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Hawaii Island News, 10-11 January 2010


Parker Ranch spokeswoman Diane Qutiquit tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that economic hardship has forced the ranch to limit public access to its historic properties, including Puuopelu, the former home of Richad Smart.  The house contains a rare collection of art from around the world.  In addition, Quitiquit says both Puuopelu and the Mana Hale properties are no longer open to the public Tuesdays  through Saturdays as they once were.  Quitiquit says the future of the  properties and their art, antiques, and memorabilia is unknown.

The local owners of vacant land along Komohana Street in Hilo have filed an environmental report that envisions a $286 million “Hilo style neighborhood marketplace with medical offices, hundreds of homes, and many business sites.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, Wailani Development wants a mixed use community incorporating a new urbanism design, sustainability, and a more livable and healthy lifestyle.  The project is headed by brothers Peter and Stephen Matsuura and by Robert Fujimoto, the chairman of the board of HPN Building Supply.

Hawaii County’s plan for a $13.3 million trail complex along Hilo’s coastline is moving forward.  According to data cited by the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, The Hilo Bayfront Trails Project would provide a variety of multi-modal paths, pedestrian walkways, sidewalks, dedicated bicyle lanes,  and shared roads stretching approximately two-miles between Hilo Harbor and the Wailuku River in downtown Hilo.  The project’s draft EIS says there is a need for pedestrian and bike trails to complement and enhance the historic Hilo Bayfront.

(Honolulu Advertiser).  Matson Navigation Company says it will raise its shipping fuel surcharge next month for the first time since July, and it cautioned that further hikes could be in store if fuel prices continue to rise.  The state’s largest shipping company said the fuel surcharge will increase by 3.5 percentage points to 27.5 percent for its Hawaii service, effective February 7th.

(AP).  Cash-strpped Hawaii can’t afford to pay for an election to replace Congressman Neil Abercrombie, who is planning to step down next month to run for governor.  The lack of funds could leave 600,000 urban Honolulu residents without representation.  Interim Elections Chief Scott Nago says budget cuts have left his office with about $5,000 to last until July.  A special election costs nearly $1 million.

Army officials tell “West Hawaii Today” that they will open approved hunting areas at the Pohakuloa Training Area for bird hunting on Saturdays and Sundays. Bird hunters must check in and out from the Army police post across from the PTA main gate.  Check in begins at 5 a.m. and the latest check-out is 7 p.m.

Oahu-based military units will convoy from Kawaihae Harbor to the Pohakulaoa Training Area between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday via the Akoni Pule Highway, Queen Kaahumanu Highway, Waikoloa Road, Mamalahoa Highway, and the Saddle Road.  PTA army police will work with local authorities to coordinate convoy movements.