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Hawaii Island News, 12-13 December 2009


Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that he has a plan “B”  if the county cannot balance the budget by selling Paauilo land for $8.2 million.  The mayor says he will look at other cuts in operations, including overtime expenditures by the fire and police departments.

Part of the parking lot at Hapuna Beach and parts of Puako Road will be paved after the park closes at 7 p.m. Monday in conjunction with improvements being made to the park water system.  According to a DLNR press release, Willocks Construction will begin paving at 7:30 p.m. and work will be done by 6:00 a.m. Tuesday.

Hawaii Correctional Industries will hold another public meeting to inform residents about its plans for expanding HCI services on Hawaii Island.  The meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 22nd, 5 p.m. at the First United Protestant Church on Waianuenue Avenue in Hilo.  HCI is negotiating with the county to lease part of the old Hilo Memorial Hospital on Rainbow Drive.

Holaniku, Hawaii County’s largest solar farm, will begin providing power to the Hawaii Electric Light Company in a few weeks once the final contract terms are complete.  Darren Kimura, the founder and chief executive officer of Sopogy, Incorporated and Keahole Solar Power LLC, tells “West Hawaii Today” that the energy is being mixed into the HELCO grid so any savings are blended.  Kimura says the goal over time is “for us to get enough solar energy produced from this and many other solar farms so we could eventually see a positive impact on power bills.”

There will be an intermittent road closure on Hina Lani Street in Kailua-Kona from 4:00 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, December 14th.  The only lane to be affected will the lane heading toward the ocean.  For details, call Rockwood at 937-2165.

In an effort to control the spread of gorse on Mauna Kea, Parker Ranch will help the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands with a controlled agricultural burn on Mauna Kea.  The agricultural burn will take place between Monday, December 14th to Monday, December 21st, weather permitting.

The Pahala Christmas Parade takes place on Sunday, December 13th through Pahala Town, beginning at 1:00 p.m.  The junction of Koali Street and the intersection of Kamani and Pikake Streets will be blocked for about 5 minutes while the parade is in session.  For details, call Edward Andrade at 928-8394.

(AP).  Longtime Hawaii Congressman Neil Abercrombie says he’ll resign from Congress and devote full time to a campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor.  Abercrombie’s resignation will prompt a special election, though it is not clear when it will happen.  Two Democrats and one Republican are already planning to run for Abercrombie’s seat.

(AP).  The federal government is awarding over $1 million in historic preservation grants to Hawaii and U.S. territories in the Pacific.  The funds are for resource protection planning aand other actions to preserve historic properties.  Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Friday that the National Park Service has awarded more than $571,000 to Hawaii.