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Hawaii Island News, 10 February 2010


Big Island Police say a 53-year old Kealakekua man died late Monday afternoon after a motorcycle crash on the Mamalahoa Highway just north of Hualalai Road.  The motorcycle was overtaking a vehicle on the road in a no-passing zone as the machine left the road and struck a tree.  The victim was not wearing a helmet.  Police said speed was a factor in the crash.

The Governor’s Council of Neighbor Island Advisors for West Hawaii will meet today at 5:30 p.m. in the Natural Energy Laboratory Gateway Conference Room in Kailua-Kona.  George Applegate, the Big Island Visitors Bureau Executive Director, will give a presentation and update on Big Island tourism.  After the presentation, there will be time for questions and answers.

(KITV-4).  Honda Motor Company is adding more than 378,000 cars to an existing safety recall for air bag inflation problems.  The company will replace the driver’s side air bag inflator on the cars because they can deploy with too much pressure, causing the inflator to rupture and injure or kill the driver.  The recall now affects more than 822,000 vehicles, including certain 2001 and 2002 Acord sedans, Civic compacts, Odyssey minivans, CR-V small sport utility vehicles and some 2002 Acura TL sedans.

(KITV-4).  The Kona Brewing Company’s Kailua-Kona pub will be reciving a 229 kilowtt photovoltaic system.  The system will be installed by the Sumetric Company and will be used to generate solar energy to run the facility and brew beer.  This will be Hawaii’s first beer production facility to go solar.  Construction on the new system is under way.  The system is expected to begin operating in April.

Advocates of Hawaii’s medical marijana program tell the “Honolulu Star Bulletin” that the legalized marijuana program has failed to adapt to evolving patient needs.  A report by the Medical Cannabis Working Group, due out this week, plans to make four recommendations.  They include:  creating a distribution system; increasing the allowable number of plants and the amount of usable marijauan tht patients may have; allowing caregivers to care for at least five patients; and transferring oversight of the medical marijuana program to the Health Department from the Department of Public Safety.

The State House Transportation Committee has approved a bill to study a state-sponsored ferry system tht would be able to buy at least one high-speed vessel to crry passengers and vehicles between islands.  Prodding by Big Island state representative Faye Hanohano convinced Transportation Committee Chairman Joe Suki of Maui to set up a study for the ferry.

The state is working on a new million dollar pedestrian plan to reduce traffic casulties.  According to the “Honolulu Star Bulletin”, the plan is being developed after Oahu had four pedestrian fatalities this year.  The AARP has ranked Hawaii the most dangerous for pedestrians age 65 and over.  Ken Tatsuguchi, the engineering planning manager for the Transportation Department, says traffic engineers will improve pedestrian safety by shifting the transportation emphasis from moving freight and passengers to providing places for people to walk.

(KITV-4).  One week after reporting brake problems in it new Prius hybrids, Toyota is taking action.  The auto giant is issuing another major recall–its third in less than six months.  Toyota is recalling more than 400,000 hybrids world-wide, including the 2010 Prius.  Several hundred drivers in the U.S. and Japan have complained of a short delay when they hit the brakes.  Toyota has recalled more than 7 million vehicles because of problems with floor mats and sticky gas pedals  Toyota says it will take its dealers about 40 minutes to fix the software glitch causing the brake problems.

Notice to motorists:  Drivers are advised tht Kalakaua Street in Hilo will be closed this Friday at 11 p.m. until Saturday at 5 p.m. to accommodate vendors and pedestrians taking part in the Hilo Chinese New Year Festival. For details on the event, call 935-8850.

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