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Hawaii Island News, 20 January 2010


The state legislature will consider bills to decriminalize marijuana possession and legalize medical marijuana dispensaries.  East Maui state senator Kalani English tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”  that he will introduce the decriminalization measure this session.  English says marijuana would still remain illegal, but it would be treated as a civil proceeding rather than a criminal one.

Monday’s earthquake that struck outside of Pahala has been upgraded to a 4.3 magnitude tremblor rather than the earlier reading of 3.8.  According to USGS, there has been an average of one earthquake greater than 4.0 magnitude 4.0 every two years in this area.  No damage was reported from Monday’s earthquake, which  was five miles west-northwest of Pahala at a depth of four miles.

The manufacturer of the  new UH-Hilo telescope says the 36-inch instrument is largely complete.  Hoku Ke’a is being built in Golden, Colorado and is in the final stages of integration and system testing.  Russ Mellon, the president of Equinox Interspace, tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”  that only the polishing and coating of the mirror remain to be done.  When the student telescope is complete, it will be housed in the building that once held the old UH-Hilo 24-inch telescope.

Hawaii Community College presents a special program with NASA Astronaut, Dr. Anna Fisher, on Friday, 10 a.m. at Building 388, Rooms 101 and 102.  Dr. Fisher will speak about her Shuttle Mission experience, the International Space Station, and what’s new at NASA.  For details, coll 933-2342.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has awarded a services grant of $1,243,336 to UH-Hilo’s “Na Pua No’eau:, the education-based resource center for Hawaiian  children in grades K-12.   The grant will allow “Na Pua No’eau” to provide a continuum of program and events to help students with an effective transition from high school to college.  Director Dr. David Sing said the partnership between OHA and UH-Hilo helps Hawaiian students raise their achievement  and aspirations.

(AP).  Hualalai Resort on the Big Island reports one of its single-family residences has sold for $26.2 million.  The resort says it was the largest such sale in Hawaii in 2009 and the largest residential real estate transaction in the resort’s 13-year history.   The 8,630 square foot home includes 5 1/2 bathrooms, a great room, an open-air dining room, and a living room pavilion.

(AP).  Hawaii lawmakers will consider proposals for longer and more school days as this year’s legislative session opens today.  Setting standards for instructional time would prevent future budget cuts and labor union negotiations from reducing student learning time, which is what happened when teacher furloughs slashed this school year and next by 17 days.  Hawaii has no minimum requirement for instructional days or hours.

Bring your blankets or beach chairs and enjoy a free concert on the lawn of Hale Halawai this Friday, with pre-show entertainment starting at 5:45 p.m. Get ready to dance under the stars to the sounds of the U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific “Hana Hou”, when it takes the stand at 7 p.m.  For program details, call 323-3190.

The Lions  Club of Kona will conduct a used eyeglass collection drive this Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the KTA store in Keauhou and at Choicemart in Captain Cook.  Look for the familiar yellow Lion Club vests.

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