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Hawaii Island News, 05 February 2010


Governor Linda Lingle wants to loan up to $50 million to Hawaii home and business owners who install solar water heaters, photovoltaic systems, and other renewable energy or efficiency upgrades.  Hawaii state representative Bob Herkes tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that he supports the clean energy bill advocated by the governor.  Kailua-Kona state representative Denny Coffman thinks the energy bill has a 50-50 chance of passing this session.

A former Waikoloa hotel worker who killed his wife’s longtime lover will most likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.  Circuit Court Judge Glenn Hara ordered Lito Mateo to serve a sentence of life imprisonment for second degree murder and another 20 years for the use of a firearm in the commission of a separate felony.

Space scientists and engineers have built a testing and proving ground for future moon missions at the 9,000-foot level of Mauna Kea.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, the collaborative project is located alongside an old cinder cone on the south side of the mountain.  Project Director Frank Schowengerdt says the facility is where space people from all over the world will train for life on the moon and off the earth.

Beginning today, the Red Hats of Ka’u, the Ka Lea Quilters, and the Ka’u Golf Group will launch their fundraising season to benefit the Ka’u Hospital Emergency Department.  One of the goals of this effort is the purchase of an additional cardiac monitor for the Emergency Department.  The first event will be the sale of homemade baked goods and crafts at the Ka’u Hospital Day Room today.  For more information, call Barbara at 929-9072.

The new UH-Hilo Science and Technology Building is on schedule for completion by the end of October 2010.  Dr. Debra Fitzsimons, the vice chancellor of administrative affairs, says seventy percent of the overall construction is finished, with the roof to be completed by the end of February, after which work on the interior will begin.  The facility will have over 17,000 square feet of new classrooms, laboratories, and research space.

Todd Hedrick, the director of leasing and property management with The McNaughton Group, tells “West Hawaii Today” that Ross Dress for Less should open in the Kona Commons shopping center in July.  Hedrick says work on the building that will house the clothing retailer recently restarted.  Hedrick says he has a national restaurant under contract for one of the pads in the Target parking lot.

Holland America Line representative John Primeau tells “West Hawaii Today” that the cruise company is cutting back ship stops in Kona this year.  Primeau says the line stopped in Kailua Bay 16 times last year but would only visit West Hawaii twice this year–once in April and once in October.  Primeau says the reduced schedule was not related to fuel costs or other concerns.

Despite the slow pace of development for the Kaloko Housing Program, Hawaii County Council members seem confident that the affordable housing project will be ready by 2011.  Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffman tells “West Hawaii Today” that  a resolution exempting the project from some code requirements was long overdue.  Hoffman says no project money will because of the delay.

The March for Babies is coming to Hilo’s Wailoa State Park on March 21st.  To sign up or for more information, call Eden at  969-1206.

The Big Island Auto Club presents the season opening drag race on February 20th and February 21st at the Hilo Drag Strip.  Gates open at 7 a.m.

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