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Hawaii Island News, 03 February 2010


A formal blessing will be held today at the Shipman Industrial Park for a new biodiesel plant that will produce 2.6 million gallons of fuel a year.  Bob King, the president of Pacific Biodiesel and its subsidiary Big Island Biodiesel, told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” the facility is in the engineering and permitting phase, with construction time set at 16 months. 

Big Island Toyota is gearing up to repair vehicles recalled for defective accelerator pedals.  Dealership General Manager and CPO Jan Whiteside tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that parts needed for the repairs are expected in Thursday or Friday.  Service technicians are scheduled to attend training sessions in Honolulu on Friday.

Members of the Hawaii County Council took testimony Tuesday night from those claiming that police are ignoring the voter passed resolution making adult personal use of marijuana the lowest law enforcement priority.  Adam Lehman, one of the authors of the “Peaceful Sky” ordinance, told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that the only ambiguous part of the law is the failure of some to honor the will of the people.

(AP).  Members of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents say the university should accept more out of state students as a way to increase revenue.  They are suggesting a three-year pilot project at UH-Hilo to allow for 40 percent of undergraduate students to be from out of state.  Nonresidents pay more than double the tuition of Hawaii students.

The plant manager for Puna Geothermal Venture tells “West Hawaii Today” that the geothermal energy provider is falling behind in its contract to provide power to the Hawaii Electric Light Company.  Miki Kaleikini says some of the five production wells may have rock blockages that prevent full use of the steam resource.  PGV has advised residents near the facility that work on a new well, called Kapoho 14, will begin shortly.

A coalition of volunteer organizations selected Marilyn Edwards from more than a hundred Big Island senior citizens asking for help in repairing their homes following the October 2006 earthquake.  The project became contentious when Edwards and contractor John Burke disagreed on the scope and quality of work.  Burke told “West Hawaii Today” that he and the organizations agreed that they did respond to Edwards’s concerns, and that Edwards was hoping for a new house and not  simple foundation repairs.

The Hilo March for Babies is coming to Wailoa State Park in Hilo on March 21st.  For details, call Eden Patino at  969-1206.

The Big Island Auto Club presents its season opening drag race at the Hilo Drag Strip on February 20th and February 2st.  Gates open at 7 a.m. both days.  Stay tuned for radio updates throughout the race.

(AP).  A proposal to increase the bus fare for public school students has been rejected by a state Board of Education committee.  However, the Department of Education proposal will go on to the full board for a vote later this month.  Board member Donna Ikeda said that she couldn’t in good conscience vote for another increase when the fare just went up.  On January 1st, the one-way fare rose from 35 cents to 75 cents.

(AP).  The reef runway at Honolulu International Airport was closed briefly Tuesday afternoon after an Island Air plane received a bomb threat.  A flight from Kahului to Honolulu landed with out incident.  Security personnel and bomb-sniffing dogs searched the plane and baggage but nothing suspicious was found.

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