UA-131046696-1 [slim_seo_breadcrumbs]

Hawaii Island News, 31 December 2009


House speaker Nancy Pelosi is on the Big Island where she is vacationing.  According to Hawaii Police, the California congresswoman and President Barack Obama are among the Washington political elite who are visiting the islands during the holidays.

(AP).  Rush Limbaugh’s radio program says the conservative talk show host is resting comfortably at a Honolulu hospital where he was taken with chest pains.  The program said in a statement yesterday that Limbaugh appreciates people’s prayers and well-wishes.  Limbaugh is currently on a vacation that started on December 23rd.

The chairman of the Hawaii County Real Property TAx Board of Review tells “West Hawaii Today” that many Hawaii County property owners are abusing agricultural tax exemptions and are not paying their fair share of taxes.  Chairman Ernest Matsumura, who will soon end his fie-year tenure on the board, says tax officials should re-evaluate the rules and qualifications for the agricultural exemption program.  Matsumura believes the county should look into the methodology for assessing real property to ensure that land values are consistent.

Hawaii police detectives have charged a Hilo man with numerous credit card abuses and identity theft.  According to police, 25-year old Richard Noeau Oili-Sanchez was charged with unauthorized possession of confidential personal information, fraudulent use of a credit card, theft, and identity theft.  Police are crediting the public in helping to identify Oili-Sanchez from surveillance photos.

The Hawaii County Public Works Department says an equipment breakdown has suspended night roadwork and resurfacing on the Mamalahoa Highway in South Kona.  Before the equipment failue, resurfacing had been done as far as Haukapila Road.  Resurfacing will resume in January.  In other road news, the Mamalahoa Bypass will be closed this Friday, New Year’s Day.  The Bypass will open Monday at 3:30 p.m. for southbound travel.

Michael R. Ben, Director of Human Resources for the County, is retiring from government service effective 31 December 2009.  Ben has served 17 years as Director beginning June 1992, afterhaving served as Deputy Director since October 1988.  He has more than 35 years of government service, including 21 years with the county and 14 years with the State of Hawaii.

UH-Hilo faculty members are upset over salary cuts announced Monday by the University of Hawaii.  UH-Manoa President M.R.C. Greenwood said the 6.7 percent salary reduction would take effect Friday and would be reflected in paychecks issued January 15th.  UH-Hilo Chancellor Rose Tseng told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that the faculty union would most likely consider filing a lawsuit over the pay cut.

Hawaii Island police are reporting increases in vehicle vandalism.  Officer Jesse Kerr tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that for at least the past six months there has been an epidemic of “keying” in area shopping centers. Keying is the act of scratching and defacing a vehicle body with a sharp object.  Kerr says most of the incidents have taken place on weekends and during the evening hours.