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Hawaii Island News, 27-28 February 2010


The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center cancelled the Tsunami Warning for the State of Hawaii effective 1:50 p.m. Saturday, 27 February.  The warning was based on a 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile that occurred at 8:46 p.m. Hawaii Time on Friday.  Operations at Hilo International Airport are being restored and the airport is expected to resume full activity by Saturday evening.  Evacuees can now return home.  Beach Parks on Hawaii Island will re-open Sunday.  Gerald Fryer, a geophysist for the tsunami center, says “better safe than sorry” when it comes to tsunamis and earthquakes.

(AP).  A federal agency says four Hawaii residents can’t take part in a decision on the Army’s application for a license to handle depleted uranium from old ammunition rounds.  The residents said they fear the uranium that’s been at Scholfield Barracks on Oahu and Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island for years could be harmfu.

(AP).  Hawaii businesses will escape a big tax increase under a bill being considered by the state legislature.  The  bill would change the formula that determines how much businesses are taxed to pay for unemployment benefits.  The difference will be made up by a loan from the federal government.  State officials want the bill to become law by March 12th, before businesses get their tax bills.

The County of Hawaii Mass Transit Agency administrative office is moving to the Hilo Iron Works Building effective Monday, 1 March.  The new address for Mass Transit is 1266 Kamehameha Avenue, Suite A-2.  Customers purchasing shared-ride coupons or requesting bus schedules and service information may do so at the new location beginning 1 March.

(AP).  A whale and dolphin rescue center opened Friday on the Big Island.  The Hawaii Cetacean Rehabilitation Facility at UH-Hilo will care for injured, sick, and lost marine mammals.  A 25,000-gallon saltwater pool at the university’s Pacific Aquaculture and Coastal Resources Center can house two whales or dolphins at a time.  A $100,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is providing the initial funding for the center.

Deputy Parks and Recreation Director Clayton Honma has told members of the Hawaii County Band that money for the organization will run out on June 30th.  Tuba player Lee Ikeda told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that the loss of funds comes as the result of budget cuts and the need to balance the county budget.  Hunter Bishop, the mayor’s executive assistant, said the budget doesn’t have money for the band, which has 34 paid part-time members in East Hawaii and 11 players in West Hawaii.

(AP).  Possession of small amounts of marijuana would be decriminalized under Legislation advancing through the Hawaii Legislature.  The Senate Judiciary Committee has passed a measure that caps the penalty for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana at $100.  A separate bill that cleared its final Senate committee earlier this week allows medical marijuana “compassion centers” to distribute pot.

You are invited to attend the fundraising event for “Peter’s Leg UP” and help the family of Peter Gonsalves, Jr. raise $12,500 to pay for a permanent prosthetic leg.  Two years ago, Peter Gonsalves lost part of his left leg in a traffic accident in Pahoa.  The fundraiser will be held Saturday, March 6th, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Maku’u Market in Pahoa.  For details, call Ronnette at 965-0745.

Nancy Gardner-Heaven, PhD, will present a series of FREE Health Education Workshops on the Big Island from Tuesday, March 2nd in Pahoa, to Friday, March 5th at Tutu’s House in Kamuela.  To  reserve your spot, call toll-free 1-866-766-2468.

Pacific Care Missions will be collecting medical, health care, and school supplies for Fanning Island on Wednesday, March 17th when the Holland America cruise ship MS Rotterdam visits Kona on March 17th.  Bring your supplies to the Kailua pier and look for Pacific Care Missions.  For details, call Rich Smith at 1-970-389-0363.

Classes in English as a second language are starting soon at Hawaii Community College.  For details, call 933-0807.