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Hawaii Island News, 26 February 2010


The Hawaii County Council’s Environmental Mangement Committee will hear a 45-minute presentation on alternative control measures for coqui frogs when it meets next Tuesday in Hilo.  The presentation from former research technician Mark Munekata follows state budget cuts that severely restricted programs to control the noisy pest.  South Kona councilwoman Brenda Ford tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that she asked for the presentation to see if remedies such as baking soda can help exterminate coqui frongs.

March 16th is the cutoff date for those submitting bids to run the food and lodging concessions at the Volcano HOuse.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, 28 people representing up to 14 interested concessioners and architectural firms firms attended a tour of the Volcano House in mid-January.  The National Park Service will award a 10-year contract to the sucessful bidder.

A Nuclear Regulatory Commission board has denied four Hawaii residents standing to participate in a U.S. Army license application to handle depleated uranium.  According to the Stephens Media Bureau, , the 14-page order said Big Island residents Jim Albertini, Cory Harden, and Isaac Harp, along with Oahu resident Luwella Leonardi, didn’t prove they were likely to be harmed by the military’s actions.

North Kona councilman Kelly Greenwell tells “West Hawaii Today” that aircraft parked at either the Kona or Hilo International Airports should be assessed a voluntary parking fee of $2,500 a day.  Greenwell says the money raised from the fee would hlep fund the county’s medical infrastructure.  Greenwell feels the fee would bring private aircraft owners out of their cloistered environment into direct contact with the community.  State Transportation Department officials indicate there are no legal impediments to the fundraising effort.

Many residents of Kona Palisades Estates feel something must be done to improve the deteriorating condition of Kaiminani Drive.  According to “West Hawaii Today”, more than 60 residents have signed letters to Mayor Billy Kenoi, asking the county to resurface the road that often serves as a shortcut to the Kona International Airport.

(AP).  The parent company of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin is buying longtime rival, The Honolulu Advertiser, the largest newspaper in Hawaii.  Oahu Publications, Inc. said Thursday it will acquire the Advertiser, its Web site, non-daily publications, and an interest in from Gannett Company.  Financial terms were not disclosed.  The deal is subject to regulatory and other approvals.

(AP).  The jobs of 232 stae workers would be eliminated under a cost-cutting proposal that advocates for the poor worry would reduce access to food stamps, cash assistance, and medical benefits.  The Department of Human Services confirmed Thursday that its plan to close 31 welfare eligibility locations statewide would result in the loss of those positions.

(AP)>  Hawaii’s four island mayors are applauding the Legislature’s decision not to take $100 million of thier hotel tax money.  The mayors issued a statement, caying that their counties provide visitor industry infrastructure and services–such as police, fire, and trash collection–and they need the hotel tax to pay for it.

(AP).  Forget gambling revenues as a way to cut Hawaii’s budget deficit.  The state House Finance Committee has decided against allowing an Oahu casino or gambling halls on Hawaiian home lands.  Lawmakers will likely not move any closer toward legalized gambling this session.  Hawaii and Utah are the only states that do not permit some form of gambling.

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