotline at 334-9559.

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