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Hawaii Island News, 30 January 2010


(AP).  Hawaii’s House of Representatives has effectively killed same-sex civil unions by deciding not to take a vote on the issue.  The House indefinitely postponed a vote on the measure to grant gay couples the same rights and benefits the state provides to married couples.  Civil union supporters in the gallery shouted, “shame on you”.  Opponent cheered.

(AP).  More than 600 dead tropical fish have been discovered in a trash bin at the the Honokohau Small Boat Harbor outside of Kailua-Kona.  State aquatic biologist Bill Walsh says the 610 fish had no outward signs of illness or injury.  The fish were retrieved by personnel from the state Division of Aquatic Resources after officials were alerted by a concerned fisherman.

A 32-year old Hilo man was taken into custody Thursday evening following a nearly two-hour standoff with police at a home on Lanikaula Street in the Waiakea Houselots.  Police told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that the man barricaded himself inside the house and was threatening to harm himself.  Just before midnight, the man surrendered to officers and was taken to the Hilo Medical Center for a psychiatric examination.  The man was not arrested for any criminal offense.

A Kailu-Kona man was charged on Friday with several drug offenses.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, Kona vice officers served a search warrant on Thursday at a Kanaka Street  house in Kailua-Kona, where a 24-year old man was arrested after officers found 23 grams of powdered cocaine, 7.8 grams of crystal methamphetamine, 9 grams of hashish, 7 grams of dried marijuana, and 24 marijuana plants in the home.  Police also confiscated $950 in cash.  Bail for the man was set at $64,000.

Hawaii County has closed escrow on the purchase of a 151-acre oceanfront property known as Kaiholena North.  The property consists of three separate sites, a water well on undeveloped ranchland, and several small coral beaches along 3,000 feet of ocean frontage.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, the property is being bought with the county’s Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources fund, which is set aside for the acquisition of properties on the priority list.

Plant Pest Control Manager Neil Reiner tells “West Hawaii Today” that eradication of the little fire ant in Kailua-Kona is not feasible because the effort would be cost prohibitive in terms of manpower and money.  Reiner believes an all-out eradication effort involving spraying by mechanical and manual methods would cost millions of dollars.  The Pest Control Branch was one of the departments hard hit by recent state budget cuts.

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi told members of the Kailua-Kona Chamber of Commerce that the rationale offered by Lt. Governor Duke Aiona to divert the transit accommodations tax from the counties to the state is “absurd, distorted, and twisted”.  Kenoi told “West Hawaii Today” that he balances the county budget and protects the community, while the state punishes the county for its cost-saving measures.

Starting Monday, February 1st, the Department of Land and Natural Resources will begin construction to replaced the drinking water system at Wailoa River State Recreation Area.  The project will replace the water main from Manono Street into the park to connect with waterlines to the comfort station, three rental pavilions, faucets, and a new accessible drinking fountain.  The park will remain open but pathways to the pavilions and comfort station may be affected.  In case water service to the park is disrupted, interim water service and portable toilets will be provided if needed.  Work should be completed by August.

“Habitat For Humanity” is asking for donations at KTA Superstores islandwide.  Just tear off the tabs at the register until the end of the month.  Also, look for donation boxes at your favorite restaurant.  For details, call Monica at 961-5020.

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