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Hawaii Island News, 21-22 November 2009


Due to HGEA contract leave days and cost cutting measures such as conserving electricity.  Hawaii Community College will be closed on the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 27, 2009 to Friday, January 1, 2010.  The school will re-open for the new year on January 4, 2010.

Results of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association Football Divisions I and II football tournaments, round one–In Division I, Farrington defeated Honokaa, 48-16, at the Kealakehe High School Football Stadium.  Honokaa ended its season at 8-4 after winning its first BIIF title since 1974.  In Division I I action,  a last-minute field goal by Kalei Konrad gave Hawaii Preparatory Academy a narrow 17-14 win over Moanaloa High School to take round 1 of the Division II tournament.  HPA will face Kauai High School at Vidinha Stadium on Friday, 7pm, for the semi-final in Division II.

(AP).  Hawaii school bus fares will more than double next year.  Facing a $12 million budget deficit, the school board voted 8-2 to raise one-way fares from 35 cents to 75 cents starting January 1st.  The annual pass to ride the school bus goes from $119.60 to $225.00.

(AP).  Hawaii teachers will have to vote to reopen the state’s schools on 17 annual furlough days before lawmakers give them money to do so.  House and Senate Democrats yesterday (Friday) set an end of the year deadline for the teachers union and state government to reach a deal before the Legislature will meet in emergency session to hand them $50 million from a rainy day fund.

Hawaii’s budget shortfall is beginning to affect children’s services in Hawaii County.  According to “West Hawaii Today”, the number of social workers in the West Hawaii Child Welfare Services Section has been nearly cut in half over the past two weeks.  Despite the cuts, the number of cases that the remaing staff must handle remains the same.  The West Hawaii office once had 47 positions.

A proposed ethics reform package submitted by Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi has failed to garner much public reaction.  A public meeting held last Thursday by the Board of Ethics generated no public testimony.  A discusiion of the proposed changes has been rescheduled for December 9th.  You can submit testimony to the Board of Ethics, 101 Aupuni Street, Suite 325, Hilo, Hawaii, 96720.

Staff from the Department of Parks and Recreation will be removing a large tree at Ainaloa Park on Tuesday, November 24th.  The work will require a road closure on Kilaha Street between Kilaha Place and Maunakai Steet, beginning 8 a.m. until approximately 2 p.m.

The Bulding Divsion of the County of Hawaii Department of Public Works is continuing a customer service survey it began in September.  So far, 140 people have responded to the survey, with many of them highly critical of the department.  Many said the Building Division should expedite permit approval, launch an on-line tracking system, and treat the public much better.  One of the anonymous participants suggested that the entire department be fired.

Chin  Chuck Road on the slopes of Mauna Kea may become the center of a new agricultural enterprise specializing in maile.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, Oahu-based Alii Pauahi Hwaiian Civic Club is trying to start Hawaii’s first large-scale commercial maile farm.  Farm manager Marno Lundin hopes to harvest 10,000 maile plants by the end of the year.