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Hawaii Island News, 23 December 2009


Governor Linda Lingle’s plan to balance the state budget by using county shares of the transit accommodations tax (TAT) is getting a lukewarm reception from state lawmakers.  Big Island state representative Clift Tsuji tells the “Hawaiii Tribune-Herald” that the governor’s proposal demonstrates a lack of understanding or being sensitive to the county’s financial needs.  Tsuji says a better plan would be to keep some of the county’s money while raising the general excise tax.

A man who landed a fatal kick to another man in an argument over a beer has been found guilty of manslaughter.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, a jury deliberated for less than five hours before returning the verdict against 37-year old Robert Eain Grant for the killing of Daniel Martina on November 1st, 2008.  Grant will be sentenced on March 9th.

In an effort to reduce the number of impaired drivers on Hawaii Island roads, plice are stepping up DUI enforcement over the holidays.  Sgt, Christopher Gali, who heads the Traffic Enforcement Division, tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that there will be more patrols and checkpoints in each district.  Last year, 19 of 27 traffic deaths on Big Island roads involved alcohol.

(AP).  Big Island police say they’ve solved two unrelated burglaries that resulted in the loss of computers from public schools in the South Kohala District.  The department says two Kamuela boys, ages 14 and 16, were arrested last Thursday and charged with burglary in the theft of eight laptop computers valued at $3,600 from Waimea Middle School.  And a 16-year-0ld Waikoloa boy is charged with burglary after the September theft of computers from Waikoloa Elementary School.

(AP).  Cher’s home on the Big Island is set to be auctioned January 18th.  Concierge Auctions gave a pre-auction estimate of $8 million to $12 million for the three-quarter-acre property with views of the Pacific Ocean and the Hualalai Golf Course.  A Web site for the sale says the property has a main residence and five freestanding bungalows with 8,821 square feet.

To accommodate large volumes of rubbish normally disposed of on the day after Christmas and New Year’s, all County of Hawaii solid waste recycling and transfer stations will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, December 26th and Saturday, January 2nd.  These special hours will apply to these two days only, and normal Saturday hours will resume on Saturday, January 9th, 2010.  All other solid waste rules and regulations apply.

The first annual Honoli’i Beach Park Surf Gathering and Surf Camp for children with Autism and other disabilities will be held on Sunday, December 27th at Honoli’i Beach Park.  The event is being sponsored by the Hawaii chapter of Surfers Healing, a national organization started 12 years ago in San Clemente to share the experience of surfing with children who suffer from autism.  For details, call Kalani at 961-8860 or at 808-392-2252.

The state Department of Transportation  advises Big Island motorists of single lane closures on Queen Kaahumanu Highway from Kealakehe Parkway to Lako Street now through Wednesday, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., for electrical work and pavement marking installations.  One lane of traffic in each direction will be open at all times.