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Hawaii Island News, 25 February 2010


The Hawaii County Police Department says it is stepping up patrols in downtown Hilo following a series of gang-like activity by groups of teens and young adults.  Police Captain Randall Medeiros tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that his department hasn’t put more officers on the street, but rather concentrated the men that are on duty in trouble spots such as the area between the Mooheau Bus Terminal and Kalakaua Park.  Although things have calmed down a bit, Medeiros says efforts to monitor the trouble spots will continue.

Many merchants and small business owners in Honokaa tell the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that they may not outlast a sewer line project that will tear up the town’s main street for the next 15 months.  Businesses along Mamane Street say sales have dropped since construction along a half mile of Mamane Street started on January 4th.  Increased congestion caused by one-way traffic, noise, and parking problems are keeping customers away from Honokaa businesses.

Jack Matsui, who made boxing popular on Hawaii Island and pushed until his last breath to recognize the accomplishments of local athletes, died Tuesday at age 87.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, Matsui founded the island’s Sports Hall of Fame and the Big Island International Amateur Boxing Council.  Matsui was involved with the sport for more than 60 years.  Sports writer Kevin Jakahi says Matsui will be most remembered as a tireless worker, who “went the extra mile to make others feel good about themselves.”  Jack will be missed.

The Hilo High School gym project will be presented to the public tonight at 5 in the school cafeteria.  State Senator Dwight Takamine tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that the new gym is a collaborative effort of the community, the DOE, and Civil Defense.   DOE representative Brenda Lowrey says the project will provide the school with a modern facility for school activities, while also serving as a civil defense shelter for the community.

The Windward Planning Commission is about to consider a package of zoning code changes that evolved from the community’s vision for Downtown Hilo.  Planners have spent nearly six years in consultation with residents, business owners, and others, and this package is one product of those meetings designed to guide future development of the historic Downtown area.  The proposed changes are an effort to preserve the old town ambiance of Downtown Hilo with its views of Hil Bay, while positioning the area for redevelopment that respects and compements Hilo’s historic roots.  In keeping with the effort to encourage a pedestrian-friendly environment and to preserve the existing scale of development, the proposed changes would reduce the existing 120-foot height limit.  The new height limits would be 60 feet for makai areas below Kinoole Street, and 80 feet for areas set further back from HIlo Bay.  For details on the plan, call Susan Gagorik at 961-8133.

Nancy Gardner-Heaven, PhD, will present a series of free Health Education Workshops on Hawaii Island.  The first presentation will be held on Tuesday, 02 March, 6 p.m., at Dr. Rob Lozzano’s Office, 15-2891 Pahoa Village Road in Pahoa.  Other presentations are set for UH-Hilo on 03 March,  at the University of North Hawaii Education and Research Center in Honokaa, and at Tutu’s House in Waimea on 05 March.  For more details on these free seminars, call toll-free at 1-866-766-2468.

The intensive English Program at Hawaii Community College offers English classes for non-native speakers.  Study English to prepare for work, college, and everyday life.  The next orientaion is set for March 17th.  Call 933-0807 for details.

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