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Hawaii Island News, 18 November 2009


According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, infighting among county council members has cost Hawaii Island taxpayers nearly $50,000 in legal fees.  Various leadership changes triggered two costly lawsuits at a time when county tax revenues were lower than expected.  Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida said people in the community are tired of the squabbles, adding that the public wanted council members to do the job they were elected to perform.

Psychologist Marvin Acklin told the Hilo Circuit Court that “intolerable feelings of shame, disgrace, and humiliation” caused Lito Mateo to kill a co-worker in a hotel employee’s parking lot on March 8th, 2007.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, Acklin said that Lito Mateo was driven to desperation and rage by his wife’s 8 year affair with Tito Rafol and the public nature of his wife’s infidelity.  Mateo is charged with murder for allegedly shooting Rafol 18 times with a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun.

Rising criticism over new transfer station hours could lead to alternating operating times, using private security, and even imposing tougher penalties for littering.  Environmental Mangement Director Lono Tyson told Hawaii County Council members that he knew the reduced schedules and loss of private security would not be a popular decision.  Tyson told council members that nothing is set in stone and that his department is considering various options, including better litter enforcement and educating the public about reducing the amount of waste deposited in transfer stations.

Waimea Elementary and Middle Schools will hold a school-wide lockdown drill at 12:55 pm Thursday so students, teachers, and staff  will know what to do during an emergency.  Prior to the safety drill, students will be briefed on what to do and what to expect.

(AP).  A federal judge has thrown our evidence from a baggage search at the Hilo International Airport last year that discovered photographs of naked children.  U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright ruled Tuesday that the search by TSA officers went beyond the scope of their duties to finds weapons and explosives.

The Office of the Mayor, Hawaii County Council, Office of the County Clerk, and six County departments are moving into the newly renovated Hawaii County Building at 25 Aupuni Street this week.  The County Building has been out of commission for normal County services since 2006 when the first phase of the $25 million renovation project was begun on the 43 year-old structure.

Hamakua councilman Dominic Yagong has praised Mayor Billy Kenoi for a plan to turn over 1,799 acres of land at Kapulena to entrepreneurs, educational groups, and community entitities interested in preserving agricultural lands along the Hamakau Coast.  Yagong tells “West Hawaii Today” that he hopes the council will consider the mayor’s plan as it reviews ways to guarantee transperacny in future land sales.

The National Astronomical Obervatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have joined the Thirty Meter Telescope Project atop Mauna Kea.  As an observer, China will participate in planning the development of what will be the world’s most advanced and capable astronomical observatory.  When completed the TMT will be the first of the next generation of ground-based optical observatories..