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Hawaii Island News, 20 November 2009


The Hawaii County Council has voted 6-3 to approve Mayor Billy Kenoi’s plan to sell 737 acres of Hawaii County land to help cover the cost of government operations.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, council members also voted against requiring the administration to release terms of the sale or gain follow-up approval before completing land sales.

The Big Island Auto Club has cancelled this Saturday’s family fun day at the Hilo Dragstrip.  Club president Brad Miprano said the pit area around the track is very wet and muddy.  Miprano said unsafe track conditions preclude any racing on Saturday.  The Big Island Auto Club’s annual awards banquet is moving forward with a scheduled date of December 12th at the Volcanoes Naniloa Resort in Hilo. 

UH-Hilo launches the first in a series of research presentations by University faculty with a free, public discussion on the homeless issue.  The presentation, entitled “Homelessness in Hawaii”, will be held today from 1:00 pm to 2:20 pm at UCB 127.  Dr. Todd Belt, associate professor of political science, says “homelessness is one of the most complex and challenging social issues we face today.”

Third Circuit Court Judge Greg Nakamura has denied a request by Honokaa resident Samson Lorenzo to defer his guilty plea to habitually operating a vehicle while under the influenc of an intoxicant and sentenced him for that offense.  Lorenzo was placed on probation for 5 years.  He was ordered to spend 30 days in jail and was assessed more than $1,500 in fees.

(AP).  Officials say a gunman opened fire on the Pacific resort island of Saipan, killing four people before shooting himself to death.  Authorities say a 4-year old boy and a 2-year old girl were among the victims, all of whom were residents of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands–about 3,800 miles southwest of Hawaii.

(AP).  A lei-draping ceremony has been held in Washington, DC to honor recently canonized St. Damien.  Hawaii Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka hosted Thursday’s event at the U.S. Capitol.  A maile lei was wrapped around the base of  a statue of the Roman Catholic priest from Belgium who ministered to leprosy patients on Molokai in the 19th century.  The statue is identical to the one outside the state Capitol in Honolulu.

Hilo will celebrate its national designation as a “Playful City” on Saturday, November 21st, with a community Play Day from 11 am to 3 pm at Mooheau Park.  Hilo was selected one of the Playful City USA communities by KaBOOM–a national non-profit dedicated to bringing play back into children’s lives.  Saturday’ free community celebration will include games, music, interactive fitness demonstrations., and other attractions.   For more information, call 935-8850.

The public has been invited to offer testimony on the next phase of the Saddle Road alignment project at two meetings in December.  The first meeitng is set for  December 9th, 5 pm at Aunty Sally’s Luau Hale on Piilani Street in Hilo.  The second meeting will be held on December 10th, 3:30 pm at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority on the Queen Kaahumanu Highway.