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Hawaii Island News, 21 December 2009


As Hawaii County slowly dried out from drenching rains on Saturday, another thunderstorm on Sunday produced a large waterspout off the Kailua-Kona coast.  National Weather Service forecaster John Brahender told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that a waterspout was spotted by a pilot near the Honokahau Small Boat Harbor.  ONe Youtube contributor named Caleb posted video of the twister rising from Kailua Bay.  The weather will be milder today, with intermittent showers expected through Wednesday.

(Honolulu Advertiser).  The main stumbling block to ending 27 furlought days for the Department of Education is the claim that $50 million offered by the governor is not enough.  The Hawaii State Teachers Association and state negotiators met last week but were unable to agree on how to restore furlough days because union and DOE officials said they are worried that the governor’s plan was $19.3 million short of what it would take to restore 27 furlough days.

Hawaii Newspaper Guild-represented employees of the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” are boosting their efforts to make the community aware of their plight after the company indicated earlier this month it wan not extending the Collective Bargaining Agreement.  The first step taken by newspaper employees will be an informational picket line in front of the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” at 355 Kinoole Street in Hilo.  The public will not be prohibited from doing their business.  The Guild is now preparing for future challenges from the company by asking the community to boycott the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”.

(AP).  Tour guides are afraid a temporary no-fly zone created when President Barack Obama visits Oahu will hamper aerial sightseeing of popular spots during what is usually a busy tourist season.  The flight restrictions, in effect from Wednesday through January 4th, would shut out flight operators from a 10-mile area centered on Kailua, Oahu, where the president and his family are expected to stay.  The visit would be Obama’s first as president.

The state Department of Transportation advises Big Island motorists of single lane closures on Queen Kaahumanu Highway from Kealakehe Parkway to Lako Street today, December 21st, through Wednesday, December 23rd, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., daily, for electrical work and pavement marking installations.  One lane of traffic in each direction will be open at all times.  Motorists are advised to use caution while driving through the work areas and to allow for extra travel time.  Roadwork is weather-permitting.