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Hawaii Island News, 09 December 2009


Two Hawaii Island power plants have been cited by the EPA for being some of the state’s top polluters for 2008.  According to data cited by the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, the “Hill” generating plant on Hilo’s Railroad Avenue was the sixth worst polluter in the state.  The Keaau plant placed eigth on the EPA list.

Hawaii County Planning Director Bobby Jean Leithead-Todd tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that shoreline access must be allowed through Kapoho Beach Lots, but is giving residents time to prove their gate is legal before considering other actions.  Leithead-Todd wants the public to be able to enjoy Kapoho’s popular lava heated hot ponds by going through the gated community.  Several area residents are concerned about the lack of facilities and parking spaces.

The popular Frommer’s Travel Guides are giving Hawaii Island a boost by praising the attractions of our volcanoes, dramatic underwater scenery, and our sense of Old Hawaii.  The guide books note the effedt of the nation’s slowing economy on the state’s visitor industry and chide Oahu for its overly commercialized tour packages.

The cost of seeing the Merrie Monarch Festival live is going up.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, Merrie Monarch tickets are increasing by $5 for the popular three-night hula extravaganza.  The highest priced tickets will go for $30, with other prices ranging from $15 to $25, depending on which nights visitors attend and in which section spectators sit.

You are invited on Saturday to join in on the blessing and open house for the new $4.8 million Pahoa Fire Station localted on highway 130 near mile marker 8.  Festivities begin at 9:00 a.m. with a welcoming ceremony and visitation.  A short program of speakers will include Fire Chief Darryl Oliveira, State Representative Faye Hanohano, State Senator Russell Kokubun, Mayoral Executive Assistant Hunter Bishop, and County Council members Emily Naeole-Beason , and J. Yoshimoto.

The Department of Water Supply will be closing Halai Street between Haili Street and Alae Street in Hilo for the purpose of changing a service lateral.  This work and road closure will occur on Friday, December 11th, between the hours of 8:30 a/m. and 3:30 p.m.  For details, call Carl Nishimura at 961-8790.

(AP).  A Honolulu beach may be renamed for President Barack Obama.  Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann is asking the City Council to rename Aina Moana Beach Park, also known as Magic Island, as President Barack Obama Beach Park.  The city would have to make an exception to a rule that parks, sites, or facilities be named only after people who have died.

(AP).  A federal judge has thrown out a constitutional challenge to the Jones Act, a law that requires domestic shipping to be performed by vessels owned and flagged by the United States.  U.S. District Judge David Ezra issued his ruling Tuesday, saying the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, the owners of former and current Hawaii businesses, have no legal standing to sue.