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Hawaii Island News, 14 December 2009


(AP).  An extreme drought partly caused by El Nino has prompted the federal government to declare The Big Island and Maui agricultural disaster areas.  Senators Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye says the declaration paves the way for federal financial assistance to drought-wracked farming regions.

In an effort to control the spread of gorse on Mauna Kea, Parker Ranch is helping the Department of Hawaiian HOme Lands with a controlled agricultural burn on Mauna Kea.  The agricultural burn will take place sometime between today to Monday, December 21st, weather permitting.  Be advised that during this period, motorists travelling the Saddle Road may see flames and smoke on the slopes of Mauna Kea in the area of the Mauna Kea Access Road.

There will be several road closures on Hawaii Island today.  There will be an intermittent road closure on Hina Lani Street today, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  The only lane to be affected will be the lane heading toward the ocean.  The Department of Public works began resurfacing operations in South Kona Sunday evening.  The night roadwork is scheduled from 7:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. Sunday through Thursday.  Night roadwork is planned from December 13th-17th and December 20th-23rd from the Manago Hotel to the HELCO substation, skipping the intersection at Captain Cook Road.  Also work is set for an area from the L & L Drive In to the intersection of Highway 11 and Konawaena School Road to the former Kamigaki Market location, and resume from the intersection of Haukapila (Hospital) Road to Mango Court in Kainaliu.  For udated information, call the County Hotline at 334-9559.  The Hawaii Electric Light Company is scheduled to close Palani Road and transfer existing transmission lines between Kealaka’a to Laimana Street tonight between 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Tuesday.  Part of the parking lot at Hapuna Beach and parts of Puako Road will be paved after the park closes  at 7 tonight.  The work will be done 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 tonight and work  will be done by 6:00 a.m. Tuesday.

(AP).  Hawaii Democratic Representative Neil Abercrombie says he will resign within weeks to devote his full time and attention to a campaign for governor.  Abercrobie held a press conference Sunday in Honolulu, but did not set a firm date for his resignation.  He is likely to be opposed by Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann.  The primary election is set for September.

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.  Also, the mayor is considering a “revenue neutral tax policy”, meaning that property owners’ taxes would not change from current levels, even if property values decreased.