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Hawaii Island News, 26 November 2009


Happy Thanksgiving to all! 

Matson Navigation Company, the largest shipper between Hawaii and the West Coast, will increase its rates by an average of 3.8 percent, effective January 2rd, 2010.  Matson says it will charge $120 more per container traveling westward and $60 per container going east.  A Matson official tells the Associated Press that the increases will help the firm offset rises in operating costs and will help support investments in its Hawaii service.

Developer Ooma Beachside Vilalge LLC has petitioned the state to reclassify 181 acres of Kona coastline from a conservation district to an urban district.  That move brings a proposed 1,000 home residential community a bit closer to reality.  Dennis Moresco, the company’s controlling partner, told “West Hawaii Today” it was time to put in for the district change, noting that the company still plans to buld its portion of a road that will run parallel to the Queen Kaahumanu Highway.  Construction of the proposed development is expected to begin in 2011 and will cost between $114 and $116 million to complete.

(AP).  Hawaii’s teachers union says it has “major concerns” about Governor Linda Lingle’s plan to restore school days lost because of teacher furloughs. Hawaii State Teachers Association President Wil Okabe of Hilo says teachers shouldn’t have to convert their planning days into school days.  He says teachers need that time to plan lessons, learn about the curriculum, and get training.  Okaba also says the governor’s plan would only call back essential teachers and a skeleton administrative staff.

On Tuesday, December 1st, the Hawaii State Department of Health will be collaborating with volunteers, community agencies, and AIDS services organizations to observe annual World AIDS Day.  Special events are scheduled statewide in recognition of this worldwide awareness day that focuses on the HIV pandemic. The Hawaii Island HIV/AIDS Foundation will host a Memorial Service, December 1st, 5:00 p.m., at Hilo’s Liliuokalani Park.  In Kailua-Kona, “LIving Positive in Hawaii”, a photo exhibit of HIV positive individuals in Hawaii, will be displayed at the Kona Community Hospital.  Kohala Hospital and the Hospice of Kona will display artwork from the teen poster contest held in honor of Asian and Pacific Islander Awareness Day.  The show will be hosted by the Kailua-Kona Library.

(AP).  Louis Kealoha has been sworn in as Honolulu’s police chief.  The 26-year veteran of the department took the oath to become the city’s top cop at a ceremony on Friday.  He will be paid $136,000 a year.  Kealoha grew up in Kalihi and holds a doctorate from the University of Southern Californai.

(AP).  A Hawaii Couple whose otherwise healthy 3-year-old son suddenly died of swin flu are urging parents to get their children vaccinated.  Erica Neves says her son, Joshua, died the day after he came down with a fever.  The swine flu vaccine wan’t yet available when he died June 19th, but she says other parents should make sure their children don’t suffer a similar tragedy.