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Hawaii Island News, 28-29 November 2009

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The future of Laupahoehoe School will be discussed at a public meeting Monday, 6:30 pm, in the Humanities Room of the Laupahoehoe Public Library.  The meeting will bring community members up to date on the Conversion Charter Planning Process and on the recent federal grant obtained to facilitate that process.

In a move to financial self-sufficiency, the Department of Envrionmental Management wants to create and raise waste disposal fees.  Environmental Management Director Lono tyson tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” a controversial “pay as you throw” plan that  would charge between $2 to @2.50 per bag for residential garbage  will not be a popular decision.  Tyson says “these are hard times and hard decisions have to be made.”

Work on Palani Road in North Kona begins Monday and will continue through December 14th.  From November 30th to December 4th, Palani Road will be resurfaced and widened near Grace Community Church between 8 p.m. and 4:30 a.m.  Off-duty police officers will direct traffic in the area.  Motorists should expect delays.  During the week of December 7th through December 14th, the contractor will work on a water system for the Grace Community Church.  Traffic will not be affected.

Now that the County of Hawaii has received $35 million from the American REcovery and Reinvestment Acto for the construction of the Ane Keohokalole Highway in Kailua-Kona, it must now address several problems created by the project.  According to Big Island Video News, one of the greatest challenges is the sensitive issue of Hawaiian burials in the area and the treatment of archeological  findings in the path of the highway.  The Federal Highways Administration has agreed with Hawaii County to set aside about 10 percent of the stimulus funds for a 25-acre site established by the Queen Liliuokalani Trust to preserve and protect cultural and historic areas along Palani Road.

The Motor Vehicle Registration and Driver’s License Sections that were closed temporarily throughout Hawaii County earlie this week are new open.  A problem with a fiber optic cable linking the County to state offices on Oahu has been resolved.

(AP).  Hawaii doctors and other medical professionals are being urged to quicken their reporting of swine flu vaccinations.  State epidemiologist Sarah Park says the state has requested and/or received 266,400 doses of vaccine for swine flu, but her agency has received documentation that only 35,000 doses had been administered as of last Monday.

(AP).  Budget cuts and opposition by University of Hawaii faculty have prompted administrators to eliminate a position designed to coordinate international education and exchange programs.  Three faculty committees had asked the administration to postpone searching for a permanent vice chancellor until the budget situation at the 10-campus system improves.

(Honolulu Advertiser).  Governor Linda Lingle’s senior policy adviser said Friday that the governor’s offer to reduce teacher furloughs stands, so if teachers want to preserve planning days instead of swapping them with furlough days, they would have to come in on their own time.  The governor has offered to take $50 million from the state’s rainy-day fund and asked teachers to swap planning days to eliminate teacher furloughs starting in January.  But the Hawaii State Teachers Association has said that teachers are concerned about giving up all of their planning time, which teachers use to prepare for class or collaborate on school improvement.  HSTA leaders said in a brief statement that teachers would be willing return to the classroom on furlough days only if they are paid.  The teachers union also has raised questions about which teachers and school staff would return under the governor’s proposal and how much money it would cost for the DOE to open schools.

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